As the demand for video increases in a photographer’s workflow, so does the need for additional continuous lighting.  The advent of LED lighting has seen the arrival of many lightweight and versatile products, such as the Yongnuo YN-160S Pro LED Video Light.  The YN-160S features 160 LED lamps with 16 levels of adjustment, 5500K color temperature, is compatible with seven different kinds of batteries, ships with two filters, one hot shoe mount (with metal foot) and table stand.

This little guy has become one of the most frequently used (and abused) tools in my bag, and not just for video fill.  Should an impromptu portrait shoot arise, I’m likely to have only one flash and maybe a reflector on hand at the time.  With a compact LED or two in the bag, I can quickly throw a second or third continuous light source in the mix to further separate my subject and establish a sense of depth.


The above image represents one such occasion, the subject happens to be a good friend and I wanted to grab a quick portrait on a recent family visit. Setup was quick and very straight-forward: We have an umbrella-diffused Canon 430EXII flash positioned just off camera-right, placed at eye-level to pop a little light into the face and eyes.  Our LED source is stand-mounted at camera-left, and located just behind the subject to generate a subtle, defining edge of light around the head and shoulders.


Here we have a similar setup as in the image above, except we’re now shooting outside and the LED has been repositioned at camera-right to accommodate the background.  We’ve also added a grid (snoot) to direct and hold the flash to the face area only.  Cranking the YN-160 to nearly full power, the plan was to highlight the microfibers around the fringe of the hoodie and emulate the ambient glow of city light in the background.

Weighing in at only $40 retail, this system is capable of providing small solutions to big problems and has bailed me out of more than one poorly-lit predicament.  The light is easily mountable for nearly any scenario, even light enough to be secured in odd places with gaffers tape.  The YN-160S is designed to accept a variety of batteries, including AA.  Max run time at full-charge is around 15 hours on a compatible 5800mAh camcorder battery.

While I do highly recommend this product for its versatile size and function, the Yongnuo YN-160S LED operates at only 9 watts max power and is not capable of a large throw.  Should you have need of added firepower or would like to experiment with a variety of continuous LED solutions, talk to our friends at and enlist all the power your project needs.

If you have any questions, please drop me a note at [email protected] or connect with me on Twitter.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


This Post Sponsored by: Be a kid in a camera store. Rent lenses, cameras, lighting and more from the original and best online photographic and video equipment rental company.  Use PHOTOFOCUS15 in the checkout special instructions to receive 15% off any April rental.

Mosaic A complete solution for photographers using Lightroom who want to manage and share their photos. You can easily view images with their iOS app or web service. Plus your photos are backed up to the cloud with several plans to match your needs. Be sure to also check out the Lightroom Learning Center to learn new ways to work in Lightroom.

ViewBug  Stick With ViewBug & Photofocus throughout 2014 – because we’re announcing the biggest contest in Photofocus history — coming soon!

The HDR Learning Center Check out new ways to use High Dynamic Range photography to make compelling images. Free tutorials and posts to get results. Produced in partnership with HDRsoft. Learn photography anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace—from bite-sized tutorials to comprehensive courses. Try free for 10 days by visiting Photofocus.

The Topaz Labs Image Enhancement bundle. Open up a world of creative possibilities with a seamless, integrated workflow. You don’t need to be a Photoshop wizard to look like one. Click here and use the code photofocus to get a 15% discount.


Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Thank you for give me useful detail about the led light. Mainly person choose led lights

    behind reason is that led lights have different color. Now a day the LED flood lamp and LED

    tube light is most widely used as the representatives of the home lighting and decorative

    lighting in daily life.


Let us know your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

About Mark Morrow

Mark Morrow is an active Virginia-based photographer with specialties in a wide variety of domestic and commercial projects. Always an avid student of the craft, Mark enjoys sharing insight and inspiration with enthusiasts and aspiring pros on his blog, podcast and as a contributing author here at [email protected] |


Gear, Lighting, Photography, Reviews, Shooting, Technique & Tutorials


, , , , , , ,