REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
LitepanelsSolaENG 3" LED Fresnel
 
3.8

(based on 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

71%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (9)
  • Compact (8)
  • Easy to use (7)
  • Professional quality (6)
  • Good power output (5)

Cons

  • Flimsy (3)

Best Uses

  • Complex projects (5)
  • Independent films (5)
  • In the studio (5)
  • Night video (4)
  • Professional work (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Business owner (6), Film professional (5), Professional artist (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (18)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Good little light...with flaws

Overall, I like this light. It's lightweight, bright enough (looks like a 150w - 200w tungsten), and perfect for run-and-guns setups. I'd only use this as a backlight or accent light...Read complete review

Overall, I like this light. It's lightweight, bright enough (looks like a 150w - 200w tungsten), and perfect for run-and-guns setups. I'd only use this as a backlight or accent light in a 3 point camera interview but could make it work as a key or fill if necessary though it isn't bright enough. I love that it's focusable and can be dimmed without shifting in color...it also doesn't get hot. Coming from tungsten and fluorescents, that's phenominal. I also like the rubber dimmer and focus wheels. They feel nice in your hand. It also emits a nice quality of light in both spot and flood.

The negatives have already been listed but I'll repeat them:

1. The fan in the unit does make noise...it's not too terribly bad but it's there. It's not as disturbing as a building's AC unit or the compressor on a refrigerator so it doesn't bother me too much.

2. It's made of plastic. It's not lightweight cheap plastic but plastic none-the-less. That doesn't really bother me because it feels high quality and is light-weight. However, I do wish that the part of the light where the ball-head screws in was metal. There is a brass threaded ring seated down in the plastic but that would be the first place to fail if the ball-head was screwed on too tight.

3. The biggest issue I find with the light is the ball-head stand attachment. The ball-head is high-quality but there are too many moving pieces/parts that must be manipulate in order to get the light pointed in your desired direction.

With all it's faults, I still like the light as it's perfect for backlights and accent lights.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

I want to like this light - but...

I really want to like this light. Being one of the first relatively inexpensive LED Fresnel lights on the market - I really want to like it. And there are some things to...Read complete review

I really want to like this light. Being one of the first relatively inexpensive LED Fresnel lights on the market - I really want to like it. And there are some things to like. A little background. Because of my type of filming - lots of international travel, international voltage needs, small size, and quick setup, cool use, and daylight color balanced - I have used LED light primarily for about three years. I sold my ARRI fresnels and have used many kinds of LED lights. I have owned several smaller lightpanel lights, several LED-Z products, and some RGB LED chauvet lights for interview color splashes and special effects - so not cheap lights. So I have a little experience.

With that said, LED are great for most things I do, but most are not controllable like my old ARRI fresnels. My favorite light up until now has been the LED-Z Mini PAR lights. controllable with three lens - not real bright, but plenty for kickers, hairlights, and highlights. So back to the SOLA ENG - The light quality is great. Much like my ARRI Fresnel's (except daylight balanced - and cooler) in terms of light. Probably similar in light output to somewhere between my ARRI 150's and 300's. I do not have those anymore to test, but pretty close. The quality is great - smooth fall-off, even color, almost no fringing, and focus and dimmer work great.

The Problem - like other have said - fan noise. When I read this from another, I thought how bad could it be. Surely LitePanels would not sell a professional light with that bad an issue. Well there is noise. The concern though is not that it is that loud, but that it constantly changes in pitch and volume. I just set it up in my office lighting me as I type from about 8 feet away. I have left it on for about an hour to see if it settles out - it does not. The fan keeps cycling on and off and I can hear it clearly.

Now I have not used it on a production yet. I will try to use it on a film in 2 weeks. I will use quality boom mics and some hidden lavaliers. So I will find out soon if it is audible on film - but I am afraid it will be.

