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continuous source LED photographic and video lighting


  • LED lights have largely replaced flourescent and tungsten continuous light sources as they run cool, without flicker, are generally balanced for daylight, are dimmable, last longer, and are much more portable and require lower power consumption and thus smaller, lighter power sources
  • avoid cheap LED lights which are not designed for photography as they generally do not have good colour quality, although for monochrome work or where colour is not critical, they may be very handy and affordable.

how bright are they?

  • these lights are generally rated in output levels in lumens where 1 lumen = light flux from 1 candle
  • the Westcott Ice Light 2 is rated at 1750 lumen at full output, and at around 1m from the subject, this gives exposures of around 1/125th sec, f/2.8 at ISO 400 (light value of around 3) which is about 1-2 stops brighter than average household lighting levels, but certainly would not be useful in sunlight or even cloudy days, and really is best used indoors or after sunset outdoors. It could be useful for macro work in the shade when held 6“ from subject.

LED hand holdable light wands

Westcott Ice Light 2

  • invented by Australian pro photographer Jerry Ghionis and manufactured and marketed by Westcott
  • NB. version I had some quality issues and fixed battery, and vII is 50% brighter and CRI is better
  • uses removable lithium battery pack as well as AC power supply via the DC adapter (optional car adapter)
  • USB is only for firmware upgrades NOT power supply
  • comes with 2 clips to allow gels to be used
  • 1,740 lumens at 15W maximum output level allows f/2.8, 1/100th sec, ISO 400 when held about 1m from subject and battery lasts ~ 1hr at this output
  • LEDs are daylight-balanced at 5500K with 73deg beam angle and Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 96 (max. score is 100) for excellent skin tones, and rated for 50,000 hours, or 17+ years if used 8 hours every day
  • 18 step flicker free dimmable
  • both ends include a 1/4”-20 thread to mount to a light stand, tilter bracket, or tripod
  • battery indicator, battery takes 2.5hrs to recharge
  • metal housing
  • bluetooth remote control for future smartphone apps (not yet available Oct 2015)
  • wt: 20oz / 570g
  • 21.6“ x 7.5”
  • optional barn doors
  • optional tungsten gel
  • great for soft wrap around lighting but really needs to be < 2m from subject and preferably around 1m
  • power off and on is instantaneous
  • RRP $US549
  • youtube video tutes:

Neewer BestLight

  • has twin daylight and tungsten light sources with higher output than Ice Light v1 but more harsh

Travor MTL-900 ii

  • much less expensive but cheaper build quality than the Ice Light and lets some light out the rear, although slightly wider and longer light source giving slightly softer shadows, and 2 stops brighter than the vI Ice Light
  • uses standard video cam batteries
  • controls are on the light side which is annoying
  • power off is delayed

Godox LC500 light stick

  • introduced 2018 - cheap copy of the Ice Light but adds remote control and is heavier
  • $AU250
  • remote controller 10-100% in 6 groups and 16 channels
  • 5600K or 3300K modes, CRI > 95; TLCI >= 95; 516 LEDs;
  • tripod mount
  • clip on barn doors
  • 14.8V 2600mAh battery takes 2.5hrs to charge and gives 2hrs at 100% (18W 1200 lux at 1m)
  • 565mm long; 760g excl barn doors;

hand holdable spot lights

Lowel GL-1

  • focusable spot
  • much more distance than a Ice Light but more harsh

light stand fresnel lights

Fotodiox Pro DY-200 Daylight Fresnel LED

Aputure 2X Fresnel Lens Mount

  • cheap Bowens S mount module which fits LED lights with Bowens S mounts
  • larger (6“ lens), heavier (1.24kg), twice as bright and more easier to use than the original version and now has a rear lens
  • $AU199

Aputure Fresnel Lens Mount

  • cheap Bowens S mount module which fits LED lights with Bowens S mounts
  • $AU109

large area soft lights

Fotodiox Pro FlapJack LED Edge Light

large area non-diffused studio lights

  • many options

Fotodiox Pro LED

conventional style studio lights

  • many options

Aputure Light Storm 300X

  • announced April 2020
  • adds bicolour COB LED light by incorporating a custom colour-blending element in front of the LED to turn it into a single colour-changing light source for consistent colour across the entire projection
  • colour temperature range of 2700-6500K
  • CRI of 96, TLCI of 96 and CQS of 95.
  • dimming from zero to 100% with 56,000 lumens output and a 105° field of view
  • Four different dimming modes are available on the LS 300X, including Linear, Exponential, Logarithmic and S-Curve, with five common colour temperature presets for 2700K, 3200K, 4200K, 5500K and 6500K and 50K increments in between the warmest and coolest for manual fine tuning.
  • 9 built-in lighting effects
  • Bowens S-Type mount
  • fan cooling system; 5 pin XLR connector; 2xV mount batteries; AC or 14V DC;
  • 11.4kg
  • $US1199

Aputure Light Storm 300D II

  • announced Apr 2019
  • ballast now internal, shorter unit, batteries now on each side and 20% brighter
  • Longer 7.74m cable
  • more silent as no fans but relies on a heat sink
  • new wireless control functionality
    • app allows you to have multiple groups of lights with different settings, trigger effects, and get full remote control fro up to 400 metres away
  • runs on 2 batteries but can now power it up to half power with just a single V-Mount battery
  • 8 effects are built into the control unit to simulate things like nightclub strobes, TV flicker, lightning effects and explosions

Aputure Light Storm LS 300D COB

  • 300W (eq. 2000W tungsten; 48000lux with reflector at 0.5m, 9000lux at 1m, 142,000 with fresnel at 0.5m or 44,000 at 1m) Bowens S mount, 2.4GHz remote control works to 100m and can control 4 groups of lights; AC power with 6' cord; mount high frame rates so minimal if any LED flicker;
  • 5500K +/- 200K, 95+ CRI; TLCI 96; LED unit itself has two fairly silent fans
  • external ballast power unit with somewhat noisy fan and requires 2 cables - AC power source and the cable to the controller box.
  • long external controller box which has cable to connect to LED unit, and a power cable to connect to AC power ballast unit.
  • optional battery power:
    • optional Sony V or Gold battery mount plates for the controller box
    • requires two 12A batteries each with a capacity of at least 190WH - realistically you need 4 batteries.
    • two Anton Bauer Digital 150’s give 50 minutes of 100% output.
  • 2.1kg
  • $US1100 / $AU1699
    • green-yellow color shift at edges without modifiers in place
  • - what you get and how to set up

Aputure Light Storm LS 120D COB

  • 135W, CRI,TLCI 97+; Bowens S mount;
  • two models with two different colour-temperatures: the LS C120t (3000K) and the LS C120d (6000K).
  • 2.4GHz 3channel remote control works to 100m;
  • 1.6kg;
  • 15V 9A 135W DC: optional plates for SONY V mount or Anton Bauer mount batteries on the external controller box
  • $AU1050

modular systems

Anthem One

  • various “light cards” available such as 20,000 lumens at 4,000K, 21,000 lumens at 3200K, 25,000 lumens at 5600K, and 30,000 lumens at 5,600K.

Spiffy Gear's Spekular LED light kits

photo/led_lighting.txt · Last modified: 2020/04/24 08:09 by gary1