Photography / Hands-on Review

Rosco LED LitePads


LEDs are among the coolest continuous-lighting technologies to come along in quite some time, and Rosco LitePads are among the finest of the lot. Available in a choice of Daylight or Tungsten, the advantages of LED lighting include soft shadows with smooth highlight-to-shadow transitions, low heat output, low power consumption and form factors as slender as 0.37” (9.4mm). They are extremely valuable for lighting tight interiors.

Color-wise, the lamps used in Rosco LitePads are rated at approximately 5800°K for daylight and 3800°K for Tungsten shooting, have an expected lifespan of about 60,000 hours and are available for use with 120V or 240V AC via a 12V transformer (included). Because LitePads are 12V devices, they can be used with an accessory AA-battery pack or the 12V (or cigarette lighter) outlet in an automobile.

The Rosco LitePad HO+ outputs about 1.75x more light than the original LitePad DL. In addition to the extra horsepower, the LitePad HO+ also accepts an accessory in-line dimmer that enables you to lower the light output without affecting the color temperature of the light source, which is a terrific feature for modeling the light when shooting products or portraits using multiple light sources.

Available in a choice of 8 sizes (3 x 6”, 3 x 12”, 6 x 6”, 6 x 12”, 12 x 12”, 24 x 24”, and 3” & 12”circles), LitePad HO+ lamp heads feature LED bulbs along their edges for a smoother, broader sweep of light, and a detachable right-angle cord that snaps into a rugged, recessed connector for a better-secured connection. Depending on the model, Rosco LitePad HO+ lights weigh between 0.10 lb and 8.3 lb.

Rosco Axiom-series LitePads, designed primarily (though certainly not exclusively )for use in the film and video industry, offer all the attributes of LitePad HO+ lamp heads but are enclosed in a tougher steel and aluminum housing in order to better withstand the rigors of location shooting.  Rosco Axiom LitePads also feature a rear-mounted universal mounting system for attaching the Axioms to light stands. Alternatively, the ultra-light weight factor of Axiom-series LitePads makes it possible to attach the lamps to any number of support surfaces using hook and loop and similar touch-tab adhesive materials.

Rosco Axiom LitePads are available in a choice of Daylight or Tungsten, are only 0.64” (16.2mm) thick, produce extremely low levels of heat and feature a slot for Roscolux or Cinegel color gels and diffusion materials. Rosco Axiom-series LitePads are available in 3 x 6”, 3 x 12”, 6 x 6”, 6 x 12”, 12 x 12” and 24 x 24” sizes, and weigh between 0.8 to 13.7 lb each.

Rosco LitePads can also be purchased as multi-unit kits, most of which include a tough, waterproof shipping case. The top-of-the-line kit is the LitePad Gaffer’s Kit AX (Daylight or Tungsten), which contains a dozen LitePad Axiom lamps and a pair of 3” circular LitePad HO+ lamps. A pre-cut insert allows you to store the LitePad lamp heads securely when not in use.

A smaller kit is the Rosco LitePad Quick Kit AX, which includes half-dozen LitePad Axioms and associated accessories and a 3” circular LitePad HO+ lamp head.

The LitePad Shooter’s KIT AX includes three 12x12” LitePad Axioms, three LitePad Light Stands, and three LitePad Swivel Arms, which makes it an easily transportable lighting kit for conducting interviews and lighting smaller video settings.

A particularly tasty LitePad kit is the LitePad Still Photo Kit, which contains three LitePads (3 x 6”, 6 x 6”, and 3” circle), two transformers, a car adapter, “Y” splitter, a dimmer switch, AA battery holder, egg crates for rectangular LitePads, 30 mil color-filter packs, LitePad Snake Arm, LitePad cold shoe adapter, two full spot lenses and a soft travel case.

Rosco LitePad kits are also available in additional sizes and arrangements designed to meet the needs of still and motion picture shooters.

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