Unfortunately, it seems that lights are hard to spend money on. It’s not nearly as exciting to buy a light as it is to buy a new camera. However, the results you get from a good light are worth it.
Kino Flo has offered the Diva-Lite for quite some time now. However, with the newest iteration, the fixture transforms from a fluorescent light into a Bi-Color LED that can be powered via AC or DC. The Diva-Lite LED is very similar to Kino Flo’s other LED offerings with a few neat party tricks.
The Diva-Lite LED is dimmable from zero to 100 percent and offers a wide color temperature range of 2,700 kelvins to 6,500 kelvins. Plus, it has an extended color palette of 2,500 kelvins to 9,900 kelvins. The amount of control on the Diva LED is its biggest strength. The color temperature is changed simply with the turn of a knob. Dimming can also be controlled by that same knob when the function is toggled. You’re also able to change the light’s hue from magenta all the way to green. There are also four customizable color temperature presets.
The Diva LED is DMX controllable or can be controlled wirelessly. It comes with built-in barndoors for better light control and has a long center mount that offers easy control with a great amount of adjustment. The Diva LED has a high CRI of 95, and comes with a removable 90-degree Honeycomb Louver.
But how well does it work?
Kino Flo provided both a Diva-Lite LED 20 and a Diva-Lite LED 30. The biggest and most notable differences between the 20 and 30 are both the size and weight. All other provided specs are shared between the two lights. The smaller size of the 20 means it can fit where the 30 might not, but the larger size of the 30 gives a larger broadcast area.
For the first tests, we made the studio completely dark and turned on each light to compare their intensity. We found that there really isn't much, if any, difference. They are both bright, and because of the amount of color control, they could be easily matched to the other lights in the room.
These lights are very similar to the Kino Flo Celeb line of lights, with a few differences. The first is that they are in the Diva-Lite housing, which is lighter and comes with barn doors standard. Depending on your needs, the lighter package could be beneficial for travel. However, the more rugged exterior of the Celeb would be better for a breakdown-everyday workhorse light. With the lighter housing, we’d rather install them in the studio. They are easier to mount, and with the barn doors, light control is easier.
Our whole studio is lit using LEDs. No two of our lights are the same, so we have to make sure they are all at the same color temperature. One of the lights runs exclusively at 5,600 kelvins, so we must match all other lights to it. This wasn’t an issue for the Diva-Lites, and the light they produce is beautifully soft. It’s hard not to like the light quality. With a CRI of 95 and how bright they get, they are currently the go-to light in our studio.
There are so many LED lights on the market that it’s a bit overwhelming. Don’t worry — we have you covered. Our criteria when looking for a marketplace competitor for the Diva-Lite LED are that it needs to be a Bi-Color LED with a CRI of 95+, must be DMX controllable, and it must have a panel with a similar size as the Diva-Lite LED 20 (25 x 13 inches). We choose the Dracast LED2000-DX Studio Bi-Color LED Light with DMX and the Arri SkyPanel S60 LED Softlight.
There are so many LED lights on the market that it’s a bit overwhelming. Don’t worry — we have you covered.
The Dracast LED2000-DX Studio Bi-Color LED Light with DMX costs 1,920 dollars, just 310 dollars less than the Kino Flo. It’s color temperature range is 3,200 to 5,600 kelvins (a smaller range than the Diva). However, like the Diva-Lite, it can be controlled by a DMX. Its panel size is 24 x 12 inches and has a CRI of 95.
Going on the more expensive side is the Arri SkyPanel S60 LED Softlight at 5,625 dollars; that’s almost 3,400 dollars more. You can buy two Diva-Lite LED’s for that price. However, the Arri does have a wider color temperature range at 2,800 to 10,000 kelvins. Like the Diva, it also has hue and saturation adjustment and has DMX control. Its panel is 25.4 x 11.8" and has a CRI of 95.
Final thoughts and Recommendation
Is the Kino Flo Diva-Lite LED the most affordable light in the market? No, but it does offer a good value. Out of the three lights in the marketplace we looked at, it offered the most for your money. The stand-out part of the Diva-Lite LED is how easy it is to control and the quality of their light. All in all, we were very happy with the quality and intensity of the light produced.
It’s hard not to like these lights. They are beautifully soft and have a great CRI rating. They are easy to match with other lights because of their green and magenta adjustment. We like the form factor because it’s both lightweight and has built in barn doors. Overall, the Kino Flo Diva-Lite LED earns our recommendation.
PRICE: $2,230 - $2,590
- Hue and Saturation control
- Higher than average cost
- Indy filmmakers
- Corporate filmmakers
- Jacks of all trades
Input Voltage: VAC: 100~240VAC, 50/60Hz, 150W, VDC: 18~36VDC, 150W
Color Temperature: 2,700-6,500K, 2,500-9900K extended, Magenta/Green Hue adjustment
Dimming range: 100%~1%
Light Source: LED
Weight: Diva-Lite LED 20: 14.5 lb (6.5 kg), Diva-Lite LED 30: 17 lb (8 kg)
Dimensions: Diva-Lite LED 20: 25 x 13 x 6" (63.5 x 33 x 15cm), Diva-Lite LED 30: 39 x 10.5 x 6" (99 x 27 x 15cm)
Also Included: Built-in Barndoors, Honeycomb Louver, Center Mount
Chris Monlux is happy that Videomaker has a wonderful studio. You really should see it. He is also Videomaker’s Multimedia Editor.