Hi!!! Need your help. Recommend best LED lights for studio.

Collin stempel

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Mar 7, 2014
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Hi everyone,
I’m planning to buy LED lights for studio, on-camera light and lights with stand. My budget is $800-$900 and my main preference would be
Lightweight, cheap
Lower temperature (cool to touch)
High intensity
Consume less power
Durable and capable of long hours of use
Environment friendly
One of my friends recommended following lights
CAMTREE A-5 Reporter LED ON-Camera Light
Proaim Aura-3 12V
CAMTREE 2pcs. 1000 White LED Lights Kit
LED FLOOD lights
These lights seem good and cheap. Does anyone have any experience with these lights or have better option at same price? Please recommend. Your help would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance
 

OzRay

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Ray, not Oz
It's not simply a matter of lights, you need to consider soft boxes, reflectors and backgrounds as well, if you haven't already. Quality generally comes at a price and I don't think many photographers would have been using LEDs extensively other than videographers. Again, size can be important, though Cree LEDs can put out some amazing amounts of light with only a few LEDs; the lightbar on my 4WD is incredible. If I were you, I'd take my chances and buy one from eBay and if it turns out to be good, get some more to meet your needs. Sometimes those selling photographic gear will up the price, but you can get Cree driving lights that do exactly the same and potentially at better prices. These all run off 12V, so it's easy to set up a power system.
 

eteless

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The problem with cheaper lights is very poor color rendition, high CRI LED's are really far more useful than normal LEDs. Whats the point of having lots of light if everything looks flat/dull/boring/desaturated?

I suspect that's the main difference between higher end photographic models and cheaper ones (I didn't look at the link however the other main difference that comes to mind is two colors of LED in the array, one a cool tint the other warmer, by varying the brightness of either you can adjust the white balance to match a scene).

In regards to the power supply using PWM to control the brightness is ideal for photographic uses as it doesn't cause a tint shift at lower power levels, for higher power levels constant current is generally better as it's far more efficient. If you're using 12v driving lights and need to adjust brightness a cheap PWM motor controller will probably do it.
 

OzRay

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The problem with cheaper lights is very poor color rendition, high CRI LED's are really far more useful than normal LEDs. Whats the point of having lots of light if everything looks flat/dull/boring/desaturated?

I suspect that's the main difference between higher end photographic models and cheaper ones (I didn't look at the link however the other main difference that comes to mind is two colors of LED in the array, one a cool tint the other warmer, by varying the brightness of either you can adjust the white balance to match a scene).

In regards to the power supply using PWM to control the brightness is ideal for photographic uses as it doesn't cause a tint shift at lower power levels, for higher power levels constant current is generally better as it's far more efficient. If you're using 12v driving lights and need to adjust brightness a cheap PWM motor controller will probably do it.
Actually, most current, general purpose, LEDs come in various colour temperature ranges; the automotive ones can be extensive. Anything Cree based is very suitable for photographic work and I've shot quite a few things using our Cree downlights (ours are cold LEDs). Colour correction is very easy in LR/PS and if you are using different light sources, then you will need colour adjusting gels in any case.

The thing is, lights made for photography use aren't generally any different to those used for other purposes, as the LEDs come from the same few factories. The manufacturers simply tend to put the price up because it's for photographic use, they 'look' like photographic tools and they come with mounts for light stands etc. Automotive lights can be fairly easily modified to fit light stands.

The biggest problem with very cheap LEDs is the circuitry. For example, with the automotive Cree lights, most using the 3W and 5W lights have the circuitry problems resolved, but the cheap ones using the 10W units can have problems. All this means is that the LED circuits can fail prematurely and the light stops working.
 

John M Flores

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NJ
Hi everyone,
I’m planning to buy LED lights for studio, on-camera light and lights with stand. My budget is $800-$900 and my main preference would be
Lightweight, cheap
Lower temperature (cool to touch)
High intensity
Consume less power
Durable and capable of long hours of use
Environment friendly
One of my friends recommended following lights
CAMTREE A-5 Reporter LED ON-Camera Light
Proaim Aura-3 12V
CAMTREE 2pcs. 1000 White LED Lights Kit
LED FLOOD lights
These lights seem good and cheap. Does anyone have any experience with these lights or have better option at same price? Please recommend. Your help would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance
It's hard to give a good recommendation until you tell us what you are shooting (tabletop products, large products, head shots, full body shots, small group, large group, etc…) and what is your medium (photos, video, web, print, broadcast, theater, etc…)
 

eteless

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Joined
Jun 20, 2014
Messages
1,881
Actually, most current, general purpose, LEDs come in various colour temperature ranges; the automotive ones can be extensive. Anything Cree based is very suitable for photographic work and I've shot quite a few things using our Cree downlights (ours are cold LEDs). Colour correction is very easy in LR/PS and if you are using different light sources, then you will need colour adjusting gels in any case.

The thing is, lights made for photography use aren't generally any different to those used for other purposes, as the LEDs come from the same few factories. The manufacturers simply tend to put the price up because it's for photographic use, they 'look' like photographic tools and they come with mounts for light stands etc. Automotive lights can be fairly easily modified to fit light stands.

The biggest problem with very cheap LEDs is the circuitry. For example, with the automotive Cree lights, most using the 3W and 5W lights have the circuitry problems resolved, but the cheap ones using the 10W units can have problems. All this means is that the LED circuits can fail prematurely and the light stops working.
In theory if the spectrum of the LED's was the same you would be correct, however it doesn't hold up even when comparing different binning of LEDs. The current generation of XM-L LED's made by cree are mostly 80 CRI with the highest available being 90 CRI in the warm white tint(cooler tints are generally worse). To get the higher CRI rating they have to use different dye, essentially it absorbs like and transmits it at other wavelengths allowing for better color rendition. If a wavelength isn't present then it cannot be reflected by the subject you're shining the light on and thus that color will be absent when you attempt to illuminate the subject.

Very few cheap lights use high CRI LED's as they are both more expensive and harder to drive at higher output levels (they produce far more heat for a given output and require higher driving current).

http://www.philipslumileds.com/uploads/20/DS63-pdf - Page 10 onwards shows the different spectrum produced by various Luxion LEDs (generally better than early Cree high CRI, however they are improving).
http://www.cree.com/~/media/files/cree/led components and modules/xlamp/data and binning/xlampxml.pdf Data sheet for Cree XM-L, page 4 has spectrum for various binning.
http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cree/LED Components and Modules/XLamp/Data and Binning/XLampXPG.pdf Cree XP-G data sheet, page 4 for spectrum.
http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cree/LED Components and Modules/XLamp/Data and Binning/XLampXPE.pdf XP-E data, page 4 once again.

If you feel like looking at the above you can clearly see that the 'high cri' models achieve 30-40% of their highest radiant power around 500nm (or just before it, the dip varies depending on the doping used however it's almost universally present) whereas most normal LED's are 20% or far below (the XP-G is notable as it's dip almost reaches 10%, this LED isn't designed for high CRI but rather very high efficiency which is generally at odds with it).


The easiest way of showing that the lack of light in a given wavelength will have on color is to look at what people are wearing in a darkroom under safelight which has naturally very poor color rendition.
 
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