Here are some inexpensive alternatives for flexible LED light panels.
One piece of lighting equipment that comes in handy time and time again is the flexible LED lighting panel. These things are cool to the touch, lightweight, and can be flown, placed, and wrapped pretty much anywhere you want them to go. However, units like the Westcott Flex will completely burn a hole in your pocket at $2000 a pop for a 2x2, so are there any cheap alternatives for indie filmmakers on a budget?
In this video, Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter demos four flexible LED panels that won't cost you a dime over $200. Check it out below:
The obvious comparison with the lights in Pike's video is the Westcott Flex, which is hands down one of the best lighting units of its kind. The only major problem with it is that it's probably prohibitively expensive for many of us, but, as Pike demonstrates, there are alternatives:
- Travor 1×1 FL-3030
- Travor 1×2 FL-3060
- Falcon Eyes RX-12 432 Chips
- Falcon Eyes RX-18 792 Chips
Not only are these lights powerful, lightweight, and flexible, the quality of the light is really impressive and seem to stand up well to other more expensive units. But they do have some drawbacks. Some produce an obnoxious crunching sound when you move them around, which could be an issue if you try to adjust them mid-shot. Also, they don't keep their shape as well as the Westcott Flex, but Pike makes a good point that addresses this problem. He says that while the flexibility of the light is a great feature, most filmmakers tend to use them like any traditional light (putting them in a frame and hanging them up), and the real appreciation for the unique form factor is due to their portability and weight.
Have you used any inexpensive flexible LED panel like the ones Pike demos in his video? What are some other units we should check out? Let us know down in the comments.