The Self-Inflating Light Photographers Should Consider Getting

Good lights can make all the difference in the quality of work you can produce as a photographer. If you've never heard of a self-inflating light, then today might be the day you add one to your camera bag.

Light is obviously a crucial part of photography, but not all light is created equal. Many factors come into play when trying to decide if a light is any good or not. Two key areas for many prospective buyers are the power of the light and how portable it is. These two factors seem to score highly in the SIRUI A100B Bi-Color, which is a versatile light that was recently reviewed by photographer and educator Nigel Barros in his latest video.

The review starts with Barros talking about the light and showing some of its potential uses. This is where we learn the product is a little different in construction, as it is self-inflating. This might sound like a bit of a gimmick, but the build quality looks just as sturdy as similar softboxes on the market, with the added benefit that you don't need to construct anything, and everything can fold down when not in use.

We next see one of the more useful features of the light, which is that the color temperature has a range from 2800k right up to 8500k. This means you'll be able to get everything from super cool right up to a warm sunny glow if you need to balance multiple light sources. The video goes on to show some of the pros and cons of the light, which you'll be happy to hear are mostly positive. A few downsides of this particular light are the noise from the fan in the power brick and the way the panel attaches to the stand itself. Two minor details that I think most photographers could live with.

What I really like about Barros' videos is that they are always informative and educational in equal measure. The video shows us all we need to know about the light in question, as well as showing us a few setups we could try ourselves. As an added bonus, Barros shoots the whole of the video using a 10-year-old Panasonic GH3 camera to illustrate the importance of good light over gear. A lesson I think many of us need reminding of from time to time. Is the SIRUI A100B Bi-Color light worth adding to your camera bag? I think it's well worth considering, especially if you do a mix of still and video work. These lights are not cheap at roughly $400, so I'd suggest you try and rent one to see if it ticks all your boxes first.

What do you think of this inflatable light? Do you think you'll be adding one to your camera bag? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he's not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward "About Me" statements on websites...

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6 Comments

And you can always keep lighting when you upgrade cameras so no need to be cheap about it­čÖé

Interesting design, though very pricey for what seems to be an LED panel with an inflatable frame and diffusion sheet in front.
Beyond that, I do like the design of them separating the LED driver which makes for less weight on the panel itself.
As for fan noise, for the price, they really should be making it either passively cooled, or use proper variable fan speed controls based on temperature along with larger fans. For example, a 140mm fan that is decent quality is pretty much silent at around 700 RPM (well below the noise floor of even acoustically treated rooms).

Because of the breaking of the title, I was thinking who Self-Inflating Light Photographers are :D

Yea, if you cruise YouselessTube very long, you are exposed to a lot of "light" photographers, as well as a lot of "self-inflating" photographers.

It never occurred to me that they were a perfectly intersecting set.

$400? Hope they have a good patent attorney.

I can see someone in China prepping the inflatable without light source for intro on AliExpress for $7.95. Add your own speedlight!

I do not see myself spending $400 on an inflatable light. I think there're other alternatives that are as effective and not as expensive.