The Neewer MS150B: An Adventure Into Lighting That You May Want to Take

The Neewer MS150B: An Adventure Into Lighting That You May Want to Take

I had the opportunity to test some permanent LED lights. Designed primarily for video, I thought I would also try them out for photography as I am soon setting up a home studio, so I ran them through a series of tests to see how they fared.

As you might have noticed, Neewer has sent me things to try. I've previously reviewed three of their items – two tripods and a flash – and have been impressed with both their quality and price. At first glance, the Neewer MS150B seems to live up to those expectations

Must You Pay Big Bucks for Great Performance?

I used to teach sailing, and any item increased in cost as soon as it was shown labeled as being for a boat. I think any specialist hobby is the same, and that includes photography. However, I'm a great believer in the adage that you get what you pay for. Nevertheless, much of the top-end professional equipment seems hugely overpriced for what you get. I handle a lot of gear, and very good quality comes at a price. But that often seems too high for what the product is.

Furthermore, most photographers, and the majority who will read this article, are not professional photographers, and a lot of professionals operate on a small scale and neither want to nor can afford to pay for the Rolls-Royce, platinum-coated, flashes.

As I mentioned in the recent tripod review, Neewer is bucking that trend by manufacturing some high-quality, professional-quality items aimed at amateurs. Although still not cheap, the gear is far less expensive than most equivalent professional standard equipment I've used. Their gear is also on a completely different level from the cheaper products on the market.

So far, the things I have tested from Neewer have been robust, well-designed, and user-friendly. Therefore, I had high hopes for the three LED lighting units they sent me. But, after a lifetime of using on- and off-camera flashes, and shooting video in daylight, would I be as impressed with these as I have been with their previous items?

A Note About Continuous Lighting

A continuous light has both advantages and disadvantages. The big advantages are that you can see exactly how the light will appear on your subject, plus, with LED lights, you can precisely change the light color. You can also, of course, use them for video, which is what these lights are primarily designed for. Moreover, they are less likely to cause discomfort to your model or give them a seizure than a flash would; I haven't met anyone who enjoys being on the receiving end of a powerful flash. I have also photographed an epileptic, so had to avoid using any strobing light. Similarly, a blind person I've photographed can see the powerful light of a flash, and that can be an unpleasant shock for him.

The disadvantage of a permanent light is that it is not so bright, so you are less able to stop movement. However, if it’s bright enough, it’s still a useful tool for photographers.

The first light I am reviewing below is the Neewer MS150B. It is a 130-watt bi-color lamp.

First Impressions of the Neewer MS150B

The MS150B comes in a smart, padded carrying case. Apart from the flash unit itself, the case also holds a standard reflector, a Bowen's mount adaptor, the power supply and power lead, a handle/stand adaptor, a webbing securing mount for holding the power supply, a double battery plate adaptor for two NP-F970 batteries (not supplied), and a user manual.

All the parts feel well made.

This mini bi-color LED video light is small and comprises mostly a large heatsink with two silent cooling fans. It measures about 7.5 inches long and approximately 3.5 inches tall and wide. The barrel is a non-magnetic metal, so probably an aluminum alloy, while the rear plate that holds the controls is solid plastic.

That backplate sports two control knobs, two buttons, the power input socket, plus an LCD. Those buttons and knobs operate with firm clicks, and the power cable jack plug connects tightly to the socket. Meanwhile, at the front, is the LED light housed in the metal mounting ring. On the bottom is a 1/4-20 UNC screw socket, meaning it will fit directly onto tripods or studio stands, and onto the supplied handle/stand adaptor.

The power adaptor feels tough, and the heavy-duty input and output cables are long, giving nearly 16 feet (4.88 meters) of reach from the wall socket to the lamp.

Apart from being able to adjust the white balance and luminosity of the light, there are various presets available, and it is fully controllable from the Neewer app.

Testing the Neewer MS150B


For testing purposes, I mounted the unit on one of the Neewer travel tripods I recently reviewed in a darkened room, pointing at an 18% gray card at a distance of 2 meters. My OM-1 was set to spot metering, and I was using the OM System 12-40mm f/2.8 lens set to f/2.8. Although the recommended ISO for my camera is 200, I set it to 100 to match the base ISO of the majority of the readers’ cameras. If your camera uses ISO 200, you need to double the shutter speed for the following results.

