The Largest LED Light We've Tested: Great, but Not for Everyone

We've been fans of the Fiilex P360EX for years now. It's dimmable, color shiftable, and it accepts Profoto accessories. The only problem? It's not that bright. Fiilex had an answer to my power problems in the form of the Q8 Travel.

What Is It? 

The Q8 travel is Fiilex's most powerful LED light that is made for videographers. Although it has "travel" in the name, it's not a very compact system, and this light would probably feel more at home on a TV show or movie set rather than in a photographer's studio. That being said, we are still excited to have one. 

How Bright Is It?

We haven't yet done any scientific tests with the Q8, but it is significantly brighter than the P360EX. I would guess it's around three times brighter. Sadly, it's also more than three times the size and weight. 

Does It Color-Shift?

Many LED lights for sale these days have the option to color-shift. This will change the light from blue to amber. The problem is that different lighting brands produce different tints (the green-to-magenta spectrum) as well. The Q8 is the first light we have ever used that allows us to change both the white balance and the tint at the same time, making it incredibly useful at matching other light sources. 

What About Light Quality?

The LED lights on the Q8 sit behind a zoomable Fresnel lens. When it's fully extended, the beam of light becomes extremely small and harsh, and when it is pulled back, the Q8 will throw a very wide beam. This type of modifier will be more familiar to videographers, while photographers are more familiar with grids and softboxes. The Q8 does have optional accessories as well, like a speedring, which will allow you to add softboxes to it. 

Can I Control This Remotely?

If you have the right hardware, you will be able to hook the Q8 into a network and control it with a DMX board. Here at Fstoppers, we hardly have enough room to build a set, let alone build one with permanent lighting, but when we grow up, maybe we will have a system like this. I imagine most of you reading this are probably in a similar situation, but it's a feature worth mentioning.

Should I Buy One?

The Q8 isn't cheap with a price tag of $2,995. If you're just looking for a strong light source, you're going to be paying for features you might not use, such as DMX controls and tint shift. In addition, if you are the type of videographer who could actually justify buying a Q8, you probably won't want just one. You'll need three or more to light up a scene properly. As you saw in the video, this light is extremely heavy and expensive, and so, I assume only professional commercial shooters will actually be able to appreciate the benefits of this light. Don't get me wrong, I love this light, but for most of the videos that we film, the P360EX will work just fine, and I bet it will be the better choice for you as well. 

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7 Comments

Felix Wu's picture

Hopefully one day the small guy will be able to output similar intensity produced by its big daddy. That will be an exciting news.

You’re tellin me

edit: dumb joke

Michael Kormos's picture

A $3000 light doesn’t have its lumen output listed anywhere? To me that’d be a deal breaker right there.

I don’t trust lumen ratings anyway

Matt Kosterman's picture

A good review. Honestly, I've always been disappointed with the Fiilex lights. It's a different quality of light, but for that money, I'd pony up for an Arri S-30 or an L10 (much more $). Or get three LitePanels Astra 6X panels. We have two and they ROCK.

Light panels are the best for power output but sometimes we need a harder light and that’s when we use Fiilex.