SmallRig RC 220B – COB Lights Review Compact yet powerful video Light

Today we are taking a look at the all-new SmallRig RC 220B COB bi-color lights. These are the second set of lights by SmallRig after their 120W versions and despite their compact size, they pack quite a punch. We shall also be looking at the RA- D85 softbox which proved to be no less impressive.

SmallRig lights

SmallRig has become widely known for their rigging accessories, but they have been expanding into other video essentials, like tripods, softboxes, and lights.

In early 2022, SmallRig launched their first 120W COB lights, and now we’re testing their new 220W bi-color light.

In the box

SmallRig ships the RC 220B in a semi-hard carrying case. Included in the kit are the light unit, a reflector, power brick, and cable, and with our unit, we also got a V-mount plate with a D-tap cable (these last two might be sold separately so check what you are getting before you order).

The RC 220B semi-hard case

The small-rig-rc220B-4

Build and design

The design of the RC 220B is in line with SmallRig’s 120W units. It comes with an integrated handle for a more secure grip and easier mounting. The light features a metal chassis with a plastic enclosure.

The light mount is made of metal but comes with a plastic handle. There is also an integrated umbrella holder on the side of the mount.

The RC 220B with the included reflector

small-rig-rc220B- with reflector

Features

The RC 220B is a bicolor light, with a color temperature range from 2700K to 6500K. There is a built-in Bluetooth controller that allows to control the light through the SmallGoGo app.

The new SmallGoGo app

smallrig-app smallrig-app2

The unit is cooled with a fan that comes on periodically. It’s not very loud, but you can definitely hear it. The fan does a good job, though, and the light doesn’t get very warm even after prolonged use.

Control

On the back of the light, there are two clickable knobs for color temperature, dimmer control, and effects.

To connect to the light in the app, hold down the reset button for 5 seconds to enable Bluetooth.

The app allows to quickly turn the light on and off, control color temperature and dimmer, as well as to customize the effects.

Simple operation with 2 knobs

Smallrig-rc220b back of the light

Power options

Having a battery option with such compact light is a very important feature. The battery plate easily mounts onto the light stand and connects to the light.

SmallRig recommends using 26V batteries above 150Wh. Our 230Wh battery gave about 2 hours of runtime at 100%.

Smaller batteries may give a lower output. In our tests with 14.4V batteries, the light did put out 100% power, but after just over half an hour of working produced an error.

  • In our tests using a 98Wh battery, we were only able to get around 40 minutes of continuous output at 100% with Bluetooth enabled (the app has a battery status indicator, but it doesn’t seem to work properly so this might be something SmallRig will need to address in an update.

SmallRig v-mount plate and cable for the RC 220B – you might need a beefy battery

smallRigg-V-mount

Softbox

We used this light with SmallRig’s RA- D85 softbox. This 85cm/33″ Softbox has a very good build quality and design. Even though it features rods that are deployed manually one by one, it’s a very quick process (unlike quite a few other softboxes which we really don’t care for).

Leaving the rods exposed at the base allows for easier handling and keeps the back of the softbox closed to avoid light leaks, which is a problem we’ve had with other softboxes.

The wonderfully made Smallrig-RA-D85 softbox

Smallrig-RA-D85-softbox

Performance

We tested the light output and color accuracy of the RC 220B from 1 meter away with and without a reflector/softbox using our trusted Sekonic C-800 Spectrometer. Here are the results we got:

RC 220B bare:

3200K (3217K measured):

  • 6390Lux.
  • CRI – 98.2 (R9 – 95.3; R12 – 85.5).
  • TLCI – 98, SSIt – 85.
  • TM-30 RF – 95; TM-30 Rg – 101.

5600K (5485K measured):

  • 8200Lux.
  • CRI – 98 (R9 – 97.4; R12 – 79.3).
  • TLCI – 98, SSId – 74.
  • TM-30 RF – 93; TM-30 Rg – 101.

RC 220B + Reflector (center):

3200K (3296K measured):

  • 42100Lux.
  • CRI – 98.1 (R9 – 96; R12 – 85).
  • TLCI – 98, SSIt – 83.
  • TM-30 RF – 95; TM-30 Rg – 101.

5600K (5667K measured):

  • 48,500Lux.
  • CRI – 98 (R9 – 97.4; R12 – 79.3).
  • TLCI – 98, SSId – 74.
  • TM-30 RF – 93; TM-30 Rg – 101.

 RC 220B + RA-D85 softbox:

3200K (3197K measured):

  • 3197Lux.
  • CRI – 98.2 (R9 – 95.2; R12 – 85.8).
  • TLCI – 98, SSIt – 85.
  • TM-30 RF – 95; TM-30 Rg – 101.

5600K (5314K measured):

  • 5314Lux.
  • CRI – 97.6 (R9 – 98.4; R12 – 79.5).
  • TLCI – 98, SSId – 75.
  • TM-30 RF – 94; TM-30 Rg – 101.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both the RC 220B and the softbox are quality products. The light is powerful and provides very accurate colors. It’s small and portable. Even with runtime being limited for smaller batteries, it’s still a versatile unit.

The RA-D85 softbox we tested is just the right size in terms of portability and coverage for things like interviews or talking heads and it is quick to deploy and fold and very well made.

Pricing

As for pricing, you can get all these products on the SmallRig website and on Amazon/B&H:

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Art Podolski is a photographer and video editor with an interest in marketing, technology and all things cinema. After shooting wedding photography for 5 years, he transitioned into creating video content for online projects and collaborating with various production companies.

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