$500 for an Ice Light got you Down? How About a $62 Light Wand From Yongnuo?

$500 for an Ice Light got you Down? How About a $62 Light Wand From Yongnuo?

The Westcott Ice Light has been around for awhile, and a number of photographers in the community on our site have shown it to be a part of their kits. Whether they're being used to light cars for an automotive shoot, or for food or small product photography, one thing that's been noted more than a few times is the steep price.

LED wand technology is still scoffed at by some, joking that they are best used for directing planes on the tarmac, but in reality it's another tool in a kit, and all that matters is how a photographer or filmmaker chooses to creatively use that tool. Anyways, enough conjecture, let's get to the meat of what's going on with this Ice Light alternative.

This new product is the YN360 LED Light Wand, and has been made by Yongnuo, who you may recall also makes flash triggers, as well as some Canon lens clones, among other products.

From Yongnuo's blog on this new product:

The YN360 is formed by:

  • 40 full color RGB SMD lamps
  • 160 LED lamp beads with 3200k color temperature
  • 160 LED lamp beads with 5500k color temperature

The LED Light Wand is powered by Sony NPF batteries, or an external power supply.

Two color modes are available, for when you need a traditional 3200K-5500K, or if you're just looking for a splash of color that isn't kelvin-accurate.

In "Full Color RGB Mode" the YN360’s 40 RGB SMD lamps can provide rich colors of red, green, and blue.

In natural "3200K-5500K Color Temp Mode" the YN360’s 320 LED lamp beads can be adjusted from 3200K to 5500K as required .

The CRI or "Color Rendering Index" is stated to be 95 or higher for the natural color temp mode.

What's more is that there is an app that is being released alongside this light, which will allow for control over brightness and color choice. From what I can tell, you are able to control luminance on the wand itself, but varying the color/kelvin might only be possible from the app– the details aren't specific in this regard.

The specs show the lumen output to be 2560, which is important to note considering the Ice Light has only a 1740 lumen output. Total output isn't the end all though, as there are many other factors to consider, such as the angle, softness, falloff, and more. Hopefully when this light becomes available, there will be a side-by-side review between these two products.

Here are a few more specs on the Yongnuo LED Light Wand:

  • Power: 19.2 watts
  • Lumen: 2560LM
  • Weight: 489g
  • illumination angle: 55 degrees and 110 degrees
  • Applicable battery: A lithium battery NP-F series
  • External DC power supply: 8 V DC power supply 5 A
  • Size: 583 * 48 * 24 mm

Release date is expected to be around Spring of 2016.

[via nofilmschool and yongnuo-store]

Mike Wilkinson's picture

Mike Wilkinson is an award-winning video director with his company Wilkinson Visual, currently based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Mike has been working in production for over 10 years as a shooter, editor, and producer. His passion lies in outdoor adventures, documentary filmmaking, photography, and locally-sourced food and beer.

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I understand from Tim Payne, who runs YongnuoUSA.net that the $62 is the wholesale price. It was published by Petapixel and then picked up by nofilmschool, but the Yonguo store you linked to says the price has yet to be specified. As they say though, it's still likely to be considerably cheaper than much of the competition and it has some interesting features.

I agree. If $62 is the wholesale price before shipping costs, it should sell for $140 - $150 by the big retailers and perhaps less elsewhere...still a very good bargain.

I agree with Barry, listing a price when one is not mentioned anywhere is a bit irresponsible.

I would think these would end up being between $100-$200, but I guess Yongnuo does sell other LED lights with around 300 bulbs for about $60...so it's possible.

Yongnuo, in my eyes, has structured themselves around providing the FUNCTION for that cheap of a price while sacrificing the build quality. Case in point, their Canon 600ex knock-off performs just as well as Canon's for a quarter of the price ($500 vs. $120) and though I've seen some lamenting the unit's overheating issues, I've put mine through the same paces as the 600ex and have noticed nothing different. While $62 does sound a bit low, I would anticipate it being in the ballpark of $120 considering Westcott's Ice Light and Canon's 600ex speed light are priced identically.

