Monolight options have grown in the last few years. From Aputure, Godox, Nanlite, and recently SmallRig, the fixture has been ubiquitous. From narrative projects to corporate work and even live events, you can throw a rock on any of these sets and find a monolight.

But Aputure, the company that made them so popular, is now updating its most affordable line. The amaran COB S Series now offers the same fixtures but with a better COB chip to give creatives that much more accuracy and clarity. 

This includes the amaran 60, 100, and 200 series of lights.

Here’s what you need to know.

The Same, But Better

To start, only one thing about these lights is new. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? While some creatives would have loved for some updated features, the new S series remains the same, save for a new LED chipset. 

The entire amaran monolight series will feature a completely reengineered dual-blue LED chipset, and an S designation to output reliable color-accurate light. 

Aputure amaran 100x and 100d S Seriesamaran 100x and 100d S SeriesCredit: Aputure

The Daylight-balanced S Series fixtures will offer a super high SSI (D56) of 86, which is a 19% increase over the original models. For the bicolor S Series lights, creatives will discover an SSI (D56) of 87, which is an increase of 17.5%.

Aputure amaran 60d and 60x S Seriesamaran 60d and 60x S SeriesCredit: Aputure

However, the best feature to come to these lights is an SSI (tungsten) of 90, which Aputure claims will make them nearly spectrally indistinguishable from actual tungsten sources. 

According to Aputure, this redesign will allow the S Series to reproduce more pleasing skin tones, which in the early days of LED was almost an impossibility to achieve.

Do You Need These Lights?

If you’re a budget filmmaker or are looking to expand your studio setup without breaking the bank, the Aputure amaran COB monolights are a worthy investment. They won’t withstand a beating like their more expensive Aputure siblings, but the cost savings can’t be ignored. 

However, if you already had a set of either the 60, 100, or 200 series, the upgrade might not be justified if you don’t have the scratch since the original line is still an impressive piece of kit for the price. 

Aputure amaran S Series Monolight

New Release
  • Pictured: amaran 200d S
  • For Video Production & Vlogging
  • High Output
  • AC or Battery Power
  • Onboard & App Control
  • CRI 96 | TLCI 99 | SSI 86
  • Active Cooling
  • Bowens S Accessory Mount
  • 8 Preset Special Effects
  • Includes Reflector, Power Supply & Bag
60d S

Having said that, it’s amazing to see that Aputure is supporting its budget-conscious clients with new updates, and if you have the money, these new updates may be the next step in your upgrade path. Or you could save some money by getting the original versions which are bound to be on sale now. 

But what do you think? Would you upgrade to these lights just for the new chipset? Let us know in the comments!

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