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Help me decide Flolight or Ephoto LED Light Panels


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<p>I am having a hard time deciding on LED light panels to go with. I got the idea looking at the real Litepanels which are way too expensive for me. Then I found an alternative at Adolph Gassers, they rent and sell the Flolights which are just as good and quite a bit cheaper. However, when I was looking for a better price on the flolights I found an even cheaper one on Ebay by Ephotodiscounters.<br /> Has anyone had any experience with either good or bad? I am leaning towards getting 2 of the 1000 watt equivalents from ephoto primarily because the flolights are on backorder. Would anyone recommend waiting and getting the flolights? <br /> I am a still photographer but also doing video with my 5D mark II. I have White Lightnings X1600 and AB800's with the Vagabond I. The problem with that setup is the vagabond can't power the modeling lights so there is no way to use it for video or even focusing outdoors at night. Also, the modeling lights even on the WL is too low for video even when plugged in.<br>

Also would you go with 1 - 1000 or 2 -500's, I am thinking I would eventually like to have 2 - of the 500's because of the larger size?<br>

Option 1<br /> http://cgi.ebay.com/1000-LED-Video-Photography-Light-Panle-Dimmable-lights-/360304254191?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53e3ce9cef<br>

Option 2<br /> http://flolight.com/</p>

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<p>Bob, they are for video and stills. Yesterday I was asking for a low price alternative to the name brand "Litepanels". Through research i have now found two alternates which are thousands of dollars cheaper. These are not the little on camera light panels you may be thinking of, these panels put off an equivalent of 1000 watts and are actually much brighter than both my AB800's and WL x1600. AB800's approx 320 watts WL x1600 approx 640 watts at very short duration these put off 2x500 or 1X1000 watts sustained with only a 12V power source and only pull 50 - 75 watts. A Car batter can drive them for hours of video.</p>
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<p>M.P. three things.</p>

<ol>

<li><strong></strong>The vendor is feeding you a total pile of bull. The luminous efficiency of LEDs relative to tungsten lighting is about 4. A panel that draws 50-75W puts out as much light as a 200-300W quartz halogen flood, not a 1000W.</li>

<li><strong> </strong>Continuous lights (quartz halogen, LED. fluorescent) have a "power" rating in Watts. Strobes like your AB800 or WL1600 have an "energy" rating in Watt-seconds (also known as "Joules"). That's Watts of power <strong>multiplied </strong>by seconds of duration. Pictures are taken with energy, not power. So, when photographing a live subject, the flash releases that 640 W-S in a short, 1/1000 sec pulse. For that 1/1000 sec, it puts out (are you ready for this) 640,000 Watts. If the panel really were putting out 1000 W, you would need to expose for 0.64 seconds to match that 640W-S. Portrait subjects can't hold still long enough to take pictures routinely at 0.64 seconds. About the fastest a "civilian" subject will manage is 1/30 sec, and you'll get a lot of ruined shots at that speed. With a real 640 W light, 1/30 sec gives you 640W * 1/30 sec = 21 W-S, about half the power of a small flash like a small, on camera speed-light.</li>

<li><strong></strong>Here's what really sinks the LED light idea, once and for all: <strong>the luminous efficiency of LEDs and xenon strobe tubes is approximately equal.</strong> So, it doesn't matter whether you're dealing with the reality of a 50-75W LED panel putting out as much light as a 200-300W quartz halogen flood, or you're listening to the LED panel seller's voodoo claim that the luminous efficiency is higher, and it's equivalent to 1000W of quartz halogen. <strong>The 50-75W LED panel is equivalent to 50-75W of xenon strobe.</strong> That means that if you shot with a shutter speed of 1/30 sec, you'd get 1.7-2.5 Watt-seconds of energy in your picture. That's equivalent to the tiny pop-up flash built into some DSLRs.</li>

</ol>

<p>You cannot effectively use LED panels for portraiture. You probably cannot use them effectively for video, either. At those low power levels, you're talking about direct lighting only, at fairly short distances. Pretty harsh lighting. And the LEDs tend to be pretty directional, which means they're basically "face lighting". Their field of view doesn't even match a normal lens, let alone a wide. You have to use a telephoto to get the FOV of the lens to match that of the light.</p>

<p>I've done video work with up to four 500W high output fluorescent light panels. Fluorescent tubes also have a luminous efficiency about the same as LEDs, so each of those 500W units, in the real world, is equivalent to 10 or more of your LED panels. Yes, you'd need about 40 of those LED panels before the lighting starts looking decent.</p>

