I have received a few questions about how bright the LEDs are and how far they reach. I am going to to answer those questions by showing some pictures and in the future posting a video. In general I think that actual feel or brightness of any light is hard to convey over the web. And I especially have issue with the term “range”.
Here are two common questions
1.) how bright are the LEDs?
2.) what is the total range of the LEDs?
For reference the Camerabright website states their standard model X1-R has the following specs:
Beam/Lens: Slender Beam
Color Temperature: ~6000 Kelvin
Light Output: 36 candelas
Range (max): 12 ft.
Coverage Area @ 10 ft.: 5 ft. x 5 ft.
Primary Use: General photography and videography.
These specs bring up questions of my own. If 36 candelas is the light output, at what range is that light output measured?
And if the max range is 12 ft, how bright is it at that distance?
These will be hard for me to explain in the Prodmod version or compare to Camerabright.
But here are simple specs I think we can talk more clearly about.
The X1-R from camera bright is slender.
The ProdMod Camera Light was designed to be wide angle. This is because I personally didn’t like the spotlight effect of a focused beam and wanted the light to fill the screen more for video shots.
Color Temperature: ~6000 Kelvin
Both Camerabright and Prodmod are in the same color range.
Well, I can say that the specified luminous intensity of each LED in the Prodmod light are 3000 mcd. So is that 3 candela, and a total of 9 candela for 3 LEDs? I don’t know what the Camerabright uses, but if they claim 36 candela and have 4 LEDs does that mean each LED is 9 candela? I am honestly not sure if candelas should be multiplied but I do know that an LED can seem brighter when it focuses all of its light into a narrow beam rather than a wide one. Lets say two LEDs have the same light energy output and even use the same 20mA of current. One of them has a viewing angle of 20 degrees and the other an angle of 60 degrees. The 20 degree LED will have a higher millicandela or luminous intensity rating than the wider angle LED.
So flashlight LEDs typically have high brightness because they focus all of there light energy into a tightly focused narrow beam. The ProdMod light only has 3 LEDs and they were specifically chosen for the wider angle and therefore are not as bright. But the real question is what’s better for a photograph or video, illuminating the center of your image with a bright light (probably blinding people) or illuminating most of your image with a less bright light. It’s your preference I guess.
Before I confuse you or say the wrong thing I’ll refer you to another reference where this is better explained. Let’s move on.
Camerabright has a 5ft x 5ft circle at a distance of 10 feet
Prodmod has a a 5ft x 5ft circle at a distance of only 6 feet
This basically backs up the slender vs wide angle difference. The Prodmod light creates a larger coverage area at a shorter distance than the Camerabright. So at 6ft away the light would fill more of your shot. But a focused beam like the Camerabright would get more narrow at only a 6ft difference and create a smaller coverage area. And the closer you get the smaller it gets- thus the spotlight effect.
Primary Use: I think its safe to say they can both be used for photography and video. However the Prodmod light with its wide angle is better suited for video, in my opinion.
Price: Oh yeah, so if you are savvy with a soldering iron the Prodmod light only sets you back $9.99 instead of $30++
Ok. So now for a photo
In the above photo the room was completely dark. The Prodmod Light was positioned 6ft from the wall and the camera was positioned above and behind the light to capture the circular edge of the light beam. A row of paper marked in feet was the photo subject. The black box to the left indicated the first edge of the first page or 0 feet. The circle extends to a soft edged 5 ft.
The camera (Panasonic Lumix) was set for 4:3 format. If the camera was positioned normally above the camera you wouldn’t see less of the dark edge or you could at least crop only a little to get rid of the edge. This was one of the main goals in designing the Prodmod Camera Light. Actually the edge is pretty soft which I also like.
** By the way this is ProdMod isn’t it? So don’t forget that if you make your own you can easily change the angle of the outermost LEDs so they point outward a bit. Just a 5 degree angle will do. Now you will be able to illuminate more of your shot and get rid of the dark edges. I think Camerabright utilizes this technique. Adding a fourth LED will always help too.
As for brightness, I am not sure how to properly convey it in a photo because the camera was set on Auto and it compensates by opening the aperture of the camera to absorb more light given it was in an unlit room. Not to mention any digital post processing automatically handled in the camera-that’s where the noise comes from. What I will try to do in the future is set the camera to manual and use a fixed aperture and speed setting. Then maybe we can see a difference.
So you can see the photo is a bit noisy. Well at a range of 6ft you will need more than just 1/4 watt of LED power. But that’s for another Prodmod
Again if you want more light try adding a 4th LED.
Here is a photo at 3ft
I actually didn’t notice any dark areas when I was looking at this curtain but it shows up a bit in the photo. In fact I think this makes a great flashlight. The photo was taken in a bathroom where I can close out all environmental light and it lit up the whole room.
Check out the video.