April 19, 2016 at 11:13AM, Edited April 19, 11:18AM


Daylight or Tungsten LEDs?

What is the best way to go... A tungsten balanced LED (and use a CTB gel) or Daylight balanced light (and use a CTO gel)?


In terms of color it's usually best to start with a Tungsten LED and convert it to daylight. ( older tungsten LED lights always had better color than daylight LED lights, but I think this is all changed with the better quality new LED lights )

I mostly shoot in daylight conditions so I want the brightest daylight LED light I can get which is going to be a daylight balanced LED light.

Some of the new bi-color LED lights maintain accurate color from tungsten to daylight, but they are going to be half as bright when fully tungsten or fully daylight. ( because half of their LEDs are going to be OFF )

April 19, 2016 at 11:59AM, Edited April 19, 12:00PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Thanks Guy!

Grant Reinero

April 19, 2016 at 1:17PM

Picking up where Guy left off, don't even think about using old LEDs from yesteryear. If you don't have the tools you need to do original research, start by learning from others' good research: http://nofilmschool.com/2016/04/led-lights-comparison-review-color-shootout

That will start you off with a decent CRI. Once you have a decent light source, you need to think about a good fit with your environment and your sensor. All things being equal, a daylight balance should give better sensor performance and color fidelity than tungsten. That's probably the answer to the second part of your question.

The third part of your question, which is fitting the light to the environment is more art than science. But generally if you have lots of tungsten sources, another tungsten-balanced source is not going to mess things up. If you have mixed lighting, you can potentially afford to roll the dice. If you have daylight lighting, decide whether you want to match that, or if you want to create a contrast, the way a tungsten practical throws "warm" light.

April 19, 2016 at 4:34PM


On the lower cost end of things I've been very impressed with the new "ultra-slim" LED lights from CAME-TV. One of the places where I work picked up a few of the 576D panels for quick interview shoots and I found the color is great, especially for skin-tones. The panels are all metal but still quite light weight, they can run on Sony L batteries or AC, and are roughly 8x8 inches square which makes them easy to pack.

CAME-TV Ultra Slim LED lights

April 20, 2016 at 7:18AM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Grant, daylight LED's would be a great choice if you don't have the budget to get a higher end bicolor unit like an arri sky panel or some flavor of remote phosphor LED with both daylight and tungsten panels. There is a strategic advantage in starting with 5600K and gelling to tungsten. There is an approximate savings of %30 output VS gelling from Tungsten to daylight. This is one of the reasons why LED's are so great as a new option for achieving better daylight output per watt.

As a side note, tungsten incandescent lights are still killer! There is nothing wrong with them minus the power factor. For a small interview setup, tungsten hot lights are still really easy and an excellent choice.

April 25, 2016 at 9:58PM

Casey Schmidt
Film stuff.

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