Well it may not be this particular light that is the light of the future but I visited the Photography Show earlier this week and there were certainly a lot of LED lights on show there. I’m no expert on the subject of LED lights so I can’t offer much advise at all about them but I think there are a few things that most of us are aware of.
They are cheap to run. It is generally accepted that they have a lower power consumption that traditional studio lighting and so they should be a cheaper lighting option.
They don’t generate heat. Traditional studio lighting can get very hot in a very short space of time, to the point where the lights can become difficult to handle whereas LED lights remain cool with little heat being generated even over prolonged periods of use.
The actual lights have a long life and are possibly more robust than tradition forms of lighting. I’m not suggesting that LED lights will withstand heavy handed treatment but I’m sure many of us will have experienced just how fragile bulbs in traditional studio lighting can be, not to mention the early “spiral” LED bulbs which would fall to pieces with even the slightest of knocks.
Are the new generation of LED lights as versatile as traditional studio lighting? I can’t answer that from personal experience but I have seen LED lights that it is claimed emulate Fresnel lighting and there were certainly several LED ring flash lights on display at the Photography Show this week and so I imagine that over time LED will develop to an extent that it will be able to emulate everything that we have come to expect in traditional lighting.
My light, the one pictured at the top of this blog, has been in a cupboard at home for some time and has been used very little, so I decided to take it with me down to Map Studio for my shoot with Carla Monaco to see just what it was capable of. This light is a continuous light and was the only light used to capture the images below.
As you can see, this is a very small light but yet capable of producing some quite acceptable portrait shots. How it would cope with anything other than a headshot is a question for another shoot but I think it does illustrate that LED lights can be used successfully in studio photography and I suspect we will see then become more commonplace over the coming years.