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Good High Power Video Lights?

i-torch light and motion video lights lumens lights

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#1 ken_keeler


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Posted 04 May 2015 - 05:16 PM

So I'm looking to purchase some high power video lights for filming underwater but wanted to get feedback from people that may have used these in the field. or just any advice in general on this subject.


I am fairly new to the lighting world underwater, and I have checkout many brands and there are a lot of options. My first thought was going with Light and Motion and get two Sola 2100 lights they run about $600 a pop have a spot and flood feature (which coming from the commercial and film world I like that option) and they are small.


But as I shopped around I started noticing there are much brighter lights that pack more of a punch and I would rather spend the money now and get a light that offers more lumens than I can use for many application.


Give or take 1600 lumens is roughly equivalent to a 100w incandescent bulb in terms of light output. I would want a light bright enough to give me some fill on even say a shark in mid day to bring back color and depending on your settings you can play around with your background a little more in terms of exposure. But the big question based on my experience with my Nikonos SB105 strobes and a small 600 lumen video light ( which didnt light anything during the day) 


Is there a Led video light that can provide roughly the same amount as a basic flash during the day like the Nikonos SB105.


I looked at the following units.


-Sola 4000 it gives 4000 lumens blue light, has3 output options and 80 degree beam and the battery last for 50mins at high out but for 2 its is a crazy $3000 dollars



-I torch Video Pro 7 offer 5000 lumens 120 degree angel beam, last 1 hour at full output, has 5 output modes and has 2 levels of red light which im not sure what that is for. cost $800 each 



-Fisheye Fix led Aquavolt 5000 which is 5000 Lumens, 120 degree beam, dims, last 75min high power cost $1200 each but is now dis continued



Long story short I am not sure where to look or start now, and I have read that even though it says it offer 4000 or 5000 lumens sometimes they are less. So let the chat begin what lights do you guys use? why have they worked best for you? Thanks for all the help and feedback in advance I am excited to learn some new stuff about lighting.

Edited by ken_keeler, 04 May 2015 - 05:17 PM.

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#2 Andy Davies

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 05:12 AM

I am in the same position in trying to choose video lights. You can also add into the mix


- Keldan lights which are the standard for BBC underwater filming (they used to use Kowalski). Can also operate out of the water.


- Light and Motion Sola 8000


- Seastar LED 5000 and LED 15000 from HDVSeatek

#3 ChrigelKarrer


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Posted 05 May 2015 - 06:45 AM

I have:
2 Mangrove 4400 lumen 120° video light
1 FIX Neos 2500 DX 100° video light for macro video

2 Hartenberger Mega Compact Video 35 watt HID (my buddy's rig)


I saw the Keldane 5000 and the FIX Acquavolt 7000 at Reef Photo and Video in Ft. Lauderdale.
The Keldane are excellent built, swiss made lights, some of them a bit bulky due their dome, excellent CRI, 90° beam with soft falloff
The FIX acquavolt 7000 is smaller (as far i remember), not so sophisticated but extremely bright and wide (115°), spotless beam (as the Keldane as well)

Consider two things:
- a lot of manufacturers use Lumen as value and that can be misleading as Lumen depend on the width of the beam. A xxx lumen light at 120° beam with is much less bright than the same light at 80° beam with!
- Lamps with higher lumen are bigger and more heavy considering the same battery duration of a lower lumen light, this can be a issue when traveling


2500 lumen 120° lamps illuminate about 40 centimeters

4000 lumen 120° lamps illuminate about 50/60 centimeters
Both is measured at 12 meter at 11 a.m. sunny summer day in crystal clear Sardinian sea

4400 lumen illuminate nice and wide a cave or at night dives


To illuminate a shark and/or restore it's color at 2 Meter distance and 120° beam i guess you probably need 10'000 lumen or 80-100° beam and 600-8000 lumen.


If i would buy new video lights i would go with the Keldane!



