8 Best Portable LED Lights for Photography

Light is a critical element when it comes to creating professional looking video content regardless of the fact whether you are making a documentary, feature film or a YouTube video.

Portable LED Lights

There are numerous kinds of Portable LEDs available in the market from which you can choose the appropriate one according to your requirements or work environment.  Here is a list of our recommendations and top 8 picks regarding the best portable lighting options available in the market today.

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
TOLIFO Photo Studio 176 Ultra Bright LED
NEEWER CN-160
GIGALUMI W228 Video Light
YONGNUO YN300 III
Aputure AL-M9
YONGNUO YN360
Fancierstudio 576 LED Light Panel Kit
NEEWER 480

1. TOLIFO Photo Studio 176 Ultra Bright LED

The TOLIFO Photo Studio 176 is a high-quality and cost-effective LED light. It is extremely bright and provides a wide lighting range. It is one of the better options if you are just looking for relatively bright daylight LED light that is also simple to use.

On the back of the light, there is an LCD screen that has the ratings between 10 and 99, which you can set with the help of the button in order to increase or decrease the intensity of the light. It also has an external power option and can be charged with a standard 12-volt power adaptor.

Pros

  • Long battery use
  • Good for vlogging and basic photography
  • Extremely bright
  • Dimmable

Cons

  • No method to check the battery level

2. NEEWER CN-160

The NEEWER CN-160 contains only two buttons. One is used to switch the light on/off and the other small one residing on the back provides LED indications that let you know about the battery level. There are 2 filters that come with this LED i.e. white filter and orange filter for spotlight effect, diffuse effect, and for reducing the color temperature to 3200K. It also provides multiple battery compatibility options.

Pros

  • Bright and consistent
  • Filler light in various lighting conditions
  • Cost efficient
  • Comes with 2 filters
  • Battery level indication
  • Cooling mode

Cons

  • You may find difficulty in adding or removing the batteries

3. GIGALUMI W228 Video Light

The GIGALUMI W228 consists of 228 small LED chips that together work great in brightening up the surrounding or objects in focus. It is considered as an ultra-small and extremely lightweight light panel. It contains a professional LED driving chip for optimum illumination and diffusion.

Operating it is extremely simple. To turn it on/off, use the switch on the side and slide the two small dials to adjust the 2 different color temperatures. The GIGALUMI W228 also comes with a 90-degree adjustment holder for providing lighting in different angles. This light panel also includes 2 Sony NP-550 batteries and a battery charger.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction quality
  • Compact and lightweight
  • 0-100% dimmable
  • 2 batteries included

Cons

  • Users stated that the batteries require some improvement

4. YONGNUO YN300 III

The YONGNUO YN300 III is an excellent video light that comes with a number of accessories. It includes a multifunctional IR remoter, a handle, a lamb base, 2 CT filters, and a user manual to help you configure the settings. The IR remote controller can be used to control the power switch the brightness from a distance.

The YN300 is bicolor and has a 95+ CRI rating issued by the company which we can vouch for. If you are really a stickler for CRI and want perfectly clean lights, the YONGNUO YN300 III is certainly the best choice you can opt for.

Pros

  • Easy to use and adjust the color temperature
  • Durable quality
  • Comes with additional accessories including a remote controller for hands-free control
  • Has a battery capacity testing function
  • Can be controlled wirelessly through a smartphone

Cons

  • The mount requires improvement
  • Only compatible with Sony and YONGNUO batteries

5. Aputure AL-M9

The Aputure AL-M9 is one the smallest and most impressive video lights in the market today. It consists of a plus and minus button that you can either tap once or press and hold to dim the light output. Its flexibility makes it suitable for a wide variety of applications from run and gun video to macro product photography, and so on.

It also comes with a built-in Lithium battery that can be recharged through a USB cable either directly from with the adapter or using a power bank.

Pros

  • Consist of 9 chip LEDs that can be adjusted according to the requirements
  • CRI of 95+
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Built-in lithium battery
  • Can be charged via USB cable

Cons

  • Seems expensive to what it’s offering

6. YONGNUO YN360

The YOUNGNUO YN360 is more of a specialty light that comes with numerous features. The handheld light consists of a battery mount on the front and traditional button dial system on the back. It also consists of a magnetic diffuser slash or a tungsten filter enabling you to go orange as well. The YN360 is an RGB light which you can switch adjust in order to produce different conceivable colors by mixing 3 colors. This light also supports Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to use your smartphone to control it with an app even at a distance of 15m.  

Pros

  • High-quality build
  • Can be controlled through Bluetooth
  • Extremely vivid
  • Outputs 2560 lumens of maximum light
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Digital display screen

Cons

  • Uses only NB-F batteries that are not included in the package

7. Fancierstudio 576 LED Light Panel Kit

The Fancierstudio 576 LED light panel doesn’t have any battery option and only comes with a power adapter to run it. The back of the light consists of a small LCD screen showing you the light intensity. Its barn doors are extremely good and better than most of the lights available in the market. This kit is mainly built for studio application unless you want to travel locally and carry this around. It also comes with a high-quality filter system that uses small corner magnetic filters that are way better than the slab-sided filters which we see on inexpensive lights.

The major advantages of these LEDs are that they stay cooler, work longer, and use a fraction of energy of CFC, incandescent or tungsten bulbs.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Cost effective compared to features it’s providing
  • Does not get hot
  • Energy-efficient
  • Outputs 4500 lumens of extremely bright light
  • Set of two LED light panel with 7ft stand

Cons

  • Batteries are not included
  • Not for beginners or people with a low budget

8. NEEWER 480

NEEWER 480 is a bi-color LED that consists of a panel containing 480 ultra-bright LEDs, of which 240 are white and the other 240 are yellow LEDs. Its construction quality is quite solid as it is made thoroughly with metal and aluminum. The U-mount bracket enables the photographers/videographers to adjust the lighting angle according to the shooting environment.

It can be powered with an AC adapter which is included and can also work for wireless operations using the batteries (sold separately). The NEEWER 480 is also backed up by a 1year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Strong build quality
  • Can be controlled remotely
  • Professional grade LED lights
  • Comes with a storage bag and a diffuser
  • Consists of both yellow and white LEDs

Cons

  • Some users stated that it doesn’t output a sufficient amount of light according to the price

Conclusion

The above-listed recommendations are perfect for various photography types. The idea before initiating a purchase is to pick a light that perfectly aligns with your requirements or work environment in order to effectively produce desired results. If you are a traveler or on-the-go photographer who is looking for a smaller light that also fulfills all the basic requirements then you can go for Aputure AL-M9. If your focus is studio application and the cost is not an issue then you can opt for NEEWER 480 to attain all your professional requirements.

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