Review: Aladdin Bi-Flex 2 LED Light Panel
Though not unique in the category of flexible panel LED lighting solutions, Aladdin Lights' Bi-Flex II is very well made, and incorporates a lot of good design features into a very packable light
LED light panels are becoming more capable and more convenient at the same time. One fine example of this is Aladdin Lights’ family of LED light panels (Figure 1, below), which offers high color rendition Index (CRI), bi-color capability, DMX control, battery and AC powering, all in a very convenient package.
Figure 1. The Aladdin Bi-Flex family of LED light panels.
Aladdin Lights, distributed by Zylight in the United States, loaned me a Bi-Flex 2 for a couple weeks to check out its innovative Bi-Flex 2 LED light panel. Though it is not unique in the category of flexible panel LED lighting solutions, it is very well made, and incorporates a lot of good design features into a very packable light.
The light panel itself is less a centimeter thick, and features 198 tungsten and 198 daylight LEDs. These can be mixed using the external controller to any percentage between them. The controller can also dim the LEDs from 100% to about 10%. At that point, they just cut out. As with all LEDs, there's no color shift with dimming. I shot as high as 1/320 sec shutter and had no flicker issues with the Aladdin light. You can see this video in the "lab" portion of the video that accompanies this review.
The LEDs offer a touted 98 CRI in daylight and 97 CRI in tungsten across a 24" x 12" panel that weighs only 1 pound (Figure 2, below). Add the "X-Bend" holder and it easily mounts onto a light stand either vertically or horizontally. There's also a thin diffuser that I didn't bother to try because I found the distributed nature of the surface mount LEDs to be soft enough in their illumination.
Figure 2. The 24"x12" Bi-Flex 2 panel. Click the image to see it at full size.
The controller (Figure 3, below) is a flat little box, with either a V-lock or AB Gold mount for battery operation away from AC power, or the included AC adapter can run the panel full out with ease. I didn't test the battery run time as I only have V-lock batteries and received the AB-mount controller for review.
Figure 3. The Bi-Flex 2 controller.
The controller has a little metal piece for hanging it on the light stand. This is handy if you choose not to use the included 16' extension cable and use just the short pigtail that comes from the light. If you want to keep the controller off the light stand, then you can make use of the integrated controls, or also the 5-pin DMX capability or remotely controlling the light (Figure 4, below). The lighting address can easily be set on the side of the controller with three dip switches (Figure 5, below Figure 4).
Figure 4. Controller I/O
Figure 5. The DMX light number select. Click the image to see it at full size.
The flexibility comes not just in that the light itself is flexible and bendable (Figure 6, below), but with the included stand mount, available lighting control accessories, as well as the velcro and loops on the back of the light for mounting flexibility. From using the fuzzy side of Velcro on the surface on to which you want to stick the light, to something as simple as two push pins, will let you hang this LED light like a picture. These flexible LED panels make it a lot easier to get creative with lighting.
Figure 6. The Aladdin LED is flexible and bendable. Click the image to see it at full size.
The thinness and sheer light weight of this panel is hard to convey without you actually holding it, but I wouldn't dare try to hang a 1X1 LED panel in a typical metal enclosure on a pushpin in a wall. This is wider, offering more light, and I'd have no problem doing the same with this light.