Portable, Cool and Functional: the Bescor LED-500


The Bescor LED-500 lighting kits are powerful lighting solutions that use substantially less power and radiate much less heat than comparable incandescent lighting sources. LED light panels have also gained popularity recently due to their more compact, flat form factor and ability to fit into tight spaces. The constant light output is ideal for video applications, as well as studio situations that require frequent changes in lighting setups. Their inherent soft light output requires no additional diffusion or light modifiers, compared to tungsten-based lamps, which results in clean-looking light that’s easy to control.

The LED-500 lights produce about as much light as a 500-watt incandescent source while consuming only about 36 watts, or 3 amps at 12 volts. An illuminance value of 3100 lux is possible at a distance of 1 meter from the source; however, this value can be lowered to 15% (465 lux at 1m) if that is too bright for your working situation. The 504 individual 5mm LED lamps emit light at 6500K, which, if too cool, can easily be compensated for in-camera or by way of the removable filter for mixing light sources. CTO filters are an ideal tool to use to warm this light, and generally require significantly less exposure compensation than CTB filters on warmer light sources.

The shape of these LED lights is also unique in comparison to most tungsten sources; since the fixture is rectangular, rather than a circular spot, the resulting look is much softer with fewer harsh shadows. Lights like these are perfectly suited for interviews or other situations when working with talent for longer periods of time, due to the quality of light emitted and their overall cooler temperature. The diffused quality of light also has a much shorter fall-off distance—these lights are best used for illuminating closer subject matter and adding fill light to existing situations.

The LED-500 is available in four different configurations, depending on the settings in which you work: the LED-500S includes a single light, one 74” light stand and an AC adapter; the LED-500K is similar, but includes a second light, stand and adapter; the LED-500SB is more geared toward portability and adds a battery pack and charger to the 500S kit; and the LED-500KB adds the same to the LED-500K. The batteries included with the latter two kits provide two-hour run time with a 7.2-amp capacity. They are fully chargeable within six hours and come in a soft cover with shoulder strap for greater convenience while working on location.

The Bescor LED-500 lighting kits are formidable examples of a portable and convenient lighting system that is much less power-intensive than incandescent sources. These lights are ideal for working in tight situations due to their small physical footprint, as well as when working with subjects for longer periods of time due to their more temperate heat levels. The constant light source is flicker-free and effective for both still and video applications, and when paired with the available battery packs, a perfect location lighting solution.