Godox started out making major waves in the still photo space but recently has started moving aggressively on the motion picture continuous lighting territory. Their next step in that direction is the TL60 RGB Tube Light.

It's roughly two feet long, has both on-unit menu controls and a robust app as well as a built-in battery. It all comes wrapped up in a very slick protective case. And it's only $239, which is just nuts.

The biggest challenge for Godox here is to stand out in an increasingly competitive market for affordable tube lights. RGB, built-in FX, and a built-in battery are becoming standard at the affordable price point. Though Godox is taking "affordable" to a whole new place. Which begs the question, which features are the ones that will make this unit stand out from the rest aside from price?

While Godox has decided to let go of weatherproofing compared to competitors, they have included two major features that make this light stand out—DMX, which is very nice, and even better, a good app.

Nofilmschool_godox_tl60-2On-unit controls are simple and intuitive.

First off, the app is called Godox Light and is available for iOS and Android devices.

Developing an app can be difficult for light manufacturers. You need to keep it current to all the different flavors of Android, and even on iOS, it needs to work on all the recent models of iPads and iPhones. Not only does it need to be compatible, but it needs to be easy to use, reliable, and have an initiative menu.

If your app works well on test day but fails repeatedly on shoot days, filmmakers won't forget it. And this is speaking from experience. There is a light company that we spent a full day testing then took to set for a shoot, and the app failed. We tried four phones and three iPads. No dice. We've never forgiven them. 


In all of our testing, the Godox app was very easy to set up, easy to understand, and worked reliably test after test. Its strength is in its simplicity. It's not trying to do insanely complicated things like creating a lighting diagram from a photograph or pixel map a video onto the tube. It just lets you control the parameters from your app instead of the on-unit menu. In this case, simple is good. Leave out features we're rarely going to need and focus on giving us the control we can use.

In our dream world, someone would make a master app that would tie all the different fixtures together so we can sync Hive Wasp with Aputure and Godox fixtures, etc. While that single app doesn't exist yet, in the pure software/Bluetooth space, there is a technology that allows it, and that's DMX.

DMX is a lighting standard started in the theater industry but is very popular on film sets as it allows you to remotely control lighting units from a single interface.

There are also several popular DMX apps, like Luminair and Blackout, that are wonderful. The Godox TL60 RGB Tube Light includes a DMX interface. At the price point, they could easily have skipped DMX control, but they didn't and that is appreciated. This is going to make the unit more appealing for those doing low-budget stage builds who want to invest in a passel of tubes and control them together.

Nofilmschool_godox_tl60-4Ethernet DMX connectors.

While these seem like secondary concerns, they are actually central to what makes an RGB light functional on a film set.

RGB lights offer so many options, and how you control them and how easy they are to tweak is what makes them useful. These little tubes are lightweight and battery-powered so you can kind of stick them anywhere, but once you've placed them, you want to be able to tweak them without touching the unit. And you can really do that with their remote control options.

Nofilmschool_godox_tl60-5Handy clamp.

The light itself is super bright and offers a pleasing amount of color saturation. In our battery rundown tests, we got about three hours at full brightness doing an RGB cycle, but conditions with batteries will vary.

Working outside in the cold will shorten battery life, and it will shorten over the years you own them. I usually think of the internal batteries on these things as good for 20-30 minutes. That gives me a good margin of safety. If I will use it for more than an hour, I find a way to plug it in, but if you're running outside for a quick walk and talk, your battery ought to be fine.


In terms of criticisms, we only have a few. The 1% dim setting was still surprisingly bright. Of course, you rarely need to dim the unit down that low, but sometimes depending on what you are doing it's nice to have a super low dim setting with a nice transition to full darkness, for a tiny bit of fill when hiding the unit somewhere.

This can of course be overcome by wrapping the unit in some diffusion, so it's by no means a deal-breaker, but it is noticeable. The lack of an official weatherproofing setting doesn't seem like a major hindrance. Based on the design of the light, you could still work in light rain if you bagged both ends. The DMX port and the menu controller look like the major area to worry about leaks. 

As of now, we're hoping they'll be rolling out some longer lengths soon.

The TL60 RGB Tube Light is available for $239 and also comes in different kits of two or four light fixtures.