Make those large LED Video Light Panels more portable by running them off of batteries. Here's a random little video showing you how to power up those CN-600 / CN-900 LED Video Lights using the 14V Sony BP-U30/U60 batteries. It's not the cheapest solution, but compared to other batteries available, it's not too shabby.
This was the same battery adapter that I showed earlier which acts to power up your BlackMagic Cinema Camera. You can find the products below.
Remember a short while back I mentioned I was working on a personal project to perform some independent LED Video Light Tests? Well here's a small update on where this project is at.
The image below (computer screen shot) are various different LED video lights I have laying around shot with exactly the same settings. This is a visual reference to compare the brightness, spread (diffusion), and also color reference of each LED video light. I've locked the camera down to a white balance of 5600K for these images. Some of the tests were performed between Daylight and Tungsten, but the side by side comparison really shows extreme color casts between the various LED lights.
I also decided to get more serious about using a true LED Spectrometer for these tests that will provide me with more accurate readings and charts. I'll be able to share these images as well as exact numbers from the meter for each light including CRI and LUX readings. The image below are a few settings from the various LED Video lights. This project will be quite interesting indeed..
[Note:] I am performing my own tests with a standardized setup across each LED light as a reference. This is an independent test which may greatly differ from what each Manfacturer displays as their proper listed technical specifications.
The moment these new F&V R-300 LED Ring Lights were available to order, I quickly grabbed three of these units to build out a portable travel light kit. Since blogging about my decision to purchase these lights, there has been several questions about how efficient are these lights compared to the larger 600 LED Light Panel. So here's a quick example of the light output and spread from the R-300 in comparison to the popular 600 LED panel. (all tests are with bare LED lights - no diffusers)
Hopefully this video example provides a small idea about how practical these little lights are (for me at least) when used as an off-camera lighting kit. The results from the R-300 LED ring light when compared to the larger (and more expensive) 600 LED Light Panel are similar light output and broad diffusion. Other benefits of the F&V R-300 include smaller size (easier to pack and travel), lighter weight, and the option to battery power with inexpensive common Sony Batteries (as seen here).
These lights have only started to ship about a week ago. I just wanted to note that according to F&V, inventory on these lights are down to a small amount right now and following orders will consume inventory from the shipment next week. The R-300 LED Ring light can be found at the product page (Click Here)
Good news and slightly not so good news for those seeking the new CN600SA LED Video Light Panels and need to have it shipped pretty quick. Previously the new version of these light panels were only available from overseas with long shipping times via eBay. For more information about these lights, check out an earlier review (found here).
Today they are available through Amazon (seen here), ships quick from USA, and currently at a sale price that's cheaper than the overseas seller. The not so good news is that the Amazon sale, does not provide the Wireless Remote dimmer that is optional for these lights. Check it out following the link (Click Here).
Rod from www.foursandyfeet.com recently received the latest version of the CN-600-SA LED light panels and shares this review with us. I thought it would be much bigger, but it doesn't seem like there's too much a difference in size. Rod also sent in a few photos of the units earlier this week (seen below) [Thanks Rod].
I've been very happy with my (original) set of 600s and 900 LED light panels and none have yet to fail me even though I don't pack them very well. The LED lights themselves are still in consistent use everyday at the studio. Though they aren't perfect in every way, the price is right and i'm seeing more and more people use these in their standard lighting kits. Prices have also been listed right now for about $100 dollars cheaper over at eBay (Click Here).
Each Sony NPF style camcorder battery runs at 7.4V. By running them in series, it works at 14.8V which is the minimum power required for the 600 and 900 LED light panels at full brightness. I took two basic Sony NPF battery chargers, gutted them, and then wired them in Series to provide 14.8V DC.
Remove two screws under the rear sticker and then pry apart case
To wire up the cases for Series, basically you take the Negative wire from one and the Positive wire from the other and connect them to the barrel plug. The other two wires (negative and positive) from each charger would be connected together.
Sorry for poor diagram
Next I added a bit of extended wire and used my Barrel Plug (shown here) to connect directly to the LED light. The Barrel Connector is super easy to work with (no soldering), and is clearly marked with + and - for positive / negative placement. It's a very simple and cheap DIY to provide portable power for these large LED panels. If you want use heavier batteries, just make the wiring longer and mount to your light stand.
[Disclaimer] Attempt this DIY at your own risk. Using your batteries in other ways than intended may cause premature failure of your batteries, or damage.