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23.08.2019

How to choose a LED light

LED lights have recently became a big phenomenon - the internet is literally flooded by them. But how do you choose a right LED light for your photography? Barring the importance of good characteristics - the company from which you are buying the light from is also important. Because after the purchease the cooperation with the company is also important.  



 

Customer support

The seller should offer a helping hand before selling such a light, even if you already have lights at home and you are clueless about its use. It's always good to have someone to call to and get a piece of advice from.

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Warranty 

What about the warranty and post-warranty service? Since the lights are mainly used and purchased by professional photographers, the warranty should apply also for them. Unfortunately, it's customary for companies to shorten the warranty for this type of customers to one year, so we advise you to be cautious.

Warranty and post-warranty service

If the photo lights aren't just consumer goods for you, it is necessary to change it every two years. A good seller should also provide you with a post-warranty service. For FOMEI, it is customary to ensure a 10-year repairability.


 


Technical parameters

Now you know that you are going to get a good service and we can move to technical parameters. What parameters has the LED light meet? That is a good question because the parameters wonť be same for everyone. 

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CRI (Ra)

In translation - Color Rendering Index. It's being measured in "Ra" units and it shows the quality of a colour spectrum. The quality and presentation of the colour are not determined just by a material, but also by the light. With bad light source, the colours on the photography will be faded and won't be corresponding to reality. An ideal LED light should have a CRI 95+, which makes it impossible for a human eye to distinguish the quality of light from the daylight. If the CRI will be less than 80 the differences will be obvious, which we don't want on our photographies. It is also important to check the settings directly on lights at our working place where the photographies are adjusted and printed.

Shape, strength, variability

Every photographer has his style. You can use a softbox and light directly on the object or use a strong, thin light stream and reflect it from a white or silver surface, or use a small battery LED lights to light on details in the already lighted scene. There are countless combinations. Your choice will be influenced by the space where you'll be shooting -  if you are going to shoot in a studio, or outside and you'll need to figure out the transportation of lights.

Flickering

The flickering is not a problem accompanying only a video recording, but also a problem with high shutter speed, where one badly timed flicker of the LED light could ruin the whole photo. It is important to know if your light is Flicker Free - the cheap ones should be tested at least for 120 FPS (slow.motion video on mobile phones or GoPro cams). The studio lights should be tested with a high-speed camera.

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Cooling system

 Rumour has it that LED lights don't heat up but, if anything, the opposite is true. Every light needs cooling whether actively or with a ventilator. Professional FOMEI lights are endowed with an indicator of warmth and a safety fuse to turn the light off in an emergency and for the light to cool down.





Travel LED lights

The battery, travel packaging and compact size are all matter of course. With these lights, you have to expect the characteristic shape and the fact that it is used mostly for direct lighting. To reflect the lights from a wall we mostly use studio lights, for which is an output very important.

LED MINI

Perfect light for anyone, who needs to travel with lights to hardly accessible places. Small, light, compact and efficient light with a wide range of accessories and easy manipulation. Are you travelling to an arduous terrain? The light is all-metal with sturdy construction. The colour temperature 5600K can be adjusted thanks to colour filters.

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LED MINI 15W

“Mini” depicts the characteristics of this light precisely. Mini size, mini weight, mini packaging. With the light, you will also get a joint, which enables to move the light on the camera or the tripod. The power supply is solved with a power adapter or an NP-F battery. With one battery the light can shine from 40 minutes to a few hours (depends on the battery type). The package contains flaps, which are used for colour filters attachment.

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LED MINI 30W

Still small, still easy to store, but with the separate control unit, which can be attached to the tripod in an accessible-height when the light is high up. You can attach the control unit to the side of the light, so there will be no cables getting in the way. The Fresnel lens enables to change an angle of light from 20 to 60 degrees. The LED MINI 30W light has a removable handle. The charging can be solved with a battery wit V-Mount bayonet or with a connection of reduction for two NP-F batteries (part of the packaging). 

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FOMEI LED BAR 17W

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Universal solution - comes with battery and with a padded carrying bag. Why is it universal? With this light, you can travel anywhere, except for places with direct sunlight you can use it almost in any location. It is possible to change the colour temperature from warm to cold. Included in the package is a handle which enables to hold the light in a hand or to attach it on almost any kind of stand thanks to the strong thread and a classic tripod one right on the light. Do you want more lights? We recommend to connect them. Choose one of the A/B/C channels, put all the lights on the same one and then you can easily control all of them from one light. A wide range of accessories is available: flaps, cross-shaped or horizontal holder for 4 lights, coloured filters, joints, and the like.

