Testing the new LED100WA-56 Light with Bowens Softbox Mount

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
Tom Meeks
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Testing the new LED100WA-56 Light with Bowens Softbox Mount
11 months ago

I just took delivery of some new constant LED lights that include a bowens mount for adding a softbox.

Nominally, these lights are said to produce the equivalent of a 1000watt incandescent bulb.  I have not checked this claim.  However, having now tested the lights using both video and still cameras, I have to say that I am going to find them very useful.

Since I use a Canon 5D MK II, the output power is less important to me than the quality of the light in terms of any color casts, etc.  In this, I have found the lights to be excellent.

Here are some samples at various camera settings.  Only the last photo was processed for color correction.  The sets of numbers in the photo's description represent the RED, GREEN & BLUE values as picked up in the center of the white box in the color card.   While the greens are consistently the lowest value, it is only by a very narrow margin.  So, only minimal color correction was required.

All photos were taken at an ISO of 800.

TEST #1 - 5600K setting

LED100WA-56, Canon 5D MKII, 40mm f2.8 lens, 1/100, 4.0 - 5600K WB (254,238,255)

Test #2 - Flash Setting

LED100WA-56, Canon 5D MKII, 40mm f2.8 lens, 1/100, 4.0 - Flash WB (255,240,252)

Test #3 - Daylight Setting

LED100WA-56, Canon 5D MKII, 40mm f2.8 lens, 1/100, 4.0 - Daylight WB (252,240,255)

Test #4 - Auto Setting

LED100WA-56, Canon 5D MKII, 40mm f2.8 lens, 1/100, 4.0 - Auto WB (252,239,254)

Color Corrected in Digital Photo Professional

Color Corrected

While I first tested these with a still camera, my primary application will be for video.  And, they do an excellent job with all the video cameras I've tested so far.

This particular light is sold through http://www.led-video-lights.com.  While the company is located in China and I'm located in Maryland, the transaction went very smoothly and the communication was excellent.  Fotodiox also sells this light under its own brand.

This light has a 60 degree light angle.  Photoflex will be introducing a similar light with a 120 degree light angle.  That is also one to consider.

My only complaint is that the connection between the light and light stand does not slide to accommodate the weight of bigger softboxes.  The Photoflex light does.  But, the cost differential is great enough that I can put up with that minor complaint.

LED100WA-56 light with Bowens Mount

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Klaus dk
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Re: Testing the new LED100WA-56 Light with Bowens Softbox Mount
In reply to Tom Meeks, 11 months ago

Interesting.

What is the price for these lights?

Is output power adjustable?

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Tom Meeks
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Re: Testing the new LED100WA-56 Light with Bowens Softbox Mount
In reply to Klaus dk, 11 months ago

I paid $299 including shipping costs for each light.  But, they now have bundled deals.

The light has a digital dimming control from 0 to 100%.  They will even modify it so that you can use a remote to dim the light if you do so at the time of the purchase.  That modification was around $35.00.

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Bretal
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Re: Testing the new LED100WA-56 Light with Bowens Softbox Mount
In reply to Tom Meeks, 11 months ago

Thanks for your test and review. I'm interested in. How do you think the quality? Is it metal construction ?

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Tom Meeks
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Re: Testing the new LED100WA-56 Light with Bowens Softbox Mount
In reply to Bretal, 11 months ago

The build is all metal and VERY rugged.   The light, itself, is recessed.  So, there is little or no danger of breaking the light as there is with protruding hot lights or modeling lamps.

As a person that currently has...

3 Photoflex 3200K Starlite (hot lights)

1 Photoflex 650w/s Starflash

1 Photoflex 300w/s Starflash

3 Photoflex 100w/s Starflash

3 Interfit 200w/s EXD200 (Used for remotes and lighting training)

2 Interfit 300w/s Stellar Extreme (Battery Powered)

and Colortran and Lowel lights in the past...

