LED lights are great lighting solutions for any video shoot. On camera LED lights are better. You can carry them along with you anywhere. How do you choose the best-LED lights? Are there lights specific to photography in the market? Definitely yes.
So, here are the top 5 best on-camera LED lights :
- Genaray LED-7100T
- Rotolight Neo
- Lume Cube 1500 Lumen Lights
- Sony’s HVL-LBPC Led lights
- Nanguang CNLUX 1600C
How do you find the best on camera lights to fit your needs? It all depends on what videos you are shooting. To be honest, some lights work well across the board. However, camera accessories are always made with specific situations in mind. It is more about their quality in specific shooting modes, rather than their convenience across the board.
That said, these are the 5 best on Camera LED lights.
Genaray LED-7100T- Best flat-on camera lights
Genaray’s lights are a darling of videographers around the world. On Amazon, this brand of lights accounts for the highest number of on-camera light sales, all for good reason. The Generay lights are literally the staple on-camera light in the market.
These on-camera LED lights are pretty broad. This means that they come with many LED bulbs. Yes, there are whole of 312 LED pieces under the hood. If this number of bulbs doesn’t make for dazzling light, you definitely don’t know what “awesomely bright light” is.
Given the number of LED panels under the glass, the Genaray LED 7100T creates a lot of power and takes up a lot of the same too. The output from this panel is a solid 1400 lumens of light at the brightest setting. It ranks pretty high on the list of on-camera lights with the highest amount of production power.
In retrospect, the length of the panel means that the light is spread out over a larger area. This means that this type of lights come with some form of ” flat quality” that easily triumphs over cases of hot spot effects.
Larger light panels make the perfect recipe for lower color temperatures. They also create the perfect ambiance for soft-tone shots which are important in some YouTube videos.
Given the power of the Genaray-7100 T lights, it is hardly plausible to assume that the color temperatures might rank really low. In fact, the lights come with adjustable color temperatures which make for really awesome shoots. The color temperatures can easily be adjusted from 5600K on the high, to lows of 3200K depending on your lighting needs and the pre-visualization of your final cut.
Powering is an inherently large obstacle with practically all on-camera lights. Worse, large flat-panel lights need a lot of power to work. Besides being large, the fact that these lights are on-camera creates greater powering challenges. Though there is yet a perfect solution, using large batteries has always worked for most of the lights. On most occasions, the best batteries are from Sony, and Genaray uses two rechargeable Sony type-L batteries for power. Even then, it runs down the battery charge pretty fast.
As a panacea to the fast power take of the 312 LED panels in the lights, the light set comes with two NP 550 equivalent batteries, and AC car adapters just in case you need to recharge quickly while traveling.
Rotolight Neo 2- Best lights for beginners
Rotolight has made a name for itself in the lighting industry. The first generation of on-camera LED lights from the company was great. The second generation ones are stupendous. They are game-changing at the least. The bedrock of the Rotolight Neo-2 is on its easy-to-use controls and the array of effects that come along with it.
The Rotolight NEO-2 is a hot shoe on camera light. You mount them on the same place where you would usually mount your flash during still shooting.
The lights are small if the cross dimensions are all we take in mind. They only measure a punny 150 by 45mm and weight 1,293 grams in your hands. But that’s not all about what the Rotolight represents. These lights are a perfect pocket bomb of well-balanced power, with a cleverly crafted design.
How powerful can a small round-looking highly concentrated LED light be? Definitely not too much. Unfortunately, you are in for a surprise if you plug in the Rotolight Neo-2.
The rating on the simple, but powerful Rotolight stands at a whopping 2000 lumens. However, once you get down into the dirt, the power dips to around 1840 lumens. This means that there’s a bit of power loss that should be taken care of in future versions. However, 1840 lumens is still way above any average lights in the market, especially at 4000k of power.
Besides the heavy power, the lights come with very easy to use dual controls. In fact, the power shifts make this brand one of the easiest to use lights in the market at any one time. Moreover, the package comes with customizable effects that make the Rotolights a must have for on the go videographers.
Yes, I know. Smaller lights, higher color temperatures. You can hold the rules for a moment because Rotolight has a little surprise for you. Though the 3150-6300K color temperature is still high, the control factor makes the lights versatile. The only point of concern with the color temperatures is that you can’t get them any lower if you want to.
Besides using the lights as on-set lighting, the Rotolights can also be used as flash in case you have to take a few snapshots to accompany your videos. On the flash, the small panel lights up almost 500% brighter than you would see on continuous shooting.
A compact 6 AA class battery cells are all you have as the power for these lights. On average, this means that you have a whole 90 minutes of non-stop shooting with these lights being constantly on.
If 1 hour 30 minutes of shooting is not enough, the fact that the whole lighting system is designed to save up to 15% of the battery power while in constant use might please you. Besides, you can always get extra AA batteries to push up your shooting times if need be.
Lume Cube 1500 Lumen Lights – Toughest on-camera lights
I love the Lume Cube 1500. Perhaps, it’s because Lume Cubes look nothing like your traditional, drab and conventional LED lights. Perhaps, it might be because the Lume Cube is great for fast-moving shots, and action movies if you have to shoot those. Ooh, I now know. It is mainly because the lights are hardy as nuts. They stay on even in the worst of conditions. But that can’t be all of it. There are just too many reasons why I love this on camera lights. The bottom line is that I can’t put a finger on all.
