Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Production Gear › Thoughts on LED lights for video?
- August 19, 2012 at 3:06 AM #44626videodxParticipant
What do you think about these lights for video? I just discovered them and sure enough there’s some reviews on Youtube.
I’m currently using some clamp lights with some super duper bulbs in them but they get really hot which is not fun. I’m considering buying a couple of these LED lights, they’re around $30 delivered from China. I need to light a 10×12 foot room, well, not the whole room, but just a subject in front of a backdrop. Would two of these do the trick?
Just interested to hear everyone’s input on these lights..
LED’s are all the rage, but good ones don’t come cheap, and cheap ones have limitations. First and foremost with most cheap LED lights is the non-continuous spectrum, often spiking in green. You might be able to overcome this with filtration and color correction, but it’s a crap shoot. If the manufacturer doesn’t list the CRI (color rendering index), or its below a 90, then you might get some funky skin tones that don’t look healthy.
You might also get some strange banding when you try to snoot or barn-door these lights to a smaller pattern. I’ve seen some cheap units that exhibit flicker as well.
If you’re expecting to make money from your videos, I would invest in better quality LED lights (Flolight makes solid units) or go with fluorescent fixtures (more cost effective than LED’s, but with similar benefits).
That being said, I do use a larger version of this LED as a hair light or background light when I need a quick setup or I don’t have access to AC power.
I like them but I don’t think 126 led’s is enough. you need a bank of like 1000 or so. do they make 1000? and you need like 6 banks usually 3 for the subject, 1back lightto make them pop, and 2 to light up the background if you intend to do green screen work.
I have an 8 point lighting kit but they are all quartz lights with fresnel lenses and some par can fixtures. Id like t change them all to led.
like anything, when they are new, they ask so much for them. I was at a video expo, they had 1000 led banks – cost like $2500.00 for ONE LIGHT! I forget the manufacturer. this is fine if you are aHollywoodstudio I guess but unrealistic for most. Imagine, if you need like 8 banks of those, then several RED cameras , each with a multitude of lenses with them, tons of batteries, filters etc lots of mics, generators to run everything, lots of talented people to figure out how the to get the most from the RED’s, then you need a room full of huge capacitycomputersto be able to handle the files from the cameras and a bunch of talented editors tooanddid i mention trucksanddrivers to cartstuffaroundwith, and Kraft Services, and locations and legals and aaaaaaargh! (pulling my hair out) and wehaven’teven paid for the script or actors yet!!! I would stick to the Chinese leds… or Get a bigger budget!
there are also some DIY LED banks out there that Ive seen. google DIY LED Video Lights and that will start you on your path to enlightenment – LOL 😀
In Europe there’s a big movement to try to get the LED manufacturers to move to using specs that actually mean something. CRI doesn’t really say much about how an LED relates to tungsten, or even flu. It can mean your white or grey board looks white or grey, but after shooting you discover some colours just didn’t look the same. The problem comes from the cameras splitting off the R,G and B portions – so the camera isn’t seeing the whole spectrum at one time – so you get maybe odd unexpected effects. A bit like when you record with sodium street lighting – that can turn a red car into a sludge green one. The same thing happens with LED, just not so radical.
I’m a recent convert after being a sceptic on theatre LED sources, but for video, too many unpredictable things happen to colour. Lee Filter now make a range of LED gel, to recreate their popular colours, and the colour of these gels is weird to the naked eye, but when stuck on an LED source produce the old favourites. Do a google to read and see how it works.
I too wanted to replace a 1K Fresnel with an LED version – the Arri – my God they are expensive!
Wow ok, so it doesn’t seem like these are all they’re cracked up to be then.. Right now I’m using two of these:http://www.citylivingstores.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?item=122401in clamp lights and they get super hot so I was hoping to find something not so hot and the LEDs looked attractive at first..
For the price I thought it was worth a try and ordered one. If nothing else I have a really wide beam flashlight. I have a similar size area that I shoot in and if I like the light will order some more.