I love using LED lights for both still and video photography. It’s WYSIWYG lighting that’s quick and easy. But up until now, it’s been expensive. Back in 2009 I reviewed the Litepanels LP Micro Pro LED light.

I liked the product but complained about its price. Fast forward today. I’ve owned four of the Litepanel LEDs and each of them is worthless. The very cheaply-constructed plastic base failed and broke leaving me no way to mount them in a standard hot shoe. Yes I can kludge something using gaffer tape, but that’s not the point. For the money, they should have held up better.

I’ve also used and reviewed the Doug Gordon Torchlight. I liked it too. But it’s also expensive. It has better construction than the Litepanels product and still works fine.

I set out to find a cheaper alternative that would provide quality lite for photographers and videographers who don’t have a lot of money. I found it.

It’s the NEEWER® 160 LED CN-160 Dimmable Ultra High Power Panel Digital Camera / Camcorder Video Light, LED Light. At $40 it’s built at least as well as the Litepanels product which costs a whole bunch more.

It works with diffusers and gels. It mounts to any hot/coldshoe. It works with five different kinds of batteries (including my favorite – “AA”.) It has a battery life indicator, comes with the diffuser and gels, and has a dimmer switch.

The unit is rated at 5400k. I get about two hours of constant use with six “AA” batteries so power consumption is very reasonable given the LEDs.

The Neewer light provides a lot of light for its size. It’s an evenly dispersed patten. It’s not as color temperature accurate as some of the models costing $400 but for a tenth of the price, I can live with that. These things are so inexpensive that if you use them and they break it’s not the end of the world.

They provide great stand up interview lights, or work as perfect catchlights in still portraiture. You can also use them for product and macro photography.

Again, for the money, they simply have no rival. Highly recommended.

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About scottbourne

Founder of Photofocus.com. Retired professional photographer. Now I just play with my camera.