Flexible LED lights have a number of uses and benefits. They are lightweight, provide good light, and, well – they’re flexible. One negative side is that they can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, so not everyone can afford them.
Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter presents you with four flexible LED light panels that you can buy with a small budget. They are from two manufacturers and made in different sizes, and each of them costs less than $200. So if you’re looking for a decent flexible LED light without breaking the bank, check out these options.
Caleb begins by reviewing a small Travor 1×1 FL-3030 and a large Travor 1×2 FL-3060 flexible LED light. The small one costs $120, while the large one is $198 (at least on Amazon, you can find them for slightly more or slightly less).
Both lights come in daylight and bi-color version, but Caleb suggests buying the daylight version because bi-color only uses half of the bulbs for each of the light temperatures.
In the package, you get the light, some diffusion material, the frame with Velcro wrap, the power supply with an inline switch, a remote, a handle, and the manual for the light.
The lights are fully controlled by the remote, which Caleb says seemed as a problem, but it turned out to be quite handy. You can control up to 4 lights with it, either separately or simultaneously. Both the large and the small light are pretty bright, and you can adjust the level of brightness using the remote.
There are some negative sides of these lights. The first one is that they make plasticky noise when you bend them, which can be a problem if you move or bend them during the video shoot. Another problem is they don’t hold the form too well. Caleb says he’s fine with it, as he usually keeps these lights on the frame. But if you want to bend them and have them keep the shape perfectly, then this is something to have in mind before you make the decision.
Falcon Eyes lights
Another manufacturer Caleb presents is Falcon Eyes. He reviews a small Falcon Eyes RX-12 432 and a large Falcon Eyes RX-18 792. The smaller light costs $158, and the larger one is $208 on Amazon. Again, you can find them in bi-color version that cost a little more, but they also use only half of the lights for each color temperature, like the previous models.
In the package, you’ll find the light itself, the power supply and dimmer unit, an X-frame with a stand adapter, some Velcro bits, and the manual.
Both of these lights are also pretty bright, and you can control the level of light with the dimmer. It creates a very smooth transition so you can be very precise when adjusting the brightness. You can use a little adapter to wrap the control unit and the power supply together and attach them to your light stand.
Falcon Eyes lights are more durable than the previous models, but they also have some minus sides. They are LED mats, which means they don’t hold the form well. You can wrap them and make shapes, but they won’t stay in that shape. Another potentially negative side is that they come with the diffusion material already attached over the LEDs. In case you want harsher light, it will be harder to get it with these lights.
Finally, Caleb tests the lights in different situations. First, he compares them to the natural light coming from the window. He uses smaller the version of lights from both manufacturers, and these are the results of mixing the LED panels with daylight:
Another test is using these panels as the key light for an interview. Again, he uses the smaller models, only with the diffusion that comes with them. Here’s how they perform:
So there you have it. If your budget is tight and you need a flexible LED light, these are some of the options to consider. Judging from Caleb’s review, you get pretty good results for less or slightly over $200 (depending on the retailer). There are some negative sides to these lights, but it seems that price-quality ratio is more than fair for any frugal filmmaker or photographer.
[4 Flexible LED Lights Under $200! |DSLR Video Shooter]