Laysion might not be as well known as some of the other lighting companies coming out of China recently, but the company which was founded in 2010, has some of the most interesting and feature reach light tubes on the market, as well as some extremely bright high-quality space lights.
A few months ago, the company sent us a couple of their new ZIP-2 RGBWW 2 feet 20W tubes, that have a powerful internal battery, a wide range of temperature and color, an official CRI of 96 as well as several other interesting features that we shall look at in this review.
The Laysion ZIP-2 RGBWW lights
Build quality and design
The ZIP 2 lights are made from metal and feel extremely sturdy and quite heavy in the hand (they do tip the scale at over 1.3kg or close to 2.15lbs). The model that we are reviewing measures just over 67cm (26”) long with 60cm (23”) usable lighting area. There is also a shorter model (41cm /16”) and a longer model (128cm/50”) available from Laysion.
On the back of the light, there are 4 magnets but they are not strong enough to hold the light so we would not recommend using them. On the bottom part of the light, there is a 4V 1.5Amp DC power plug as well as the on/off switch and a 3/8” thread, while on the top part there is a small screen with lots of info and three buttons.
We received our two units with the optional remote which connects directly to the units as long as they are turned on and replicates the functionality of the light’s onboard screen and control. It would be nice if the screen was a little larger on the remote for better viewing and if it had the option to control two lights individually (we were only able to control both our lights at the same time). At the moment there is no app that could have been very useful but there is wireless DMX control which we haven’t tried yet.
The ZIP-2 comes with a nice mini tripod, an AC charger, a metal ring for hanging the light and a bracket that grips the back of the light with a special metal rod.
Before we go into the actual performance here are some of the official specs of the light which we think are quite impressive:
- RGBWW LED with 2600-6000K range CCT mode and 1000K-20,000K on CCT-W mode.
- Zero flicker and 0-100% dimming (1% increments).
- 5 hours of internal battery life (5200mAh).
- CRI 96+.
- Wireless DMX512.
- 5 different effects.
- User-configurable gels.
We tested the ZIP-2 using our new Sekonic C800 spectrometer (review coming soon) and we got the following results:
Output – we tested the output in different modes at 1m away and you will be able to see some examples (below) but for the most part, you are looking at about 300-400 lux which is enough for hair light or even fill light but not a key light and should be more than enough for a practical or effect light in many situations.
Specific Lux masurments (1m):
- 2600K – 351lux.
- 5600K – 397lux.
- 1000K – 229lux.
- 20,000 – 328lux.
CRI/TLCI – At 2600K we measured a CRI of 96.6 with an R9 (reds) of 97.6 and R12 (blues of 91.6) which is very respectable. At 5600K we measured CRI of 95.5 with an R9 (reds) of 87.4 and R12 (blues of 94.4). The TLCI at 2600K was 98 and at 5600 we got 99.
CRI measurements at 2600K
TM30 at 2600k
CRI measurements at 5600K
Other standards – with the Sekonic C800 we can finally test lights using other measuring standards and we looked at the Spectral Similarity Index or SSI which compares the measurement to a known light source of your choosing. We compared to a 3200K tungsten source and got 84 and to 5500K (CIE D55) and got 75 compared to CIE D55 daylight, both should be considered good.
Battery life – Battery life was spot on in our test compared to the official number – exactly 3.5 hours of run time at full power.
Using the ZIP-2
We have used the ZIP-2 lights for several months now for both stills and video work and they have proven invaluable for both applications.
For stills, we used them for several shoots either to add a touch of color or a streak of light into the shot on several of our food and product commercial productions.
For video in a scenario when you need some fill, hair light, or a splash of color the ZIP-2 will be very useful and if you are looking for effects it has TV, fire, party, red & blue (cup car), and even CCT drift (which bounce back and forth between two colors).
One of the most unique features of this light is the ability to go down to 1000K and up to 20,000K temperatures when selecting the CCT-W mode so far we had no particular use for that but it is nice to have.
There are a number of mounting options using the included bracket, tripod, ring, and extension rod and we used some of them in different configurations.
Recently we started using the lights for the LensVid shooting set up both as a practical in the background and as a colored gel for the hair light above the frame.
We are really happy with the ZIP-2 lights from Laysion. They are extremely well built, have different mounting options, fairly easy to operate, and have a ton of features with very accurate colors.
Ultra wide temprature range in CCT-W mode (PIZ-2 or ZIP-2?)
On the negative side, the magnets on the back are not really practical and we would really like to see a good, simple to use app and a remote with a larger screen.
At the moment the only real drawback though is availability. We could not find the ZIP-2 on sale anywhere online so we can’t give you pricing but we promise to update our article after with get an answer from Laysion and if you want the light now you can contact them on from their website.
Update: We had a brief talk with the company and apparently the pricing for the ZIP-2 is just under $270. We are waiting for the lights to be available for purchase in the U.S. and we will add a buying link as soon as they will.
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