Ikan has been making some pretty interesting and affordable tools for filmmakers. Monitors, Camera rigging accessories, lights, bags, batteries, you name it and they probably have it.  Anyway, I managed to get my hand on very affordable ($100 for the light, $250 for the kit) LED Light. The iLED-One is a simple on-camera style light that has some pretty nice features.

  • Light weight – 1.75lbs
  • Tungsten or Daylight –
  • Flood or Spot
  • Battery or AC Powered – up to 12v DC

My Thoughts

So I’ve been playing around with it and here are some of my thoughts.  It’s a pretty simple design. It’s a light weight aluminum capsule that holds an LED/heat sync assembly that plugs into a socket much like a typical MR16 lamp. I really like the interchangeable bulbs. You  get the Option of  40 degree spot or 60 degree flood in either daylight or tungsten. I know that’s 4 different lamps and at $40 each, it starts to add up.  Personally, I’d probably just stick with the 60 degree in both daylight and tungsten. (but that’s just me)  If I had two or three of these little guys, I might be more interested in a complete complement of lamps.

[singlepic id=28 w=320 h=240 float=left]Swapping the Lamps is a piece of cake. Just pinch and remove the Retainer Clip, swap lamps and lock it all back in place with the Retainer Clip.  A little word of caution, You might be tempted to just use you fingers to remove the clip.  The end of the little retainer clip are pretty sharp.  Do yourself a favor, use a pair of needle nose pliers, you won’t be sorry.

The fixture I have came with a tungsten bulb.  I put a spot meter on it and reads about 3000K with virtually know need to correct for green.  It a single emitter style LED so there’s no worry of multiple shadows like with comparable LED fixtures. The 60 degree beam angle is very smooth, with no discernible hot spot or doughnut effect. The one issue I have with beam is the sharp edge falloff and color fringing. I was able to clean it up with a bit of Light Opal diffusion, which had very little effect on the light output. The down side is, there really isn’t a good way to attach the gel, make sure you have some tape around. [nggallery id=5]

Comparison

I needed some point of reference to compare the light to.  I first pulled out my Zylight Z90. You might think it’s not fair to compare the $100 iLED-One to the $1,000 Z90 which can switch between tungsten and daylight, can bias that light toward green or magenta and can produce virtually any color in the rainbow.  Well, Its not fair, so I’ll just deal with the basic functionality.

In tungsten mode, both lights have about the same output level.  The Z90 has a much wider beam angle which is very even across the field.  The iLED-One seems to have a truer tungsten color match, but of course the Z90 has the control to dial into whatever color you want. The shadow produced by the iLED is very clean with no stair stepping or color fringing at all.

Next, my LitePanel Mini – Flood.  ($850) In all fairness, this is a first gen LitePanel and the newer models may perform a bit better.  Anyway, the iLED has a similar amount of light output, but over a much larger area and with a smoother pattern than the LitePanel Mini.

Finally, I set up my Frezzi with a 35w Tungsten MR16 bulb. ($350) This time, the Frezzi was a bit brighter at the center of the beam, but field has a hot center and the fall was very fast.  The iLED offered a consistent, useable amount of light over slightly larger area.

I’ve had the iLED running on battery power (Panasonic style camcorder battery) for over 3hrs now. There is no heat to speak of and the brightness level hasn’t changed.  It’s still burning strong, but I gotta go to sleep.

From what I can see, the biggest weak point of the iLED-One is it’s lack of a dimmer. I’d be willing to pay another $50 bucks to be able to control the brightness. At any rate, for the way I tend to use these lights, the iLED-One is a very nice value proposition.

In the kit you get a bulb, cold shoe mount, soft carrying case, in-line power switch, your choice of AC107 battery plate, DV battery, battery charger and the BCA107 belt clip. I wish there was a dimmer in there somewhere, but you get what you get.

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