Review: The Luxli Fiddle Pocket RGBAW LED: A Boon to Night Photography

Review: The Luxli Fiddle Pocket RGBAW LED: A Boon to Night Photography
I'd been thinking about getting some kind of lighting system for night photography for quite some time. As someone who is primarily a landscape photographer, I wanted to expand my time outside, but most of my work was at sunset or dawn. 

After some basic research, I knew I wanted an LED small lighting system that could produce virtually any color, could fit in my pocket, and would be rechargeable. 

I liked the Luxli Fiddle Pocket LED light, and it seemed to fit my needs. It works with an Android or iOS app or can function alone. Its list price is $310, but the usual online stores have it at lower prices. 

What's It For?

As a landscape photographer, I saw it as a way to light subjects at night and increase my useable time when it's dark. I hoped I could light the interiors of abandoned buildings (we have a lot in Arizona, especially in our numerous ghost towns). I also saw it as a tool to get some warm or cool light on the cactus that I often photograph. 

Tech Specs

The panel is a 5" diagonal RGBAW honeycomb of 78 LEDs, which can create almost any color on their own or with combining LEDs. The light is equipped with Bluetooth 5, which pairs with Luxli’s Composer mobile app from up to 100 feet away. Whether controlled via the app or the intuitive interface on the unit itself, the Fiddle’s multiple operating modes will deliver any color or brightness of light you desire. The color temperature range is from 2,800 to 10,000 K. You can dial it what you want from the app or the front screen on the Fiddle itself.

The Fiddle runs on a powerful internal rechargeable battery that boasts over three hours of runtime at full brightness. When it’s time to recharge, the USB Type-C connector supports Power Delivery 3.0, so the Fiddle can be quickly recharged from the included wall adapter, a power bank, or a car charger.

CCT (correlated color temperature) mode is perfect for setting traditional lighting temperatures from 2,800 to 10,000 K in 50 K increments. A filter mode lets you accent it with one of the 150 preloaded "gels." Of course, with this device, gels are a thing of the past. It's all done electronically. The expansive HSL mode lets you produce nearly every hue of the visible spectrum. Also, using the app, you can load any picture or video you have, tap on a color you want, and the Fiddle will duplicate it.

The Fiddle case is rugged, with a forged aluminum chassis. There are two controls for adjusting color values. For much of your photography, you'll want it on a tripod or something to keep it steady. The Fiddle body has two 1/4-20 threaded sockets to give you the option of mounting the Fiddle on a tripod, light, stand, or ball head. With the right adapter, it’s compatible with a DSLR or camcorder for vertical or horizontal mounting. You can also use the versatile Joby GorillaPods.

First Time Out With The Luxli Fiddle

I was thinking of a good place to test the Fiddle at night and thought it would be fun to find some abandoned cars and light them up. They're not too hard to locate, and I found six junked cars near an abandoned tire shop. 

I loaded the Fiddle on what was left of the seat of a junked car and set up my camera about 20 feet away. Using the Luxli iOS app, I chose the brightness and color I thought would work. The app quickly connected to the lights, and I was ready to experiment. 

For my photos, I also wanted to catch the star field, so I settled on 17-second exposures before the stars began to trail. Exposures at that length meant the Fiddle needed to be dimmer, so I dialed the brightness down. That adjustment was smooth, anywhere from zero to 100%. 

I experimented with different colors, which was easy from the app, and had complete HSL (hue, saturation, and luminance) control. 

I liked the results. It was a different form of photography than I was used to, but the Fiddle light certainly opened up a lot of possibilities. 

Things I Learned Using the Luxli Fiddle

Luxli makes a diffuser that magnetically clips on to the light, and I bought that later. It makes a difference in softening the light and would recommend it to potential buyers. Luxli also offers a case for the Fiddle, which is useful. I just had mine in my coat pocket, which was OK, but the case, which can hook to a belt, seems a really good option.

Things I Liked

  • Very reasonable in price. Current online prices are about $240.
  • Build quality is excellent. I dropped mine a few times, and it survived unscathed.
  • It's small, portable, and can last three hours. You can hook an external battery to it via USB-C and it functions and charges at the same time.
  • The app is easy to use and very powerful. I liked that the Bluetooth range is very long. At 30 feet, I had no trouble operating the light. It's specified at 100 feet.

Would Like to See

  • I can't remember a product I've reviewed without reservation. Luxli has done it all with the light and the app. To own this is to use it. To use it is to like it.

Summing Up

Obviously, this light does a lot more than let you take night shots of junk cars. It's got great uses in portraits, product lighting, and a whole host of things I haven't thought of. It's not going to light up a big building from a great distance, but there are other lighting products for that, but this light and some time exposures will help you with almost any lighting problem. I wish I'd discovered the Luxli Fiddle a long time ago, but having bought one, I'm going to use it on multiple photo shoots. Check it out if you think you can find some uses for one. You can purchase the Luxli Fiddle Pocket LED light here.

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