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Old June 22nd, 2008, 07:24 PM   #1
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Litepanels Micro - Lighting Test Results

I've used my brand new Litepanels Micro at several weddings now, and each time I've felt like the light output was aenemic. So, I decided to do a straight up test between my brand new Litepanels Micro LED light and my 2-year-old Bescor tungsten light.

Below (attached to the post) are images from the tests. I with the Litepanels Micro on full intensity in a pitch black room 5 feet from the subject. I then tested my Bescor with a 20 watt bulb from the same distance. Then I moved the camera back to 10 feet from the subject and repeated the test. The shutterspeed, iris, gain and focus were all locked down on the camera to ensure that the results were perfectly unbiased. Both lights had diffusion filters in place, and the Litepanels Micro was using new (nonrechargeable) batteries.

As you can see, the Litepanels Micro was virtually unusable from 5 feet, while the 20 watt Bescor light provided a usable image. At 10 feet the LitePanels Micro was completely unusable, while the 20 watt Bescor unit still gave a usable image.

As you can imagine, I am VERY disappointed in the performance of my Litepanels Micro. The worst part is that I paid just under $100 for my Bescor light and just over $300 for my Litepanels Micro. For an extra $200 I should be getting a far superior light, but in fact I've received a far inferior light.

My $80 Bescor unit has 2 bulbs (currently 20watts each), and using just one of the bulbs the Bescor put out much more light than the Micro - plus I have the option to turn on the other bulb and go with a 40watt light if I want. My Bescor also has solid construction, whereas the Micro's construction is borderline laughable (the filter unit has a poor design, my battery compartment has a poor design, and the whole unit just feels cheap and breakable). The Micro touts dimmability, but with the low output I never see any need to dim the light. I always need it on full power just to get a little light. For what it's worth, as I turn the dimmer the light doesn't dim at first, then goes from full power to almost nothing very quickly, then hangs at virtually no light until the switch hits the 'off' position. The dimmable range is very, very small.

My opinion is that for $300 my Litepanels Micro has been a complete waste of money.
Attached Thumbnails
Litepanels Micro - Lighting Test Results-lightingtest_5ft.jpg   Litepanels Micro - Lighting Test Results-lightingtest_10ft.jpg  

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Old June 22nd, 2008, 07:40 PM   #2
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Something else to add. I just noticed that the Micro also puts out a circular spread of light. This is strange since the LED's are arranged as a square. What's also interesting is that the Bescor unit, despite only using a single bulb, is not producing a circular spread of light. The spread of light seems very even in the images.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 07:58 PM   #3
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Holy Cow, Travis, that's a pretty ugly test! Any chance you can just return your Micro? You could claim it doesn't work as advertised, considering your description of the dimming 'capability.'

On the plus side, perhaps, is the Micros less annoying to guests at the reception? Perhaps it's the perfect light for capturing dance footage close up, or whatever...
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 08:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
Holy Cow, Travis, that's a pretty ugly test! Any chance you can just return your Micro? You could claim it doesn't work as advertised, considering your description of the dimming 'capability.'
I did send an email to Litepanels with my concerns about the light. I hope to hear back from them this week. I further tested the "dimmer" and it basically produces no light until the 50% mark, then it ramps from "barely lit" to "fully bright" from 50-70%. The final 30% of the dim range is full brightness. Very odd.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
On the plus side, perhaps, is the Micros less annoying to guests at the reception? Perhaps it's the perfect light for capturing dance footage close up, or whatever...
After running this test I thought of that too. So I turned both lights on and looked at them. Neither of them made me feel the need to squint, and had I not done the previous test I don't know that I would feel that one was brighter than the other. And honestly, if the light isn't lighting anything up, then it doesn't really matter if it's less annoying to the guests, ya know? d;-)

At this week's wedding the lights were basically off for the dancing, so I had no choice but to use the Litepanels Micro. I was severely disappointed in it because it was generating basically useless footage; just picture a dance floor that looked like the image from 5 feet but with a ton of grain (had to go with +18db to even get an image).
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 08:09 PM   #5
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Oh, I also noticed (after further inspection of the light) that some of the LED's have a "greenish" hue to them, while others have a "magenta-ish" hue, and still others have a "white-ish" hue. I've noticed that the "whiter" lights are also brighter. This doesn't seem normal. Shouldn't all of the LED's have the same color hue and brightness?
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 08:11 PM   #6
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Good Lord, I'd be dissapointed, too, if I spent that kind of money on a bad light. Hope you are able to get some satisfaction from them. Stick to your guns and get your money back!

