UPDATE: Cheesycam Independent LED Video Light Test Project

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.

Cheesycam LED Video Light Tests
Click for Larger View

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..

Cheesycam LED Video Light Meter Tests Spectrometer
Click for Larger View

[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.

 51 Comments





51 thoughts on “UPDATE: Cheesycam Independent LED Video Light Test Project

  1. Gerardo

    Hey Emm! Im really excited about these tests coming out. But it´s been soooo long. When will they come out? Why cant you just put the names on the light manufaturers?
    Thanks for the great blog!

  2. Emm,

    We are working towards developing a better location LED lighting solution. This is not likely in the "cheaper" product range but rather in the "better" philosophy of results and quality. My interests are with solo photographers shooting images and video rather than professional movie crews who can buy/rent - carry and set up anything they want but rather a solution for the "regular folks" who just want something portable and better...

    Any ideas or feedback that you would like to send me can get incorporated into our priorities as we move forward with prototypes...

    Thanks,
    DJ

  3. EMM,
    Any update on this. We have been researching LED for 12-14 months now and needing to pull trigger soon. Would like to review your findings/thoughts.

    Thanx

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @YesYesMovies - I'll probably just throw something up quickly about this. It will take too long to explain the results.

  5. badd

    Thank you for the response about the spectral reading on the BMP 003557 not being from an led light. That spectrum looks like the spectrum from a tungsten source that is why it was so interesting if an LED could produce that spectral curve.
    Your readings show how important the spectral distribution is compared to the "kelvin" temp since the spectral distribution gives a better idea of the make up of the source. Also it is good you are including the CCT reading in the display. Your on the right track when evaluating the led sources. You do need to have the meter at an optimum distance from the source so you don't get a distorted reading. Looking forward to seeing your results.

  6. badd

    I wanted to know what led light was used to obtain the spectral distribution shown in the meter reading BMP with the ending number 003557. Your tests already reveal much information labelling the brands associated with the current posted results would be great. Keep up the good work.

  7. We'd really love to find out your conclusions on these tests, as I've never seen a thorough comparison between LED lights, and so many of them have awful color casts...

  8. James

    This would indeed be really really useful. I am holding back on buying a particular LED light because this promises to be SO useful!! Any update on when you might finish it? Thanks!

  9. Jeremy

    Emm,

    you should also really test them at Lux per meter (Lux/m) about 3.3ft in distance, instead of 4-5ft. So that you can compare the power to other lights as well. Because most specs for lights that we see on websites are in (Lux/m). This will make a closer comparison.

    Just my 2 cents.

  10. Fred Bo

    @hansd I have the same aputure 528s and it does make variable noise (hi frequency) when playing with dimmer but i don't think it is gonna be a problem as you gotta be very close to hear it !

  11. RJP

    @emm Can you please tell me what 2 models are in the 2 photos named- 810C1685.jpg and .....1691.jpg I have a few weddings that I need to shoot this Sat. and Sun. So I need to order something quick.

    Thanks,
    Rob

  12. Sebastian TR

    Can't wait to see these results... LED lighting at the moment is the biggest battlefield. So many different options, brands , pricepoints etc.. Would love to see a person lit up as a subject in your scenario testing if possible! Human skin and how some of these off white / greenish LED's appear is something you often don't find out until it's too late!

    Look forward to the results!

  13. RJP

    Love this review! I'm so glad I found your website before clicking the buy it now button a few days ago. 😀

    Thank you!

  14. OldCorpse

    That's the one of the most serious problems with various products from China - more so than from anywhere else - sample variability. Just because one person got a good sample of a product doesn't mean the next person will get the same quality. Worse, Chinese manufacturers and/or sellers change specs of their products without changing the model number or the picture they use to sell on eBay. Bottom line, you never know what you are getting from one point to the next. So too with the tests Emm is doing - he may get a good copy of some light... doesn't mean you'll get one too; or he may get a poor copy and based on that he'll do the test, which won't reflect reality for most of the other samples. It's a serious lottery. It's happened many, many times, that I bought the same product again from the same seller, and got a different result (example: YN-300, of which I bought 7 - there are subtle and less subtle differences between all of them... and some people have had very poor experiences with them, while others had great ones etc.).

