LED video lights for photography – Sabre Pro Lighting
For the past few months, I’ve been testing out a new LED video light at weddings I’ve photographed and workshops I’ve presented.
The LED lights, made by Sabre Professional Lighting, are individually crafted. Made with aluminum, the guy who makes them, has told me that they are essentially waterproof and near indestructible. Well, I didn’t drown the one I had, or bang it around, but it certainly seems tough enough.
He makes them in different configurations, as seen on his website’s order form – different sizes and different color temperatures. They can even have a remote control knob for the power. This way, if you have your light up on a monopod, you can turn the brightness up or down, without pulling the light down to eye-level again to adjust it.
The main advantage for me with this unit, is the brightness. The LED panels I’ve used so far, have all been much lower intensity than the Lowel ID-Light, for example. The Sabre Lighting unit is comparable in brightness to the Lowel ID-Light. The actual brightness will depend on the configuration you settle on. But it is much brighter than the LitePanels LED light I’ve been using.
They take a Sony NPF-L battery. This Sony battery is commonly used, and this LED light runs … well, I won’t say “forever”, but I’ve used it at consecutive weddings and at After Dark, without recharging it. So yes, it runs for a long while on the battery. I’d be hugely surprised if a photographer ran a battery down with normal use.
This LED light is also fairly compact, and with the battery, it is a self-cotained unit. No cables … unless you want the remote cable to control the power.
Another benefit – the color temperature doesn’t change color as you dim the lights. This is important if you want a workflow where you don’t have to edit each image individually.
The one downside compared to other LED lights, is that since this LED light is hand-crafted, and the LEDs used are high-power LEDs, the unit is spendy. But there are much to recommend about this LED light, and I really like it. It’s the one I’ll be taking with me on shoots and workshops in the future.
If you’d like to order a unit directly from Sabre Professional Lighting, then the discount code, Tangents, will get you 5% off the price. During check-out, just enter the code where requested.
This image was taken in the entrance of a subway station during the romantic portrait session with the couple. I liked that their wedding date now appeared on the display at the train station. I turned the brightness of the LED light down so that it better matched the available light in the background.
camera settings: 1/80 @ f2.8 @ 1000 ISO
The image at the top was taken on the streets in Baltimore during the same time. Again, I controlled the power to match the video light’s brightness better with the background.
camera settings: 1/100 @ f3.5 @ 1600 ISO
The unit I have is matched for a white balance of 3200K.
With this image below, I feathered the light upwards a bit, so that their face are well-lit, but that there is a fall-off in the light towards the rest of their body. The blue color is from the lighting at the venue.
camera settings: 1/100 @ f3.2 @ 1600 ISO
more images from these 2 weddings:
- Lindsay & Chris – their wedding at the Lord Baltimore, MD
- Laura & Todd – their wedding day – Westmount Country Club, NJ