Fstoppers Reviews The Go Lite by Lowel, an Ultra-Compact LED Lighting System

Fstoppers Reviews The Go Lite by Lowel, an Ultra-Compact LED Lighting System

LED lights are becoming more popular than ever, and with super compact, battery-powered options such as the Lowel Go Lite, it’s never been easier to pack them along for the ride, wherever that may take you. In this review I take a look at the versatile Go Lite by Lowel.

The holiday season is the perfect time of the year to be thinking about LED lights. After all, many of us are in the process of stringing up our homes with colorful Christmas lights, so why not take a few minutes to talk about a portable LED lighting option for those photographers who find themselves on the go?

The Go Lite by Lowel is an ultra-compact professional LED lighting system. It's a little bit larger than a deck of cards, and has the ability to mount on the hotshoe of your camera or be handheld, providing portable continuous light.

Fifty-four super bright (you’ll understand just how bright they are the first time you press the power button while inattentively starring directly at them) LEDs provide the illumination for the Go Lite. 

A 10-step dimmer feature allows you to control the output, while the included tungsten filter and daylight diffusion covers allow you to further craft the light to suit your needs.

Light output is easily controlled via a 10-step adjustment feature.

Specifications

  • Light source: 54 LED lamp beads
  • Illumination angle: 55 degrees
  • Color temperature: 5500K
  • Power consumption: 5 W
  • Color rendering: 90+
  • Lumen value: 500LM
  • Average life: 50,000 hours
  • Color Temperature: 5500K/3200K
  • Operating voltage: 4 AA alkaline cells or AA Ni-MH cells

What I Like

What’s not to like about an inexpensive tool that’s well made and fills a need photographers often find themselves reaching for a convenient battery-powered constant light source?

Magnetic Mounting

I’ve broken so many brittle plastic clips, mounts, and covers on various “things” over the years, it’s worth mentioning how much I like the magnetic corners of the Go Lite used to secure the included light modifiers (which also double as the battery cover) to the unit. Much like how the MagMod system works, the diffusers simply attach to the Go Lite's body thanks to a bunch of clingy little magnets. 

The additional diffusion panel also serves as a battery cover.

Flash Mode

The Go Lite has the ability to be switched into "flash mode". While attached to a Canon or Nikon DSLR, the light acts like a traditional flash with a bright AF assist feature that's welcome when shooting in dimly lit locations, such as what you might find during a wedding reception. 

During Testing

While testing the Go Lite, I found it was easily hand held and quite versatile in terms of the various lighting effects that were achievable using a only a single light and no other modifiers or reflectors other than what's included with the system. I did have a problem with one of the diffusers constantly losing its magnets. A quick drop of superglue cured that issue and I haven't dealt with it since. 

The "before" image below is a test image that was taken using the Go Lite without any of the included modifiers attached. The "after" image was taken with the included translucent diffuser attached. 

Test image taken using the Go Lite with no diffusers attached.

Test image taken using the Go Lite with translucent diffuser attached.

The "before" test image below was taken using the Go Lite with the included round frosted diffuser attached. The after image was taken using the include amber diffuser attached. 

Test image taken using the Go Lite with the round frosted diffuser attached.

Test image taken using the Go Lite with the amber diffuser attached.

What I Don’t Like

While the system includes some handy features, a simple foot or stand such as what would be included with almost any speedlight you’d purchase, and shown in the pictures in this review, would be a nice addition, although I’m not sure I need anymore of those little plastic feet at this point in my gear acquisition. 

Conclusion

How often do you find yourself in need of a handy, professional quality constant light source? If your answer is often, the Go Lite by Lowel is worth consideration.

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3 Comments

Fritz Asuro's picture

I think it's the same product (and maybe re-branded?) from Yongnuo, the YONGNUO YN0906?

Quinn Wilson's picture

For myself, I use the Neewer CN-160. It came with a few nice modifiers and has worked incredibly well for me. It's about 28$ right now—a good price for a broke college student like myself. The biggest downside for this one is that it takes 6 AA batteries. It definitely doesn't have the magnetic corners like this particular product does. In the end, I got what I paid for, but this seems to be like a more quality alternative.

Why isn't (est.) battery usage life mentioned, or did I miss it? Happens to me ALOT these days, @81 y.o.