Ask An Expert: RGB LED Lighting

RGB LED lights are gaining in popularity with videographers. Should I add them to my photographic repertoire?

It’s absolutely something to consider – the applications for RGB lighting in photography are as varied and as interesting as they are in video. You can paint with light, create effect and express mood in almost unlimited ways. Applications in photography include creating a variety of background colours by directing the RGB light onto a plain white wall or canvas, adding interesting hues and highlights to product photography, setting the mood for really striking portraits, and creating incredible effects with movement and a long exposure.
The beauty of using LED lighting instead of gels is that you’ve then got those lights there and ready if you ever decide to branch out into video yourself. Some RGB lights, such as the Kenro Smart Lite series, also double up as studio lights, offering 5600-3200K stepless colour temperature adjustment and essentially giving you a 2-in-1 lighting solution. Another advantage of RGB lighting is that it can be more precise than gels, allowing you to select one colour from more than 360 on the RGB spectrum, and easily replicate it across other lights. The Kenro Smart Lite RGB Video Panel Light can also be controlled by app or by remote control, making it easier to change lighting on shoots without getting up and down ladders to change gels, or to replicate your lighting settings at the touch of a button. If you’re torn between trying RGB lighting or sticking with gels, really do your research first, because good RGB lights open up a whole world of new possibilities.