Geekoto LED Ring Light Kit Review
If you shoot a lot of video or photos, you know that lighting is one of the most important things to get your image looking good. I’m a big fan of using inexpensive clamp lights with daylight LED bulbs, since the cost is so low for the performance they deliver. Ring lights are one of the types of lighting I’ve seen used by a lot of people for single front-light solutions, so when Geekoto contacted me last month to review one, I had them send us one to review so we could test it out.
The kit I was sent is the 18-inch ring light, which comes with the LED Ring Light, a tripod, a 1/4-inch 20 ball head, a smartphone mount, the power adapter for the light, a padded carrying case for everything, and a couple of booklets.
The tripod was the first thing I started messing with, since I would need it to get the ring light hooked up. It’s 19-inches when folded up, 36-inches when standing up, and around 74-inches when fully extended. It’s not great, but it’s functional. What was disappointing is when I went to attach the ring light to the stand, it uses one screw to secure it perpendicular to the post, rather than threading on the 3/8-inch tripod head. This meant that even though it was tightened down all the way, with a moderate amount of force, the light had a few degrees of wobble. The ring light has a 1/4-inch 20 threaded mount where you can attach your camera or smartphone, which worked well with the included smartphone mount.
The carrying bag is nice for a traveling setup and has a couple of zipper pouches to keep other accessories that you might need on the go. For portable setups, the ring light supports the standard Sony NP-F 7.4V batteries and has a battery indicator to show you when they’re getting low. For in home use, a 15V 4A (60W) AC adapter is included. Unfortunately, the cable length from the power brick to the light is only 46-inches long, so it will be left dangling there unless you cable tie it to the tripod. The cord length from the power brick to the wall is also relatively short at 47-inches from end to end. Fortunately it’s a standard non-polarized 2-prong cable so if that is an issue, finding a longer cable isn’t a problem.
The light itself functions very well. The interface on the back makes it easy to change the brightness and color temperatures, if you don’t like the default 5500K (daylight) setting. A green backlight screen indicates the power and color temperature settings. The buttons and switches work perfectly. The dial for the light feels a bit cheap and doesn’t have the tactile feel that I would have liked, but it’s not something I needed to keep adjusting. The one flaw that I was expecting occurred between 23% and 44% brightness levels, which is LED flicker. If you are sensitive to this, you know exactly what I’m talking about. LEDs tend to have this issue when you dim them at certain levels where you will get this annoying flicker. There are some LEDs that flicker at full brightness, which drives me crazy. Fortunately, this is not present above 50%, which is realistically where you’re going to have the brightness dialed in at.
At 100%, this thing floods the room with what they claim to be 4800 lumens. I do not have a light meter, but it would be somewhat equivalent to six 60W daylight LED bulbs all next to each other. That’s not entirely mathematically accurate, but it’s fairly close. At any rate, I had to dial the thing back to 75% for my sanity and to protect my eyes. At the 4 foot distance from the light, this worked for me in an unlit room.
Having used the light the past few weeks on videos, I definitely appreciate having a tripod mounted light vs clamping lights onto old tripods and furniture. It’s also nice to have one light to flood the area for detailed work, like when I swapped out my projector bulb. Despite the caveats with the tripod mount on the light and the short AC adapter cable, I think this is worth picking up if you need a ring light.