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FOMEI LED RING 23W and 32W

The very popular thing amongst portrait photographers. The colour temperature can be changed from 3200 up to 5600K. It comes in a padded package - same as LED BAR. It can be powered by a battery (not a part of the package) or with power supply. The biggest popularity this light gets from stylists - and that is mostly thanks to its even and almost shadowless lighting. With this type of light, portrait photography obtains a completely new dimension. It is also possible to use it for whole-body photography. It is possible to attach the LED ring on a big tripod and put the camera in the middle. There is no boundary for your imagination. 

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LED RING SMD 23W /E

The cheapest version with a 38 cm diameter is powered by one NP-F battery (optional accessories) or with a power supply. Light and cheap option of this 23W light is suitable for portrait photos, half-body photos. For the whole-body photo, you need to increase ISO or change the light for a more powerful model.

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LED RING SMD 32W

This time we  will get a strong enough power for lighting from a long distance. The ring light is powered by two batteries (optional accessories), or with power supply. The light is in a padded travel bag. Because we are unable to compress the size of the light, the bag is directly proportional to the light.

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LED RING SMD 32W WIFI

Same light on the first sight, but with added wifi function. What does it mean? Download the L-Control app and try to control the whole wifi light park from your mobile phone or tablet. These features will be appreciated mainly by more demanding customers with an extensive light park and for those, who need light in inaccessible places.

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LED ROLL LIGHTS

The LED ROLL is proof that we are working on the physical compression of light. The LED lights are sewn into cloth. This strong light can be bent and rolled up into the bag. Another advantage? You can easily connect the lights with a velcro. You can travel with a battery or work on AC power in the comfort of your studio. Thanks to the larger surface the lights give a softer impression and together with colour filters, you can make beautiful effects. These lights bring the most advantages to travellers, who can only roll the lights up in the bag and go.

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LED ROLL 18W

This small LED light can be attached to the hot shoe of a camera. With its small size (20x20cm) it only weights 400 g. The colour temperature of this light is 5600K. It is easy to hold in a hand as well as to attach it to a classic tripod thread. It can be powered by NP-F battery. This is a great alternative of desk lights, which can always be right at your fingertips.

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LED ROLL 62W

Světelná plocha dosahuje 61x46cm a tu můžete tvarovat dle potřeby. Pro lepší flexibilitu samotného světla je jeho ovládací jednotka oddělena a propojena kabelem. Pokud bude světlo v nedostupné výšce, ovládací jednotku můžete mít zavěšenou na stativu v dostupné výšce. Rozšíření světelné plochy je snadné díky suchým zipům po celém obvodu světla.

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Studio LED lights 

This does not mean that these lights cannot be used outdoors, but still, the manipulation with them is a little more complicated and they are mostly AC powered. This all can be compensated by its output, which enables more work with the light. We can light from a greater distance, reflect light, shine through a diffuse substance and much more.

FOMEI LED lights with bayonet

Perfect as a permanent light in your studio. Strong output in a combination with bayonet (FOMEI/Bowens) enables you to use a wide range of accessories including spotlight, snoots, and softboxes. This light will prove yourself useful to those, who want to see the final image right before they snap the photo. The colour temperature with a 3000-8000K range and a touchscreen with the possibility of colour temperature control - that can make a photographers life easier. All-metal construction with WiFi receiver enables you to control the whole light park from your mobile phone or tablet. You can make a directed stream of light and adjust its angle with a special Fresnel extension.

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FOMEI LED WIFI 100B / 210B

Permanent LED light with a holder for a stang or for a "U" shape ceiling system, which ensures that the light won't be upside down. This light is great for a group/individual, portrait, glamour, fashion and product photography in your studio.

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FOMEI LED DMX 300B

A special high-performance version of LED lights with a bayonet for accessories and support of DMX protocol. DMX protocol is more suitable for those, who are planning a large light park with the possibility of control from one panel or software. The 300W output is noticeable in lighter spaces where you can also work with a light reflection and other "light loss technique".

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FOMEI LED FRESNEL

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It can seem that this light is not suitable for photography,  but it surely finds its use - light reflection. With Fomei LED Fresnel you can easily create a soft light by reflecting it from a ceiling or a wall in any interior or exterior. Direct light will create hard shadows and reflections, which could be exploitable for black-and-white photography. By  moving the light closer/further from the Fresnel lens you can easily change the angle of the light cone. Besides the 20° do 60° range of a light cone, it is possible to change the colour temperature from 3000K up to 8000K. The touchscreen is completed with mechanical buttons, it is up to you which version will you choose. The lights are not sold with a receiver, but it is possible to  buy it in addition and control the light from your mobile phone or tablet. To prevent the light from getting in places you don't want it to - use flaps (part of the package). The all-metal structure can be attached on a stand or a ceiling system.

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Lights are available as WiFi and DMX.

Output optiond: 160W, 300W, 480W a 750W.

You can get a battery version Fomei Fresnel 160FB.

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I hope you found this article interesting and helpful. In case of questions and comments - do not hesitate to contact me at:  novak@fomei.com

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