The Colbor CL60r and CL60 have everything I want in a small COB light. Do I have any complaints? Just one. And I 3D printed my way out of it.
Usually, I start those reviews by talking about light quality, but it’s 2023, no one is even making lights with CRI under 95 anymore. (For the record, we did measure a CRI of 96+).
There is a lot to like about this light, so lets move on.
Colbor CL60r – it’s tiny
The main thing to love about those 65-Watt lights is the small form factor. Colbor are sending them out in nice padded cases, but you can fit two of them in a small messenger bag. In fact you can fit an entire three light interview kit, sticks, power, and modifiers, in a small trolley (this is the Orca OR-516 that you see below). If you shoot on location a lot, and travel is a consideration for you, this is a huge advantage. Here is a 60 watt light from a previous generation, just to get some perspective.
What’s in the case?
I like the color CL60r case. It is small and functional without any “bloatecase”. inside, you get:
- COLBOR CL60R RGB COB LED Monolight (or daylight or bi color)
- A Reflector
- A Bowens Mount Adapter
- A Power Adapter
- A Holder Stand
- COB Protective Cover (silicon or plastic, depending on the model)
- Limited 1-Year Manufacturer Warranty
A few interesting uses
Without the reflector, the CL60 has the same light patterns of most COBs – 120 degrees, which makes it an effective flood light. And one of the best features of this light, is that you can stack 2, 3, 4, 6 or even 9 of them using the built-in nato rail system.
This is actually a clever mechanism that colbor uses to connect the lights together. But they also use the rail to add a swivel mount or a battery plate, which is quite clever.
Of course, 65-Watts is not a lot, so lets see what 65 can do for you.
If you already have a key light, the CL 60 is great as a kicker. It’s a small and light fixure, so getting it high does not require heavy light stands. This is the Manfrotto Nano behind me, which is probably the smallest light stand I know. The reflector uses a small bowens adapter and has a super bright hot spot.
That hot spot is also pretty interesting as a back light, especially since the light is small enough to hide behind your talent.
Even if you dont have another key light, the CL-60 can still work in a controlled environment. Here I am using it as a key with a smallrig 55 octa. The light is a little dramatic, but this is because it has to be close to me. The octa is double diffused, and it’s taking quite a bit of light away from the already small fixture. But all and all, this is not a bad way to light a subject. And if you want to eliminate the drama, you can always add a reflector.
The last use I found for this light is using it with my scrim. Putting three of them together against a four by four scrim got quite a bit of spill, so we opted for the reflectors. Now I was able to get a some nice light on the scrim and get a very soft light on me.
A 3D printed solution
My only beef with the light is that you can not stack them together with the reflectors on. Once you put the reflectors on, you can not use the nato rails to connect the lights together. So I printed a connector. And then I printed it again in black. Because you know. Black is pro. You can find the 3d files here.
65 Watts is actually low enough that you can power the light from a power bank. We tested the draw, and it seems that the light draws about 70-Watts, which is still totally ok for using a good battery.
This means that you have three options to run the light: from a wallwart, using a beefy power bank like the tethertools 100 Watt battery, or using Colbors’ vmount adapter. It’s worth noting that you would need a good cable and battery for that, so test before you buy. We had success with some cables, and failure with others.
The unit uses a fan to keep cool, and (sadly) it is audible on max power. You can set the fan to silent mode (and then it’s silent), but then you are limited to about 55% of power.
Aside from being a super portable light, there are some nifty features that make this light my new favorire small light.
Colbor CL60r clever control
For control, you have the standard selection of “back of the light” buttons, or an app. And as a light made in 2023 it has all the features you would come to expect. Temperature control from 2700 to 6500 K with comfortable presets, and geen/magenta adjustment, stepless dimming, color control, and a bunch of effects like Fire, TV, Party, Explosion, Faulty Bulb and a few others.
But it gets nicer. Aside from using the app, you can set the CL-60 in a mesh setting which Colbor calls “Matrix Control”. This setting gives you total control over up-to 10 lights. Most brands create those groups using apps, but the CL-60 gives you that level of control from the panel in the back of the light.
Another nice feature is how a small arrow indicates the color when you move through the hue cycle. So you dont need to remember which degree matches which color.
Lastly, you can decide how bright the light is when it turns on. This may look like a small feature, but it shows Colbor’s attention to detail.
Colbor CL60r price and availability
Price wise you’re looking at something between 129 dollars for the daylight kit, 149 for the bi-color or 199 for the full RGB unit. But like Cheetos, I dare you to get just one unit.
I have to say. If you are out for a small and portable light, the CL-60 family is a great addition to your kit.
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