I agree. I own 4 YN600 and 1 of the 580 and they have had no problems. I bought a transmitter and the battery cover broke, but I got a replacement in a week for about $6.00. I'm ok with their products for now and the prices have been a huge help.

I would love for someone to make a wand that has a flash tube running the length of it. That'd be super.

I can't wait to get one!

I love cheap photography gear but as someone who made the "Fstoppers FlashDisc" and worked for 2 years getting a patent and the product produced only to have it ripped off by multiple Chinese companies... it sucks.

That being said I doubt the ice light is patentable considering it's just a dimmable led panel.

Don't take this the wrong way, but most photography "gadgets" are "easy" to copy.

Ring lights, light wands, flash disc, cheap tripods, etc...

The bigger items like lights, strobes, etc are still getting copied but the consistency and color quality isn't there yet. What I mean is, if there isn't alot of technical hurdle, it's going to get copied. FAST.

I'm sure you're still running a benefit with you flash discs so it's not all a loss!

I understand that but that is why we got a patent before bringing it to market.

It's just impossible to go after these shady companies that are breaking the law and will simply change their name if caught.

@Lee - please facepalm yourself... because everybody knows by now you need to go *Thermo-Nuclear or nothing will happen against those guys /s

* Be careful about going Thermo*s*-Nuclear, which is something completely different (autocorrect!)


It's also alot about perceived value. No one want to buy a 900$ reflector (exageration...) but NO ONE want to pay 0.1% of market price for chinese copied drugs...

the good nes? Perceived value is about marketing. It can be changed to a certain degree!

I work in a US manufacturing company and have seen many Chinese companies copy years of expertise, test, investment, time, to come up with some knockoff product for half the price. I will not purchase a Chinese imitation. Yes, I might save a lot of money, but in the long term, we are all killing innovation, and the work of hundreds of American engineers, designers.

I agree in many ways it hurts the market but I don't agree it's killing innovation.

Manufacturers have to improve their product when these knockoffs are released to differentiate themselves. Case in point, look at the nifty fifty lens from Canon.
When the Yongnuo released their 50mm 1.8 all of a sudden Canon develops their 50mm 1.8 with improved image stabilization, closer focal distance, metal lens mount and so on.

Unless the US company can't make enough profit off of their knocked off product to fund the next one. There is a very good chance we will not make another physical product simply because it will get ripped off.

I'm not trying to complain here, the FlashDisc was profitable and I'm glad we made it, I'm just trying to give an insiders view.

I see your point. It's much like photography. There will always be a cheaper photographer and sometimes your work will get copied. But that doesn't stop you from doing more and pushing further.
Never give up. :)

I agree with @Dennis, competition is what drives innovation. It has been proven again and again.

What non-Chinese manufacturers have to do (US manufacturers in particular) is curb their greed. I use the word greed because when you look at companies like Alien Bees, they produce an exceptional product for a great price, hence giving us great value.

When you look at other similar companies that make strobes, light modifiers etc., you can't help but wonder why are they so expensive. If AB can produce such great product for the price, how come they can't? I would argue that they can but It's their profit margin that makes their price so high.

It seems that some strobe manufacturers price their product using Nikon and Canon speedlight as their starting point. It makes their product crazy expensive.

AND, are those Ice Light wands or the Wescott modifiers or Profoto strobes, or any of those expensive product makers, made in the US? Or are they made in China also?

I have a couple of Yongnuo flashes. Mostly because I can't afford the $600 Canon wants for the comparable device. If the speedlites weren't ridiculously expensive I would have bought Canon brand, but when the thing in question is 4x the price for a very similar product, its kind of a no brainer.

Agreed. I bought a couple of Shanny SN600SN flashes because I couldn't afford the ridiculous price Nikon gets for their flashes.

I use Godox speedlight and radios and they work like a charm. I have Nikon SB-900 and SB-910 and they are hardly used for the past two years.

