Join Erik Naso for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding LED, part of Video Lighting: Choosing Lighting Gear.
- So, now let's talk about LEDs. LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are tiny lights that are fastened to a circuit board. Traditional fixtures use large arrays to produce enough light for video production. Over the last few years, LEDs have gotten brighter, and the color reproduction has improved. We are also seeing advancements such as Fresnel lens that covers the diode increasing the output. When LED lights were first introduced, we only had one choice.
They were these 1x1 type panels. The color wasn't very good but the convenience overrode it. The lights were pretty bright, and had daylight color that made them very convenient for use in newsgathering during the day when you need daylight color temperature. However, you had to add a color-correction gel to get tungsten-based light which significantly lowers the output. Thankfully, bicolor lights have been introduced and offer both daylight and indoor color temperatures of 5600K to 3200K on a single fixture with some allowing you to dial in between temperatures as well.
This option is great but at the cost of output. One side note, if you really need bright lights bicolor might not be a good choice because the fixture uses a mixture of two different temperature bulbs resulting in less output. Convenience has a price and brightness is it. Another nice feature of the LED lights is that they can be powered by large camera batteries. Depending on the light, you can get one to two hours of use with one battery.
This is a great option for locations that don't have power where you need it. Or the outlets are too far away and dropping extension cords can be impractical. Keep in mind, that these batteries can add significant expense to your light. Nowadays, we have a large variety of LED light fixtures to choose from, which we'll explore next.
- Selecting lights for illuminating a subject
- Lighting large rooms
- Exploring portable, on-camera, and battery-powered lights
- Reviewing tungsten, fluorescent, and LED fixtures
- Considering low-budget lights
- Comparing light stands
- Exploring modifiers and cases
- Determining whether to rent or buy