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Review: Adorama Flashpoint CL-1300 LED Panel Light

Adorama's Flashpoint 1300 LED Panel light is powerful, flexible and well-featured as a standalone light and can be easily integrated into two- and four-light panels should the need arise.

The panel I received did not come with barn doors, which you can purchase separately for $59.95 (after $40 rebate). Or, you can purchase the light with the barn doors for $439.94 (after $40 rebate), which you should definitely consider, since barn doors let you shape the light easily and hang other lighting implements like gels over the light. If you purchase the light with the barn door kit, Adorama throws in the remote controller.

To be clear, the CL-1300 unit that I tested comes with all 5600 color temperature bulbs, with a color filter to change the temperature to 3200. Adorama also sells a BiColor version of the CL-1300 that comes with half 5600k bulbs and half 3200k bulbs, so you can dial in either color temperature without the filter, or any value in between. Note, however, that this cuts the light intensity in half because at either extreme, you have only half the bulbs working, while the unit produces color temperatures in the midrange by allocating the power to the two sets of bulbs.

This version makes sense if you frequently need to mix your lights with tungsten lamps, but probably doesn’t if you’ll be mixing in mostly with 5600k fluorescent lights, which is my situation. Obviously, you should be clear on which unit you’re buying before you pull the trigger.

Integrated Operation

One of the cool features of the CL-1300 is that it can operate as a standalone unit, or you can buy a bracket for two or four units to mount them as an array. Each unit comes with power input and output ports so you can daisy chain the power for the two or four units. You can also control intensity for all units on an integrated panel with one remote control. This allows the CL-1300 to function both as a component of a multi-unit studio light, and a portable lighting kit.

My Tests

I focused my tests in two areas. First, I wanted to gauge the output power of the CL-1300. I also wanted to assess whether the light flickered at the edges of the lighting intensity levels and whether it emitted any noise. Both of the latter are complaints of LED lighting in general, and of the CL-1300 in particular.

To test the unit’s power, I set it up about 10 feet from where I was standing to serve as a single key light, with the camera directly in front of the light. At full intensity, I was able to shoot at an f/stop of 4.8 with my trusty Panasonic AG-HMC150 with no gain, a feat that none of my previous CFL light kits could ever duplicate (Figure 4, below).

Figure 4. Love the single key light; look mom, one light, no shadow! Photo by Eleanor Rose Ozer.

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