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Rechargeable LED worklight for product photography

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15W LED battery work light

LED worklight used for product photography


A basic battery powered 15W LED worklight is tested for product photography.

With over 3 hrs use on a charge, is the light quality good enough?

The device also doubles as a 6000mAh 22.2Wh USB 5V powerbank

Light unit was from Lidl UK: Parkside PAAS A2.

There are many similar devices listed on eBay

worklight-accessories

The LED worklight

I recently acquired two LED worklights. They are very robustly built, featuring a multi element LED lamp behind a lens. The device has built-in Lithium ion batteries giving a maximum of 3.5hrs light at full power, or 6.5hrs at the reduced 50% setting.

The devices came with a mains powered USB power supply and a car adapter with USB output. [click to enlarge]

worklight-accessories

The rear of the unit has the power switch and charging sockets.

There are also four very powerful magnets which will easily hold the weight of the light unit.

worklight-rear

There is a micro USB socket for charging and a USB-A socket for power output (5V 2.1A).

This won’t charge my EOS RP over USB (the voltage isn’t high enough), but it will easily charge any of my other USB powerbanks, including the one that will charge the EOS RP.

The two green LEDs show that the device is at about half charge

powerbank

The light is very bright. The 1500 lumen light is roughly equivalent to a 100W tungsten lamp, so with the lens assembly, don’t look at at for any length of time when on.

The light output has a circular beam pattern with a quite even 90º coverage.

There is a fairly sharp dropoff at the edge of the beam, with a distinct yellow tinge visible.

light-falloff

One way of giving a more diffuse light source is to create some form of diffuser.

The plastic end of a 3″ roll of paper is an almost perfect fit – two elastic bands (one shown here) would keep it securely attached.

diffuser

A shorter exposure shows the edge of the beam in the plastic.

diffuser-dark

It’s my feeling that it would be easy to adapt these lights to a basic softbox of the sort you can find on eBay.

I’d also make a metal bracket to allow attachment to a standard lighting stand (those magets are very powerful)

Light quality

The LEDs are not rated especially highly for their colour rendition, but items don’t look too obviously the wrong colour.

The best way of quickly compensating for this is to build a custom DNG profile. I often photograph a ColorChecker card when working in factories, just in case I need to allow for mixed artificial lighting.

The process needs a RAW (DNG) image taken of a colorchecker card. You drop the file onto X-Rite’s free Colorchecker Camera Calibration application and it quickly makes a profile that can be used to correct colours from the particular camera you’ve used.

The software finds the target automatically in an image.

making-profile

For more about this see one of my recent LED Lighting reviews, such as the ESDDI LED Ring light.

The simplest way to show the benefit is a quick before/after shot.

with-DNG-profile

Note the hue/saturation shifts.

Reds are better and deep blues have less of a purple shift.

without-DNG-profile

Using the light

I’ve two of these lights in my kit selection for industrial photography work. I’m often taking photos in available light, and can’t use mains powered lighting or flash.  Whether just for filling in shadows or more creative lighting, these two portable devices are really helpful.

 

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