312 LED Video Light Price Drop – Dimmable Color Temp Adjustable

(Old video review above) Looks like Polaroid got a hold of the 312 LED Video lights. That's a good thing, because they seem to have negotiated prices much much lower. There is a more expensive v2.0 out which has an updated case and better plastic diffusion panel, but that will run you at least $60 dollars more. We're still using the old versions that haven't failed us yet, and the new low price makes it worth adding to any arsenal.

The 312 is one of our most favorite on-camera LED lights with it's big panel for better diffusion and color adjustable feature to help blend in with ambient lighting. It comes with two Sony NPF style batteries, Sony style battery charger, mini ball head, and it's own traveling case. The light can be powered off one battery, but can house two for longer run times. There's also a DC input if you want to power the batteries from a wall or external battery pack (like my Tekkeon).


LED light Test from WideOpenCamera

Here's a tip. Some of these Sony batteries that power the 312 run only at 7V. The DC input can accept 14V. We're finding we can get slightly more light output when using the DC input at 14V.

These lights normally average prices around $165 and if you find them cheaper make sure to check what parts they come with. Some sellers try to sell them cheaper but don't offer batteries, charger, ball head, case, etc. Now that Polaroid has them, the price has dropped. On eBay Polaroid is selling them for $140 dollars, but right now it's going for just $119 via Amazon (click here).

312-LED-Video-Light312-LED-Kit
find-price-button Polaroid 312 LED Video Light Kit - Dimmable Color Temp Adjustable

 51 Comments





51 thoughts on “312 LED Video Light Price Drop – Dimmable Color Temp Adjustable

  1. Vincent56

    Ok, found that the a is indeed brighter than the as. New problem; where to buy? Amazon only lists the as...

  2. Vincent56

    What would you guys recommend: the new 312 but with seperate filters or the bi-color one with built in color dial?

    Main diiference would be light levels i guess... Is the bi color half as bright on tungsten or full day light than the other?

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Andy - IMO, you should always try to shoot with the lighting they have at a wedding. They spend good money getting the right look at the reception and you want to capture that. You should only use lights when necessary, maybe during speeches, dances, and games. The Z96 is very bright even compared to the larger 312, but you'll still have to use a wide aperture and high ISO. I think the Z96 is a good mobile light, but it won't always match the ambient lighting.

  4. Andy

    @Emm, I'm shooting a friend's wedding next month and was wondering if you'd recommend using the 312, 209AS, or the Z96 for this setting. I'm leaning towards just the Z96, but I'm worried that it won't be bright enough unless I'm in everyone's faces. I'll probably only be using it for the reception.

    What do you recommend? Do you have a go-to light for this type of shooting?

  5. Tosh

    Yeah I could get a refund but I don't have the time to ship back and forth so I just went ahead and purchased a new charger...annoying though.

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Tosh - Have you tried requesting a refund via Amazon? They are very good at this. I just shot several days non-stop with these lights, no issues for me. It also uses Sony batteries, so there are other options for charging them.

  7. Tosh

    Light works great! But very disappointing charger, not dual bay, after a few plugins to the wall outlet there was a big spark, burning smell and doesn't work anymore. I would not get the Polaroid version from DBROTH.

  8. Luke

    Billy boy, did u buy the one that is $119? Did it have 1or 2 batteries?, did it have a dual bay charger?

  9. billyboy

    Just got this UPS today. Pretty bright! I may use it as a hairlight for some close up interviews as well as on camera ENG style. It's important to note that there are only 156 LED's of each color. All 312 don't operate at once unless you mix the color temp, but then who knows what the intensity/temp is at that point...

  10. Lucent

    Got mine in the mail yesterday, works pretty awesome. Somewhat disappointing with the amount of dimming that it actually does, seems like it will go from 100% power down to about 50% power before you turn it off. Other than that, great light for the price!

    @Emm - found a random 12V DC adapter in my rats nest box of random cables, worked perfect. Thanks!

  11. Emm

    Post author

    @Fen - I wonder if you have a different adapter. If the adapter converts AC to DC, then yes you should be able to use the adapter. My adapter specifically states 12V DC output, and it's been working fine for several months.

  12. Fen

    The adapter convert the AC to DC. so don't use the included charger to power the led light directly.

  13. Satva

    Thanks Emm, just ordered some.

    I want to get some more batteries for this light and I could not find a link off the seller. Any help locating that would be great.

    Thanks!

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @Lucent - DC power can be 7V-14V and I believe it's 5.5mmOD. It's a very common size. In fact the same plug that you use with it's charger can be used to power the LED light directly. It outputs 12V DC.

  15. Lucent

    Does anyone have a link for the DC power source to match this light? I assume it's a pretty standard plug so it's possible one of my gazillion DC power cords in my cable box will match it.

