With the amateur and enthusiast market in mind, the new LED100WB light heads from Fotodiox combine decent power with a strong feature set at a very good price. The lights provide a flicker-free output for video at up to 120 frames per second, and because LEDs run cool, they are suitable for a wide range of applications.
As the product name suggests, a single head draws just 100 watts of power, but output is equivalent to 400 watts when comparing to a traditional tungsten bulb. The other benefit over tungsten is the native daylight-balanced, 5600k color temperature, which won’t change as the light is dimmed. Historically, where LEDs have performed poorly is in the color spectrum they produce, but according to DPReview, Fotodiox claims the LED100WB has a CRI close to 95.
The LED100WB is relatively small compared to traditional constant lights, so it should work well as a location kit. Light output is controlled by a knob on the head itself, or through a unique wireless remote control. 400 watts of equivalent power output isn’t exactly a lot, however, which is likely the biggest limiting factor of the lights and what makes them less suitable for professional use.
One interesting change that Fotodiox has made with the LED100WB, compared to older models, is the new speed ring that accepts Alien Bee modifiers. Previous Fotodiox heads have accepted modifiers designed for Bowens lights, a decidedly more professional brand. The switch to Alien Bee, a popular brand among beginner and amateur photographers, suggests Fotodiox is more narrowly focusing on the low end market.
That said, at least on paper, the LED100WB looks to offer a lot of bang for the buck. A single head starts at just $299 and includes a reflector dish, diffuser sock, and a light stand. A three-head kit costs $999 and adds two 24-inch foldable soft boxes and a rolling case. As a first lighting kit for the aspiring filmmaker, one could certainly do worse.