MY THOUGHTS ON LED LIGHTS FOR PORTRAITS
I am a Photographer that sees light as the most important thing in my photoshoot. I uses all sorts of lighting ranging from natural & available lighting, speedlites and LED continuous lighting. Over the years, I had became a hardcore Speedlite user, but deep down inside; my all time favourite lighting is still continuous lighting. I had moved from using home flashlights, headlamps, to DIY LED lights and over these period of time, I realised that continuous light needs to have a criteria in order for it to be used in portrait shots. Here’s the ctiteria of what a continuous lighting should have:
- Extremely High in CRI (Colour Rendering Index) with MINIMUM score of 90.
- Has to be as bright as possible.
- Offers the ability to control it’s brightness in a very precise way.
These are the 3 most important criteria for continuous portrait lighting. As a Wedding Photographer, our equipments has to be as compact as possible and has to be as worry free as possible. And here are the things that I look for in my continuous portrait lighting:
- It has to be compact. Meaning it needs to fit in my camera bag without me needing to carry additional bag for it.
- It needs to be backed with intelligent system/software (or whatever they have inside their circuit boards) to protect it’s components from possible circuitry damages.
- I never liked the idea of equipments having a special battery of its own. I always prefer equipments that uses universal batteries.
With all the above criterias, I had fed them to the amazing engineers at LighX (Pronounced as ‘Lights’); and after a year of trial and error, we finally came out with the first ever made-in-Malaysia LED light for Professional Portraits: GLOW.
GLOW: MY PERSONAL REVIEW
I had been using GLOW for quite sometime now (Being an official tester for months and months). It has followed me around Penang (my hometown in Malaysia) and has travelled as far as Europe. In all honesty, I love this little compact guy. He’s like a Ninja that hids inside my camera bag, and he comes out looking very harmless. But when he is in action, boy, he REALLY delivers. All I am saying is, GLOW is amazingly compact and for it’s size, it’s packed with a powerful punch. Let me quickly share the official specs of GLOW just below:
- Up to 1200lux @ 1m
- Daylight balanced with CRI 92
- Full CTO filter
- Elliptical beam 46deg X 13deg
- Continous dimming
- OTP function
- 1/4″-20 mounting
- 102mm X 102mm X 43mm
Technical specs looks good, but I am not a very technical Photographer so I can’t really explain some of the given scientific terms. So instead, let me just share what I really love about GLOW:
• It is extremely Bright (Suitable for closeups and medium-wide landscape-portrait shots)
• It has amazingly high CRI which scored 92 at Daylight White Balance. See below images for CRI comparison:
• It has elliptical light beam shape instead of round. Perfect for use on human figures.
• The manual dimming knob allows me to precisely control the level of brightness.
• It’s built in with over heating protection, where the LED blinks to tell me that it’s overheated (Overheating has NEVER happened to me until to-date). A good warning before the whole circuit board burns out (And burns my money together with it). Oh, and there is a clean & sleek low-battery indicator as well. Just so you know when you need to change them!
• It uses standard AA Batteries, which means I can literally purchase it’s power source ANYWHERE in the world. I HATE the idea of going back to suppliers for special batteries etc.
• It’s really compact in size and it’s designed to be held on hand comfortably.