RGB LEDS are becoming a ‘big thing’ in the video production industry. Here I review my purchase of the Neewer RGB660 Lights; a low cost, RGB fixture ideal for the owner/operator!
I recently had a small green screen shoot I was due to shoot with a small team consisting of myself as Director/Camera and a Camera Assistant. We were due to shoot 3 stand up pieces to camera using AutoCue onto my 2.4x2m pop up green screen.
Usually I’d usually use my tungsten lights for this sort of project, however since I’ve got a set of FalconEyes RX-18TDs, which are a beautiful fill and key light, I was keen to add to my LED light offering a couple of lamps to light the green screen. After all it is 2021!
Given so many low cost options these days from the likes of FalconEyes, Neewer & GVM, I was keen to take a look at what they had on offer to fill this role. As I started to take a look I noticed that the price of RGB variants had significantly reduced, making them a viable alternative for me to the regular Bi-Colour lamps.
After much consideration, I took a punt at the Neewer RGB660 lights as a two pack, complete with carry case and stands.
If you’d like to take a look at the Neewer RGB660 LEDS Lights on Amazon check out the link below. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
The lights are a little smaller than the usual 1×1 LED panel, which was a little bit of a shock, however the output is pretty good. Compared to the Bi-Colour Neewer 660 lamps you do loose out a little on the maximum brightness, due to the LEDS being split between Bi-Colour and RGB, however you do gain than elusive RGB mode!
The lamps come with a couple of stands and a carry case. If I was starting out I’d probably make use of them, however I already have some high quality stands and I also wanted to pack these two lights down into a small package for Run & Gun situations. In the end I went to PCWorld to purchase a Logik Laptop bag, which they fit in perfectly!
In the CCT (Bi-Colour) mode the lamp produces great colour and offers a Kelvin range of 3200-5600K in 100K steps using both daylight and tungsten LEDS. The lamp is fully dimmable from 0% to 100% in 1% steps.
You can achieve the maximum brightness out of the lamp by activating both the daylight and tungsten LEDS, setting the Kevlin to around 4200K. I did this for my green screen shoot to help achieve a stop of f4 at 1000EI and 1/50 shutter.
In RGB mode you have control over Hue, Saturation and Brightness. At low saturation the lamp tends towards a cooler white balance. You can control the lamp via the two dials on the back of the unit quite easily, however I prefer to use the mobile phone app. The app offers full control over the lamp, including turning the unit on and off! In the RGB mode it provides a full colour wheel interface, so you can tune the colour to exactly what you want. You can also save two presets.
I recently used the RGB feature to create a blue wash on a background of around 5m x 3m from a distance of 2m. Being able to dial the lamp in from the app means you can stand at the camera or monitor and dial the colour until your happy! The client loved this touch and is something which a few years ago would have required quite a punchy tungsten lamp with colour gels.
While I haven’t had much use for the effects mode as yet the Neewer RGB660 lights offer, I have just recently completed a shoot where we used several Arri Skypanel S60s and s30s to create a lightning effect. So effects are on my radar. Sadly the Neewer 660RGB lamps offer only a small amount of control over their effects in comparison, with three present modes;
- Emergency Services – Squad Car, Ambulance, Fire Engine.
- Coloured Lighting – Fireworks, Party, Candle Light
- Flashing Light – Lightning, Paparazzi, Display Screen
And only control over the Brightness of the output. It would be good to see some control over the colour, ideally a Bi-Colour control on the Candle Light, Lightning and Display Screen, and perhaps a choice of colours on the Emergency Services effects to suit the county you’re filming in.
The Neewer RGB660 lights come with a plastic diffusion material, which is great to help diffuse the individual LEDS, however with the barn doors attached I noticed you ended up with multiple shadows at close range. Adding a little more diffusion to the barn doors removed these multiple shadows.
While the barn doors are a great addition to a lamp like this, they did impede its ability to tilt down on a lighting stand as the doors got caught in the yoke of the lamp. You can mount the lamp at 90 degrees to the stand, and this moves the yoke to behind the lamp, meaning the barn doors can move freely, however I felt this made the lamp a little unstable on the stand, as its sort of ‘leans’ forward.
In the end I removed the barn doors and attached some 1/4 diffusion directly to the lamp in front of the provided plastic diffusion. This seems to work great at getting rid of the multiple shadows without loosing too much of the output of the lamp. The only downside to this is that the lamp can quite easily flare the lens if in a kicker or backlight situation. The addition of a flag or blackwrap to the edge of the light usually brings this flare under control.
Overall I feel the lamps are a great addition to the kit bag, either as a small lighting package for those Run & Gun shoots or to supplement my bigger LED kit as backlights, kickers or background lights.
The lights can be powered from the mains, using the included power adaptor, or via the Sony NP-F batteries, which I have quite a few!
If you’d like to buy your own Neewer RGB660 LEDS Lights check out the link below to buy via Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.