Compact RGB LED Tube Lights for Video Production on a Budget

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Poor lighting ruins any photo or video shoot. Unfortunately, lighting equipment is often expensive and bulky.

Use an RGB LED tube light if you need an affordable way to light your scenes. They are compact, can be handheld, and are more portable and cheaper than bigger fresnels or panels.

Add creative lighting with one or more of the top 10 budget-friendly portable LED tube lights for videography and photography.

Here is a closer look at each of these options.

1. Godox LC500R RGB LED Light Stick

The Godox LC500R RGB LED light can easily help improve the quality of your videos or photos. Considering the small size, It has a wide color temperature range and a relatively bright output. The light stick measures just over two feet long, including the handle.

The Godox LC500R LED light has a rendering index (CRI) rating 96. The CRI rating measures the light source’s ability to highlight the natural colors in objects and backgrounds.

You typically want lights with a CRI rating of at least 90. With a CRI of 96 and a color temperature range of up to 8500K, the Godox LC500R light provides accurate color reproduction.

With RGB tube lights like these, CRI is primarily important when using the light on tungsten or daylight settings – or in between.

As with most RGB tube lights, the LC500R is dimmable and includes 14 preset lighting modes. It also provides full control over the hue and saturation of the color.

You can adjust the settings using the provided remote control or the buttons on the handle.

The bottom of the handle has a ¼-inch thread for mounting the light on a tripod or light stand. While it is battery-powered, the battery only offers about two hours of running time on a full charge. You also need AC power for full brightness, making this a little less portable.

Pros

  • It includes a remote control
  • The LED produces accurate colors
  • It offers a wide color temperature range

Cons

  • The battery lasts about two hours
  • It costs a little more compared to other budget lights

2. Godox TL60 Light Kit

The Godox TL60 light kit is another handheld tube light from Godox. It costs about the same as the other Godox LED light but has several advantages and disadvantages.

The color temperature range of this LED light is 2700K to 6500K, which allows you to recreate the colors of indoor lighting or broad daylight. It also allows you to adjust the colors across the entire RGB color spectrum or dim the light from 0% to 100% brightness.

This LED light is one of the more powerful choices at full brightness. The LED lights consume about 60W of power and can shower an entire room in bright light. However, using the brightest setting also drains the battery quickly, which already has a limited capacity.

To get the most out of this light, plug it into an electrical outlet. However, it also provides various control options, including remote control, smartphone app, DMX control, or onboard controls.

Pros

  • It offers a variety of ways to control the light
  • It is one of the brightest LED tube lights available
  • The CRI rating of 96 offers accurate color rendering

Cons

  • It requires AC power for full brightness
  • It is relatively costly compared to other tube lights

3. YOUKOYI P7

The YOUKOYI P7 is a portable tube LED light with a high-capacity battery. The 10,400mAh battery offers up to seven hours of continuous use. You can also power the light via the provided USB charging cable.

This is an affordable light that you can take anywhere. However, it is not one of the brightest options. It has an 8W LED tube, illuminating the area up to several feet from the light.

The available settings include 12 lighting modes and eight preset color temperatures. The temperature range of 3000K to 5750K recreates natural daylight.

Instead of gradually adjusting the colors or color temperature, you can only select from the preset options.

However, the preset options make the light easier to use, removing the guesswork of adjusting the color temperature.

Pros

  • Preset options that are easy to use
  • IP68 waterproof rating
  • Seven hours of running time on a full charge

Cons

  • The light is not as bright as other options

4. Chameleon RGB Handheld LED Video Tube Light

The Chameleon RGB handheld LED light provides a wide range of color temperatures and brighter output.

You can adjust the color temperature between 2800K and 9900K, which covers everything from the colors produced by a fire’s flames to the gentle glow of moonlight.

The versatile LED light includes 12 lighting modes but can independently adjust the brightness and color temperature. You can adjust the settings using a remote control or a DMX console.

Pros

  • It is more versatile due to the wide color temperature range
  • The four-foot-long tube brightens a larger area
  • You can control the device via the remote control or a DMX console

Cons

  • One of the more expensive LED lights

5. LUXCEO P7RGBPro Handheld Photography Light

The LUXCEO P7RGBPro closely matches the YOUKOYI P7 LED light. These handheld lights have the same color temperature, LED power output, and remote control. They also have high-capacity built-in batteries that offer extended running time compared to other portable LED lights.

