The Lupo Dayled 650 Daylight LED Fresnel with DMX is an affordable LED Fresnel with an output equivalent to a 650 Watt tungsten fixture. It has a carbon fiber reinforced technopolymer shell housing that feels very sturdy, ready for years of use. Plus, this light also comes with barn doors and is 100 percent dimmable. 

This Fresnel uses a 4.7-inch lens with manual beam focus from 15 degrees out to 55 degrees. With DMX control, you can control the Dayled 650 and your other lights with a light mixer. This light doesn’t make noise, either, making it a great video light. It won’t disrupt clean audio capture. You can also use it on the go with an optional V-mount battery plate for an additional $105. For this review, we tested the daylight version, but tungsten’s balanced version is also available. 

The Lupo Dayled 650 does have one weak spot, however — but more on that later. 

A little history lesson

Lupo is far from a household name, but they have actually been in business since 1932. Originally, they specialized in lighting for photography. That said, the company is still owned and operated by the same family, now in the second generation. They have been offering lights for video since the 1990s and their lights are made in Italy.

What about color rendition?

The Dayled 650 has a CRI of 92 and TLCI of 94. If you are unfamiliar with how CRI and TLCI ratings work, read our article Understanding CRI & TLCI: The Importance Of Color Rendition. A CRI of 92 isn’t stellar, but it is high enough that you likely won’t need to do much if any correction because of it.. The TLCI rating of 94 is a great score and shows the difference between the two rating systems. The CRI rating is a more flawed rating than that of the TLCI, and that bodes well for this light.

Head to Head

We needed to get some context to size up the merits of this light. Luckily, we just happen to have a light that is very close in specs to the Lupo: the Litepanels Sola 4+ LED Fresnel. The two lights are just about the same price, the Litepanels being just $55 more than the Lupo.

We set up a few shots where we used one of the lights by itself to light the scene. Then, we swapped in the other light to see the difference.

The Sola 4+ has a larger beam angle than the Lupo at 71 degrees. This means the Litepanels beam is broader when fully defocused, but that’s about the only difference we identified when it comes to the light produced. Otherwise, their intensity, range of dimming and barn door control were all indistinguishable between the two.

With a TLCI rating of 95, Litepanels isn’t rated much better than the Lupo. The most significant difference was the sturdiness of the housing. Because both lights should have a long lifespan based on the hours of use each light is rated for, the build quality is likely to be the determining factor in how long each light actually lasts.

The Lupo’s hard exterior is far more robust than the Litepanels. Also worth noting: the Lupo lens offers manual focus control whereas the Litepanels uses motorized control. The Lupo gives you the same control with less chance of breaking over time.

What about that weakness?

We alluded to a weak spot on the Lupo earlier, and it’s something that gives it great contrast against the Litepanels. The Lupo 650’s controls hide behind the yoke when the light is mounted on a stand. This placement is not an issue when mounted from above, however.

Additionally, the buttons used to control the Lupo feel cheap, especially compared to the quality of the housing. We would have liked the dimming control to be a knob or just be more substantial overall. This is not an issue if you are using a DMX, as control will come from it, negating the use of control on the light itself.

On the positive, the display is easy to read, even in the dark.  

A look at similar options

Though we were generally impressed with this light, we wanted to see what else is available for the money. Keep in mind that the specs from each lighting manufacturer are not always consistent, so comparing solely on specs can be problematic. With that said, here are a few LED Fresnels with similar power output and a price near the Lupo’s $999.

First up is the Dracast Fresnel 700 Daylight LED for $1255. It has a wider beam angle by 10 degrees on the wide side, a CRI of 95 or better, barn doors and onboard DMX512. Dracast also claims the light runs silently, just like the Lupo. Next is the Litepanels Sola 4+ LED Fresnel, the light from our comparison. It’s priced at $1054, which includes barn doors. Last up is the Mole-Richardson 200W Varimole LED for $1483. It’s not available in a single color, instead offering a variable color temperature from 2700 to 5600K. It’s made of aluminum alloy and steel and is fully dimmable.

The long and short of it

The Lupo Dayled 650 Daylight LED Fresnel with DMX is a solid light. It offers usable features and is ready to use right out of the box. Plus, it has a decent CRI and a good TLCI rating.

When we put it up against a similar light, it held its own in quality and output. We found it more robustly built but with a weak design for its dimming control. The price is great, and you can’t top the usefulness of a LED Fresnel fixture. Overall, we liked the light

SUMMARY:

Lupo

STRENGTHS:

  • Carbon fiber reinforced technopolymer shell
  • TLCI rating of 94

WEAKNESSES:

  • Location of dimmer control
  • Design of dimmer control

RECOMMENDED USES:

  • Narrative Filmmaking
  • Documentary Filmmaking and Journalism
  • Corporate and Event Videography
  • Marketing Video Production

PRICE: $1,000

  • TECH SPECS:
  • Light Source: 60 W COB LED
  • Color Range: Daylight Balance: 5600K
  • Color Accuracy: CRI/TLCI: 92/94
  • Lens: 4.7″ / 120 mm
  • Beam Angle: 15 – 55°
  • DMX: Yes, DMX In/Out: 5-pole XLR
  • Operating Voltage: Mains Operation: 90-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
  • Battery
    • Operation: 14.8 V
    • Run Time: With Dedicated Battery: 2.2 hours
    • Connector: 4-Pole XLR
  • Power Consumption: 60 W
  • Dimming: 0-100%
  • Mount: Yoke with 5/8″ / 16 mm receiver
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.0 x 7.0″ / 190 x 160 x 180 mm
  • Weight: 5.5 lb / 2.5 kg

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