How to choose best continuous light for photography?

Continuous light, as its name suggests, is any light that stays on for a long period of time once it is switched on. In photographic words, it is always-on artificial lighting tool that we utilize during a shoot to provide lighting where we want it to flatter our subjects. A best light leads to excellent picture. Today let's see how to choose one. Use continuous light COLBOR CL100

Why continuous video light is needed: pros of using it

Actually, there are two kinds of artificial lights in the photography world. Why should you use continuous one? Here are some advantages.

  • What you see is what you get. We can shoot what we see and have a better control on the lighting effects.
  • No speed limit. Cameras feature a max flash sync speed, which is between 1/160s and 1/250s. For continuous light, synchronization won’t be limited by the speed so you don’t need to worry about the output. In addition, because there is no cycle time, the photographer can shoot a lot of photos in a really short time.
  • Support more modes. Unlike flash which is usually used in photography, continuous lighting can be used in both video mode and photography mode.

How to choose one: 7 tips to help

It comes in different kinds and varies in specifications. How can we choose a best one for photography? Here are the tips for you to follow.

Decide the type

In general, continuous lights come in various types. Each kind has its merits and limitations. So firstly it is important to decide the best type for your needs. The following table lists some common types and you can learn some information about them.

Types

Heat emission

Color temperature

Brightness

Energy efficiency

Photoflood light

Yes

2700K-3000K/3500K-4100K/5000K-6500K

+

+

Quartz light system

Yes

2700K-3000K/3500K-4100K/5000K-6500K

++

++

HMI

Yes

5600K

+++

+

Fluorescent

No

3000K-6500K

+++

++

LED

No

2400K-6500K

++++

+++

For the types mentioned above, LED continuous lights are the most recommended. It is rapidly developing, with interesting new features being added all the time. 

To begin with, they are cool, so you won't burn your fingertips while adjusting the modifiers. Next, LED is small and comes in a variety of shapes, including square panels and classic strobe heads. This continuous light features a wide range of color temperature, which is useful for creating different shooting moods.

Another advantage is that many of them come with both battery and AC power options. The ability to unhook your light and take it out into the street on battery power opens up a lot of creative possibilities.

Pay attention to output measurement

The amount of power or illumination is the most significant distinction among all of the lights. Measuring the power can be difficult. It is measured in watts by some firms and in lumens by others. They'll also conduct their experiments at varied distances, which will alter everything. So when you are looking for a light, just pay attention to the units and how the brightness is measured.

Make sure adjustment is available

A dimmable continuous light for photography is a good choice to satisfy the lighting requirements of different situations. Here it involves two aspects, output and color temperature.

As we all know, the brightness and color temperature will influence what the frame expresses. For example, a dark and cool white picture may make you feel depressed while a bright and warm yellow one enables you to be hopeful.

Thankfully, now many continuous light manufacturers have produces such kind of continuous light for photography to meet shooting needs. There are even some products that can be controlled by remote control APP, which makes adjustment more convenient and diverse.

Portability is needed

Use portable continuous light COLBOR PL5If you are always on the move when making videos, a continuous light with great portability is necessary. And pay attention that it has two sides to it.

The first is the size and weight. Is it lightweight to carry? Can it be put in your bag? These are things you need to take into consideration. The second side is the power source. Does it need an outlet to plug in for powering or is it battery operated? For on-the-go shooting, lights equipped with battery are better.

Continuous light with narrow beam angle is better

It is common that some lights let out hard light and some are soft. Both of them are essential in photography. And which one to choose depends on your needs.

  • Hard light: It is focused and strong, forms sharp shadows and focuses emphasis to a single portion of a photograph. The shift between light and shadow is particularly sharp and distinct.
  • Soft light: It is bright but balanced with few strong shadows. The shift between light and shadow is more of a gradient and considerably smoother.

A continuous light for video with hard light can be a better choice. With a diffuser, it is feasible to switch it from hard to soft.

Use lights with strong build 

The construction material is also important to consider. The best continuous light for video should be durable. It can help save your money since it can last for a longer time. Also it is more suitable for outdoor recording.

Invest in best budget continuous lighting for photography

For continuous light, the price ranges from $30 to $600. Before purchasing, it is better to decide how much you will spend on it and then you can look for a suitable one according to the criteria mentioned above. Besides price, a best budget light is also related with life span and energy efficiency. Long life span and high energy efficiency are really ideal.

What to buy: Overview table of continuous light at COLBOR

A good video light involves a lot of factors to consider. Is there a simple way to buy one? Actually COLBOR has several products designed for photography, including continuous light for studio and pocket light. And you can decide which one is better for you via the table that is conducted according to the aforementioned tips.

Item

CL100

CL100-M

PL5

PL8-R

Type

LED

LED

LED

LED

Lumens

2998Lux (at 3.28ft / 1m 6500K)

4130Lux (at 3.28ft / 1m 5600K)

1500Lux (at 30cm 6500K)

 /

Color temperature

2700-6500K

5600K

2700K-6500K

2700-9000K

Adjustment

APP control

APP control

APP control

APP control

Size

202*116*117mm

202*116*117mm

110*65*15mm

125*75*17mm

Power requirement

Battery powered

Battery powered

Battery powered

Battery powered/DC power supply

Build

ABS

ABS

Plastic

ABS & Metal

Price

$249

$199

$99

$169

If you have decided which to buy, here are the store links for you to get quick purchase. You can get CL100 or CL100-M at Amazon store and PL5 or PL8-R from the distributor.