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<p>I must be in the wrong forum for this question because it seems no one here has actully used a LED Light Panel. I am not here to make a decision as to whether a light panel will work for me or not. I have already made this coice. I am trying to get the best one for the money.<br />I rented a light panel from Adolf Gassers several months ago for a video \ photo shoot and it work absolutely great. I also used an Arri 650Watt Fresnel Light which was also very very nice however, the Arri tungston light kept blowing fuses in my studio. <br />In comparing the two the Arri is obviously a more focused beam than the panel and therefore can give a brighter spot off light. However, for my needs the LitePanel gave a much softer more diffused light which "seemed" just as bright generating no heat, was much lighter and more portable, and ran off a Video Camera battery. I can absolutely use it for portrait work and it is much much brighter than my 250Watt modeling light in my WL x1600.<br />I am in a way very happy few people use this as I love using tools which will give me an edge or at least a differnent look than everyone else. Can anyone who has actully used the real LITEPANELS for production work please comment. There has to be some reason 5600K litepanels are $1900, Flolights are $899 and now I have found a product with simular specs to both with adjustable color and power for $599. I tried to build my own light panl and each Super Bright LED was going to cost me $1, these units have 1000 1 watt LED's. I am an Engineer and I can't even build it for less than $1000. Not including all the other circuitry and housing required.</p>
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<blockquote>

<p>I must be in the wrong forum for this question because it seems no one here has actully used a LED Light Panel.</p>

</blockquote>

<p>I've used several. If you like the "different look" of a small panel, close to the subject, without diffusion, more power to you. There are many reasons for the differences in the prices of the panels. Some have a higher CRI than others. Some do better with the current equalization between LEDs and the regulation of current, leading to longer life.</p>

<p>No unit has 1000 1 Watt LEDs, because that would make it draw 1000 Watts. You seem set on living in a fantasy world. Enjoy your "edge".</p>

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<p>M. P. wrote at Sept 29, 2010; 05:33 p.m.:<br>

"these units have 1000 1 watt LED's. I am an Engineer and I can't even build it for less than $1000. Not including all the other circuitry and housing required."</p>

<p>Well you said they did.</p>

<p> Besides, a 1 watt LED draws 1 watt, a 3 watt LED draws 3 watts, a 2kw xenon high pressure luminaire with ballast draws 2kw and so on.</p>

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<p>Bob, don't mess with M. P., he's an "Engineer", with a capital "E" and everything. I'm sure he worked this all out, looking up the luminous efficacy of</p>

<ul>

<li>Quartz bulbs, 19.8 lumens/Watt (and a CRI of 100)</li>

<li>Best LED on the market, 93 lumens/Watt (and a CRI of 90, because everyone likes 10% color errors)</li>

</ul>

<p>Then, like any good Engineer, he divided 93 by 19.8, and got 10, proving LITEPANELS claims that their 45W panels are fully the equivalent of a 450W halogen flood. (There are some of their products where they claim a 40W panel is equivalent to 500W of halogen. That's an efficacy of 297 lumens/Watt. Not like it's 3X better than the best LEDs on the market or anything...)</p>

 

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<p>You two have got to be friggin kidding me right? Exactly how does any of this bull crap answer my damn question? Did I say anywhere I was getting rid of the 6 studio strobes I already own, No? Can you tell me of an equivalent adjustable temperature light source that runs on batteries and is less than 3" thick for low ceiling applications. Here is another question for you experts know how much more light I need when shooting video with a 5D Mark II and an 85 1.2L? Do you think a 1000 Watt panel which may only put out a real 300 Watts of 5600K light or if I need, adjust to street lights 3600K would work? Have you ever tried carrying a Vagabond and a WL1600 with stand and soft-box a mile on sand and still not be able to use the modeling light to even focus when the sun goes down? By the way I don't really care if it puts out a true 1000 watts or that the CRI is only 93 not 100. Do you think Alien Bees really put out the amount of power they claim, do I really care? I am concerned that one brand may run much longer on battery than the other or what effect a 60 degree beam spread will have verses a 30 degree. </p>
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<p>"I am concerned that one brand may run much longer on battery than the other or what effect a 60 degree beam spread will have verses a 30 degree."</p>

<p>Well two of the panels you are looking at draw approx 45 to 100 watts. So not that much of a difference in run time from a battery system. Seeing as the Flolite runs on 12 vdc, no need for the Vagabond either, just a battery. The Vagabond II has a 20ah battery, so maybe it can run one of the "1000" panels with a 100 watt draw for an hour and change, allowing for inverter and power supply losses. I believe your Vagabond I has a 15ah battery so even less run time than the II. Easy to fix tho, just bring a 60ah deep discharge battery along or a couple of spare ones for your Vagabond, either can supply the panel directly and backup your Vagabond as well.</p>

<p>A 30 vs 60 degree beam spread makes a huge difference in illumination once your subject is more than 3-4 feet from the light source.</p>

