I just got my hands on IKAN’s new Rayden Bi-Color LED kit, and man, it is a huge improvement from their last model! The lights are sturdier, the dials are stronger and easier to use, and the quality of light has improved drastically from the last series.
If you read my other articles, you will notice that I use LEDs in almost everything I shoot, both video and stills. Sometimes they are used as the key light for the interview, and other times, they are the supplement that I pull out for close-ups in movies and music videos.
They are affordable workhorses that can run completely off battery power! This makes them the perfect kit for documentaries or interview videos when you have to leave as small a footprint as possible on location. They are also perfect for guerilla-style filmmaking at night out on the street. You don’t have to drag a generator around or beg that business to run power outside.
Shot from the film "This Aint Normal." Interview was conducted in the middle of the street at night using IKAN LEDs.
The Rayden Bi-Color 3-Point LED Light Kit comes with everything you need except batteries. They have both gold and v-mount plates neatly packed in a soft case and a separate bag for stands. Included are 2 RB10s that are about 1x1 in size and 1 RB5 (smaller) that have adjustable color temperature settings from 3600 K to 5600 K. They are also dimmable down to 10% power, which is a lot better than the older generation. The color temperatures seem to be a bit more spot-on as well. 3600 K feels more amber than pink and 5600K has less green.
As I unpacked them, the first thing I noticed was the rugged tightening screws and sturdier light bodies. I used the older kit so much, yanking them out of the case and throwing them in the back of the car, that I noticed the hardware couldn’t keep up. These new lights should be able to withstand my chaotic lighting crew. The bag for the light stands is beefier as well and comes with support straps and a sturdier zipper system.
They don't come out of the box with batteries. If you have gold mount or v-mount batteries, they will work fine. I got a few v-mounts from IKAN last time, so I just transferred them into this kit.
Quality of Light
It's a perfect kit for that back edge or overhead light source. The light bodies themselves are very lightweight and can be rigged on an extended c-stand arm safely over your subject. I like to throw a layer of diffusion in front of them to soften the hard LED look and help the light wrap around the subject's face. They also mix well with other types of light units like tungsten or florescent.
In the examples below, you will see shots using a single open-faced tungsten light overhead, blasting down on the table and being bounced off a piece of diffusion onto the subject's face. That was our key. The wall was lit using an IKAN RB10 and so were the edge lights.
Shots from Pecci's "The Art of Plating."
IKANs used for edge and back lights.
Director and Photographer Mike Pecci on set checking light levels.
I highly recommend this kit for any photographer or filmmaker that shoots video with DSLRs. It's affordable and can accomplish a lot for the money. You can also get a great kit rental price from it, easily paying back your initial investment in no time! I hope this helps! Get yours here and go shoot some cool stuff!