Welcome to our Friday Rapid Gear Reviews segment of our weekly videos, where we will review a different gear every Friday. This week we will be reviewing and telling you everything you want to know about the Lowel GL-1 Hot Light.
Watch the Video Review Below
What is the Lowel GL-1
The Lowel GL-1 Hot Light is a completely portable LED light that can be focused from a wide beam to a narrow beam. The light ouput is dimmable by either the analogue dimming trigger or the scroll wheel dimmer.
Specifications (from GL-1 Website)
- High powered focusing LED light source
- Dimming Range 5-100%
- Focusing Range 5:1
- 90 CRI for high quality color output
- 3000K color output
- 1/4” and 3/8” stand mounting options
- 82MM threaded front element allows you to add a Tiffen 80B to covert to Daylight balance output
- Rechargeable Battery
- Dim via trigger with feel or by dial for a fixed exposure
- Battery life of approximately 1 hour on a full charge
- Power consumption 25W
The Pros of the Lowel GL-1
The first primary benefit of the Lowel GL-1 is its focusable beam. You can extend or retract the head, and because of its 5 to 1 focus, the beam will tighten or widen to exactly where you want it to be. This comes in handy in situations where it is necessary for the light to be in a specific area.
The GL-1 has a great quality of light, measured at 3K color temperature, with a beautiful graduation and even lighting from edge to the edge, made possible by using a Fresnel lens. This makes for a perfect handheld gunlight for portrait lighting. It is also built with an 82mm threaded element on the front, so that you are able to use a variety of filters.
Another great feature of this hot light is its analog trigger. This allows you to brighten or dim the light to the exact brightness you want, in addition to a constant dial that lets you fix the light power at a specific constant setting.
Now, if you do not have or are not planning to have an assistant on a shoot when using the GL-1, there is no need to worry. Not only can it stand up on its own, but it also comes with a mountable ¾” tri-pod mount on the bottom. This allows you to set the light to a constant power setting, place it on a tri-pod, and place it exactly where you want without having to bring along a lighting assistant.
Lastly, the Lowel GL-1 comes with a powerful battery that lasts around one hour on a full charge and a solid overall build quality.
Cons of the Lowel GL-1
We found that after using this for a good period of time that there was really nothing to criticize about the light itself. One thing worth mentioning, however, is that if you are using the light for video the light has an internal fan. It measures at around 5 decibels when tested from a 1-foot distance, so the fan is definitely quiet enough for most video uses, but if you need pure silence on set, then you may want to test out the light before purchasing it.
Now the only negative thing we could say about the light is the overall price point. It is priced at $699, which is out of the range of most non-professional photographers, and even professionals may have a hard time coughing up the cash for a handheld light. However, when we compared the Lowel GL-1 Hot Light with other professional hot lights of similar quality, most of the similar lights also ranged from $500-900, and are not as portable and flexible as the GL-1.
Images from Actual Engagement Shoots Using the GL-1 Hot Lights
We give the Lowel GL-1 Hot Light a 4 out of 5 stars. If it were to be priced at more of the $300-400 range, this would definitely be a 5 out of 5 stars product. This is an amazing product, and we highly recommend anyone to try the Lowel GL-1 if they are looking for the best portable hot light with great power and amazing quality. To find out more, you can visit GL1Hotlight.com and also check out their Facebook page.