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Westcott Icelight Review and Hands-On Lighting Tutorial

By Pye Jirsa on June 6th 2014

The Westcott Icelight

We recently got our hands on the Icelight, a continuous light designed by Jerry Ghionis and manufactured by Westcott. I was a bit skeptical to test out this uniquely shaped lightsaberish light for my photos, but I can tell you right now, I Obi Want this light on all my shoots (I couldn’t resist a good starwars joke opportunity). Check out the video and full review article below.

Watch The Westcott Icelight Video Review

The Icelight performs very well which is why we gave it 5 out of 5 stars. The quality of the light is top notch and soft, best suited for portraits. You can control the output of the light, making it dimmer and brighter as needed. The only downside is that the Icelight doesn’t throw the light very far (and it’s not called The Icesaber), and the light falls off very quickly. In the image below you can see how fast the light falls off my face just by moving it an arms length away. Although we do consider that the Icelight was made for close up portraits, and for those intents and purposes, it’s a 5 star winner.

quick light fall off example
There are only 3 buttons on the Icelight, 2 to control the output and one to turn the Icelight off. The Icelight also comes with a tungsten gel, and there’s a “studio” kit that comes with barndoors and a stand. The main reason why we gave the Icelight 3 out of 5 stars is because we don’t have have a lot of control over the spread or the shape of the light. What I would love to have in this Icelight is a built in cylindrical silver door that can close, this way I can have more control over the output and the shape of the light.

Westcott Icelight Buttons
The Icelight is well made and feels great when you hold it. The buttons have a great tactile feel and the handle has a nice matte finish that feels great to hold. The bottom and the top of the Icelight are metal, and everything in general feels sturdy and durable. You can tell as soon as you pick it up that Westcott spent a lot of time to make sure this is a polished and quality product.

westcott icelight

We had to knock off 1 star for quality because the tungsten gel that comes with the light is made of a cheaper plastic that chips easily. If you’re not careful and take the gel out too quickly or at the wrong angle it will snap. The tungsten gel is still usable, but you should note that some of the accessory components aren’t the highest quality. However, the light itself (which is the most important part!) seems to be built very well.

icelight review

The Icelight is a bit on the pricier side, around $500, but we had to give it 4 out of 5 stars because even at that price it does something that no other portable lights can do. The light also packs extremely well, fitting in Light stand bags easily, although you still have to be careful not to crush it.

Overall we enjoy using the Icelight and we give it 4 out of 5 stars, which is a great rating. Up close it’s an amazing light, but it’s difficult to utilize when you need to get some distance. It’s a unique portable light and a product that stands in it’s own category. To see some sample images and how we used the Icelight please watch the video above.

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Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Mi Guel

    Has anyone heard of or used the “SaberStrip” made by Scott Krebs? How do they compare as far as the finished product…

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  2. Kurk Rouse

    Resisting the urge to buy more gear but thanks for the review Pye this item has been on my wish list form the first time I saw it in action

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  3. David Park

    Awesome Light! Only wish that I could get the same effect with it just a tad bit further away from my subject.

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  4. Don

    Cute but overpriced at $500. A pocket strobe with can do so much more for a tenth the price…

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  5. Robin

    I made my own using a cardboard tube with cutout window, inside lined with foil and a metal bracket at the bottom for a speedlight, works a treat, one of my fave lighting tools.

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    • charles

      can you share a picture about your diy icelight?

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    • Jonathan

      Should’ve made it with a pringles can.. haha. The Ice Light probably isnt for you, buddy.

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  6. Jai

    I love it! If only they could design the handle more light a light saber with sounds then it would be perfect as well as fun for the assistants. :P

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