Calling all Lighting Experts – 126 LED Lights

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Here's a recent comment regarding the 126 LED Dimmable Multi Battery LED Video Light many people have purchased:

I was wondering you Em or anyone had any experience with color correcting these 126 LED lights to (near) Tungsten?

It's true, the Tungsten gel that comes with the LED light panel isn't very close to Tungsten. Now I don't have many gels available to me right now, and i'm also not a lighting genius, but I guess I can shop around and find something that works best. Instead of myself trying to come up with a solution, I thought there might be enough of a community of readers who might have more experience with this.

If anyone out there has a good solution of Gel color, type, size, etc. the rest of us would love to find out. These lights aren't going away any time soon, so let's see if we can nail this down to a standard Gel type and color. In fact if you have your own solution for Diffusion, I would love to hear that too. Even any type of Mods or Hacks on how you might use these lights differently or creatively would serve as good tips too. Anyone Anyone?

Update::: Joel Hartz - Hartz Photographic LED Review teaches us how to get better color match on the 126 LED Video light. Looks like this problem is solved. Thanks Joel for the awesome review, and thanks for the shot out to the blog!


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16 thoughts on “Calling all Lighting Experts – 126 LED Lights

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  2. I was working as a Creative Director and has recently gone full time freelancing as a Visual/ Artistic Director on tv commercial productions. During my latest film shoot, I noticed the lighting guy was using the LEDs similar to the 126. Comes in very handy, the clip-on color gel is good to use. I heard from the guy that sometimes they clip a few of the LEDs to get a bigger panel. Maybe a 2x2, 4x4, 2x4 bricks together or more combo.

    One of the only let-down I noticed was the flickering of the LED when the juice is running low. So, keep extra batteries in hand.

    In regards to some posting above about mimicking the color temperature of the tungsten when using the filter on LEDs, I am not too particular about getting the exact K on it since I'll be mucking around with the colors during post production.

    Check out a video below, shot on 5D mkII & 7D.

    Some rough breakdown on the lighting used:
    1st scene: filmed using mostly existing ambient light on location. LEDs were use to lit the talent in the hallway. Tungsten bulbs & florescent tube for the artist's den with some LEDs on the close-up.

    2nd scene: Specifically lit using colored florescent tubes, some Christmas tree deco lights. LEDs on face (some with the yellow filter). Occasionally, we tried out LED+blue filter on the wall.

    3rd scene: Entirely ambient lighting during magic hour.

    4th scene: Existing ambient lighting from the street light. And industrial 2K lights to lit the train scene. I think this is the only scene where we spend the most money on renting the lights.

    5th scene: Existing lighting from within the office. Warm effect from the existing street light for the graffiti scene. The warm orangy glow on the graffiti close-up was from LEDs reflected on the freshly sprayed wall.

    6th scene: Existing ambient lighting helped alot...those pinkish neon light and warm street lights, with occasionally bokeh car headlights and neons. The part towards the end was mostly ambient street lights. A car battery ran a larger LED panel was used to fill in at the scene where the 'rabbit met the chicken'

    Hope you guys get a feel of how useful the LEDs were.

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  5. I am a pro still shooter. I use theatrical gels I buy in large sheets and cut them down to the size I need. Check a theater supply house in your town. Look at the sample strip packs and see what you want and need. For about $25. you can get filters for daylight to tung. or daylight to fluores. and many other color temps to match your surroundings. Use small Velcro hook on the gel and loops on the light. Look through the viewfinder and make it look like you want it.

  6. admin

    Post author

    It's a very bright light, but it's a very small source of light. If you want to cover a larger area, you may need a few spread out to evenly light a whole ramp or large area.

  7. stewart munro

    How do you think this light would go filming skateboarding and bmx at night out side?

  8. mark

    fwiw, i hacked the panasonic battery adapter into an AC adapter...not hard or terribly expensive to do and makes it a little more versatile...unless of course you use panasonic batteries!

  9. Thanks Emm for reposting my LED video!

    Rick, I used my X-rite monitor calibration puck and software to get the color Temp on the CN-126 Led Lights. Then I photographed a Target ( a white, 18% grey, and Black) with at daylight setting (5200K in T2I) and did a Custom white balance. Then i took the files into Lightroom and let lightroom do an auto WB and then I did a personal WB with the Eyedrop tool and my eye to find "correct" color temp of the lights. Then I took 1/8 CTB and 1/4 Minus Green (magenta) and layered then in different combination's according to my initial test results and did the whole process again in lightroom to find the best "correction". Hope that helps. I also just did it with CTO this past weekend at a wedding, with good results, I will share that as soon as I can find some time.

    Ian, your right on the money man, that is what i did.

  10. That PDF is a great resource. Thanks Jeff.

    If you want to know exactly what temperature the unit it outputting, you could measure it with one of these:

    The simpler, and cheaper solution is this: CTOs come in 1/4s too. You can buy one sheet of 1/4, and layer it until it balances with an actual tungsten source. You will then know how much correction is needed, and maybe buy that specific gel instead of taping on several.

  11. LEDs are very blue.

    Non solid-state lights, and the sun, are not so peaky, and have most of their energy in the yellow to red end of the spectrum.

    When you filter LED lights to get the blue out, and approximate something warmer, you're going to lose a lot of brightness. Rather than filtering, you might be better off augmenting the LEDs with an incandescent to get some broad spectrum tone.

    Blue isn't going to penetrate into skin that much either, so if you're shooting people, be careful that your lighting doesn't get uncomplimentary - don't lose the rosy glow!

  12. Rick Cook

    I work regularly as a gaffer on a number of different shoots. I have always worked with tungsten lights. Ive read that LED's produce light around 8000k. So more then a CTO filer is needed. They produce full CTO's filters as compared to popular 3/4th CTO's to match daylight to tungsten. Id imagine they would come closer, but not quite there. I have not ventured into the LED lighting world yet, but at the price, I just might.

  13. Jeff Morris

    Actually I did a little searching after asking, found this wonderful PDF guide to color correction...

    The LEDs run a bit colder than normal daylight balance, or are they spot on? Not sure. So perhaps a full CTO on there, and maybe fiddle around with an 1/8 on top of that, could get you close to 3200K Tungsten. You will be losing a bit of light, but those LED lights put out quite a bit if I'm not mistaken.

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