The other concern is it does not come with a power adapter. Luckily I had a power supply, I just had to by a $55 Powertap to XLR adapter. So overall good potential - and I hope they make changes and are willing to update my unit for free - but I will not hold my breath. I would have bought four more of these if it were not for the fan issue.

Reviewed by 20 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good little light...with flaws

By Tyg5

from Los Angeles, CA

About Me Business Owner

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Easy To Use
  • Highly Compatible
  • Improves Performance
  • Lightweight
  • Professional Quality

Cons

  • Poor Design

Best Uses

  • Complex Projects
  • Home Movies
  • Independent Films
  • In The Studio

Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

Overall, I like this light. It's lightweight, bright enough (looks like a 150w - 200w tungsten), and perfect for run-and-guns setups. I'd only use this as a backlight or accent light in a 3 point camera interview but could make it work as a key or fill if necessary though it isn't bright enough. I love that it's focusable and can be dimmed without shifting in color...it also doesn't get hot. Coming from tungsten and fluorescents, that's phenominal. I also like the rubber dimmer and focus wheels. They feel nice in your hand. It also emits a nice quality of light in both spot and flood.

The negatives have already been listed but I'll repeat them:

1. The fan in the unit does make noise...it's not too terribly bad but it's there. It's not as disturbing as a building's AC unit or the compressor on a refrigerator so it doesn't bother me too much.

2. It's made of plastic. It's not lightweight cheap plastic but plastic none-the-less. That doesn't really bother me because it feels high quality and is light-weight. However, I do wish that the part of the light where the ball-head screws in was metal. There is a brass threaded ring seated down in the plastic but that would be the first place to fail if the ball-head was screwed on too tight.

3. The biggest issue I find with the light is the ball-head stand attachment. The ball-head is high-quality but there are too many moving pieces/parts that must be manipulate in order to get the light pointed in your desired direction.

With all it's faults, I still like the light as it's perfect for backlights and accent lights.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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4.0

cool and bright

By Josh

from Chicago

About Me Business Owner, Professional Artist

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Easy To Use
  • Highly Compatible
  • Improves Performance
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Pricey / Poor Value

Best Uses

  • Complex Projects
  • In The Studio

Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

I use on a light stand. Creates a bright light that is on par with the lowel pro light I own as well. I really like that I can strike quickly at the end of long shoots.
For the price I wish build quality was better, but I guess that helps with weight.

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  • No

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5.0

Great little light

By Skjalg

from Norway

About Me Business Owner

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Easy To Use
  • Highly Compatible
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

      I use this light as a backlight when I shoot green screen, so the light is always crammed under the ceiling. Earlier I used a Lowell Pro light, and it sometimes left a singe mark in the ceiling because it develops a lot of heat. The heat is also an issue when you want to pack down fast and move on, and have to wait for the light to cool so it doesn't melt the bag.The LED light gives as much light as the Pro light did but develops almost no heat. It has a little fan inside, so I was concerned the microphone would pick up the sound, but in the field it is not an issue.The LED light is daylight balanced which suits me, since I use a RED Scarlet camera, which performs better with green screen, when using daylight-balanced lights. So I use a Diva 400 for key and two Diva 200 lights with green tubes, which give a lot of pure green light giving me a perfect green screen. The Pro light was tungsten and I put a filter in front to balance it for daylight, but it reduces the amount of light.The LED light is rather expensive compared to the pro light, but I assume it will last for a long time. It was a problem that the light bulbs often died in the Pro light, and they were not cheep but even worse was the hassle of getting them since I live in Norway.The LED light is very light weight and it is comfortable to handle.I would have liked it better if it was made out of aluminum, because the current plastic design is very fragile. Clumsy me tried to put on a soft box that comes as an accessory, and even though I wasn't being rough I broke the light. The two flanges that connect to the focus gear are really thin. But B&H has an excellent exchange policy, so they gave me a new one no questions asked.All in all I'm happy with the light. I am going to get more accessories for it, because it will run on battery and can easily be mounted on the camera or a light stand next to the camera hocked to a battery if you want to have a light but be very mobile…

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      • No

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Good LED Fresnel at a reasonable price

      By cseeman

      from Brooklyn, NY

      About Me Film Professional, Tech Savvy

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Attach Securely
      • Even Light Source
      • Long Lasting
      • Powerful

      Cons

      • Slight Fan Noise

      Best Uses

      • Back Or Hair Light
      • Key Or Fill Small Office
      • Night Video
      • Professional Work

      Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

      Use as a Key or Fill when shooting interviews in very small offices or as back or hair light in larger studio.