  16. Are these stackable? Actually a soft box might be the best option because even with the barn doors, naked, this light would be too harsh for stills. I've used another LED light, with fewer LEDs, and in low light, it throws up plenty of light, it actually has to be dimmed down a lot. So, I'm looking around to see what brackets I have from my Photoflex softboxes to mount a softbox on it.

  17. Emm

    Post author

    @Apostolos - Barn doors may not be very effective. Sometimes you can get weird multi shadows from the LED lights as they bounce around against the doors. A soft box will help diffuse the light, but you'll also lose half the power. Sometimes to get a broader source, we just bounce it off a portable shiny reflector or foam board. You will still lose some of the output but it's more broad.

  18. Emm

    Post author

    @Aron Anderson - We ran these tests also, but ended up canceling the test because it took too long. LOL. We setup a time-lapse against the light and although you can get a long run time, the light starts dimming towards the end. So you won't get the full power even though all the lights are on. I would say at least 2 hours of full power is a safe bet.

  19. Right when I was done leaving my last post more then half the light just went out. So you can get around 3 hours and 55 minutes with the included batteries.

  20. Just to let everyone know I am at this moment doing a battery test to see how long this will last with both batteries connected and right now im going on three hours and fifty minutes.I have it all the way to the right (day light setting) and at full blast. One thing I notice that an hour in, I checked the battery strength meter and it showed only two green dot lighting up and 10 minutes later the battery indicator showed that their was no more charge in the batteries but yet the light is still going. So let me know if your battery indicator is not working properly like mine.

  21. Hey Emm:

    Since your findings constantly keep me on the edge of poverty, maybe your ingeniousness can help me save a buck. One of my favorite wedding photographers often uses constant lights to shoot wedding stills. The point being that you can control very quickly both the intensity of the light and how the light falls on the subject, in weddings, when you have no time. So, two questions.

    a) Is there an easy way to add barndoors to this thing?
    b) Is the an easy way to add a softbox to this thing? I seem to remember a post where someone had added and umbrella, but a small softbox solution?

  22. What cracks me up, is that Ikan sells the same thing for $499. Their motto should be: "Ikan, selling to people who've never heard of the internet."

  23. Emm

    Post author

    @Tim - The adjustable color temp is very handy. Better than the yellow filter that comes with the Z96.

  24. Wish I had time to spring for the ones with prime shipping, but alas the cheesycam effect kicked in. Been looking for a good deal on these 312 LED lights and this is perfect! Thanks Emm, the $8.36 shipping isn't too much.

  25. Fen

    I just got mine.The 312 led is really a good panel light. But I found this one seems not the same as mine. I like the magnet to grab filters not side in. The battery charger is not the same as the dual one.

  26. account001

    @Frank Thanks for the info. From you comment it would seem the 312 led is better used on the fly (how i feel led lights should be used) and the comer is more for "small sets"

  27. Paul

    Ok, I got the 15mm rods with quick release plate from the other day and because I am working on a doc that takes me out of town for interviews, picked up two of these, (the prime shipping would of been nice though). You can stop finding cool stuff now- it's tax season you know and there won't be any $ left for uncle sam if you keep it up.

  28. Tony

    Emm you dirt dog you! Share the wealth man! I'm just glad to see the prices on these come down everywhere and the LitePanels ban on LED lights hasn't came about yet. I'm so trying to schedule some time to make it to NAB this year though.

  29. Emm

    Post author

    @Tony - Actually there was a bunch for Prime shipping, but i ordered them before posting. LOL. I needed some extra for NAB.

  30. Tony

    not such a big price drop when you factor in shipping from amazon vs 140 fs from ebay. I guess if you need it now the $12 savings can work for you. Maybe DBROTH will get some of these to Amazon fulfillment warehouses soon and we'll get fs and 2day delivery for us Primeates.

  31. @account001 - i have both the bl-1200 and this one (v2). they are both useful but there are differences. the bl-1200 i find is a bit greener, and less diffused. it's better used as a spot light or hair light. the 312 though is better diffused for lighting faces and the adjustable temperature is very handy.

  32. joel

    @ Sam - I think I saw the Coolcd LED deal on Ron Risman's newsletter "Cameratown".

    Really like the light, good build and very bright, plus it is dimmable.

    The only negative is it doesnt come with wall wart, but I am ordering one from the site for only about 10 bucks.

  33. account001

    I just order the bl-1200 (comer-like) light for $200. Im wondering should i return and get 2 of these.

    sidenote: i havent seen the comer light compared to any other decent light

  34. ah crap, I just bought the Fotdiox branded one for $165 earlier this week. I shot an interview with it today and it worked great. Maybe another one...

  35. Sam

    Hey Joel,
    Been looking at the Coolcd lights for some time... how did you get $25 off?

    Anyone seen any deals for the UK? (or international?)

  36. Joel

    I purchased the Coolcd 312 a few weeks ago for about $125 (about $25 off).

    What I like about it is the diffusion panel and gel panel attach with the corner magnets. Not crazy about the slide-on mount style of the Polaroid gels.

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