LED Lights for Video & Film
We've been curious about LED lights from a long time and in case you are too we are going to give you a quick round of what we found working with these instruments in a real life situations.
You probably got a great HD camcorder or HDSLR camera that fits nicely in a camera bag over your shoulder, an audio kit that is lightweight and battery powered and lights in a giant rolling case that weight more than anything you work with. Good quality lighting doesn't have to be big and heavy. A great solution for replacing those heavy, awkward lights is represented by the LED lights.
Let's talk about good stuff first. The main thing we liked about LED fixtures is definitely the quality of light. If you search some information on the internet regarding these lights you'll see a lot of articles about them being used on anything from big movies to TV shows. These are definitely big time lights. The next thing we liked about LED lights is they're physically light and compact. If you just see how thin the LED 1x1 Panel is and that it weights practically nothing you'll realize why this would be such a big advantage when you're traveling a lot, for example taking these into the airplanes, or if you need to put them in tight spaces like corners or perhaps inside cars. Also, for you, Steadycam operators, these lights could be just what you were looking for.
One of the main advantages of the LED Panels is that they are energy efficient and don't generate almost no heat. That's because, instead of using a conventional bulb filled with gas like tungsten or fluorescent do, these guys use a great number of really tinny LED lights that work together to create one big source.
The advantage of LED lights, beside being cool, is that they are very efficient, which means that if you give this light a certain amount of wattage, and give to a tungsten light the same amount of wattage, the LED light is going to be a lot brighter. Which brings it to the next advantage: that is built in versatility.
Even some of the smaller versions of LED panels, the camera LED light (or the "CamLED" line on our website) have the ability to alternate the color temperature of the light (the CamLED 209 and 312 have both HO - 5400K and Bi-Color 3200K-5400K versions).
The Bi-Focus 1x1 LED Panel provides the ultimate beam angle control from spot to flood (uses both spot - 30° and flood - 60° LED bulbs in a single housing). The DayLED 800 Bi-Color and the LED Panel 1x1 Bi-Color also have a built-in digital display located on the back of the panel that help you match multiple similar LED panels in the same setup or precisely duplicate the previous scene.
Besides that, the basic feature of all LED lights (camera and studio versions) is the dimming option from 100% to even 0% in order to get exactly the output you need.
The last big advantage is that you never have to replace a bulb in these fixtures which helps to defray the initial investment in the light itself and also means you don't have to worry about the bulbs going out in the middle of the shooting.
On the other hand, the biggest disadvantage that we can see is definitely the price, so these are not your low budget lighting alternative, these are definitely serious lighting instruments and they're priced accordingly. Even so, we try to vary as much as we can the line of LED lights to match both technical requirements and budget limits. As a matter of fact, don't overlook that the qualities of this great new lighting technology entitles the total investment cost so in fact both professional and amateurs users should consider purchasing these lights as a step closer to a high quality result of their work.
So the bottom line on LED Panels is that if you can afford them, buy them! They're lightweight, portable, easy to work with and versatile. In conclusion LED Panels are fantastic!
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