The brightness of the lamp was set to maximum, i.e., 100. I had the standard reflector fitted.

I began by trying the light’s temperature ranges between 2700 K and 6500 K. Setting it to 4600 K, approximately midway between the two extremes. The resulting shutter speed was 1/2,500. That’s a light value of 14.33 EV100.

Adjusting the light to 2700 K, what photographers would call a warm light (though a physicist would say it is cooler), the shutter speed reduced to 1/1,250, i.e., by one stop lower than mid-temperature, to 13.33 EV100

Adjusting it to its coolest (hottest), the shutter speed value was 1/2,000, 14 EV100.

White Balance Accuracy

Using my white card, I measured the white balance of the light. I did that with my OM-1's "One-touch white balance" facility that measures the color of the light. With the MS150B set to 4600 K, the camera recorded exactly the same light temperature. Similarly, with the light set at 2600 K, the camera also recorded the projected light to be that temperature. There was a very slight difference at 6500 K. My camera read it to be 6200 K.

I found no color drifting as I reduced the lamp's luminosity, a fault of some far more expensive lights.

The two cooling fans, when they cut in, were quiet. I left them set to auto and the light turned up to maximum for thirty minutes, and they alternated between Low and Off and were inaudible. My wife, who has far better hearing than me, could not hear them running when standing less than one meter from the light. When I manually switched the fans to High, she could just hear it running if she stood still and concentrated. The ambient temperature in my room is 17 °C.

What I Liked and What Could Be Improved

What I Liked About the Neewer MS150B

  • Well made.
  • Affordable.
  • Compact and light.
  • Can be battery-powered.
  • Easy to use, especially with the Neewer app.
  • Powerful and variable light.
  • Variable color temperature.
  • Long power cable.
  • Good range of high-quality accessories.
  • Twelve adjustable special effects to simulate lightning, a TV screen, welding, etc.
  • 2.4 G mode to synchronize multiple LED lights on the same channel, with 100 channels available.
  • Standby mode.

What Could Be Improved Next Time

  • Compatible batteries add to the cost.
  • As with a lot of photographic equipment from many brands, there was too much unnecessary single-use plastic in the packaging. This is true of most manufacturers in the photography industry.
  • Environmental impact information is not readily available on the website, although when I challenged them about it, Newer gave the following statement.

As a manufacturer, Neewer is in compliance with EPR regulations in all EU countries. We pay a substantial subscription to local environmental agencies in the EU every year. some of the licenses are displayed on the Amazon shop front, as required. We do not publish them on because there are too many of them.

One assumes the US and other countries have similar rules and regulations.

In Conclusion

For anyone wanting to discover studio continuous lighting, then most photographers would recommend good quality gear to them. Similarly, for those venturing into the outdoors to record vlogs, superior lights are a must. Gladly, this bi-color LED light from Neewer fits the bill for both. If you have a small studio or want portable lighting, the compact design works perfectly. Other lights on the market offer similar performance for over double the price, so the Neewer MS150B is also a great cost-effective option.

I'll soon review an RGB video light and a lighting wand from Neewer, too.


  • Model: MS150B
  • Input Voltage: DC19.6V/8A
  • Dimming Range: 0-100%
  • Color Temperature: 2700K-6500K
  • Channels: 00-99
  • CRI: 97+
  • TLCI: 98+
  • Output Power: 130W
  • Input Power: 150W
  • Maximum Illuminance (with Standard Reflector): 200,000 lux @ 0.5m
  • Frequency: 1-10
  • Number of Scenes: 12
  • Power Supply: AC power adapter/batteries (not included)
  • Compatible Battery: NP-F970
  • Dimensions: 7.7" x 3.7" x 3.1"/19.5 x 9.5 x 8cm
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs (980 g)
Ivor Rackham's picture

Earning a living as a photographer, website developer, and writer and Based in the North East of England, much of Ivor's work is training others; helping people become better photographers. He has a special interest in supporting people with their mental well-being through photography. In 2023 he became a brand ambassador for the OM System

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