Adaptalux Macro LED light system: So simple it works

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Simple can be good. In this modern age of gizmos and gadgets, where you need to figure out what’s what, the Adaptalux studio lighting kit is a welcome bit of gear. Out of the box, it has no complex menus, it just works. You can adjust the beam and the brightness. While it looks a little alien-like, it’s a fantastic LED light source for macro and product photography. Let’s have a closer look!

Note: Adaptalux sent the kit to review. However, this is a completely independent review. All thoughts about this LED light are our own.

Pros

  • Very easy to use with intuitive, simple controls. Plug and play, literally
  • Variable controls for brightness and adjustable light beam
  • Can be remotely controlled via Smartphone App (Android & iOS)
  • USB charging, Bluetooth connectivity
  • Minimalist design
  • Can attach up to five arms, from white light to red, blue and even ultraviolet (did not receive or test the Ultraviolet)
  • Appears to be a solid build
  • Pocket-size and lightweight, easily fits in your hand
  • Fantastic website that explains all the functions well

Cons

  • Even though it is small, I found it slightly bulky, and really needs to be on a tripod to free hands up
  • I did find it a bit awkward out in the field, but it’s fantastic in the studio. However, I am lazy and prefer not to carry a tripod out in the field. There is a camera hot shoe mount available, but I did not receive it as part of my kit (optional extra). It may make the camera a little top-heavy.

Adaptalux — Technical specifications

All of the technical specifications for the Adaptalux are from their website.

  • 200 lumens per Lighting Arm (1,000 for 5 Arms). Up to 3W per Arm, 16W with 5 white Lighting Arms
  • Adjustable beam angle <1150 to 200
  • The control Pod has five arm ports, but came with four, long, flexible lighting arms that attach magnetically
  • Has a 200 lumen white LED arm (5700K), and a 400 lumen Super white LED lighting arm (5700K)
  • Also comes with blue and red lights for drama (green, amber & UV are optional extras)
  • Arms and filters (colored and diffusion) attach magnetically
  • Charging via USB C (cable supplied)
  • Charging Time: 1-2 hours
  • Runtime (Maximum Power): 12 hours
  • Battery type: NiMH Rechargeable
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 90mm x 95mm x 40mm
  • Weight: 0.6Kg

Adaptalux — Versatility

Ergonomics are pretty good. Everything is magnetic, the light arms, and the diffusers simply snap on and off. When on, they are turned on. It is easy to connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth and can be remotely controlled. The intensity of the light arms can be controlled via the dial on the unit or the app. The angle of the light beam can be adjusted by twisting the end of the light arm. You can use a single light arm or all of them. You can set varying intensities of light on individual light arms at the same time.

It is relatively small and lightweight with a standard tripod thread so you can attach a tripod. The light was beautiful. Soft, diffused and allowed for fabulous detail shots. It also comes with terrific colored cards which you can put behind your subject for an added pop of color, as in above.

Build quality

The pod feels solid in the hand, as do the light arms. Ergonomic and coated to prevent slippage, such as in damp conditions photographing fungi. All parts appear to be machined well. The dial feels stable.

Out of the box

Out of the box, it comes partially charged, but it is recommended to fully charge it first before going out into the field. My kit came with the control pod, a white LED light a Super white LED Light, a red LED and a blue LED light arm. The USB-C charging cable. There is a Welcome pack including two double-sided colored cards for backgrounds. Product range pamphlet and warranty booklet are also included. The Quick Start guide invites you to jump on their website for detailed videos and online tutorials on how to use all the unit’s functions.

Adaptalux — In the field

Quality of light

The light has a color temperature range of 5700K (this is not changeable). The light was pleasing and stable. You can add different colored light arms, red, blue, green and amber as well as UV lighting, (not all light arms are included, but you can make your own bundle packs). It was beautifully diffused using the little filters for amazing light quality and details.

Controls & App

The unit is super simple to use, but watching the fabulous little how-to video on their website gives you even more control features (highly recommend watching them for a quick run-through). Plug in the magnetic arms and give a slight twist and they immediately come on. You can use one or five arms at once.

I like that the light arms allow you to control the beam, as well as the actual angle and placement of the lights to your subject with the sturdy, yet easily bendable arms.

You can adjust the lights from the control pod, or remotely via the app on a Smartphone. The app is available online (Android & Apple). Simple to set up and easy to use as well.

Battery life

When fully charged, the control pod has a run time of approx. 12 hours.

Mounting

The control pod can be fitted to a tripod with a standard thread. This was my first issue as I use Manfrotto heads and plates on all my tripods, so no screw without dismantling my tripod. I did however find a small older tripod that was perfect for the control pod. This is NOT an issue with the Adaptulx pod, just my setup and something to be aware of. They have small tabletop tripods and hot shoe mounts available to suit this pod as optional extras online.

Setup

Once I mounted the control pod on a tripod, it took me only a few seconds to connect the light arms. Adjust the arms to the desired position, and adjust the brightness and angle of light. Because the controls are so simple, it was just a matter of adding or removing the light arms and adjusting the controls on my Smartphone. Done. So simple, it works.

Final thoughts

I have only had this kit a week and love it already. It’s easy to use and small enough to carry in my bag. It’s the tripod out in the field I’m not crazy about, but in the backyard and the studio, it’s fantastic. Great for macro and product photography. To be able to get the lights pointed exactly where you need them without adding extra speedlights. The brightness is more than sufficient for hand-holding shots and the remote app means you can set the light in position and control it without the need to touch the pod.

Adaptalux has a range of LED light arms, flashes and a new mini-pod coming out shortly. There are also hot shoe mounts and flash emitters, as well as mini tripods all designed for the Control Pod.



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