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Old November 3rd, 2011, 03:26 AM   #1
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Comparison LED light and CFL Light

Hi Guys

I did a quick test today using my 9 x 55W CFL light head (it has a softbox but I left that off) and my new 21 x 3W LED light.

With both lights at around 45 degrees to the right of my subject and about 10' away ..(remember I'm mainly interested in lighting people at weddings speaking from a lectern) I tried a combination of CFL's starting with 2 and then progressing right up to the full head which has 9 x 55W spiral tubes.

The PowerLED bank is rated at 8600 lumens at around 2' and provides about the same amount of light at the 9 CFL's!!! My camera which was 15' away needed around the same exposure for each which shows the LED has pretty much the same output as the CFL's which makes it a pretty compact unit!!

However the LED light is nowhere as soft as claimed and at the angle it was placed gives quite hard shadows compared to the CFL's, which, despite being out of their usual softbox still used "naked" give a much more flattering light and pretty much shadow free.

Now, is there anyway to "soften" the light from the LED head??? Would a diffuser over the front help a bit??? I have now discovered that even naken CFL's give off a soft enough light to use without a softbox and LED's still seem to be a bit hard and create shadows but are pretty efficient!!!

Anyone else done any comparisons between the two types????

Chris
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 11:54 AM   #2
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Re: Comparison LED light and CFL Light

Chris.

Thanks for posting that.

Personally I found that CFL were to soft. It's easier (for me) to diffuse a harder light than to make a softer light harder.

I've got a closet full of "test" lights, fluorescent, incandescent, and pretty soon my led test will begin.

I think if you were to defuse in the usual way, either with a light box, or diffusion material that would work.

If you can at some point, maybe a photo of your rig. Have you tried using a dimmer on the LED's. Wondering what that does to CB.

Jonathan
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Old November 6th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #3
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Re: Comparison LED light and CFL Light

Chris, the other day I saw on ebay a mini softbox that will supposedly work with my Z96 LED light so I have it ordered. I am curious to see if it gives a more pleasing diffusion than the hard plastic diffusion filter that comes with the light.
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Old November 7th, 2011, 06:23 PM   #4
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Re: Comparison LED light and CFL Light

Thanks Guys

Because this LED light is made up of 21 x 3W power leds they already come with a little plastic front of each LED which would diffuse the light a bit but still not enough!! I think I should take a trip to one of these places that install ceilings in offices as quite often they install frosted plastic panels with fluros behind them so that material would work well as a diffuser.

DJ??? The idea for me is to save time so a small softbox might be neat as long as it doesn't take up complicated time to assemble it...My biggest irk with the CFL's is having to assemble the stupid softbox which seems to take forever!!!

Have you got a pic or link for this mini softbox ????? I'd like to see it!!!!

Chris
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Old November 14th, 2011, 03:09 PM   #5
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Re: Comparison LED light and CFL Light

Hey Chris, any luck finding a way to diffuse the light from your LED fixture?
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Old November 14th, 2011, 06:44 PM   #6
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Re: Comparison LED light and CFL Light

Hi Jonathan

Sorry!! I should have updated!! Yes, I went to a plastics manufacturer here and they actually make the "U" shaped diffusers that clip over normal fluro tubes and I discovered they make them from flat sheet with the little "bumps" moulded in!! They just cut me an 8" x8" square and that works very well indeed!!

It takes all the harshness out of the non diffused light. My PowerLED light also runs from a 12v supply so I don't have the issue of having to buy very costly V-Mount batteries. I have a 9800mah Li-Ion pack that's 12v and cost a mere $40 compared to over $300 for Generic V-Mount!!

If you want a cheap diffuser you can just get a clear perspex offcut and use some very fine (like 600 grit) wet 'n dry abrasive paper with water and one side and it will become perfectly semi-opaque.

My whole idea here is to not light up the wedding reception like a car lot but rather use LED heads quite close and dimmed to people making wedding speeches so it's not so blatant and blinding....in my case I only really need to light the head and shoulders!!

Chris
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Old November 14th, 2011, 07:41 PM   #7
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Re: Comparison LED light and CFL Light

Chris, sorry I have taken a week to get back to this thread. I am pasting a link to the diffuser I got from ebay so you can see what it looks like.

Soft Diffuser for CN-126 CN-160 HDV-Z96 W96 96 LED Video Light DV Camcord | eBay

It is clear to me it is not really intended for a camera LED video light as the method provided of attaching it would not work from what I can see. However it does do a great job creating a much more pleasing diffusion than the hard plastic filters most LED camera lights come with. I think when I have time I might be able to attach velcro to each side of the LED light that would then attach to the diffuser's tabs.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 08:50 PM   #8
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Re: Comparison LED light and CFL Light

Thanks for posting. I have two Z96 lights and I've been trying to figure out how to get some pseudo barn door functionality. I bought two and hopefully they'll get me closer to my goal. Cheers.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 10:16 PM   #9
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Re: Comparison LED light and CFL Light

Thanks DJ

Those look neat!! Actually there is no reason why you couldn't make a "test" box just using cardboard sides and then a fabric front sheet. I have a bunch of white cloth diffusers from my CFL setups so I'll try those too sometime!!

Chris
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Old November 15th, 2011, 09:58 PM   #10
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Re: Comparison LED light and CFL Light

Thanks Chris!
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