      It's a great small fresnel with very useful focusing and dimming. Holds color temperature throughout its range. It's easy to run off of DC power if AC isn't available.

      There's very slight fan noise if you put your ear to it. It has no impact in most circumstances. The only caution would be mounted on camera using an onboard shotgun mic. Fortunately for serious audio I'm either using lav, handheld or mic on boom.

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      • No

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      The little light with a bad wrap

      By Captain

      from Grand Rapids, Michigan

      About Me Film Professional, Gaffer

      Pros

      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Professional Work

        Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

        I have found it to be a great, portable unit that has replaced my diffused halogen peppers while I am operating on location for film and commerical work. It runs cooler, gives out the right amount of light, fully controllable and is dimmable. The fixtures fan is not an issue when you mic up your subject with the right device. The only issues I have with the light is that it does not have a manufactured battery pack or a four leaf barn door set.

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        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Professional Reporter Lighting

        By Marcello

        from Zug, Switzerland

        About Me Business Owner

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact Design
        • Easy To Use
        • Lightweight
        • Professional Quality

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Independent Films
          • In The Studio

          Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

          This unit is a great tool for daily use as an ENG cameraman. It's easy, reliable and does not consume much energy. The light is similar to a Fresnel spotlight.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Good qulity in lowe price

          By yang xicaochun

          from NJ

          About Me Business Owner

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Easy To Use
          • Highly Compatible
          • Improves Performance
          • Lightweight
          • Professional Quality

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Independent Films

            Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

            very light and when you use it ,it very quiet.I had compare many product Sola ENG is my best choice.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Amazing

            By Ryan A Randall

            from Toronto

            About Me Director of photography

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Compact Design
            • Lightweight
            • Professional Quality

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Complex Projects
              • Documentaries
              • Independent Films
              • Run and gun

              Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

              A lot of light, little weight, little power consumption, little heat

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              this is a solid product.

              By John

              from Fort Wayne, IN

              About Me Business Owner, Professional Artist

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Compact Design
              • Easy To Use
              • Lightweight
              • Professional Quality

              Cons

              • Pricey / Poor Value

              Best Uses

              • Complex Projects
              • Independent Films
              • In The Studio

              Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

              i use this for professional video jobs. i was happy to finally have a fresnel light that doesn't get hot. i felt that the power is not as much as it claims to have. i tried it through an octabank and the light is pretty much unusable for that purpose but does make a great hair light. i also feel like the light is still to soft to use as a accent on the background or to see much light cutting from the barn doors. it is great as a hair light and i now use it almost every time i shoot and the fans run very quiet.

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              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Good for beginner, high cost, low output

              By Robert Paulison Indie

              from Escondido, CA

              About Me Tech Savvy

              Pros

                Cons

                • Flimsy

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

                  I liked the light for a quick interview setup because of the low power claim, but think the price is very high compared to other LED panels on the market like IKAN. The light also feels kind of "clunky and bulky".

                  Fan noise is bothersome to me and I believe a possible problem with that if it breaks. Output seems very bright to look into, but I don't think it's really equivalent to a 200w tungsten as the marketing claims. I've shot with them a 200w and it's not nearly as bright, not even close!

                  Testing reveals, as another has stated, funny coloring shifting on the edges. Hopefully someone is listening and corrects this problem.

                  I agree with another review here, nice but not ready for prime time.

