Battery Powered LED Lights for Still Photography?

VegasCameraGuy

EOS R5
CR Pro
Jul 9, 2020
200
165
Las Vegas, NV
www.flickr.com
I'm asking for feedback from people who've used LED lights for photography. I'm trying to figure out if it's practical to do a model shoot with LED lights rather than strobes? What I'd like to know is how many watts of LED light does it take to shoot at ISO 100, 1/60th+, and f5.6 or f8?

My envisioned setup would be two main lights to illuminate the subject. I see 80-watt lights for $150 but is that enough light to get decent shots? My end result would be two lights + 2 battery packs such that I could do this without requiring power. I don't know if this is practical or not? A 200-watt battery pack would last about 1.5 hours at 100% power and is about $100/ea. A 300-watt unit is $250.

Currently, I'm using Godox/FlashPoint AD360ii 360-watt-second flashes with Godox softboxes and that's working fine and I probably should just stop right there but trying LEDs is interesting and I'm a sucker for bright shiny objects.

Anyway for the first step just trying to get an idea of how much light you need from an LED light to be usable? I don't like to shoot wide open and prefer f8 if possible. Wide-open is nice for portraits but the added DOF is better for model work IMHO.
 
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zim

EOS 5D Mark IV
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Oct 18, 2011
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Also worth considering how models feel working with lights like that on for longer periods of time?
 
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VegasCameraGuy

EOS R5
CR Pro
Jul 9, 2020
200
165
Las Vegas, NV
www.flickr.com
Also worth considering how models feel working with lights like that on for longer periods of time?
Good point, I hadn't thought about that.

I don't have a problem with strobes and they are good about stopping motion. My Godox units put out a ton of light and it only takes a minute to swap out the batteries after 400-500 flashes.
 

snappy604

EOS RP
CR Pro
Jan 25, 2017
556
433
bump.. I've been wanting to use continuous LED lights for a long time but only timidly entering it.. I managed to buy an aputure AL-ME light.. nice light, but feels a bit overpriced. Haven't had much time to play with it yet. Think I'd need 2 or 3 more lights but at the costs involved hesitant.
 
Feb 15, 2020
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I shoot almost exclusively with LED lights in the studio for beauty photography work. They work well for beauty because you can be very precise in terms of ‘what you see is what you get’.

Unfortunately your expectations / hopes are unrealistic. There is currently no battery powered LED light that will get you even close to ISO100, f8. Even if such a beast was made at some point in the future you would be talking many thousands of dollars, not a couple of hundred. Another very important consideration is at that light level you will be risking damage to the eyesight of your subject. Try staring into a 300watt LED with no diffusion, it is painful and no doubt very bad for your eyes! For ISO 100 f8 you would probably need a thousand + watts... and without diffusion that is just dangerous.

To give you a rough idea of camera settings vs LED power. My key light is a 350w Litepanels Gemini 2x1 that I shoot through a 2m x 2m 1.25 stop diffusion frame. It is usually 4 feet behind the diffusion and the subject is then 5 feet in front of the diffusion. With that setup I get ISO 400, 1/250, f2.5. Without the diffusion it is almost impossible to look at the LED without squinting and very uncomfortable for the subject.

So in short, for iso 100, f8 stick to flash!
 

VegasCameraGuy

EOS R5
CR Pro
Jul 9, 2020
200
165
Las Vegas, NV
www.flickr.com
I shoot almost exclusively with LED lights in the studio for beauty photography work. They work well for beauty because you can be very precise in terms of ‘what you see is what you get’.

Unfortunately your expectations / hopes are unrealistic. There is currently no battery powered LED light that will get you even close to ISO100, f8. Even if such a beast was made at some point in the future you would be talking many thousands of dollars, not a couple of hundred. Another very important consideration is at that light level you will be risking damage to the eyesight of your subject. Try staring into a 300watt LED with no diffusion, it is painful and no doubt very bad for your eyes! For ISO 100 f8 you would probably need a thousand + watts... and without diffusion that is just dangerous.

To give you a rough idea of camera settings vs LED power. My key light is a 350w Litepanels Gemini 2x1 that I shoot through a 2m x 2m 1.25 stop diffusion frame. It is usually 4 feet behind the diffusion and the subject is then 5 feet in front of the diffusion. With that setup I get ISO 400, 1/250, f2.5. Without the diffusion it is almost impossible to look at the LED without squinting and very uncomfortable for the subject.

So in short, for iso 100, f8 stick to flash!
Thanks a lot for your input. I guess I'll stick to my strobes. I realize that the Bokeh is better wide open but I don't usually shoot portraits and like the safety of DOF.