We Review the Genaray Portabright COB LED

It seems more and more, competitors are showing up in the COB LED lighting world, and this is no exception. This is the Genaray Portabright, and here's what it’s like to shoot with and ultimately who it could be for.

I’ve used the Genaray Portabright both in photo and video for some time now to really put it to the test across a variety of shooting styles to find out where it’s strong and where it doesn’t hold up.

I originally compared this to something like the Aputure 120D, where the light output seems to be pretty similar. Similar to the Aputure, this can be used both on AC power or using a battery for on-location use. Where the 120D is compatible with V-mount batteries, this has its own proprietary battery system that comes included with the cost of the light. Granted, the 120D is no longer being manufactured, but this is the closest comparison I could make in terms of light output and features.

Let’s get into the pros and cons of different aspects of this light:

Battery Power

I like the ability to use this on a battery, it makes on-location video and photo easier. The battery at full power lasts about 45 minutes, so if you’re planning on using this a lot on location or not plugged in directly, then you’ll probably want to invest in a lot of them.

Light Output

For the price and the form factor, this is a pretty bright LED light that is not too heavy, portable, and easy to use, adjust, etc. If you’re using this outside, it better be during a heavy overcast day or at night, as the light output won’t compare with the sun at all. But for the price and form factor for a video light, you can’t really expect it to.

Build Quality

It does feel solid and has taken regular use and abuse without so much as a scratch. That said, it can feel plastic-ky in certain parts around the body of the light.

Additional Pros

The light is a Bowens mount, so you can take advantage of a wide range of lighting modifiers to achieve the look you are after. The carrying case is pretty nice and has everything organized easily. The portabright also comes in a Bicolor or Daylight option. Using the daylight option, it does come with a CTO (color temperature orange) color-correcting diffusion disk to connect to the front of the included 7” reflector.

At just above $200, this is a high-quality, portable, and bright light that does a lot for a low price, especially compared to a lot of competitors' offers. The battery being included in the price is an added bonus, as each battery itself is about $70.

The fan is pretty quiet and has never caused an issue whenever I’ve been recording audio. Unless you have the mic directly beside the fan of the light, it is barely noticeable. This is huge for a budget-friendly video light, as many can be quite loud, leading to unusable audio.

Additional Cons

The cable from the light to the ballast is pretty short and would definitely benefit from a hook or something to hang it off a light stand. After being frustrated by this for some time, I finally gaff-taped a bongo tie to it so I can hang the band off a knob of a c-stand. This quickly fixed that issue and has been working ever since.

To really use this on location, it would take a serious number of batteries, and at $70 for each, they can add up really quickly. This begins to eliminate the added affordability of this light, especially when you consider the batteries can only be used for this model of light.

This is a small gripe, but unlike the Aputure lights, there is no cover over top of the LED itself, meaning it can be more susceptible to damage, so I always try to cover it with a reflector or similar modifier when transporting the light.


This light definitely isn’t for everyone, but it can be very useful in the situations it was designed for. If you’re looking for a solid interview or YouTube key light, this can do the job and do it well. I’ve used this for a constant light for photos in studio, music videos, interviews, YouTube videos, and more. In fact, this has been my go-to YouTube key light pretty much since I got it.

As I also create short-form content, this is where the battery shines, as you don’t need the light to be on for very long when you’re shooting in a short-form method.

If you’re using it for photo, I find the power is enough for most portrait or product work. The only thing being if you’re looking to freeze motion, you’d definitely either want a stronger LED, or a strobe where the flash duration will do that work for you. It seems there really isn’t one catch-all in LED lighting, and if there was, it would be incredible expensive. But if you’re looking for something to do most jobs outside of shooting in harsh, direct sun, the Genaray Portabright can do it and do it well.

It is worth mentioning it is dimmable by 10% increments, which can be considered a pro or a con, depending if you’re used to using lights with single point incremental adjustments before or not. If you’re not, you really won’t miss it, but if you are, then it does leave the feeling that it would be nice to have the additional control. As the model I have the most experience with is the daylight-balanced one, I can’t speak as much for the bi-color option. That said, the daylight does produce a nice, bright, white light evenly balanced without hardly any shift in either the green/magenta or the blue/yellow spectrums.

All in all, for what you pay, this is a great, reliable light that can do most jobs pretty well, and I don’t regret picking it up.

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