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                  • No

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  2.0

                  I want to like this but...it's very hard

                  By Nick Mangione

                  from San Diego, CA

                  Pros

                    Cons

                    • Flimsy
                    • Heavy
                    • Runs Hot
                    • Uses Power Quickly

                    Best Uses

                    • Night Video

                    Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

                    Like I said, I want to like this for ENG work but it's output has weird color fringing and a built in fan. Yikes! TOO LOUD! Output is definitely high in spot, but who uses spot in ENG work.

                    I can't think of a reason to keep this light, so it's going back. Plastic housing doesn't seem to want to stand up to rough ENG use. I'm a videographer in CA for a local news and need a high power top light. Unfortunately this won't work. Back to my Ultra-Daylight.

                    The manufacturer seems vastly exaggerate their photometrics, like most do, so be careful of the marketing hype and do your research. There are plenty of other good lights out there, for less money.

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                    • No

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                    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    1.0

                    Not ready for prime time

                    By Aaron

                    from FL

                    Pros

                      Cons

                      • Flimsy
                      • Heavy

                      Best Uses

                      • Night Video

                      Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

                      What I do like is the low power draw, but fan noise makes it unusable as a topper, had to send it back. Also pretty big and clunky. Output is not very punchy, can't see it working as a daylight fill in full sun.

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                      • No

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                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great Light

                      By jon

                      from denver, co

                      Verified Buyer

                      Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

                      I do not have much to compare this to, and the reviews were mixed but I really like this light. It fits on the cold shoe and runs off a brick battery. Very quiet fan and nice to control angle of light. Works great for lighting up faces or people. Very well made. I use it with a Sony PMW F3.

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                      (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Good Mix

                      By MikeD

                      from Gold Coast, Australia

                      About Me Film Professional

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Even Light Source
                      • Long Lasting
                      • Powerful

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Birthdays
                        • Night Video
                        • Professional Work
                        • Special Events
                        • Weddings

                        Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

                        This is a good all round light. Has plenty of punch for such a small power usage. Was very impressed with the light quality from this light.
                        There is a fan on the light but it is extremely quiet. Rest your ear next to the back of the light and you will hear it.
                        I do have 2 issues with the light.
                        1 How will the light handle rain? This light is by no means waterproof and there is some electronics in the light. There is nothing anywhere stating that the light is or is not waterproof and no cover available for the light.
                        2 How you connect the light to the camera. The light says ENG but you either have to screw the light in, (a little slow when the big story is happening) or connect a second attachment to make it possible to connect to a sprocket. But your light will be approx 9 inches above your handle. Be careful if you walk through a doorway.

                        Just the fact that it is a spotible LED light makes this light worth the money.

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                        • No

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                        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Excellent LED accent light

                        By Illumination light tech

                        from Louisville, KY

                        About Me Film Professional

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Powerful
                        • Versatile

                        Cons

                        • Not AC ready

                        Best Uses

                        • Accent a light scheme
                        • Professional Work

                        Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

                        Some reviews that i have read mention a fan that makes it unusable when capturing audio. There is no fan, this is a great piece. Output is variable, daylight balanced, focusable, barn doors, fresnel, lightweight. It does what the 1x1's cannot. Equivalent to about 300w tungsten Arri or Mole.

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                        • No

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                        (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        This is the LED answer for accent light

                        By LKS

                        from Louisville,KY

                        About Me Professional Artist

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Compact Design
                        • Easy To Use
                        • Highly Compatible
                        • Lightweight
                        • Professional Quality

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Complex Projects
                          • In The Studio

                          Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

                          We have 1x1s that do a great broad light but nothing in a controlled beam that can throw over 6-8 feet. This acts just like an Arri 150 watt or a Mini Mole. I saw someone critique the fan as noisy and therefore unusable... There is no fan. This is an excellent tool. I also adapted it to work with AC rather than battery. Very versatile.

