On this video guide, our colleague, photographer, and videographer Curtis Judd, take a look at several different LEDs and try and explain what he believes might be the best use case for such a light.
Not all LEDs are born equal. Even with different quality LEDs (and there are more and more of those on the market today), there are differences that make each particular light more (or less) suitable for a particular lighting situation (both in terms of the quality, power and different features of the light).
Let’s dive into the different lights that Judd mentions in this video:
- Andycine Boling P1 RGB light ($160) – this is a small yet fairly powerful on-camera LED that has RGB and effects. It is very well made (metal build), it charges via USB-C and has an internal battery which is good for about 2 hours and you can very easily dial in any RGB color that you want – fantastic for small product shots (especially adding that little bit of color), if you are doing run and gun you can use it but you might get a pretty focus/hard light relatively close (this is a small light source) and at longer distances it might not be as powerful. One nice tip that Judd gives about this light is that if you are shooting a sort of selfie video you can use a large reflector and point the light into it and bounce it to your face (we actually have this light and love it although it isn’t super powerful).
- CAME-TV Andromeda RGB LED Slim Tube Lights (starting from $200 for 1 foot and up to $463 for a single 4 foot tube, a set of 4 two-foot tubes will cost you $1000)- these are tube lights that can be useful for the background (again RGB here is cool and you can also use them for a green screen), they can also be used for accent lighting or fill and they are pretty easy and light so not too difficult to mount. They can be powered via Sony L batteries (two per light). One downside is that each light has its own control box and cables so it can be a bit of a mess when you are using a 4 light kit (or you might need a LOT of Sony batteries).
- D&O Lighting 180W ($500) – this is a powerful wide-angle beam soft panel – ideal for interviews etc. It is bi-color (3200K-5600K) and it can be powered via V-mount battery or AC and it is completely passive (no fan at all which is really nice for a 180W LED. Keep in mind that this light is pretty wide so you might not get as much power on your subject as other 180W LEDs.
- Westcott Flex Cine 1×1 Mat ($870 but you will need to buy the controller separately)- this is a pro light that needs to make sense to whoever buys it since it is very expensive compared to some of the other (quality) flex lights on the market. Westcott is considered one of the best in the category but they are also very expensive. This light might be right for a professional video shooter who needs a very heavy duty but portable and compact LED that can be carried onto a plane for example (typically in a hard case).
- FalconEyes 120TDX 4×4 Mat LED Light ($2000) – this is a huge light source (4 foot by 4 foot or 1.2mx1.2m) and a power draw of 600W which makes for a very soft light that can be used to cover a larger surface (for example above two people talking next to a table). It can only be powered from AC and it takes quite a bit of time to set up plus it isn’t exactly inexpensive.
You can check out more of Judd’s videos which focus mostly on audio and video here on LensVid.