The Lume cube looks small. What it lacks in visible size, it gives in awesome bright light and toughness. Literally, the Lume Cube 15oo can stay on in all kinds of drab conditions, even underwater!
The lights do not come with a lot of control options. In fact, they have only a power button to get the light on and off. In as much as the small size doesn’t offer enough space for good controls, the lights can be controlled easily via blue tooth. Yes, this is the first Bluetooth enabled on-camera LED lights that I included in the list.
Here’s the thing, you can’t expect a lot of lighting power from such a small unit. The focus of this unit is to be tough and to provide an acceptable amount of light in tough conditions.
The light output of this Lume Cube is quoted at 150 lumens. This is only up to 3 meters from the camera set. Going further, the lighting reduces considerably. That’s pretty disappointing, isn’t it? However, you should remember that this is lighting that can be taken into places where no other lighting set can go in.
The only other undoing of this lighting set is that the color temperatures are set to a constant Yellow. It sucks, yes. However, it also turns out that that is all the lighting temperature you need when the conditions are not good for shooting any videos. In fact, if you have a great camera, the sub-low lighting temperatures make the video pretty crisp and clear.
Long battery life directly complements toughness. Everyone knows that. Even the makers of the Lume Cube 1500 lumen lights acknowledge this one conventional wisdom. Therefore, they made the batteries as powerful as any LED lights can be.
Though the battery is inaccessible and inbuilt, it thrives for a surprising 2 hours of shooting, on half brightness most of the time. Besides, they are also rechargeable. Four hours of charging offers a concrete one and a half hours of shooting with the light on full brightness. How does that sound now?
Sony products are the kings and queens of long battery lives. They are also the kings of quality lighting on great prices. All that said, I think the Sony HVL-LBPC is pretty cool, slightly conventional and a great companion to anyone who loves the Sony brand.
Not only does Sony invest in creating professional-grade lighting solutions, but it also invests in finding designs that fit a wide range of cameras, and stay for as long as possible on the brightest light amounts. More aft, Sony lights perfectly combine craft and power.
The HVL-LBPC are replicas of halogen lights. To some extent, videographers have a healthy love for conventional halogen lamps, especially when taking video shots that involve a lot of light balancing. Creating LED lamps that replicate the cadence brought out by their halogen counterparts has worked counter-productively for Sony. In retrospect, the HVL-LBPC accounts for Sony’s highest LED light sales around the world.
How often can you get on camera lights that achieve 2100 lumens on the low without the use of any flip-up lens? Rather, we should ask this, how many on-camera LED lights can be cranked up to 2100 lumens, with the lighting coming out in focused beams that can be turned to a comforting 65-degree angle for those angled shots? There’s probably only one. Y0u are right, it’s the one we are reviewing.
The lighting pattern of the HVL-LBPC works better when the subject moves further from the camera. This informs the reason why wedding filmmakers especially love this light set. Besides, the use of Sony’s landmark proprietary interface, the Multiface Shoe, to allow auto-rigging to compatible cameras increases the amount of juice that you can milk from this lighting setup.
This set has a beast-load of battery power to run with. Sony’s batteries are the main reason why you should invest in this panel. To be honest, 4 hours of battery life seems like a pipe dream, until you use the HVL-LBPC in one of your shoots. Sometimes, the lights outlive the camera!
Besides the fact that the battery pack is built to last, the power of the set can be used for a longer time if you reduce the brightness considerably. However, this increases the chances of sacrificing quality lighting for longer periodic shots.
Given that the twin batteries are rechargeable, carrying along the set’s easy adapters should be a great idea. You never really know whether 4 hours can be short, until you start shooting and your bats run flat!
Nanguang CNLUX 1600C -Best budget lights
Sacrificing quality for low prices is something no video producer should do. But budgets don’t really respect that fact. Sometimes, we have to shop within our means. That’s exactly where Nanguang’s revolutionary products come in.
Truth be said, this lighting set is ridiculously cheap. In fact, I had healthy doubts on whether the lighting would work when I saw the price tag on the products. However, it happens that the Nanguang CNLUX-1600C gives pretty good value for the low amount of money it sells at. It sounds too good to be true.
Nanguangs are famed for storing potent lighting power beneath visibly underrated bodies. This one can produce a maximum of 1600 lumens when cranked up.
The two dials built into the body of the LED light make for easy changing of the power value. While one is strictly dedicated to setting the lumen value from the 3200K LED diodes the other changes the color temperatures depending on the cadence that you need using the 5,400K diodes. Cranking both diodes to the max will produce a whopping 4500 combined lumen power from the rather cheap unit.
At its price, you can’t really expect much variance in the range of color temperatures. The 3200-5600 temperature range is healthy for any kind of shooting. In fact, it’s just as good as any on-camera lighting system.
The only undoing of this unit is its battery usage. The six AA batteries that power the system are slightly overwhelmed by the light production. Often, this implies tar you can only use them for one and a half hours at the most.
Even then, I think the low cost of these lights can be a great starting point for newbie video producers.