In late 2019 we tested a 10W E27 4000K high CRI bulb from the Chinese manufacturer Yuji and were really impressed with the build and especially the very high-quality light it produced. The output on the other hand was fairly low as you would expect from a 10W bulb, even when using several units together which somewhat limited its uses. Today we are going to test a much more powerful high CRI bulb from Yuji and see how it performs and what you can do with it.
We got the original set of 5 36W bulbs from Yuji late in 2019 and they worked very well but the build quality was a little flimsy. Earlier this year they sent us a new batch of bulbs which are much better built and these are the ones that we have been using ever since and the ones currently sold on their website. This new generation is also smaller which is a big plus.
Yuji LED bulbs in the Fovitec softbox
Each of these new bulbs comes in 3200K or 5600K and measures just under 20cm (around 7.5″) long and a little over 7cm (just under 3″) wide. They are larger than the 10W bulbs so they won’t fit in any normal housing but for some, they will work fine.
Our intended use for them was actually quite different. Given the fantastic color quality of the 10W bulbs that we tested, we were hoping to build our own high power low-cost light with several of these 36W units.
To do that we needed a way to connect several of them together and diffuse them. There are all sorts of ways of doing that but maybe the simplest (especially if you are not a certified electrician) is to buy some sort of an E27 multi Lamp Head. One of the reasons this review took such a long time was that we had to go through 3 different ones until we found a version that worked well and is made in a way that is not going to break after one or two uses.
We finally found the Fovitec Fluorescent Lighting kit (which comes with a stand, 5 CFL bulbs, and a 20″x28″ Softbox). It works really well with two diffusion layers and five E27 connectors although with the 36W bulbs you can only fit 4 at a time due to how wide they are. It also has the option to power up either the left lights, the right lights, or the center bulb – in our case we could use it to half-power the light but in practice, we always used full power with this setup. Keep in mind that these bulbs do not support dimming even if you would be able to find a dimming kit for them.
Using the Fovitec kit with 4 bulbs got us close to 150W and we tested it with and without the two diffusion layers and got the following results using our Sekonic C700 spectrometer:
- 4 LED bulbs, no diffusion (in softbox), 1m away – 5599K, 3660lux, and 96CRI (with great R9 reds of 89 and 74 R12 blue).
- 4 LED bulbs, with 2 layers of diffusion (in softbox), 1m away – 5467K, 2380lux, and 96CRI (with the same R9 of 89 and 75 R12).
These are certainly very good color results and the output is decent even with two layers of diffusion. We already used it for several commercial projects when we needed an extra high-quality fill light and it worked really well and was very useful.
As for pricing, four 36W bulbs like the ones that we used will cost you $170 ($46 if you buy them individually) and with the Fovitec softbox kit, you are looking at an extra $70 so around $240. That is not exactly cheap especially given the fact that you have no dimming options and you are sort of stuck with this specific softbox. However, given the light quality, silent operation, and compared to say a good but affordable 150W modern COB like the Godox VL150 you are almost at half the price.
Yes the Godox is more powerful, is much more functional using a Bowens mount, it comes with a controller plus wireless control, a remote and of course dimming option so it is not an easy pick between the two even with the Yuji’s lower price.
Regardless, the product itself is great, and really our only criticism apart from the price is the lack of dimming support. If you want it as a high quality practical on set or as high-end work light for your editing room (and you can fit it in your lamp) it comes highly recommended with fantastic color reproduction and plenty of output.
Our Yuji Lights 36W Bulbs setup on set as fill lights (on the right in the Fovitec softbox kit)
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