SmallRig's new Daylight and Bi-Color LED Lights are here to offer usability and affordability. But is that enough to entice filmmakers?
SmallRig has made a name for itself with affordable camera rigs and other accessories. Recently, the Chinese company has added lights to compete with the likes of Aputure, Godox, and Nanlite.
Now, SmallRig has two new lights on offer, the SmallRig RC450D for daylight and the RC450B for Bi-Color. Let's take a look!
SmallRig RC450 Daylight and RC450 Bi-Color Features
SmallRig introduced the RC450 Daylight and Bi-Color COB LED Video Lights alongside two others, the RC350 (we'll focus on the RC450 models). The company is using a new technology known as AstralTech Optical System, which it claims will offer 35% higher output vs. lights from its competition.
The AstralTech Optical System features larger LED chips and a customized high transmission multi-coated front glass. SmallRig says the RC450B (Bi-Color) will produce 121,000 LUX at 1 meter (3.3 feet) with a 55-degree hyper reflector, and the RC450D (Daylight) produces 172,000 LUX at 1 m (3.3 ft) with a 55-degree hyper reflector.
You can control both RC450 LED Video Lights with the onboard controls, which have an LCD display, or wirelessly up to 100 m (328 ft) away at 2.4GHz via the SmalGoGo app. That distance is quite impressive. There is also the option of using the Control Panel, which is optional.
One question you may have is, are these lights quiet? They need to stay cool, so there are onboard fans to dissipate the heat. The good news is it produces a nice and quiet 28dB to 32dB of sound. While it won't be perfectly silent, it should fade into any room noise you may have.
This should make these lights a great option for studio use or in the field for any project creatives are working on—film, broadcast, corporate, news, events, etc.
How Do They Stack Up Against the Competition?
Inevitably, you're going to ask yourself if either of these lights is worth a purchase, especially if you're in the market for new lights.
The answer is yes, but it will depend on your budget and what ecosystem you're already tapped into.
SmallRig's new LEDs are priced competitively. The RC450D (Daylight) retails for $999, while the RC450B (Bi-Color) sells for $1,099. While you're getting some pretty powerful lights with plenty of options, what you're willing to spend should always be at the top of your mind. And let's be honest, one light may not suffice.
Similar lights on the market include those from Aputure, such as the LS 600d Pro, Daylight ($1,499), and the LS 600x Pro, the Bi-Color option ($1,599).
Litepanels' Astra 6X Bi-Color LED Panel sells for $1,116, and the Astra 6X Daylight LED Panel will set you back $1,068. The features these competitors offer are very much identical, but Aputure and Litepanels' offerings have been around for a while and have been used and abused worldwide. So comparing apples to apples, SmallRig's RC450D and RC450B are priced less than Aputure but similar to Litepanels.
Adopting a New Kit
The lighting market is bursting with options, especially for creatives on a budget. While SmallRig is coming into the market with hefty competition, they do have a lot of experience manufacturing camera gear. However, this may not apply to the intricate circuitry of lighting. How these new lights perform in the field remains to be seen.
But with the accessories experience SmallRig already has, we're confident that the company can pivot if things aren't up to par. At the very least, this will cause a surge in the market for better lights, ensuring that the winner in this lighting war will always be the filmmaker.
Let us know if you'll consider the new SmallRig RC450D and RC450B COB LED Video Lights in the comments!