Review LED-light: LedGo B160C

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CameraStuffReview has never reviewed an LED light before. High time to find out what's possible with an inexpensive, compact, starter-model LED light (LedGo B160C). LED lighting for video recording, particularly indoors, I think has become customary. With photography, LED lighting is making advances. Not everyone likes to photograph with a flash. With a flash, for example, you don't see through the viewfinder how the shot will look, which is a downside to lighting your subject. And when working with a model, the flash betrays the moment when you're taking a shot, which costs you spontaneity.

review LED licht, Ledgo B160C review, LED lights for video

Just imagine: LedGo LG-B160C

The LedGo LG-B160C is a compact LED panel with 160 LEDs sitting close together, in two different colors. The LG-B160C is delivered in a black plastic bag, with an adaptor for placing the LED light on the hot shoe of the camera, a filter set in its own bag, an adaptor for Panasonic CGR-D type battery (without the adaptor, you can use Sony NP-FH, NP-FM and NP-F batteries). Further, the bag includes a battery holder for six AA batteries or NiMH battery packs.

There is also a LedGo LG-B160C4, which consists of 4 LedGo LG-B160C panels that you can link together. The kit is good for use in the studio and is delivered including electrical connection, a base for placing the set on a tripod and a hand mount with which you can use the set as a strobe. The B160C4 kit is not much more expensive than 4 individual LED panels, but you also get the strobe control and the electrical connection for the 4 panels. The kit not only provides four times as much light, but it's also more versatile, can be used longer thanks to the electrical connection, and is more broadly applicable. If you head out with one panel, as the owner of the kit you have four charged battery packs available. 

LedGo LG-B160C power: batteries, battery pack or electrical connection

It almost can't be simpler to change the atmosphere of your photo than with the turn of a knob.

LedGo LED panels can be used in combination with an (optional) electrical connection that provides 7.2 to 12 Volt DC current, various kinds of batteries or 6 (chargeable) penlight batteries in an included battery holder. Behind the panel there is a button for checking the status of the battery: the battery indicator in the back shows with four LEDs how much energy is still available in the batteries. On the back of the LED light there are two dials, with which you can vary the intensity of the two colors of LEDs (daylight and artificial light).

achterzijde LEdGo BC 160

LedGO LG B160C vs B150C

The LedGo B160C currently costs less than a 100 euros. There is also a less expensive model available (LG B150C) with—as you probably guessed—150 LEDs instead of 160. The light production and the weight are a bit lower, but otherwise the LedGo B150C looks the same from the front as the LedGo B160C. You also get the same accessories with it. The LedGo B150C has only one dial for varying the light intensity on the back, so you have less freedom to play with the color temperature, the way the two dials on the back of the LedGo B160C allow you to do.

Mount

You secure the LedGo B160C on the hot shoe of the camera (picture shown here: no. 3). What very much appealed to me was that you can also tilt the light panel a bit upwards by turning a knob below the panel (indicated by 2). If you only use a single LED panel, then I would not use it as an alternative for indirect flash, because you then lose too much light. But for table-top photography, it was useful in some situations to be able to reduce reflections.
Through the use of a clever linkage system, you can connect multiple LED panels together, without needed a supplemental linkage. Many other LED panels have a frame, but the LedGo panels have no edge, so that you can make a seamless link between multiple panels.
LedGoadapter

Color adjustment: stepless and filters

The color temperature of LedGo's LG-B160C is smoothly adjustable from daylight (5400K) to artificial light (3200K). That's achieved by using LEDs with two different color temperatures, which can be individually dimmed with a knob on the back of the LG-B160C. You have the maximum light output at the color of TL light (4100K), where both kinds of LEDs are on at maximum. The color range, thanks to two included color filters, is further expandable to the warm glow of sunrise (2500K) to the cool colors of a cloudy day (7500K). filters LEDGO B160C
The filters are simple to click onto the LED panel with a pattern of holes in the filters. On one side, the filters have a notch that makes them simple to remove.
Because I photograph in RAW, with which you can always adjust the white balance afterwards without loss of quality, and because the use of filters always leads to a (bit) lower light output, I prefer not to use color filters.

