Five Can't-Miss Lighting Combos

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When building a lighting kit, it might make sense to just get matching fixtures. I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t do that. Have a couple of matching options to make some setups easier, but supplementing with another type of light can make life so much easier for other situations. Here are six lighting combos that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Conduct an Orchestra with the Luxli Timpani and Cello

“Key” to any kit is a key light. With this kit I have to recommend the Luxli Timpani, a beautiful 1 x 1 LED panel, made in Norway, that has full-color mixing. Being a full RGBAW fixture, you will have near unmatched color control, giving a standard color temperature adjustment range of 2800-10000K, RGB with hue and saturation control, and a filter mode that eliminates the need for 150 classic gels. On top of this are animated lighting effects that make it easy to simulate campfires, emergency lights, storms, and more. So, what do you pair with a light that can do so much? It’s smaller sibling, the Luxli Cello. Also an RGBAW fixture, this smaller 10" panel delivers many of the same features in a more compact design. This could be an on-camera light, fill light, or even a hair light when used in tandem with a Timpani. It is also a winner of the Lucie Technical Award, if that helps solidify its quality in your mind. But, the real magic is that both lights can be controlled by the Luxli Orchestra app for iOS and Android devices. Change the colors, match everything up, adjust brightness. This app, and this lighting pairing, should not be underestimated.

Luxli Timpani 1x1 RGBAW LED Light (left) and Luxli Cello 10" RGBAW LED Light (right)

Profoto Syncs Over the Air with the B10 and A1

Flash fans will need something a bit different, and my go-to would be Profoto and its Air system. The two newest releases are my idea of a perfect pairing. The B10 OCF and A1 Studio Light are super-portable, battery-powered units that are welcome members of the AirTTL series. Both are super compact, battery powered, and have plenty of power to satisfy pro photographers working on location. A major selling point is that the A1 can serve as both a light source and a remote control for other AirTTL-compatible fixtures, such as the B10. So, you can have the A1 in the hot shoe ready to go and, then, when you decide you want to add a bit more with a stand-mounted B10, you just set the new light up, press a couple of buttons on your flash, and you have a perfect sync, including high speed up to 1/8000 second. For using both off-camera, simply pick up one of Profoto’s Air Remotes.

Profoto B10 OCF Flash Head (left) and Profoto A1 AirTTL-C Studio Light for Canon (right)

Aputure Brings the Hurricane with Light Storm C120D and LS-mini20D

Chip-On-Board (COB) LED tech has been very successful of late, and two of the best current options include the Aputure Light Storm LS C120D II and its much smaller companion, the Light Storm LS-mini20D. Both are daylight balanced and offer outstanding power for their class. The C120D is a very popular light and can take Bowens S-type accessories for easy modification, while the mini20d features an integrated 20-80-degree spot-to-flood adjustment. Also, they each have high CRIs for accurate colors in your images. You can use them as a team or for very separate situations. The C120D II is a great studio fixture, though a battery plate does make it suitable for location work, as well, and the LS-mini20d is a smaller fixture that is perfect for on-camera use. Having both on hand gives you options for multiple situations.

Aputure Light Storm LS C120D II LED Light Kit with V-mount Battery Plate (left) and Aputure Light Storm LS-mini20d Daylight LED Light (right)

Godox Nails On- and Off-Camera Lighting

For many, nothing can beat the good ol’ speedlight. Godox makes a ton of great ones, but I’m going to focus on the VING V860II and AD360II WISTRO. The VING V860II looks like your standard speedlight, with a powerful guide number of 197' at ISO 100 and 200mm and a rectangular head. Inside it, however, is a Li-ion battery pack, giving it a fast recycle time of just 1.5 seconds at full power. There is also the X Wireless Radio System that runs on the 2.4GHz frequency for reliable wireless triggering and TTL control over other X System flashes, such as the AD360II WISTRO. This flash is essentially the in-between of a full-fledged monolight or flash head and a speedlight because it has the relative size and shape of a shoe-mounted model and the bare bulb of its bigger cousins. The bare bulb gives it a substantial power boost with a guide number of 262' at ISO 100 and lets it work with other types of accessories, thanks to its 360-degree spread of light. Having both types of speedlights on hand, and having them work together, is a great tool set to have even if you mostly stick with speedlights for your work.

Godox VING V860IIC TTL Li-Ion Flash Kit for Canon Cameras (left) and Godox AD360II-C WITSTRO TTL Portable Flash with Power Pack Kit for Canon Cameras (right)

Westcott’s Weird and Wonderful Ice Light 2 and Flex Mat

Finally, we have some super-interesting lights coming from Westcott: the Ice Light 2 and Flex LED Mat. Both are great because of their extreme versatility. The Flex LED Mat is, especially, because it can go from being a standard stand-mounted 1x1 panel to a taped-up light source that can be mounted out of sight in a car, or anywhere else you see fit. The Ice Light, now in its second iteration, is an even more unique lighting tool, which is shaped like a lightsaber. It does have a reflector to bounce light out one side, instead of 360 degrees, but its tubular design makes it great for handheld use and for sticking in tight spots. This is a kit for getting light where you need it, where conventional fixtures simply won’t fit.

Westcott Ice Light 2 LED Light (left) and Westcott Flex Bi-Color LED Mat Cine Set (right)

Finding lights that work well together can be a challenge so, hopefully, one of these pairings will make your lighting kit even better. Any interesting setups that you like to use? Or do you need something even more specific? Leave a comment or question below!

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