Kit Review: The Flexible LED Panel – FalconEyes RX-18TD
FalconEyes RX18-TD – Kit Review
I’m always looking at new kit! Whether to; improve the quality of my work, to make my life easier ‘on-set’ or to just upgrade a piece of equipment that is getting a bit ‘long in the tooth’! Enter the FalconEyes RX-18TD flexible LED panels to the rescue!
First up, let me give you a bit of background. A lot of the work I undertake is either very run and gun or completely controllable. For the controllable work I regularly have to hire in lights to get the power I require, such as HMIs and larger Tungsten lamps etc.
For the run and gun work, I am looking for a lighting ‘kit’ that produces beautiful soft light, can run off batteries or mains power, can pack down to a small size for transportation and is lightweight.
First up, the panel is Bi-Colour, which is great for working in both tungsten and daylight conditions, and everything in-between! It’s pretty powerful too at 100W, and can be dimmed from 0-100%, therefore it can happily act as a key, fill or backlight.
The colour quality of the light is pretty accurate to my eye, with no green/magenta shift, and no colour shift when dimmed either.
Personally I’d recommend getting this panel with some form of soft box. Without it you can see multiple shadows from the individual LEDs, which is to be expected but isn’t particularly pretty. Personally, I have combined my panels with the Soft Box (SB), which easily fits over the panel and can pack down fairly compactly. With the soft box installed it offers a lovely soft light, perfect for an interview key light.
As the name suggests, the panel is flexible and can be rolled up for storage! It includes an X frame for mounting the light on a lighting stand, which works well, although with the included clamp means you can’t angle the light down any further than 90 degrees!
On the back of the panel there is velcro for attaching the soft box, this can also be used for installing the light in more ‘unusual’ places, such as on ceilings and in cars etc. I’m looking forward to getting opportunity to try this out!
Compared to a standard 1×1 LED Panel it does take a little longer to setup, as there are several components that need to be connected together to get the light working. This said, the panel is quite a bit bigger than a 1×1 panel (at 45cm x 60cm) so does offer a ‘softer’ light, so I think it’s worth the extra effort!
If you intend to use the panel with batteries you’ll need the V-Mount variety… For me this required some extra investment as I had been previously running my LED lights from small Sony NP-F batteries. Having hunted around online I opted for the Baxxtar V-Mount 95Wh batteries from Amazon, linked below. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
My tests so far show I get about an hours usage at 100% power with the light set to 4500K (so both sets of LEDS on).
My only real negative with the light’s usability is that the cable between the panel and ballast is a little short, meaning you really do need to ‘hang’ the ballast off the lighting stand, rather than sitting it on the floor, which would be nice. This said, you can buy ‘Extension Power Cables’. If you intend to use the light in more unusual places, where you might want to move the ballast further away from the panel, I’d recommend getting one.
Over the last year, the amount of run and gun work I am carrying out has increased, where keeping a compact kit is key! Over this time I have been dreaming about a small LED panel kit that fits down into one Pelican case; stands, batteries and all, yet still maintaining lovely light quality and flexibility!
With the FalconEyes RX-18TD I have been able to ‘realise’ my dream. This is my compact LED Lighting Kit, all tucked up in a Pelicase 1560. It includes; 2x RX-18TD Panels inc. Softboxes, 2x Neewer CN-160 Panels (great little panels; ideal as top lights, backlights or accents), 2x Baxxstar V-Mount Batteries, 4x NP-F Batteries and 2x Nano Lighting Stands.
Okey, there is only two stands and four lights, but generally this case with fulfil 90% of the run and gun work I do, which is great and is now part of my standard Sony FS7 Shooting Package.
Having owned the FalconEyes RX-18TD for some time, I got tired of hanging the ballast on the lighting stand with the integrated ‘loop’ – when you moved the stand it would swing around and occasionally fall off! Which isn’t great on the cable or the ballast.
Therefore I went on the search for a compact solution. Enter the SmallRig clamp and cold-shoe mount. The clamp is smaller than the usual ‘Super Clamp’ and is ideal for clamping onto a lighting stand. The ballast features and integrated cold-shoe ‘channel’ mount down the side of the ballast. By attaching a cold-shoe mount to the clamp you can slide the ballast onto the cold-shoe and hold the ballast in place a bit more securely.
If you want to take a look at the SmallRig Clamp & Cold-Shoe Adaptors check out the link below to buy via Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
FalconEyes RX-18TD Flexible LED Panel
Fancy buying the FalconEyes RX-18TD to add to your LED lighting kit? Check out the link below to buy via Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.