On my 2nd day at Interbike 2008, a guy showed me a flyer given out by a Chinese vendor. They had taken his flyer, scanned it, and printed new ones out at Kinkos overnight, which they then gave out at their booth. His photos, text, and everything else. Their name and contact. He was impressed by how brazen they were, but understandably pissed off as well.

It's a cultural thing. To them, it's not theft.

Yeah, but they're basically telling retailers that they should buy from their factory, because they saw a flyer of the product that someone else offers.

As Lee points out, its part of the culture.

I started my photography business in 2013, after retiring in 2009. Formally, I was the International Business Manager for a major building supply manufacture in the US. We were the largest advertisers in the building industry. Spending millions a year to promote our brand. Without getting too deep, the bottom line is they will continue to break copy right laws. Lee, I'm not sure if you applied for International copyright, or US? In any case, our approach was to continue to innovate and build our brand. By the time they'd copy us, we were already coming out with new product(s) and/or service(s). One of my favorite quotes from my mentor, my father..."there's only one thing constant in business, CHANGE!"
Keep moving forward and reinvent yourself, never rest on your laurels!

Well, I just ordered a couple of knock off "ice light" type of wands to test them out. I liked some of the samples posted taken with the products and it seemed it could work well enough in my kit for some things I do regularly (food and product ads for a regional magazine). I have gotten a lot of use from the $40 LED video lights in food and product photography, so I'm willing to take the risk. If it could lighten my gear load for wedding and portrait shots in low light, I'm on board. :) If not, I'll get enough use out of them for the close ups I do regularly. :)

hi , where did you get them ?

Amazon. It wasn't a totally cheap unit...$168. It just got here. It's very bright, but I haven't shot with it to test color casts and temp issues. Seems pretty well made. I got the Polaroid model. If I get some shots with it, I'll be sure to post. One thing I'm not crazy about is the catchlights it makes. I could paint them on in PS but what a PIA. We'll see. Might be more useful for product, bouquet and rings.

First things first. This isn't good for Jerry and Melissa. They are great people and I hate to see their baby being ripped off like this!!
That being said I shoot with Yongnuo Speedlights and triggers. Don't hate me, hear me out.
One of my RF-603c dummy triggers went thru the clothes wash cycle last month and the freaking thing still works. My YN-622c triggers can run a circle around a PocketWizard any day of the week. Not to mention my speed lights have always been reliable and two are connected to an external battery pack. I can fire in TTL mode with the 622c and switch to manual. It remembers the flash settings.....

I'm glad to see an option to high-priced lighting for those of us on a budget. I don't think the product should be taken off the market but I believe Lee Morris should be compensated justly for his product being ripped off and I think Ghionis deserves to be compensated too.

It is available for shipping via yongnuo store. I expect mine next week. Price is different that one mentioned in the post but that was false rumor.

Does the CRI of 95 seem to be accurate? How's the light fall-off/softness for portraits? Price is $120 without battery (~$60) or AC/DC charger ($28 for Yongnuo's). How is the build quality of the units?

Once you throw in the NP-F battery, a charger, and the AC power the price point is nearly 1/2 of the Westcott Ice Light 2 that includes all of it.

I already have np-f batteries so i did not worry about that. these are really cheap, $15 for np-f750. charger is $5-10.
Build quality is quite good. I can not tell you more about light quality because i have not test it yet. However, CRI seems accurate. I really could not justify $500 price tag for icelight. I will use mine next week. I only tried my friends sample which already arrived (ordered last Friday when they came out)

I am an avid Youngnuo user... (9 560-III, 1 560 TX, 4 transceivers TTL plus the main L HHS module, 3 YN 468, 2 YN-300-II, 2 YN216 1 YN 900 and believe me the only time i had an issue with any was when III let one of my speedlight fall from a light stand that was not sand baged.. (lesson learned) Youngnuo offers excelent quality for the price and features found only in way more expensive items... (blue tooth remote compatibility in there whole video lights as an example.)

There is nothing out there for the working photographer/videographer that presents more features at a reasonable price than the Yongnuo solution and for those that have said of inconsistency in their manufacture...simply buy the USA version... so far not a single problem with the lights.