I feel these lights should hold up very well.  Again, my only complaint is that the mount cannot slide back and forth to better balance for large softboxes.  But, they are plenty rugged.

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chkproductions
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Re: Testing the new LED100WA-56 Light with Bowens Softbox Mount
In reply to Tom Meeks, 11 months ago

Tom

Thanks for this posting.  I have been most interested in LED lights so your post and the link to the seller is very helpful.

I have been thinking to use LEDs as gentle fill lights and edge lights for the architectural interiors I have coming up, as I now use strobes.  LEDs might be an easier method it they could work.  If you have some time, I would be most interested in your daylight test, but rather than using just your LED to light the scene, mix it with some window daylight effecting the scene, then WB in post for the real daylight.  I am interested how well your light balances with real daylight or if CC gels would be needed.

Cheers

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Tom Meeks
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Re: Testing the new LED100WA-56 Light with Bowens Softbox Mount
In reply to chkproductions, 11 months ago

That sounds light a great test!  I'll try to get to it soon.

In the meantime, I did do a bit of a quirky test.  I ran a light off the Paul Huff Vagabond-Mini.  It works!  I just don't know how long it will drive the lights and what damage might be done to either one as the power fades.  But, at least I know if fires up off the Vagabond and runs at least for a few minutes.  I am going to pursue this further.

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rockjano
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Thanks for the test....
In reply to Tom Meeks, 11 months ago

I am also very interested

This could be the first cool light which can be used as hard light or with soft box/umbrella as soft light as well....

I would be VERY interested about the amount of light it gives.

Could you measure it and compare it to a halogen bulb???

Do you have a light meter???

Theoretically the 100W LED should equal an 1000W halogen but the reality is that they are a lot weaker I am afraid

rockjano

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Tom Meeks
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Re: Thanks for the test....
In reply to rockjano, 11 months ago

I have a light meter; but, all it gives me is the f-stop relative to shutter speed and ISO.  It does not give me lumens as far as I remember.  At about four feet the numbers are:

1/100

ISO 800

f4

My Photoflex lights have been loaned out.  But, I remembered that we have am old style hot light that I believe has a 1000w bulb in it.  So, I'll try to get you a comparable reading tomorrow.

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Tom Meeks
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First Images with Color Checker
In reply to Tom Meeks, 11 months ago

Here is the first image taken under the LED 100WA-56 lights of a calibrated color checker with a Canon 5F MK II set to 5600K, the nominal value of the lights.

This is the image without color correction...

X-Rite Color Checker Card under LED 100WA-56 lights - No Color Correction

A quick check of the color values of neutral colors (White, Black, Gray) shows that green is consistently lower by a small margin.  The lower left white patch has an RGB value of 250,247,249.  The lower right black patch has a value of 34,22,31.

The image Color Corrected....

X-Rite Color Checker under LED 100WA-56 Lights - Color Corrected

I chose to use the middle patch in the second row from the top as my color correction selection.  I lowered the Shadows until the black had a value around 10 and raised the highlites until the whites were around 250.  The Black RGB value is 9,9,9 and the White value is 250,251,250.

My next step will be to shoot this same card with my Photoflex strobes and make a direct comparison on all the color patches.  Until that is done, there is no way to objectively talk about other colors.

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Tom Meeks
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Strobe Images for Comparison
In reply to Tom Meeks, 11 months ago

The following image as taken under Photoflex StarFlash 150w/s lighting set to 1/3 power.  There are very big differences in the levels of the output compared to even the least powerul of my monolights.  Whereas I shot at ISO 800, Shutter 1/100 at f6.3 with the LED lights, this image was taken at ISO 100, Shutter 1/100 at f9!

So, make no mistake about it.  You will need a camera that can do high ISO cleanly to use these lights as your primary lighting source.  But, what we are most concerned about in these tests, since the lights will be used primarily with video, is color fidelity when compared to the most commonly used studio monolights.

Here is the unprocessed image...