Best of luck,
Vito
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 08:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
Shouldn't all of the LED's have the same color hue and brightness?
That might have something to do with dimming while retaining the same colour temperature.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 08:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
That might have something to do with dimming while retaining the same colour temperature.
Ahh, maybe. I hadn't thought of that. But yeah, at the moment I'm pretty disappointed in the light. I mean, for $300 it should be built better AND outperform my $80 light, but it actually doesn't do either. That's pathetic.

Oh, and I can't just return it because I've missed the 15-day return period with B&H. It took me a few weddings to realize I wasn't imagining the low output.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 08:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
Oh, and I can't just return it because I've missed the 15-day return period with B&H.
True, but you could return it and ask them to, pretty please, fix the dimmer that doesn't work. I assume it has a warranty longer than 15 days. If they can't fix it, get your money back.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 08:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
True, but you could return it and ask them to, pretty please, fix the dimmer that doesn't work. I assume it has a warranty longer than 15 days. If they can't fix it, get your money back.
No, it does have a warranty through Litepanels, and at this point I'm hoping the unit is just defective in a number of ways because then maybe I'll get a replacement that actually works. If they say it's not defective, then they can be sure I'll be letting everyone know not to buy one of these.

Even if it's not defective, the light is not constructed in such a way as to be worth $300. Considering my other light was less than a 1/3 of that cost, and was built significantly better, the $300 Litepanels pricepoint is a joke.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 08:45 PM   #11
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Hope it all works out for you. While you're at it, though, shoot some bad stuff using the LP and post it, so I can tell you it lacks contrast :-)
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 08:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
No, it does have a warranty through Litepanels, and at this point I'm hoping the unit is just defective in a number of ways because then maybe I'll get a replacement that actually works. If they say it's not defective, then they can be sure I'll be letting everyone know not to buy one of these.
Hey Travis. I am shocked by your results! I bought one after reading all of the threads on the Wedding forum and I LOVE IT! I used it this past Friday at a wedding where they literally turned all of the lights off and only had candle light during the dancing and I thought the results were quite amazing. I totally forgot to change the batteries from the last wedding too, so we went for well over 4 hours on this set and its still burning bright. I will try to download the video so I can show you a pic in the near future. I am thinking that you just got a "dud"! I think if you get it replaced (atleast I hope) you'd be a little more pleased! Again... shocking!
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 09:21 PM   #13
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not to defend the lite but I also have the bescor and an AB that I ran tests with before I ever put my LP into play. My results were far different than yours. I ran the Bescor and AB with softboxes and 35W bulbs and the LP with the diffusion filter and 1/4CTO and the LP was a far more pleasing look than either the Bescor or AB. Not to mention the exposure was right where it was supposed to be. Perhaps you got a bad unit? In any case as I said many times before the construction leaves something to be desired but IMO the quality of the light it throws makes up for it. Last thought. 2 weeks ago on the job my camera took a tumble and hit the floor litepanel micro first. Not only did the camera survive but so di the light. It might be 'cheap construction but it held up. Believe me I've broken far more expensive gear doing less on the job.
I thought you saw the freeze I post a while back from a reception I did with the LP? If not let me know and I see if I still have it on the computer if not I'll pull another one to post. Some real world stuff.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 11:29 PM   #14
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Yeah, I'm hoping I just got a dud unit. I'll know more tomorrow. Don, I did see your screenshots earlier, which is one of the reasons I bought the unit in the first place. So you feel your LP matches your 35w Bescor in output? If that's the case, then this one MUST be a dud. My light light is probably worth about 3-5w.

Guess we'll see what happens when I hear back from Litepanels.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 11:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
Hope it all works out for you. While you're at it, though, shoot some bad stuff using the LP and post it, so I can tell you it lacks contrast :-)
Funny man! Actually, it would be more funny if I hadn't needed this light to perform at this last wedding. Forget lack of contrast. I had lack of image.
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