Elinchrom launches their first continuous LED light and it’s $1,700

Aug 6, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Elinchrom launches their first continuous LED light and it’s $1,700

Aug 6, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Elinchrom has expanded its lighting range, adding to its long-standing range of strobes with a continuous LED light. Manufactured by Light & Motion in partnership with Elinchrom, the Elinchrom ELM8 is a portable continuous LED light with an EL mount. For Elinchrom strobe users, this means it should work with all your existing modifiers.

As we’ve come to expect from Elinchrom products, it’s not cheap, though. In Europe, it has a price tag of €1,379 + VAT and in the USA it’s $1,699.

According to the Elinchrom spec sheet, it looks like a fairly impressive light. It’s daylight-balanced, with a CRI and TLCI over 90, and has a hair under an hour to just over four hours of battery life, depending on the power setting.

  • CRI – 93
  • TLCI – 94
  • Color Temp – 5600 K
  • LUX – 16320 (at 1m w/Fresnel)
  • Light Output – 8000 Lumens
  • Native Beam Angle – 120°
  • Water Resistance – IP54
  • Impact Resistance – 1 m
  • Runtime – 50 to 245 min
  • Weight – 1.2 kg (2.645 lbs)
  • Charge Time – 2 hrs (full charge)
  • Size – 20.5 x 9.6 x 9.6 cm (with battery)
  • Radio Control – Skyport Protocol
  • 20 Frequencies / 4 Groups
  • Distance Range – up to 100 m

The Elinchrom ELM8 is completely cordless. It doesn’t even have one going to an external ballast or battery pack. If features an integrated battery, although it doesn’t appear to be user-replaceable. So, if it dies while you’re in the middle of a location shoot, you don’t seem to be able to just swap it out for a fresh one. You’ll need a whole other $1,700 LED light if you want to keep shooting.

You can power it from an AC adapter, too, as illustrated by the screenshot from the ELM8 manual below. But, when doing this, the max power drops down from 8,000 Lumens to 6,300 lumens. And Elinchrom doesn’t recommend running it from an AC adapter while simultaneously charging the battery due to heat build-up causing performance issues.

The ELM8 does feature a built-in fan, which kicks in at low speed when the output exceeds 5100 lumens in order to help keep things cool. Once you get past 6300 lumens it goes into high-speed mode. They also say that certain 3rd party modifiers can trap heat, thus lowering the light’s output, too.

I have to say, I’m a little underwhelmed. For $1,700, I wouldn’t expect to read about overheating issues like this in the manual if I were considering a light at this price point. And I’d expect to be able to buy an extra battery or two, as well. Sure, up to 245 minutes might sound like a long time, but when you’ve got to ramp the power up to fill a big soft modifier, you’re going to be chugging that battery in an hour. And there doesn’t appear to be any kind of V Mount power alternative.

Compared to Aputure’s recently announced successor to the very popular C300D, the C300D Mark II is priced at only $1,099. You’re still well under the ELM8 price, even after buying a couple of V Mount batteries to power it. And you always have the option to buy more to keep it powered after your first pair run out – or switch to an AC adapter without having to worry about reduced power due to discharged batteries.

If you’re a photographer using Elinchrom gear, though, have a lot of EL mount modifiers already, and you’re considering the switch to video, then it may be worth taking a look at.

The Elinchrom ELM8 is priced at €1,379/$1,699 plus tax, is apparently available now, although I’ve not found anywhere that has it up for sale or pre-order yet. You can find out more about it on the Elinchrom website.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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4 responses to “Elinchrom launches their first continuous LED light and it’s $1,700”

  1. Andrés Mata Tomé Avatar
    Andrés Mata Tomé

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    1. ITN Avatar
      ITN

      The Yongnuo is not battery powered, you connect it to mains power with a cord and power supply. The Elinchrom is designed and tested to be to some extent shock and waterproof (to some standard) and is battery powered so you can use it more easily outdoors. It also has a higher color rendering index.

  2. ITN Avatar
    ITN

    The Aputure C300 II weights 2.27kg, quite a bit more than the Elinchrom at 1.2kg. To facilitate the passive cooling, the Aputure’s chassis top plate is full of ventilation holes. I find it hard to believe it would have any degree of waterproofness.
    In rain, the insides would likely be soaked. The Elinchrom is lighter, a self-contained unit and to some degree shock and weather resistant.