LED Versus Flash: Which Is Best for Photographers?

There has been a lot of advancement in lighting technology for LED lights for photography recently, but are they the way to go? Check out this video for a comparison of the pros and cons of each.

Rob Hall, a founding member of the photography education channel Sharpen, has always been a reliable source of objective information about lighting gear. As a professional photographer who works both on location and in the studio doing both still photography and videos, and as someone who owns over 50 lights, he has a great perspective on the topic of the practical difference between flash and LEDs.

This video first goes into the obvious benefits that each light system has, such as “what you see is what you get” for LED and power for flash, but it digs in a little bit deeper. For example, you might be surprised to see how much light one of the most powerful LED units has compared to a speedlight.

Another thing that is always helpful in Rob’s videos is his analysis of the unapparent characteristics of light. Using a light meter to measure color rendering, he analyzes the color readout values from both flash units and LED units to reach a conclusion on which is better.

Check out the entire video for more information on the difference between these light systems.

Jeff Bennion's picture

Jeff Bennion is a San Diego-based portrait photographer specializing in boudoir and fashion photography. He owns Ignite Studio, the prettiest studio in the world. He is also an attorney licensed in California.

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Good video. He doesn't just talk about it, he shows real world examples.

Good video, good to be honest about the problems with LED. I keep seeing dodgy skin tones coming from led lighting

This is a great video outlining the pros and cons. I wish he would have hit on the motion freezing ability of flash. Because flash only fires for such a short period of time, it can freeze fast moving objects much better than any constantly light source can. Sometimes flash isn't even fast enough and you have to get into the weeds with finding a super short flash duration or T.1 time. But this is such a huge advantage especially in indoor sports photography.

I'm a huge proponent for LED lights for portraits and I loved this video. I'm going to be talking about the benefits of why I use them and how I use them in future articles. One of my most recent articles was a deep dive into t.1 flash durations and freezing motion.