X-Rite Color Checker under 5600K Monolight - Unprocessed

I was a bit surprised to see that the lower left White had an RGB value of 246,246, 255 and that the lower right black RGB came in at 27,27,35.  In both cases the Red values were notably higher.

The Processed Image under Moonolight Strobes.

When color corrected using the same patch that was used to color the LED lighting, the RGB results were even more surprising than those of the unprocessed version.  The lower white RGB became 253,245,242 and the lower right black RGB became 10,8,8.

In my next post, I will try to do direct comparisons across multiple colors.

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Tom Meeks
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Color Patch Visual Comparisons between LED 100WA-56 and Strobe 5600K
In reply to Tom Meeks, 11 months ago

In the interest of time, I am simply going to show the color patches that were captured under both the LED 100WA-56 and the Photoflex 150w/s monolight (5600K).

Frankly, I am amazed that they are so close.  If monolights are our benchmark, as the most common lighting being used in phoro studios, then it appears to me that these new LED lights, from a color fidelity point of view, hold up very well.  But, that is subjective and I look forward to your analysis.

Here is a series of patches for comparison.

Row 1 of the Standard Color Checker

Row 2 of the Standard Color Checke

Row 3  of the Standard Color Checker

This next series is probably the most important.  It represents saturated colors.  And, while there are some minor differences, it's obvious that one could mix the LED and Strobe with little danger of negative color casts.  Nice.

Saturated colors

I hope those of you exploring alternative lighting have found this useful.

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chkproductions
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Re: Color Patch Visual Comparisons between LED 100WA-56 and Strobe 5600K
In reply to Tom Meeks, 11 months ago

Tom - thank you very much for taking the time to do this test.  Did you use both the instrument in open face?  I think you answered some basic color questions.  Where color perception is so subjective, from what I see for my needs is that I could safely use several LED panels for gentle fill for part of a wall, cabinets, faces of furniture, dark hallway, etc in architectural interior still photography which often is a combination of many light temps.  Where I have been merging a strobe shot with available light exposures, I think the daylight color of the LEDs could be convincingly warmed where needed without getting into odd color contamination. And the LEDs are much more convenient. Now if you were trying to shoot a furniture catalog, where fabrics had to be color correct, that may present some problems.

The power output differences you noted are great though when thinking to use them as principle instruments for stills.  Although, you could gang two on a stand and shoot through or bounce. And as you said, for video it's not such a problem though.

The LED head you purchased has the best potential for light shaping vs. a flat panel as far as I can tell at this point.  Would like to see its light quality from bounce and shoot through diffusion.  And I would try to push it through a fresnel lens rigged out on the head.  I love light from fresnels.

Thanks again.

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Tom Meeks
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Re: Color Patch Visual Comparisons between LED 100WA-56 and Strobe 5600K
In reply to chkproductions, 11 months ago

I don't know how the LED panels compare from a color point of view.  I'm guessing they are all over the place.  But, these lights will fill a basic need that I have which is continuous lighting in a small space with enough power to support a decent video camera.  I'm very pleased.

I don't know if I included a link to a YouTube video created with these cameras.  But, here it is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg3TvWy3MTE

99% of the people following my video channel are expecting something about 3D printing... which why I go into that long explanation about the light test.

I used a Sony NEX VG20, of which I am NOT a fan because of the AVCHD format.  But, it seemed to work OK.

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rockjano
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Re: Thanks for the test....
In reply to Tom Meeks, 11 months ago

Thanks Tom

Great video!!!

I am really interested how much light this LED device can really make.

Thanks for the measurement this 1,2m (4 feet) 1/100 F4 at ISO 800 does not seems to be a lot

If you can compare it to a normal 1000W or even an 500W halogen bulb that would be very-very interesting.

But please put the same light modifier on them.

The best would be some kind of soft light the reflectors are very unreliable as I experienced.

If you can put both into the same softbox or if that is not possible use some kind of umbrella and light it indirectly...

