Powerful and Portable Lights Under $200
As we ease into fall, the photo sessions and available light we find will dissipate as those days start to get shorter again. With that in mind, we wanted to share some lighting ideas, for anyone.
These lights are all plug (or charge up) and play, continuous lights are quite easy to get started with, and the featured items below are great for a variety of uses, practical and creative!
Let’s break it down!
CALLING ALL VLOGGERS
We say Vloggers, but really, anyone who wants super portable lights for small sessions, video interviews or even to light yourself up for a zoom session. These selects have you covered!
This light has a broad color temperature range from 3200 to 9500K, this lets you dial in the color of that light, as close as possible to any ambient light in the room. Its maximum light output will be at 5500K. The controls offer minute steps to change the output with ease.
The AL-MW is the brightest, most rugged mini LED that Aputure has ever made. Featuring a massive 6000 lux output, perhaps one of the brightest outputs we’ve seen on a light so small. It also boasts a 24hrs non-stop battery life, as well as the ability to go 10 meters underwater. Rated at 5600k for color temperature.
The Phottix Nuada S Softlight LED Panel is perfect for event photographers and videographers. At only 7.5” x 5” it's easy to use hand-held, on the camera hot shoe, or on a light stand. This is a bi-color light with a range from 3300K - 5600K.
GET YOUR RING LIGHT ON
Ring lights have so many applications, including vlogging and zoom sessions, as well it makes a great light option for a photo booth for parties! I have to admit, I do really enjoy the ring light selfie on occasion, what is it about those round catchlights that gets us? We may never know!
If you have been contemplating a ring light, here are a few of our fave options.
This is a great, tabletop ring light option, that includes a cell phone holder, and mini tripod. Offering 3 tones of light from bright cool to a blending of cool and warm to warm, and ten adjustable levels of light.
This AC-powered Ring Light is easy to set up, plug in and power up. The power and light controls are right on the front, providing quick access to change settings in a flash. This kit also includes 2 phone mounts and even a mirror. This light has a color temperature range from 2700K to 5600K, allowing you to balance most indoor light tones.
This kit from Westcott includes options to mount a mobile phone or traditional camera up to 10 pounds. As well as a stand, batteries and carrying bag. The dial to change light output is easily accessed near where the camera/phone is mounted. You can use this at home, or on location, with ac power or battery power. Its color temperature range is 3200K - 5600K.
GET CREATIVE WITH COLOR
Want a bit more versatility? Perhaps you would like to add a splash of color to your work. These combo LED options let you go from bi-color options to a broad spectrum of colors. These are fantastic options for more creative portraits, product photography, and of course light painting!
The MC is Aputure’s first light to include full Hue, Saturation, & Intensity (HSI) color control. With 360° of hue and 100 levels of saturation adjustment, you have the power to conveniently reproduce any color, all in the palm of your hand.
Use this one on or off camera! The pocket-sized light allows you to adjust hue and saturation from 360 colors when in RGB mode, and the color temperature is adjustable from 2500 to 8500K. | The integrated 2410mAh battery charges using the included USB Type-C cable, and it lasts about 2.5 hours when at 100% power.
The Nanlite PavoTube LED Tube is an amazingly portable versatile lighting fixture that features 0 to 100% dimming with maximum illumination of 520 lumens (183Lux @ 1m) at 5600K, as well as a full spectrum RGB. The PavoTube is also available in 2' & 4'.
This wand is a ton of fun for creative portraits, light painting, or adding unique light to your photos or video. Use this in bi-color mode to achieve cool or warm light, or dial into 200 separate colors, each can also be adjusted for both hue and saturation. Pair with the free Savage Light Manager app, available for Android or IOS.
Portrait of Devin Belmain, uses a blend of ring light and NanLite PavoTubes, by Kate Hailey.
Pike Place Market, during the holidays, light painting using the Savage Light Wand, image by Kate Hailey.
About the Author:
Kate Hailey is a freelance portrait photographer and photo educator based in Seattle, WA. Kate also runs Glazer's event programming. Follow Kate on IG!