    But thems the breaks.

  15. jimagine

    Neither of the 2 I received has that issue, but one does have a faulty power adapter cord.

  16. hansd

    I got 2 Aputure 528 S lights from China and one of them is faulty - it makes a humming/buzzing noise that changes frequency when dimming the light. It is so loud that it can't be used when recording sound, apart from the fac that it is extremely unpleasant to the ears...very disappointing and unusable for me. The second light makes the same noise but much less audible, even though it's still there.

    Anyone has experienced this too?

  17. Emm

    Post author

    @Cfreak - Yes it's the same meter, and unless you consider $2,000 US dollars afffordable, that was the price. However I don't suggest purchasing this meter, the software is not very good. The readings may be accurate, but it's very limited. I will be posting about another one soon.

  18. AndyH

    Any chance of including the Jinbei EF-100 and/or any of the NiceFoto LED video lights, ie; NiceFoto LED-1500B and/or the Fotodiox LED100 all with a standard reflector only?

    I'm very interested in these LED lights with Bowens mount for both video and stills, they appear to be very versatile, not sure why they haven't been embraced by the video community as of yet. Excess fan noise?

  19. Archie

    I think Emm you foundnd some cloning device. How do you get the time to do all of this? Are there 2-3 of you 🙂

  20. Jason Fox

    Hi, thank you for doing this test. This will be very helpful for photographers and videographers like me.

  21. Mike

    I cannot wait for the conclusion to this test since I'm in the market for something more powerful than the R300 I have.. would be nice to see how this compares against a tungsten source.. and would be nice to have color corrected shots of all of these with a model, but I realize that's probably too much to ask 🙂

  22. That´s there a great test! Thanks a lot for sharing.
    I would also like to see a test of LED light reliability in terms of flickering -not being able to keep the light power constant for minutes-. We use LED lighting for time-lapse videos and it´s a nightmare when the light goes down (some miliseconds) because when converting to video it turns to a unacceptable flickering...
    Anyone has tried or know about this kind of test?
    Thanks

  23. That´s there a great test! Thanks a lot for sharing.
    I would also like to see a test of LED light reliability in terms of flickering -not being able to keep the light power constant for minutes-. We use LED lighting for time-lapse videos and it´s a nightmare when the light goes down (some miliseconds) because when converting to video it turns to a unacceptable flickering...
    Anyone has tried or know about this kind of test?

  24. Daniel Basson

    Hi, Im guessing you will give us a verdict soon and also if you could put the specific light to eat of the tests that would be great.

    Thanks for taking the time out to do this, really informative!

  25. peederj

    Make sure you don't clip the camera sensor or the output...clipping will turn the color bright white (usually), and turn a soft spot into a hard spot. And since noise will also alter the color balance, you may need to adjust your exposure and then correct back...not easy to do this scientifically but I still look forward to your results. Anything consistent is better than nothing especially if we understand what precisely was done.

  26. Greg

    I too have a few different types of LED light kits, both large and small that I use on a daily basis and would love to see how they compare with the rest of the market. Thanks, Emm, for putting this on!

    Also, I think I saw you at Cinegear, but didn't have time to introduce myself!

  27. What spectrometer are you using? Is it the DIY $40 one that I've seen around? I too was going to run some test on a few of my t8 bulbs I have around. Thanks for doing this and the more info we have on the true light spectrum of our light sources the better for us in post when all the nasties pop up!

  28. Archie

    I have LEDs from 3 different manufacturers. Looking forward to this and inspired to do mine too (on a much smaller scale)

  29. Steven

    When this test is done you know the prices of the "preferred" models will bump up. With that being said, thanks for making sure we are well in formed consumers.

  30. OldCorpse

    Epic! Absolutely EPIC! This is the only place that has taken the most popular LEDs on the market and actually is doing a rigorous and fair comparison. I can't wait to see more!

  31. Ron

    Im looking forward to the results, thank you so much for the energy and time to do these tests.

  32. Bravo for doing this Emm! I think we all know by now that manufacturers lie about their gear's specs. This will be incredibly useful for us to figure out what lights will work best for us and hopefully encourage manufacturers to improve their game as well.

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