I have a feeling that the light output of the LED devices or strongly overrated. They would be the best light source for video but is the light output enough???

Thansk

rockjano

Tom Meeks wrote:

I have a light meter; but, all it gives me is the f-stop relative to shutter speed and ISO.  It does not give me lumens as far as I remember.  At about four feet the numbers are:

1/100

ISO 800

f4

My Photoflex lights have been loaned out.  But, I remembered that we have am old style hot light that I believe has a 1000w bulb in it.  So, I'll try to get you a comparable reading tomorrow.

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rockjano
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There is a new version here...
In reply to Tom Meeks, 11 months ago

1500W - 150W   15000LM

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-1500W-Studio-LED-Video-Photo-Lighting-Head-Light-/390599743158?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5af18f16b6

1500W - 100W   11000LM

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-1000W-Studio-LED-Continuous-Light-Head-Video-Lighting-Photography-/400486969337?pt=UK_Photography_Lighting_Units&hash=item5d3ee22ff9

350W - 50W   5500LM

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-600W-Studio-LED-Video-Photo-Lighting-Head-Light-/321119129768?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ac43110a8

Seems interesting...even cheaper

jano

Tom Meeks wrote:

I have a light meter; but, all it gives me is the f-stop relative to shutter speed and ISO.  It does not give me lumens as far as I remember.  At about four feet the numbers are:

1/100

ISO 800

f4

My Photoflex lights have been loaned out.  But, I remembered that we have am old style hot light that I believe has a 1000w bulb in it.  So, I'll try to get you a comparable reading tomorrow.

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Tom Meeks
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Ordering 100WA version
In reply to rockjano, 11 months ago

I agree that the light output might be over rated.    Being under the lights they appear to be very bright; but, that's probably because of the daylight balance.

I just learned that they were working on a 200WA version.  I like the quality of the light enough to go for another.  So, I committed to buy one as my Key light.  They put up a link so that I could order it .    It's about $200+ more than the 100WA version.

The specs at the link claims 9500 lumens for the 200WA light.

I'm in a different position than many people that are looking for a set of lights.  I already have strobes and an excellent set of incandescent lights.  But, the area in which I have to work is so small that I really don't want to suffer under hot lights and I would like to be able to do a lot more demonstration videos related to the Cube 3D printer.  My YouTube following is approaching the 1000 count just with the screen capture tutorials and I'd like to step up what I am able to deliver for my blog now that Staples is carrying the Cube.

So, it makes sense for me to go ahead and invest in new, experimental lighting.  And, because I love to share what I learn, I'm happy to make what I find out available to others.

I should also note that the supplier in China has been super at communicating with me.  Fotodiox, which also carries the LED 100WA-56, has not been as good.  I have yet to hear from them on an email sent after I learned they carried them.  I'm amazed that communicating and dealing with a company in China is easier than dealing with one in the states.  Go figure! 

I understand that I will be probably getting the first LED 200WA-56.  So, they've said it will take a few weeks to arrive.  But, as soon as it does, I'll run it through its paces.  This is an important form factor for LED lighting and probably the wave of the future.

The incandescent light at my work, that I mentioned earlier, turns out to be 500W.

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Tom Meeks
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Great find!
In reply to rockjano, 11 months ago

Just as we expected!  LED in a monolight form factor is going to be VERY popular!

Nice find!

I hope someone takes the time to run some tests for all of us.

The ones you found don't appear to need a ballast box.  I know the company to which I consult is going to interested in some LED lights for video.  So, it's good that the choices are expanding.

The Photoflex LED has a 120 degree angle of light.  But, I think it will be around $1,200.00.

By the way, I ordered a LUX meter for the tests.  My Sekonic L-308S can probably do it; but, it takes a doctorate in theoretical math to figure it out!  I think String theory is easier!!!! 

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rockjano
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Re: Ordering 100WA version
In reply to Tom Meeks, 11 months ago

Hi Tom

Tom Meeks wrote:

I agree that the light output might be over rated.    Being under the lights they appear to be very bright; but, that's probably because of the daylight balance.

