LED studio light has gained popularity among photography hobbyists and professionals in the past few decades. LED stands for light-emitting diode, which is made from semiconductive materials like selenium or silicon. As the name implies, it emits light when an electric current is passing through. Featuring high energy efficiency and variable color temperature, it is one of the most commonly used photosource for shooting.
Five key features
1. Outstanding illumination quality
The color rendering index (CRI) of LED photography light is generally high that it can reproduce the actual color of the objects to a great extent. Moreover, it can produce brightness with a wide range of color temperature while tungsten and HMI bulb have fixed color temperature. Generally, the brightness of low color temperature is relatively yellow while the one of high color temperature looks relatively blue. With such LED studio lighting, users can easily adjust the color temperature and white balance to create desired luminous effect. Therefore, it is ideal to use the LED light for studio photography.
2. High energy efficiency
LED is the most energy-efficient fixture on the market as 80-90% of its energy is converted into brightness while other ones like tungsten converts approximately 80% of its energy into heat and 20% into brightness. It consumes a lower amount of electricity than traditional ones. Although the price of it is a little bit more expensive than others, it is worthwhile for it saves money in the long run.
3. Long lifespan
The lifespan of LED outdistances conventional lamps. The average operating hours of it reaches 50,000 hours, which is two times as long as fluorescent bulb and almost forty times as long as incandescent. The filament of the incandescent bulb weakens over time, which leads to the burn out of the fixture. This isn’t an issue for LED bulbs. Instead, they experience a process called “lumen depreciation”, in which the production decreases gradually. The maintenance and replacement costs of them are much lower than other ones.
4. Design flexibility
Portable studio light is available on the market. Chip LED are so small that they can be designed into many shapes and sizes. For instance, pocket light is a small luminaire that is as tiny as a name card holder that photography hobbyists can easily utilize. COB is a compact light-emitting diode panel that features homogeneous luminosity and great energy efficiency. It consists LED chips mounted on a substrate and appears as a single luminous source, appropriate for outdoor and indoor applications. For more details about portable luminaire, see COLBOR PL Series.
5. Dimming capability
Unlike studio flash which emits strong brightness in a split second, LED studio light is a continuous photosource that is dimmable. Users can adjust the illumination intensity accordingly. Using on camera LED light for studio and suchlike provides convenience for photographers and filmmakers to perform the desired atmosphere.
Other types of studio lighting
There are some other kinds of LED studio video light available on the market. Knowing their merits and drawbacks helps you choose a suitable fixture.
Tungsten has long been a primary photosource for shooting. It is a kind of incandescent bulb that contains pressurized halogen gas. Comparing with other fixtures, the initial cost of it is relatively low. However, its follow-up cost of is high for it consumes much power and easily burns out. It will be very hot when it works for a long time. Another disadvantage of it lies in its color temperature, which is around 3200K and doesn’t match rays of the sun.
Fluorescent lamp is a gas-discharge lamp that utilizes electricity to excite mercury vapor inside the glass tube to create invisible ultraviolet ray. The ultraviolet ray illuminates the phosphor coating inside the tube so that the brightness becomes visible. The illumination of fluorescent lamp is relatively low and soft, making it suitable for portraits that requires diffused brightness. Its efficiency is higher than that of tungsten bulb. However, when comparing with LED tubes, it fails. The largest disadvantage of fluorescent is the toxic mercury and phosphor it contains. Users must be cautious when using such equipment.
HMI is a powerful lighting that uses metal halide and mercury vapor as luminescent material. Its intensity is approximately four times that of tungsten lamp with the same power rating. The great illumination of HMI makes it a good option for upscale film studios. However, the downside of it is obvious. Its initial cost and maintenance cost are considerably high. Moreover, it is bulky and fragile that it is hard to move.
Generally, LED studio light is a good option for those who care about illumination quality and flexibility. Comparing with other studio lights, it has adjustable color temperature and high CRI, allowing users to create an ideal luminous effect. Although the initial cost of it is a little bit high, it saves money in the long run for it is energy-efficient and durable. For guides about choosing the professional fixture, please click How to choose light for video recording?