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                          • No

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                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Some Issues but fixable for the price

                          By caveman

                          from Nashville, TN

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Good Color Value
                          • Powerful

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

                              I personally love this product. I do a lot of doc work in 3rd world countries and I needed some lights that I could through in a bag and carry on my bag all day. Then be able to quickly set up to have a professionally light source in a matter of minutes. This product does simply that. I own 5 of them for this reason. Now there is a problem with the fan noise I have found but I [*] replaced the fan with a very quiet fan I found online. They are now very quiet. It is a little frustrating I had to do this hack in the first place but then I remember I paid less than a grand for this light. Which is unheard of for this kind of quality and output.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              3.0

                              I want to like this light - but...

                              By newadam

                              from Atlanta GA

                              About Me Pro Photographer

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

                                    I really want to like this light. Being one of the first relatively inexpensive LED Fresnel lights on the market - I really want to like it. And there are some things to like. A little background. Because of my type of filming - lots of international travel, international voltage needs, small size, and quick setup, cool use, and daylight color balanced - I have used LED light primarily for about three years. I sold my ARRI fresnels and have used many kinds of LED lights. I have owned several smaller lightpanel lights, several LED-Z products, and some RGB LED chauvet lights for interview color splashes and special effects - so not cheap lights. So I have a little experience.

                                    With that said, LED are great for most things I do, but most are not controllable like my old ARRI fresnels. My favorite light up until now has been the LED-Z Mini PAR lights. controllable with three lens - not real bright, but plenty for kickers, hairlights, and highlights. So back to the SOLA ENG - The light quality is great. Much like my ARRI Fresnel's (except daylight balanced - and cooler) in terms of light. Probably similar in light output to somewhere between my ARRI 150's and 300's. I do not have those anymore to test, but pretty close. The quality is great - smooth fall-off, even color, almost no fringing, and focus and dimmer work great.

                                    The Problem - like other have said - fan noise. When I read this from another, I thought how bad could it be. Surely LitePanels would not sell a professional light with that bad an issue. Well there is noise. The concern though is not that it is that loud, but that it constantly changes in pitch and volume. I just set it up in my office lighting me as I type from about 8 feet away. I have left it on for about an hour to see if it settles out - it does not. The fan keeps cycling on and off and I can hear it clearly.

                                    Now I have not used it on a production yet. I will try to use it on a film in 2 weeks. I will use quality boom mics and some hidden lavaliers. So I will find out soon if it is audible on film - but I am afraid it will be.

                                    The other concern is it does not come with a power adapter. Luckily I had a power supply, I just had to by a $55 Powertap to XLR adapter. So overall good potential - and I hope they make changes and are willing to update my unit for free - but I will not hold my breath. I would have bought four more of these if it were not for the fan issue.

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                                    • No

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                                    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    3.0

                                    Does not have a direct AC input power

                                    By Wayne L

                                    from Vancouver, Canada

                                    About Me Pro Photographer

                                    Verified Reviewer

                                    Pros

                                    • LED light

                                    Cons

                                    • No directl AC input

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

                                      The specification on B&H is way off, I bought the unit was hoping to use the unit for off camera use but it never arrive with any wall AC power input source. I wrote to Litepanels and they told me B&H have the specification wrong, if you plan to use it either get a converter like I did which can been quite painful with a heavy converter. Yes you can buy accessories for the power but if you need to plug directly to the wall AC power you will need to do some converting.

                                      The Barn door is cheap and does not stay in place giving this is my first product from Litepanel it is a disappointment due to small detail. The lite itself worked fine but again for the price I wish they would have a better product control especially it is aimed at the Professional level.

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                                      • No

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                                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      4.0

                                      Powerful little light

                                      By oneiric

                                      from denver

                                      About Me Film Professional

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Lightweight

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Professional

                                        Comments about Litepanels SolaENG 3" LED Fresnel:

                                        Highly focusable, runs well off battery belt, but a surprising amount of noise. Haven't shot on location with it yet - but it will have to be a distance away especially w/ shotgun mics indoors.

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                                        • No

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