Cheapo LED Ring Light color quality (CRI, etc.)

Started Oct 6, 2011 | Discussions thread
ComputerDork
Regular MemberPosts: 225
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Spectral Power Distribution plot of Neewer Ringlight
In reply to Duncan C, Nov 24, 2011

So I finally bought a ColorMunki, mostly for printer profiling, but apparently you can do some rather interesting stuff with it (beyond what the bundled software can do) if you download the free   Argyll CMS . Unfortunately there's no fancy GUI for anything but monitor profiling, so you're stuck with using command line tools. Still, for free you get the ability to do almost anything that the ColorMunki can physically do.

Anyway, I shut off all the lights, held the ringlight under the table to block the monitor light, turned the ringlight on, put the ColorMunki dial in the ambient position, pointed the ringlight at it a couple of feet away and ran:

'spotread -S -H -a' (Spectral plot, High resolution, ambient mode)

That's violet to the left and red to the right. Spike is blue-violet and the peak of the hump is in the yellowish green area.

Obviously this isn't terribly smooth, though I guess it could be worse. Not that CRI is really valid for LEDs, but it seems to match the "CRI" of some of the LED sources similar to this is about 75.

Comparing that plot to those for LEDs on http://research.ng-london.org.uk/scientific/spd/ (a great site I might add), it looks like the Neewer light basically just uses average modern white LEDs that are designed for maximum brightness rather than color quality.

There tends to be a tradeoff with LEDs where you have to make them dimmer and thus less energy efficient if you want to improve the color quality of the light. So it makes sense that they'd use the bright low CRI ones given that it's cheaper to get the same brightness with fewer LEDs and thus get the same lux output for less money than something with a smoother spectrum.

Anyway, still pretty decent for $35 and the light quality is good enough if you have decent software like Lightroom to mostly correct for it.

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