Edited by ChrigelKarrer, 05 May 2015 - 07:14 AM.

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#4 decostanza


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Posted 06 May 2015 - 07:46 PM

In full disclosure to my following comment, I do some work with UWLD and thus why I had access to a demo light.


I just got back a couple weeks ago from shooting some pics in some Northern Florida Caves.  On one of the dives I had a loaner UWLD (Underwater Light Dude) 130v (13K Lumens) video light to compare and contrast to my Sola 4000's.  The 130v was REALLY impressive in the Peacock cave system and I found I had to dial it down quite a bit.  What I liked about it was even dialed down, it did a great job of illuminating sections yet I had the power available that I could really crank things up if needed. 


On one dive I had my dual Sola 4000's (with a 3-way clamp on an ULCS handle...a light wand if you will) and then on another dive the UWLD 130V same "light wand" setup ...I preferred the 130v for brightness and very wide angle of coverage.  It was also a smaller profile thus making it easier to manage in some of the passages.


My Sola's have been a workhorse and taken a beating in various caves and when there have been issues, L&M has covered them. I got off to a very rocky start with L&M a couple years back but they eventually came through.  When I fired up the UWLD light, I found myself grinning from ear to ear and I probably flooded my mask because of my grinning, I don't remember. You might want to check them out as well as a manufacturer of very solid lighting equipment.

Edited by decostanza, 06 May 2015 - 08:03 PM.

#5 SwiftFF5


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Posted 07 May 2015 - 03:31 AM

I just took a look at the UWLD website.  Those really do look like nice lights.  Thanks decostanza - now I've got something else to wish for...

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#6 ken_keeler


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Posted 07 May 2015 - 08:51 AM


Consider two things:

- a lot of manufacturers use Lumen as value and that can be misleading as Lumen depend on the width of the beam. A xxx lumen light at 120° beam with is much less bright than the same light at 80° beam with!
- Lamps with higher lumen are bigger and more heavy considering the same battery duration of a lower lumen light, this can be a issue when traveling

Awesome info guys thank you! Lionfish good points to think about for sure! i feel like i will get something in the 6000-10,000 lumen range


I have some more pondering and research to do now haha, but all of these seem like great options im really going to have to sit and think of the pros and cons to one or the other based on cost, what the light offers and what I think i will be using most. Some of these are not light on the wallet thats forsure

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#7 peterbkk


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Posted 01 June 2015 - 07:25 PM

I had a lot of problems with L&M lights over the years so decided that I would not buy any more - at least not until I hear better stories about their reliability.  Yes, their service is good and they do swap bad lights.  But I don't see why there has to be bad lights in the first place.  If you have a bad light in a remote location, all the service in the world is not going to save the shoot.


The Keldans are all great lights, really well made and easy to use.  But you have to like pinkish / purple.  :)  Why can't they be black?


I have used a pair of the i-Torch Video Pro 7 lights regularly for about a year.  They are bright and reliable. The burn times are roughly as claimed. The shape is conducive to adding homemade shoots and filters. They are compact and light for air travel. I like that the spare batteries are also waterproof so no worries having spare batteries in wet conditions.  At the price, they're hard to ignore.  When they break, buy a new one.




#8 twinner


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Posted 01 June 2015 - 10:38 PM

One more vote for the keldans. The video 8m puts out a realy nice wide soft light.

#9 NWDiver



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Posted 02 June 2015 - 06:19 AM

The Sola 4000 (old version) were good lights but when the battery finally went out they did not have any spares, so it was toast.  Using the I-Torch Pro 7s with a Canon HF G30/Gates Housing.


This Video: https://www.youtube....h?v=v7n9vRX9cCg The longer version, the Cocos and most of the Raja video at our website where shot with the Pro 7s.  

#10 Peter Salvatore

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:41 AM

Hello Guys


What all thinking about Big blue VTL 2500 lumen video lights


thanks peter

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