<p> </p>

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<p>Much appreciated. I am leaning towards the flolite. I really don't want to carry the Vagabond which struggled with the 150W modeling light of the AB800, even on low. How important is being able to adjust the color temperature? The the new LitePanels as well the Ephotos have it? I 'm leaning towards the Flolite because of 12v battery and higher CRI of 93. I'm thinking 1 now and 1 later of the Flolite 1000 with built in video camera v-battery? The 30 degree spread sounds better for me if that's going to give further range. If I need more spread I will use reflector panels. The biggest concern I have with flolites is I will have to use gels to adjust color temperature which will reduce power and effective range. I understand the softest light will be when panel is closest to subject, but at the beach not always possible. I think matching ambient light sources may be an asset with the new Ephoto model. If panels in general will be something I will eventually upgrade to something like ARRI or Lowell I would rather invest as little as possible and would go with the Ephotos. Adolph Gasser's rents the older model Flolite for $30 I think I might give it a try a couple more times.</p>
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<p>Very nice photo for such a small light source Kevin. You did exactly what I am trying to accomplish balance fill light with background light. You have also highlighted my interest in the cheaper lights which can adjust the LED temperture. In your example the background lights are very warm maybe 3600K however the foreground light is cold 5000+ K. I wander if being able to change the LED lights color to match the background would have a significant advantage? It is clear to me the power is adequate espeacially if your used the smaller units.</p>
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<p>Kevin, how much do these filters reduce the power of your LED light. This could make a big difference on my purchase. I am leaning towards the Flolights which do not hae color adjustment and can only be done with GELS. The Ephotos are less expensive and have the adjustable color but don't seem as well made as the flolights. The color adjustment however, could make the difference.</p>
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  • 6 months later...

<p>I have finally purchased my LED panels from Ephotoinc.com I got 2 of the LED 900 with t he V-mount battery packs and absolutely love them. They are brighter than I expected and run about 4 hours on my existing Vagabon battery. They are 5600K but can be gelled to 3200 and have a -green filter. They are the same size and weight of teh much more expensive Lightpanels.com. I love them getting rid of strobe lighting as all my lens are F2.8 or faster. I can do almost every thing I need with my panels or 580EX II.</p>

<p> </p>

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<p>All said and done, I am wondering, what if I have a shot where the model is jumping and I want the silky hair sharply captured at 1/250 sec speed, even while flowing or say a water splash, will I be able to do this with LED panels, or if I want some dramatic hard shadows, will I be able to do this with LED? however I can do this with my cheapest studio strobe. </p>
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  • 2 weeks later...

<p>I do not believe anyone should trade in Stobes for LED lighting systems of any type. <br>

Google Continuous lighting vs. Strobe Lighting,, They are two different animals. <br>

As of today, the LED technology doesnt have the power behind it to shoot high speed ( f11 at 200) photography.. So plan on using a super fast lens and/or a high ISO.. Which creates a extremely shallow depth of field and the added digital noise. which can greatly detract from your picture.<br>

These lights simply do not have the power to create Fill Light You must point them in the direction of your subject.. which can make for harsh lighiing...<br>

Although I think LED panels are a great addition to a film makers studio because of their mobility and low power consumption. I do not think anyone should trade in their studio stobes just yet.<br>

<strong>You may want to use LEDs if:</strong><br>

You dont mind shooting in High ISO.<br>

You want to use portable 12v power<br>

You dont mind shooting "around" other lighting sources.<br>

You dont care about having Accurate color. <br>

You are shooting slow moving or static subjects in small places.<br>

To create mood or rim lighting.<br>

You are shooting out doors night, dusk or dawn</p>

<p>I wouldnt use LED if you are<br>

Using them outdoors during the day<br>

Using them to shoot crisp Fast moving subjects<br>

NOTE:<br>

1. LED do not produce full spectrum light. Filters do not accuretly change color temp they mask it.. Kinda like when you spray collagne on.. you still smell you just covered it with a new one. <br>

2. LED light intensity is controlled by the lenses placed on front of the elements so you can never change their direction of throw.<br>

For the Mind: I strongly recomend knowing your equipment and using them how ever you think fits best.. There are tools and in art there arent any rules. As long as it looks killer, then your good. </p>

<p> </p>

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  • 3 weeks later...

<p>Agreed I don't plan on trading in my zooms for all primes or my strobes for all LED panels. However, for the style of shooting I like, I prefer low light shallow DOF slow shutter photos. I have shot F8 1/200 White Lightning and Canon 580 EX flash photography for years. To me it is very boring now. <br>

If a model is jumping I don't always want to freeze action with a strobe. I may want to drag the shutter and giver the hair a soft flowing look like running water shot at a slow shutter. This gives a more dreamy rather than sterile perfect picture. I don't always want perfect color or even perfect lens or perfect focus. I like lens flare when done correctly and the distortion you can create when shooting a model very close with a 28 1.8 wide open. <br>

It has to do with shooting art where you can break all the rules versus technically correct photos where someone has hired me to shoot real estate or something else boring.<br>

PS - you use the shutter speed to stop fast moving objects. I am no longer constraining by the max sync speed of 1/200 I can now shoot F1.8 and 1/1000 if I choose. also I can now shoot at the full speed of my camera without having to wait for strobes to recycle so I can get 5 -6 shots at 1/1000 to stop crisp fast moving action.</p>

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