Well they all appear to be very bright but that tells not much about the real light output

I think these 100 - 1000 W LED's could have equal light as a 500W halogen bulb approximately, or even less it might only be equals to 250W.

A normal tungsten/halogen bulb emits about 20 lumen/watt so 1000W halogen could have 20 000 lumens.

I use CF  5X85W bulb in a softbox and the light is about equals to a 500W halogen (it should be more but that is the reality)

I just learned that they were working on a 200WA version.  I like the quality of the light enough to go for another.  So, I committed to buy one as my Key light.  They put up a link so that I could order it .    It's about $200+ more than the 100WA version.

200WA sounds quite good but the price might be a bit high (at least for me)

The specs at the link claims 9500 lumens for the 200WA light.

I'm in a different position than many people that are looking for a set of lights.  I already have strobes and an excellent set of incandescent lights.  But, the area in which I have to work is so small that I really don't want to suffer under hot lights and I would like to be able to do a lot more demonstration videos related to the Cube 3D printer.  My YouTube following is approaching the 1000 count just with the screen capture tutorials and I'd like to step up what I am able to deliver for my blog now that Staples is carrying the Cube.

Yeah that is understandable. Cool light are great CF and LED as well. I use CF for video now because it is still stronger and a lot cheaper than LED but it is slowly changing. And with CF I don't really have hard light it is always soft. For photography I use flash of course.

So, it makes sense for me to go ahead and invest in new, experimental lighting.  And, because I love to share what I learn, I'm happy to make what I find out available to others.

Thanks a lot for that.

I should also note that the supplier in China has been super at communicating with me.  Fotodiox, which also carries the LED 100WA-56, has not been as good.  I have yet to hear from them on an email sent after I learned they carried them.  I'm amazed that communicating and dealing with a company in China is easier than dealing with one in the states.  Go figure! 

Yeah I only used E-Bay yet but generally I have good experiences. Things come a bit slowly sometimes but I am in middle Europe it takes a bit more time. Their English not always very good but it is OK.

I understand that I will be probably getting the first LED 200WA-56.  So, they've said it will take a few weeks to arrive.  But, as soon as it does, I'll run it through its paces.  This is an important form factor for LED lighting and probably the wave of the future.

Sure, cool sun type of light in a bowens mount small form factor is the best. I could use all of my light modifiers I have a lot of softboxes, BD's umbrellas, reflectors etc...

The incandescent light at my work, that I mentioned earlier, turns out to be 500W.

If you can measure the light and compare it to the LED that would be interesting. Don't measure it directly but indirectly to a wall or similar. Put the light meter onto a stand or similar so it does not move...

One more question..how loud is the fan??? could be a problem with video if it is too loud...

Thanks

jano

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rockjano
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Re: Great find!
In reply to Tom Meeks, 11 months ago

Tom Meeks wrote:

Just as we expected!  LED in a monolight form factor is going to be VERY popular!

Yeah..the interesting thing is that with these light there is not one big LED panel (consisting a lot of smaller ones of course) but a lot of smaller ones.

The strongest one (150W) they say emits 15 000 LM which is nice close to the light of a 1000W halogen.

Nice find!

I hope someone takes the time to run some tests for all of us.

The ones you found don't appear to need a ballast box.  I know the company to which I consult is going to interested in some LED lights for video.  So, it's good that the choices are expanding.

Chinese manufacturers will sweep the floor with these. It just fits them very well, not very complicated to make, they can make it cheap.

The Photoflex LED has a 120 degree angle of light.  But, I think it will be around $1,200.00.

By the way, I ordered a LUX meter for the tests.  My Sekonic L-308S can probably do it; but, it takes a doctorate in theoretical math to figure it out!  I think String theory is easier!!!! 

I don't think that the Sekonic is that complicated I use a similar. You have to set ISO time and blende and that is it.

jano

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