Color reproduction LedGo B160C

Color accuracy LeDGo B160C

The shots made with a studio flash set and the LedGo resemble each other strongly. Because the light is located on the camera, the light source comes much closer to the subject than with the flash set-up that I normally use. That has the advantage that the subject is more evenly lit. With the flash shot, the flowers on the right-hand side were much darker than with the shot made with LED light, because they were further away with the flash.

Almost no light source has exactly the same spectrum as the sun. In order to indicate how accurate the color reproduction is, use is made of a scale that runs from 1 to 100. LedGo LED panels have a very high 90+ CRI color reproduction. That also shows in our practice shots and color measurements.

The accuracy of the color reproduction depends on the artificial light source, but also on the automatic white balance of the camera. Therefore, I like to work in RAW, where the white balance can be refined afterwards. Above you see a photo that we made with a Nikon D810 and the LedGo B160C. The color reproduction appears to be about as accurate as with the much more expensive review set-up that we normally use for reviewing cameras.

Move your mouse over the shot above for the result of the color reproduction of a RAW file from a Nikon D810.

Ease of Use LedGo B160C: LED light

The LedGo LG-B160C is delivered with a transparent filter ("spot") and a matte white filter ("soft light"), but in practice I found no great difference with interchanging use of these filters. In a series of shots where I wasn't keeping careful notes, I can't keep the pictures made with these two filters straight. After having played with the different color temperatures and filters, I prefer the simplest filter ("spot") with the highest light production. The color reproduction of my RAW files was surprisingly good/beautiful. I have to note here that I used the LedGo B160C at a relatively short distance. With a greater distance between light source and subject, the difference between spot and soft light can be greater.

I used the LedGo B160C with 6 rechargeable penlight batteries. The LED panel gives a surprising amount of light for such a small panel, but that also means that the batteries don't last for hours. I was able to photograph everything that I wanted, but if you continuously use the panel, you need multiple batteries. If you are regularly going to use an LED panel, then it's worth it to purchase a plug-in adaptor.

LedGo B160C: LED light for video and photography

As previously noted, it's pretty normal for videographers to mount a small LED panel above their camera, to be able to make nicer interior shots with less noise, a faster shutter speed and better color reproduction. The same arguments also apply for photography. As a fill-in light or for table-top photography, this LED panel is well suited. But if you're going to light larger areas, then a larger panel with more LEDs is a better solution.

Conclusion LedGo B160C review

LedGoB160C

 

Pros

  • Complete and versatile accessories
  • Surprisingly bright light
  • You see what you photograph
  • Compact,light
  • Color temperature is variable
  • Expandable by coupling multiple modules

Cons

  • Short-duration batteries
  • Plug-in adaptor, battery and battery loader are optional
  • Too little light for larger distances

My first acquaintance with mobile LED light, the LedGo B160C in particular, went well. It is a versatile system that is simple to use, has high light output, accurate color reproduction, but also offers a very broad color spectrum. The color temperature of the LED light can be varied from a cool shadow to warm sunset. It is an ideal system for getting started with LED light, that is also simple to expand by linking multiple LedGo B160Cs together.
After having played with the different color temperatures and filters, I prefer the simplest filter ("spot") with the highest light output. The color reproduction of my RAW files is very good/beautiful.
LEDs have a high light output, and that means that the panel gives a surprising amount of light. If you use the panel at full brightness, then it's smart to head out with a freshly charged battery and to have a second set at hand. Working with disposable batteries is—also due to environmental considerations—not advisable; the purchase of a battery loader or a battery pack with a charger pays for itself quickly.
Personally, I'm curious about the ring light variant and the larger variants, which can be used for studio shots, due to the higher light output and the even lighting that you can get with that. The review samples are already on their way.

Ivo Freriks
Author: Ivo Freriks
With Camera Review Stuff I hope to make a modest contribution to the pleasure that you get from photography. By testing cameras and lenses in the same way, evluating the results and weighing up the pros and cons, I hope to help you find the right camera or lens.

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Comments (1)

  1. Rhonda

Hi Ivo, Thanks for the review. Just bought a LedGo B160C and can't wait to try it out. Thanks for the review.

 

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