The lighting modes and color settings are a little different. The LUXCEO LED light has eight lighting modes, which you can control via the provided remote control or a mobile app.

The LUXCEO LED light also has an IP68 waterproof rating. It is suitable for wet environments and can be partially submerged for short periods.

Pros

  • You can control the light via a mobile app
  • The light has an IP68 waterproof rating
  • It includes a variety of preset lighting modes

Cons

  • Not as bright as some of the other LED lights

6. NEEWER 18W Handheld RGB Video Light

The NEEWER 18W handheld video light provides a cost-effective option for illuminating a small area. It has an 18W LED tube, which offers decent light output when using the highest brightness setting.

As with some of the higher-priced LED tube lights, this light is fully adjustable. You can adjust the color temperature, brightness, hue, and saturation. It includes onboard controls with a TFT display, allowing you to change the colors quickly.

Pros

  • The handle has a TFT display screen
  • It includes a wide range of lighting modes and effects
  • You can adjust the color temperature, hue, saturation, and brightness

Cons

  • The battery only lasts about two hours at full brightness

7. SOONWELL MT1 RGBW LED Tube Light

The SOONWELL MT1 offers greater versatility for photography and videography, as it has one of the widest ranges of color temperatures available.

You can adjust the color temperature between 1600K and 20,000K, allowing you to recreate the glow of candlelight, broad daylight, or moonlight.

The light also comes with 20 preset effects and lighting modes. Unfortunately, you cannot independently adjust the hue and saturation.

As with some other LED lights, the SOONWELL has a built-in lithium battery. On the brightest setting, the battery lasts a little under two hours.

Pros

  • Includes 20 preset lighting modes and effects
  • Offers the widest range of color temperatures
  • Is suitable for use in water up to 16 feet deep

Cons

  • It does not include a remote control
  • The onboard controls are a little confusing

8. YONGNUO YN360 II LED Video Light

The YONGNUO YN360 II LED light is compact and easy to use. It has a remote control that docks on the light itself. It also has a battery slot for a removable NP-F battery. Unfortunately, the light does not come with a battery.

The light requires AC power. However, when plugged into an electrical outlet, the LEDs can lighten a room. The dimmable light includes various lighting modes, but you cannot adjust the hue or saturation separately.

Pros

  • It is one of the brighter LED tube lights
  • The controller docks on the handle
  • It includes a slot for a rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Does not come with a rechargeable battery
  • Offers a limited range of color temperatures

9. AIKNOW RGB Video Tube Light

The AIKNOW RGB video tube light has a wide selection of color temperatures from 2500K to 8500K. It also has a CRI rating 96, which is a little higher than some other LED lights.

As with the YONGNUO LED light, this light is powered using AC power or a rechargeable NP-F battery. Unlike the YONGNUO LED light, the AIKNOW RGB light includes an NP-F lithium battery. You get several hours of use out of the light before depleting the battery.

The handle includes controls and an OLED display. You can adjust almost everything, including color temperature, hue, saturation, and brightness. It even comes with 12 lighting modes.

Pros

  • Includes a removable rechargeable battery
  • Offers a wide range of color temperatures
  • Produces relatively bright light

Cons

  • The battery may only last a couple of hours on the brightest setting

10. HAGIBIS RGB Handheld LED Video Light

Use the HAGIBIS RGB LED video light if you want a cheap light. This handheld light is one of the most affordable options but provides less illumination. A 2600mAh battery or a USB cable powers it. Both options offer limited light output.

The color temperature between 3200K and 5600K is adjustable, offering less versatility than other lights. It also has nine color modes and 12 brightness settings instead of providing complete control over the hue, saturation, and brightness.

Despite the drawbacks, the HAGIBIS RGB handheld light is convenient for lighting a single subject. If you are filming a closeup of someone standing just a few feet from the camera, this light can help eliminate shadows and improve color reproduction.

