Z96 next to W12 LED Video Light

2011-12-15 18.46.29

The Z96 next to the latest W12. If you don't know the story, the W12 is pretty much an exact form factor replica of the Z96 except they've replaced the LED lights with high power ones.

2011-12-15 18.47.142011-12-15 18.47.31

2011-12-15 18.46.53W12 LED Light

I snapped these images before walking out of the studio last night. I'll be in later to snap some example light comparisons. I'll try to have some side by side lighting examples later today. These W12 high power LED lights are found at (click here).

W12 LED LightW12 LED Video Light
find-price-button 12 High Power LED Video Light

The Z96 prices have also stabilized somewhat. They can be found on eBay (click here), but make sure they are selling the 'real' F&V branded light since there has been quite a few replicas floating around. If you're unsure, you might want to check out Amazon for the real version of the Z96s.

find-price-button Z96 LED Video Light

21 thoughts on “Z96 next to W12 LED Video Light

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @G jonack - If it's the same mount as the 550, then yes. I want to say that it is the same, but I don't have a 950 on me. I think they all use the same charger which leads me to believe they are the same. The 950 is just higher capacity.

  2. the heat was caused by the LED light, not the functional PCBA.
    once you use the high power LED lamps, it will cause a lot of heat.
    once the LED lamps is on working, it's on the high bright status, it also will cause the heat. I mean the light bright cause the heat, all the lamps are the same.
    for the W12, it's about 9.5W to 10W for each, based on our test, it's about 8W to 8.5W for the LED lamps, about 1 to 1.5W to the functional PCBA.

    by the way, each high power LED light can cook the egg.

  3. @Tony
    You also need to consider how power efficient the LEDs are.
    I've got LEDs that use about 5 watt each! and even more if you up the voltage..
    Yes, they're bright, but a lot of the energy gets wasted on heat. you could cook an egg with 5 of them. 😀

    So you see, the wattage does not directly tell you how bright something is, only how much power it eats up.
    You could have a panel that takes up 100W and gives 2 lux of light. That would just be called a heater. 🙂

    At the moment I'm making 200, 400 and 800 LED lights. The 400 having about the same power as the Switronix, the 800 having double that and the 200 having only half.
    They're very power efficient but I've not tested them fully yet..

    No dimmers though, and no color control, just stuck at daylight, so they can't really compete with the Switronix.
    But the price is good, something like $100 for the 400 LED light. 😀
    I will send photos/video to emm when they're finished.

  4. Switronix used 16pcs power LED lamps, each one should be 1W, total about 16W. the W12 is about 10W,and W12 is about 1300LUX...so the Switronix LED light is about 3800LUX? I think it should be about 2600LUX to 2800LUX for the most.

  5. Max Rebel


    Those two lights are not the same the Switronix is a By-Color Light, Combined they are 3800 Lux at 1M
    Illumination: |Approx. 1800LUX(3200K,1m),2000LUX(5600K,1m)

    The Wansen W12 are Non ByColor leds with an Illumination: 1350Lux and we don't know Meter distance.

    I'm still waiting to see how they hold up against the HDV-Z96 I've got 4 of them and love using them as random background fill lights.

  6. Steve

    Nitsan, interested in your solutions. It would be a shame if they made a knock-off with these powerful leds, but neutered them.

  7. I was really exited to see the comparison between the two BUT now that I read the listing, I see it says it's 1300 lux which is not very much..

    Compare that to 800 Lux from the Z96..

    Well yeah it's an improvement but I thought the W12 was a replica of the Switronix TL-BT200 which is 3800 Lux

    I'm working on two different solutions which should give the same power and run off batteries but without the crazy price tag of the Switronix. I'll keep you guys updated..

  8. I just bought two of these, thanks for bringing them to my attention!
    I've been using a single Luxeon LED in a 4.5v "flashlight" and a plastic fresnel magnifier with fantastic results, so I was stoked to see 12 of these in an array!
    Honestly not expecting much from the plastic 3200K knockdown filter.
    These will go great with my stack of F550 batteries for a nice little mobile lighting kit.

  9. Danyyyel

    I have not been following the led light trend, what is the eta on the CRI of these led light, and does the bicolour ones are better for CRI.

  10. I bought 4 of the original Z96’s and they still work great even are being dropped onto marble ,which is a good test in its self. The little Sony video batteries though, I had two go on me. Anyone else have this problem? Need to find another reachable way

  11. Verm

    @Rick yes it has been discussed before, and the flickering issue with the Z96 is part of its "normal" behavior. I highly recommend using a Sony battery pack instead of the 5xAA.

    To every Canon guy out there, I wanted to mention that I was able to wedge a Canon BP-970G in the Sony battery slot of the Z96 using some force, without any modification, and it works perfectly. The prongs align well with the battery contacts. Just expect to crush your fingers puting it in and pulling it out. But it is all done without any damage to both the battery and the light.

  12. Emm

    Post author

    @Rick - Because of the way LED lights work to be dimmed, they need to have proper voltage. If the voltage is too low, you will see the refresh rate. This is normal and happens to many LED lights. Just don't use low batteries.

  13. Rick

    My Z96 is flickering as soon as the batteries get too low which is pretty annoying... Does this one has the same problem?

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @JSS - The W12 build feels pretty good and yes it has a rubberized coating. Sort of like the Barska pistol grip.

  15. JSS

    Thanks EMM! can't wait to see the difference between the two. I was going to get a Z96 to add to my kit but then the W12 came out. Besides the difference in light output and temperature I was also wondering what your thoughts are on the build of the W12 didn't they change it to a more rubber-like material?

  16. are those huge LEDs the SSC P7 model? they certainly look somewhat similar, and if they are, at 900 lumens each, that's a hugely powerful little lamp!! (which will deliver multi-layered shadows unless properly diffused)

    keep us posted

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