June 7, 2015 at 3:34PM, Edited June 7, 3:35PM


Adjustable color temperature LED lighting for low-to-no budget stop motion

I'm currently setting up a studio in my home to work on stop motion animation ; the main roadblock I have right now is what kind of lighting set up I should use, specifically one that can allow for a shift in Kelvin settings to match the color temp of the pre-filmed background.

Keep in mind that this is a VERY DIY setup, right down to the light stands made out of PVC pipe, Home Depot work lamps and clamps. I don't have a lot of money on me so I have to work within a double to triple digit budget.


Low cost bi-color LED lights have very poor color reproduction, and will introduce color shifts as the color temperature is adjusted.

I would go with low cost high CRI LED lights and then manually filter them with CTO or CTB lighting gels to get the color temp you want.

Aputure Amaran AL-H160 CRI95+ LED Light : $48 US

June 9, 2015 at 7:37AM, Edited June 9, 7:40AM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Also, almost forgot to ask, will they work with my PVC stands?

KK Akuoku

June 11, 2015 at 2:46PM

I'm diggin it, Guy; they look like they can hold their own in a studio, but is there any other way to get them besides going on EBay?

June 11, 2015 at 1:41PM


I haven't seen them at any other place online ( unless you buy directly from Aputure ), but you might find them in local stores. I live in Toronto and I can buy them from a store that advertises on Craig's List, or from a large Photographic store in town but they want almost 4 times the eBay price.

I've bought tons of items from eBay and never had a problem with delivery, other than having to wait up to one month for items coming from China to arrive.

Guy McLoughlin

June 11, 2015 at 11:15PM

I too have found Aputure LED lighting instruments good. I have a trio of the 528w instruments, and they're really good for interviews and medium shots. They do make a colour-variable version, but I've not tried those. Henrys.com sells Aputure gear for about the same price as I've found on eBay.

June 12, 2015 at 12:23AM

Minor Mogul

I run a forum devoted to stop motion. There hasn't been a lot of enthusiasm for cheap LED lighting there, because many people have found that they run into flicker problems -- it's typically not visible to the eye while animating, but shows up when you play back the frames because of slight shifts in brightness over the hours. This is a particularly prevalent issue with battery-powered LED lights, but cheap lights that plug into the wall can have similar problems.

I haven't tried any of the brands named by others here, so I can't say if that's an issue that will come up or not with these specific lights. It's not an issue that every brand has, and in fairness, the more professional stop motion sets I've been on tend to use LED lighting, just more expensive options.

I typically rely on compact fluorescent bulbs, as do most of the stop motion hobbyists I know. To get around the color temperature issue, you'd need multiple sets of bulbs or some lighting gels.

June 13, 2015 at 10:37PM, Edited June 13, 10:39PM

Philip Heinrich
Director, Producer

Came-tv do very affordable led panel lights with high cri and bi colour controls. Came-tv.com

June 14, 2015 at 7:46AM

Gino Lynch

Why not something like this in a desklamp with flexible neck, and some cardboard barn doors?
They work spectacularly well in a chinaball for soft lights, all you need to do is custom white balance the camera to the light before shooting, and before adding gels for colour effects.
They're available in 3000K and 6000K

July 11, 2015 at 5:07AM

Stewart Fairweather

mee too i suggest fixed color light and add gel to color light, if you not go on very expansive led panel, dimmable color panel are too much incontrollable to use seriously, by a fixed 5500, add 30$ of gels and you are happy.
bicolor led mean 600 = 300 led cold and 300 led warm, when you change color you change proportion between warm and cold, that mean when you change intensity you change color, and if you have a fixed color you can correct with a gel, a variable color cannot be corrected.

January 29, 2016 at 3:41PM

Carlo Macchiavello

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