Lighting question: LEDs?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by MarcusM, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    I have almost no experience with lights but am going to get some in the future. I was just thinking, does anyone have experience with LEDs? Would these work good for home-made studio setups at all as a cheaper alternative to the expensive lights?

    For example, some of these newer bulbs on the market, while expensive are quite a bit lower than the photog lights, and don't generate heat Also, it seems like they would generate a nice, natural-looking white light:

    http://www.betterlifegoods.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=1

    Would these work well? This may seem like a dumb question, but again, I have no experience with lights and the idea popped in my head so I had to ask.
     
  2. ScottS

    ScottS TPF Noob!

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    Well, if you want the 10-20-30 watt jobs that they have there, to do the same as a couple of 150 watt incandescent bulbs, you will be disappointed.

    I cant say much on this though, because i haven't any experience with those LED lights.
     
  3. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    I think that the difficulty with LED lighting is that it's still an emerging market. I don't have any applicable experience but I'm very impressed with what they've done with ordinary flashlights. By the same token, the LED flashlights are an order of magnitude higher-priced than the tungsten bulb equivalents.

    My prediction is that, within a year, LEDs will do everything that you want.
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    well, the light is certainly not "natural" looking ;) .. but then again, you can tweak that with white balance.

    never really used them personally though
     
  5. Sclark

    Sclark TPF Noob!

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    LEDs are in no way the inexpensive option at the moment. Actually, they are quite the opposite - they are the MOST expensive route. Now, that said, I'm all for using LEDs.

    To get the same amount (lumens) of lighting at the same temperature (~5600k), you are looking at spending 2-3x more for the LEDs than traditional professional lighting.

    In the long run, the LEDs might actually be cheaper ... but, you're talking in the very long run. This would be due to the extreme lifetime of a LED.

    I hope this helps. :)
     
  6. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. That's one thing I've always had trouble understanding, electricity (and lighting) for some reason. (Probably because I've never really studied it much)

    Volts, Watts, lumens, Amps, etc. all confuse me.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    LEDs would not provide consistant results and vary with power fluctuations.

    If you want to learn about lighting and photography... the strobist website is about the best source of info you will ever see on the net.
     
  8. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One thing to consider, LED's are very high in IR output. This will make white balance a real bear to work with.
     
  9. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    It looks like not only can LEDs be used more for photography lighting solutions, but they will be taking over traditional lighting systems sometime in the future after all!

    This sounds good. I like the idea that someday soon we will be able to use constant lighting without cooking the subject!

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/find/newsLetter/LED.jsp
     
  10. ChrisP

    ChrisP TPF Noob!

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    Marcus - I just read some insight from Joe McNally's book (The Moment it Clicks), about his use of LEDs for some portraiture. I honestly forget detail of his thoughts (I'll check when I get back in town), but basically what I heard is that LEDs (particularly ringlights) really produce a strong high-contrast light that works for some portraits but you wouldn't want to use as a primary lighting solution. Now of course, there's lots of macro shooters using LEDs in those ringlights of theirs.
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just to dispel some myths you are all talking about different LEDs?

    White balance issues? Not an issue. An LED can be manufactured to emit any kind of black body radiation temperature. Literally they can be made in almost any colour.

    Power? Not an issue. In Candella/Watt LEDs are now the most energy efficient devices there are.

    Brightness? Also not an issue. LEDs exist that can compare to the brightness output of a 500watt floodlight.

    Your biggest problem will be finding one to suit your needs. This is the only issue you will have, finding a daylight balanced LED for photographics.

    They are the future guys :)
     
  12. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Absolutely. Actually, there are some systems available today but, just like the OLED (Organic LED) televisions, they're prohibitively expensive. Give the developers some time.
     

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