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Gear & Apps

10 Video LED Lights $50-$100 | Caleb Pike

By Wendell Weithers on February 2nd 2017

One of the more daunting aspects of photography or video work is finding good lighting that is affordable. Fortunately, the market is providing us with options that don’t force us to choose between the two. Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter has released his latest video in a series on affordable lighting options. The lights on his list aren’t the top of the line, but budget options that seem to offer more than their price would indicate. Here is a rundown of his list of video lights between $50 and $100.

[REWIND: New Year, New Gear Giveaway Announced!]

1) – Neewer CN 304 – 00:50

In addition to identifying the features of each light, Caleb ranks each light’s brightness. Of the 10 lights discussed, this light ranked third. Its incredible that LED light have become so powerful.

Key Features

Price $55
Battery Life Indicator
Dimmer switch
Light output test rank 3r

2) – Aputure H198 – 02:13

Aputure has developed a solid reputation for the quality of their lights and that reputation holds true here. If you are a stickler high quality light, this is a good option for you.

Key Features

Price $55-58

CRI (Color Rendering Index) – 95
Takes AA and Sony NPF batteries
Battery life indicator
Dimmer Switch
Comes with ball head mount
Protective cover for LED lights
Light output test rank 7t

3) – YN-216 Spot Light – 4:03

This is one of two lights that piques my interest the most. It is very small in size, has a high output, and is highly directional. Powerful and portable is winning combo for any pro.
Yongnuo has been carving out a space as an affordable alternative for some time. With budget friendly flashes, lenses, and video lights, it continues to establish itself as a go-to cost saving retailer.

Key Features

Price $60
CRI – 90
Takes AA and Sony NPF batteries
DC power input for external power
Dial to control fine or coarse power level adjustments
Barn Doors
Cooling fan
Output test rank 2n

4) – YN-300 MkIII – 6:14

This is the first of the lights on the list that has a bi-color option. If you want to forgo gels and filters to match daylight of tungsten light in your environment, this option should serve you well. It also comes with a remote and is bluetooth capable.

Key Features

Price $59
CRI-93
Comes in Bi-Color or Daylight color temperatures
Takes Sony NPF batteries
DC power input for external power
Battery life indicator
Dial to control fine or coarse power level adjustments
Barn Doors
Comes with a remote
Bluetooth capable so you can control with your smartphone
Light output test rank 7t

5) – YN-360 – 8:28

Of all the lights, this looks like the most fun and flexible. It gives you most options to experiment with light. This is a light wand that may be good enough to serve as an alternative to products such as the Westcott Ice Light.

Key Features

Price $79
Takes Sony NPF Batteries
Bi-color light
RGB light that allows you to mix colors
Comes with a magnetic tungsten diffuser
Battery life indicator
Dial to control fine or coarse power level adjustments
Bluetooth capable so you can control with your smartphone
Light output test rank 8t

6) – YN-600 Air – 10:46

The most unique feature of this light is its built in milk diffuser. It gives off a broad soft light that is very flattering. A light like this is useful for flattering portraits and not just video.

Key Features

Price $80
Milk diffuser to create a very soft light
Comes in Bi-Color version
Takes Sony NPF batteries
DC power input for external power
Battery life indicator
Dial to control fine or coarse power level adjustments
Light output test rank las

7) – NEEWER 500 – 12:51

This light is clearly the most suited to studio use as it comes with no battery option. However, it is large and gives off a good amount of light. If you are a Youtuber looking to keep a lighting setup in one place, this is an option to consider.

Key Features

Price $89
AC power only – No Battery option
All Metal
Barn Doors
Can turn of the different light banks to control output
Light output test rank 5t

8) – FancierStudio 576 – 14:49

Like the previous entry this light does not give you a battery powered option. What it does give you is the ability to easily mount and remove filters. You can attach diffusers or color filters via magnets to change your look. It is also gives off more light than Neewer 500.

Key Features

Price $99
CRI – 90
Daylight color only
AC power only – No Battery option
Comes with power adaptor
Magnetic modular filter system
Barn Doors
Light output test rank 4t

9) – NEEWER 480 – 16:26

This light well built as it is made of all metal and aluminum and has the benefit of coming with the power cord. Along with having one of the higher CRI ratings, this looks like an affordable and durable choice.

Key Features

Price $99
CRI – 96+
Bi-color light
All Metal and Aluminum
Comes with power adaptor
Takes AA and Sony NPF batteries
Light output test rank

10) – YN-600 Mk I – 18:41

This is the most powerful and the most expensive light on the list. It comes with almost all of the bells & whistles of the other lights and by doing so represents the most value for the dollar.

Key Features

Price $100
CRI – 95+
Comes in Bi-Color or Daylight color temperatures
Takes Sony NPF batteries
DC power input for external power
Dial to control fine or coarse power level adjustments
Barn Doors
Cooling fan
Comes with a remote
Light output test rank 1st

Note

The lighting prices listed relfect their cost at the time of the release of the video.

Wendell is based in Atlanta where he shoots events, portraits, and food photography. He also supports his wife Andrea as she runs their cake design business, Sweet Details.

Instagram: Wendellwphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. mike gomez

    would you recommend these lights for product/food photography? and could these lights handle being placed in a horizontal position with a boom stand to be used as over head lighting?

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  2. Guy Ivie

    Thanks for the valuable info! 

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