“Should I get a bi color LED or daylight?” It’s the most frequently asked question we hear from our clients when they are purchasing video lights. In this article, we would like to talk about their differences and uses and hope to help you make a decision.
What is a bi-color LED?
A bi-color LED light is capable of providing light source with different color temperatures to match with the existing or ambient light.
It can be divided into three categories:
- Selectable color temperatures between 3200 degrees of Kelvin or 5600 degrees of Kelvin;
- Middle range color temperatures for instance 4300 degrees of Kelvin;
- A full range of Kelvin color temperatures that are from one end of the spectrum to the other ends
What is a daylight only light?
A daylight has a fixed, or we say, standard color temperature of 5600K (Kelvin) and work at a well-matched daylight environment. When necessary, the daylight fixture can be altered through diffusing or cutting.
Note: As aforementioned, the biggest difference between bi-color light and daylight is that the former has variable and the latter has single color temperature. What is the color temperature? It is measured at the Kelvin scale from 1000 degrees of Kelvin to 10000 degrees of Kelvin. It is considered that cool lights have lower temperature and appear more blue, while warm lights have higher temperature and appear more orange. For more info, please see What does 3000K color temperature mean in lighting?
Advantages of bi-color LED
1. Versatile & adaptable
One of the most important reasons why bi-color or variable color LEDs being chosen is that the color alteration is a lot faster than gels and filters can possibly do. Whether it is outdoor - in the field when you need to adjust the color to obtain the appropriate lighting in short time, or it is indoor - in a room when you need to adjust the color temperature but the fixtures are not easily accessible, bi-color lighting is always a smart and convenient option.
2. Efficient & precise
In order to create the same lighting result to match with as well as having the perfect balance between LED lights and existing or ambient light source, the bi color one can change color temperature at the source more precisely and efficiently than using gels or filters.
3. Long battery life
By contrast with daylight-balanced LED, a bi-color light will have fewer LEDs working during usage to have longer battery life, which is considered important for users separate light source with main power like ENG crews or other users in the field.
Advantages of daylight-balanced LED
1. Higher output of light
The mono color LED is going to produce higher output of light, for the reason that only one color, 5600K usually, is applied to the LEDs on daylight fixture’s LED board. Output of some of the LEDs are decreased while output of others are increased to create the combination of color so as to achieve the result of color temperature alteration.
2. Color alteration is available
Although this LED video light can only offer only one color temperature daylight light, users can still alter the color by means of gels and filters placed in front of lights. The inexpensive gels are made into various sizes, colors and shapes, allowing the color alteration with the origin high output of daylight light possible and simple.
3. Less money to spend
Compared with the bi-color LED counterparts, daylight-balanced fixtures cost less for the reason that there are fewer components to be set in the lights. In other word, less is spent to achieve more. And it can be the best lighting equipment for video if you are on a tight budget and usually set up daylighting lighting in shooting.
Shooting under a daylight environment is always about recreating a light effect on the basis of certain kind of daylight, for example, ambience light or exterior light, hence higher output of light is required. When the color temperature remains fixed, it is more possible to obtain most lumen output. Therefore, a daylight-balanced LED is usually considered brighter than bi color LED.
On the other hand, when the environment has mixed color temperatures or is lighted by tungsten, users should know more about the ambient levels before recreating light effect. It is acceptable to have less output of light, hence bi color lighting is much more effective while daylight lighting with corresponding gels is a open option.
To decide which light to choose, you should not worry much since each of them can serve its purpose under different circumstances - assisting to achieve satisfying outcome for photo / video shooting. Besides, apart from color temperature, there are more factors should be taken into consideration when making decisions on which light to buy.