August 6, 2016 at 8:01PM, Edited August 6, 8:03PM

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Dracast LED 1000 Plus vs. Litepanels Astra/Astra Soft (1x1)

Hi all, I'm going to be replacing one of my older LED lights with a newer daylight (5600K) 1x1 panel, and I'm trying to decide between the Dracast 1000 LED Plus and the Litepanels Astra 1X1 (the 4X brighter than original) daylight versions.

I like how the Dracast has the digital display panel on the back (vs. just the knobs on the Astra), however I like the way the power supply mounts on the yoke with the Astra.

They both appear to be powerful lights (for 1x1 LEDs), with similar specs in terms of photometrics and color accuracy (with Dracast claiming a CRI of >95 and the Astra with TLCI of 95 according to their website).

I plan to use this new light primarily as a key light for single-person interviews with a softbox attached for location shoots or maybe just by placing diffusion in the front (using one of the ScrimJims I have) for nice soft lighting. Chimera makes a soft box for the Dracast 1X1 ($285.00) and Litepanels has the Snapbag Softbox ($260.00) for the Astra.

The Dracast is a bit cheaper, at $958.00 at B&H, with a bunch of freebies being thrown in right now including barn doors, V-mount battery, a light stand and a honeycomb grid, while the Astra is a bit more at $1170 without any extras.

There's also the newer Astra SOFT 1x1, not as powerful in terms of photometrics, but it looks like I could do without the softbox or diffusion panels then, making it much more convenient and quick in terms of setup and portability. While it's a bit more expensive ($1620), it's a newer bi-color panel and I wouldn't need to spend the money on a softbox for it. My main concern with this light is that it may not be as versatile for any other types of lighting setups as the other two panels, although my primary purpose is soft interview lighting.

Does anyone have a recommendation or advice regarding which of these three daylight panels would be best in terms of my primary purpose (single-person soft interview lighting) as well as feedback regarding versatility, build quality, etc.? Has anyone on here used any of these models and can share their thoughts on them?

Thanks in advance.

3 Comments

Unfortunately I don't have any experience with the lights you are deciding between, but I am in a similar position, trying to decide which LED fixture to get. I however, am leaning heavily towards the Aputure Lightstorm LS 1s, which seems to have a comparable output (to Astra/Dracast), CRI (same) and not too shabby construction - for only 700$. Comes with a V-mount or AB-mount, controls are separate from the head, fanless.

Can anyone here convince me I would be making a mistake? What do litepanels do better?

August 8, 2016 at 9:33PM

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Hi! I can tell you that all the rental places around here have the Litepanels Astra, and the units can take a beating, If you are serious about it, go for them :) They are really powerful and I think that the manual knobs are really wonderful if you compare them to digital buttons, I can navigate the manual knobs of the Astra with my eyes closed :)

August 11, 2016 at 2:09PM

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John - I don't recommend adjusting lights with your eyes closed. Just kidding...

Dave Patterson

November 5, 2016 at 12:19PM

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