Pros

  • It is one of the most affordable LED lights
  • The small size is easy to carry and transport
  • It comes with a remote control

Cons

  • The LED light is not the brightest
  • It offers a limited selection of settings

RGB LED Tube Light Comparison Table


Color Temperature RangeLength in cmCRIPower SourceAccessoriesLED Wattage
Godox LC500R2500K to 8500K61,6962600mAh battery, AC powerStorage bag, remote control23W
Godox TL602700K to 6500K75962600mAh battery, AC powerStorage bag, remote control60W
YOUKOYI P73000K to 5750K45,79510400mAh battery, USB powerRemote control8W
Chameleon RGB Handheld2800K to 9990K116953350mAh battery, AC powerStorage bag, steel loop, mounting clamps15W
LUXCEO P7RRGB3000K to 5750K409510400mAh battery, USB powerRemote control8W
NEEWER 18W Handheld RGB3000K to 6500K65962200mAh battery, USB powerStorage bag18W
SOONWELL MT1 RGBW1600K to 20000K3596Lithium battery, USB powerMini tripod, strap, thread adapter48W
YONGNUO YN360 II3200K to 5500K58,395AC power, NP-F lithium battery (sold separately)Remote control, orange filter21W
AIKNOW RGB Video Tube Light2500K 8500K5595AC power, NP-F lithium batteryStorage bag, NPF750 battery, battery charger20W
HAGIBIS RGB Handheld LED3200K to 5600K53,4952600mAh battery, USB powerStorage bag, remote control, lanyard, hot shoe adapterN/A


Features to Consider: How to Choose the Best Handheld LED Tube Video Light

Picking the best budget-friendly handheld LED tube video light involves considering several key factors to ensure you get good value for money while still achieving high-quality lighting for your videos.

Here are the aspects you should look for when making your selection:

1. Color Temperature:

– Look for a light that offers adjustable color temperature, usually ranging from about 2500K (warm) to 6500K (cool). This allows versatility in matching ambient light conditions or creating specific moods in your videos.

2. Color Rendering Index (CRI):

– The CRI measures the accuracy of the LED light in rendering colors when compared to a natural light source. A higher CRI (above 90) is preferable for video work to ensure that the colors in your footage look natural and vibrant.

3. Luminance/Brightness:

– Ensure the light has sufficient brightness for your needs, measured in lumens or lux. Some lights come with adjustable brightness, which is very useful for controlling the exposure and contrast of your video.

The intensity of the light is typically measured in lumens at a specific distance.

Unfortunately, not all manufacturers list the lumens, requiring you to look at the power output of the LED lights. A 20W LED light can produce more intense light than an 8W LED.

4. Battery Life:

– Consider the battery life of the LED tube light, especially if you plan on using it for extended periods without access to power.

The battery life is essential when filming outdoors. The capacity of the batteries is listed as the milliampere consumed per hour (mAh).

Look for lights with a longer battery life or the ability to replace batteries easily.

Most lights should offer at least two hours of use on a full charge, and there are a few options with high-capacity batteries.

5. Build Quality:

– Even if you are on a budget, you don’t want a light that will break after a few uses. Look for a light with a sturdy build, preferably with some level of water and dust resistance.

6. Size and Portability:

– The size of the light is important, especially if you need to be mobile. A compact and lightweight design can make it easier to handle and transport.

7. Mounting Options:

– Check what mounting options the light offers. Magnetic ends, tripod mounts, or hanging the light can benefit different shooting scenarios.

8. Special Features:

– Some lights come with additional features such as effects (police lights, lightning, fire, etc.), which can be useful for creative video work. Bluetooth connectivity and app control can offer convenience in adjusting settings remotely.

9. Accessories:

– See if the light comes with useful accessories such as a carrying case, diffuser, grid, or additional mounting hardware.

Closing Thoughts

Vlogging, filmmaking, and general photography require adequate lighting to capture clearer video or photos.

If you want a bigger RGB panel-type lighting kit, look at this guide to the Best Affordable RGB LED Panel For Video (Lighting Kits).

Hopefully, these details will make choosing your handheld video light a little easier.


Author

    by
  • Jan Sørup

    Jan Sørup is a indie filmmaker, videographer and photographer from Denmark. He owns filmdaft.com and the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.

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