Best Compact Pocket LED Lights for Portable Lighting Setups
Published 29th October 2019
What do you do when you need to shoot on location with a constant light source? Use a compact LED light that’s powerful enough to get your job done, yet small enough to carry around easily. There’s a lot of different pocket LED lights out there, so we’re going to look at the best compact LED light options in this article.
Useful for both photo and video shoots, the Boling BL-P1 RGB 2500-8500K Pocket LED Video Light runs off a powerful internal lithium battery that can give 120 minutes operation at full output power. This pocket LED light is also equipped with an intelligent temperature control protection system, which makes sure the light doesn’t overheat if placed under unexpected temperature conditions.
It also boasts extremely accurate colour reproduction. As well as the full-colour temperature range of 2500k-8500k, it is capable of producing a vast amount of RGB colours ranging from dark purples and blues, all the way to vibrant reds and yellows.
It also has special effect lighting built-in, such as TV light, ambulance lights, lightning, and candlelight, so it can be pretty useful in a lot of special lighting effect scenarios.
Another bonus is the heavy-duty build quality (which is essential in gear that is travelling around a lot) of high-strength aviation aluminium and the multiple mounting points. It packs all these features into only 260 grams of weight.
It’s not meant as a portrait light, but it can be used as one in a pinch if you use an umbrella or other light modifiers. All in all, this compact and lightweight compact LED light will make a valuable part of your portable lighting setup.
This nifty piece of kit really is a pocket rocket! The Sokani X21 Compact LED Video Light is around the size of a credit card, thinner than many similar-sized compact LED lights, and weighs a mere 100 grams. It comes with a padded carry case that has a handy carabiner clip to go on your bag or belt for ease of use.
This pocket LED light is made from strong but lightweight aluminium, which has a durability, strength and heat dissipation advantage over plastic casings. It also comes with a screw thread adapter for easy fitting to light stands etc. The threaded screw fitting and hot shoe mount include a ball head adaptor that can be adjusted up to 360 degrees so you can get exactly the right lighting angle.
The power in the Sokani X21 is provided by a built-in 1600mAh rechargeable lithium battery and 21 high-efficiency bulbs. The brightness is adjustable in two ways - fine-tune in single increments from 1-100%, or use the plus and minus buttons on the side of the light.
One of the unique features of this compact LED light is the diffuser and gel filters that are included with it. You can change the colour temperature of the light with the two magnetic 3200K soft diffusers in white or orange. There are 12 extra colour gel filters for you to get creative with, and you can use all the filters individually or combined to cast different lights.
One of the other benefits of this light is that it can be set up very quickly when you need extra light in a hurry, and it can be used as a key or fill light.
The Sokani X21 is very well priced at $71.99 AUD, which means that those on a budget can afford to get this pocket LED light as part of a decent portable lighting setup.
Aputure boast that the Aputure Amaran AL-MX CRI95+ Portable Mini LED Fill Light is more powerful than any other compact LED light of its size.
It’s around the same size as a credit card and weighs 278 grams, yet it packs a big punch in LUX (brightness) rating. It produces 2400LUX at 0.3 metres, 880LUX at 0.5 metres, and 200LUX at 1 metre.
As far as colour temperature goes, the AL-MX has a 5-step adjustable colour temperature range from 2800-6500K, which gives it a bigger range and more creative flexibility for your shoots.
This pocket LED light is made of aviation-grade aluminium for strength and lightness and has a very efficient heat sink to protect it in all kinds of conditions. It also has a ¼ screw and universal cold shoe mount to make it easy to install on cameras and light stands.
The AL-MX has a built-in lithium rechargeable battery and lasts around 1 hour at full power output, and 4 hours on minimum power.
When you need a bit of extra lighting power, this LED light has a bonus Boost option that gives you 30% more light above maximum brightness and can be operated at 60-second intervals.
Whichever LED lighting you choose will depend on your budget and the type of environment you want to use them in. All of the lights above have some great features that are not limited to portability, and you should probably also ask yourself what type of shooting are you looking to do.
Compact LED lights are great for shooting video and are an important part of many vloggers and filmmaker’s lighting kit. They can be used as key or fill lights to supplement other lighting and can be used for filming weddings, shooting products or adding lighting effects.
While these lights can be used for photography, you will get more power out of a hotshoe flash for location shoots. However, a flash isn’t always what you need or want (especially when shooting in the dark), and these LED panels offer continuous lighting - which is a bonus for seeing how your subject is going to be lit before you press the shutter.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours, but any of the compact LED lights mentioned above will make a useful addition to your portable lighting setup.For more photography lighting and equipment, visit our main page www.hypop.com.au.