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The Lowel Blender Bi-color LED Light Head

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#1 Michael Erlewine

Michael Erlewine

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 17:41

For most of my work I use Arri lights, at least in my studio. My problem with them is that they are very hot, both to touch and they heat up the studio. In winter that is not so bad.

Also, with the advancing low-light Nikon body capability and since I shoot mostly small-scale settings, like interviews, tabletop, and close-ups, I don’t always need that much light.

I have stayed away from the fluorescents and trying to mix tungsten, daylight, and fluorescent light in various combinations is a pain.

I have recently tried out the Lowel Blender ($494 at B&H) , a small LED system that has in a single head a bank of LEDs at Tungsten frequencies plus a matching bank of LEDS at daylight frequencies. Using a small dial you can choose all tungsten or all daylight and any combination of the two in-between -- a continuum.

A second dial allows you to dim the head from 100% down to 10%. In addition, The head puts out 56W of light. One of the things I like most about the Lowel Blender is that it comes with an AC adapter, so you don’t have to endlessly mess with batteries. However, you can also purchase a camcorder battery sled ($27) that takes common Panasonic, Sony, or Canon camcorder batteries.

The Lowel Blender comes ready to fit on any standard light-stand stud plus it has a knob to hold a translucent umbrella. They also come with several light diffusers that serve to modify the light coming from the LEDs in useful ways.

These lights weighs 1.2 lbs. and are small enough to fit on a pistol grip. What I like best is that I can set them up even when I have tungsten light plus some daylight streaming through a window. Using the dimmer and color dial I can quickly match whatever lighting situation I find myself in, add a little warmth if needed, or cool the light down, etc.

Since I have many larger ‘hot’ lights and because my settings are seldom larger than an interview-type situation, these Lowel Blenders (which are not hot to the touch when on) are looking like a quick, light, and very flexible solution to a perennial problem.

Any one else using this? Comments?

Attached Images

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  • Lowel-2.JPG

Edited by Michael Erlewine, 17 December 2011 - 17:51 .

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#2 yunfat


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Posted 18 December 2011 - 01:17

I saw one for the first time last week... a freelance PJ in New York who sells to a lot of the image houses. Says it has replaced his flash at events with a 5Dmk2.

But then again, the Canon flash system sucks compared to iTTL.

Once the price comes down and the next gen sensors come out, there shouldn't be a need for strobes anymore.

#3 Akira


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Posted 18 December 2011 - 01:40

Looks nice. The AC/DC kit sold for 549 USD at B&H (incidentally, Nikon SB-910 is offered almost for the same price there) is sold for 144,690 JPY (about 1,800 USD) here! That's ridiculous, but 549 USD seems to be very fair. The continuous lighting without heating up should work better for stucking, too.

Edited by Akira, 18 December 2011 - 01:46 .

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#4 charlie



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Posted 18 December 2011 - 20:11

Once the price comes down and the next gen sensors come out, there shouldn't be a need for strobes anymore.

How do you figure?

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