The Strahlen LED: A High Powered Light With A Flexible Design

Boasting a CRI of 90, bi-color options, and an output 1600 lux at 4ft, this Indiegogo campaign for an LED light takes a look at technology that's not old, but not exactly new either. Read on to find out what makes this LED light unique from others on the market today.

The Strahlen LED light campaign is looking to raise $30,000 to begin production of their LED, and is offering perks that include the light itself in the fundraiser. We don't have one to test, but I'll share some of the published specs and some more images below.

Here are the specifications for the unit as published:


What makes it different from other LED lights on the market are a few things. For starters, the bi-color option is enabled by a switch, not a dial. This means you get either daylight or tungsten, no in between. According to Andy Waplinger, Founder of the Strahlen, the benefit to this is that by using two sets of diodes, the quality and output are higher, while maintaining a small package. The physical shape of the unit is unlike traditional LED arrays that look like a panel, but there is no proprietary power supply or bulky adapter as with some other units.


Options are available for diffusing or modifying the light, with softboxes, barn doors, and anything else you have that is S-mount compatible. The fresnel attachment has the ability to narrow the 110 degree beam to around 60 desgrees, while increasing measured output by about 2-2.5x. These accessories do come at an additional cost.

Speaking of cost, to buy in to the Strahlen system, it's expected to run about $1,000 when they hit the market in mid 2014. For people who support their indiegogo, you can get one for only $800. Below is a video of example footage that was lit with the Strahlen.

So what do you think of this LED light? What would you have done differently? For more information, check out the Strahlen website.

Mike Wilkinson's picture

Mike Wilkinson is an award-winning video director with his company Wilkinson Visual, currently based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Mike has been working in production for over 10 years as a shooter, editor, and producer. His passion lies in outdoor adventures, documentary filmmaking, photography, and locally-sourced food and beer.

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I'm glad to see more bowens mount LED lights showing up. It's 'kind of' neat that it has two diodes but 1600 lux is pretty bad... The 200WA LED is also a bowens mount that does 9500 lux/m for under $500 shipped. Its CRI is 85 (only a 5 point difference) but having 6x more light at half the price, I'm not complaining.

1600 lux @ 4 ft. (open face) actually isn't that bad. That's brighter than a LitePanels 1x1 Flood and just shy of their Spot. And that's just our tungsten model. Our daylight model is doing 2460 lux @ 4 ft. even without the Fresnel add-on.

There's a couple of pretty big problems with the 200WA, though -
1) it uses a separate (rather cumbersome and heavy) power supply that'll you'll have to carry around and move in addition to the light unit.
2) a 200WA weighs nearly 2.5x as much as an ST-100. You could carry one of our 3-light kits, all packed into its hard shell case with cables and a few accessories, and it would still weigh less than 3 200WA's, not including any sort of carrying case or additional accessories.
3) I would love to see any kind of photometric or colorimetry data on the 200WA. All I've managed to find is people posting one single lux figure without any additional data to back it up.

Hi Andy. Thanks for responding in person. You're totally right that I'd rather have your product than those LitePanels. Again, I'm excited to see more manufacturers seek out a universal mount for their lights. Just based on my own experience, it would be pretty difficult to properly expose a subject when using modifiers like a deep octa with such little light. I really don't like pushing beyond ISO 800 f5.6 when filming. Do you care to show any counter examples to my concern?

Of course! My pleasure.

Personally I love using my 3' octa very often when shooting with the ST-100. The vast majority of examples in our Demo Reel use the 3' octa as a result.

Depending on your distance from the subject, I wouldn't be surprised if the ST-100 could fill a deep octa while still shooting ISO800 f5.6 - but this is something that's untested and there's so many variables that I couldn't give any kind of a definite response. I would absolutely love to see how it'd turn out, though.

I had the chance, over the summer, to actually hold and use these guys. They're nice. I also have the opportunity, this coming January, to fly out to San Diego and use them on a series of videos for the NCAA.

I really appreciate the support! Can't wait for you to get your hands on them again.

These are very cool, definitely a step forward.

I do see one "problem", all the light shines forward from behind the speedring instead of dispersing around the inside of a modifier. This is the same reason I rarely use speedlights.

Thanks, Jim!

We're also offering a dome diffuser add-on for those who want a 180 degree bare bulb effect from these guys. They pop on and off just using a magnetic mount - super quick and easy.

You can check it out under our Add-ons section:

I'm trying to figure out who the target consumer is here.
I do portrait and product/still life in studio settings and I don't see how such a weak light source would appeal to me? A few extra pounds lighter? I don't really care; I'm not frail and this is obviously getting plugged in indoors. Call me ignorant, but I'm kind of at a loss paying such a high price for such small output (less range effectively)... The tungsten makes sense if I want to balance with indoor available light, but with the big diffusers I want to use, how much less light is it then? I'm guessing it's a video targeted product?

The ST-100 is geared more for video first, photo second, but there are plenty of photographers who want WYSIWYG lighting without having to shell out +$2000 a light. Product and still life seem like great candidates for that.

The value of the ST-100 lies in several areas.
-Flexibility - it has a Bowens and magnetic mount built-in with an option for a Chimera 6.5" mount. This means you could use virtually any kind of modifier on the light to achieve exactly the look you want, and we have a fixed fresnel to boost the output.
-Reliability - we're using top-quality components and housings that ensure durability and longevity.
-Color quality - we've got some of the best LEDs on the market. They're great if you care about proper color reproduction.
-LED benefits - these are pretty obvious, but still worth stating: very low heat and power draw. That low heat is perfect for everybody when doing a portrait session, or when you're working in smaller areas for product or still life.

Several other benefits are laid out on our campaign page -

How big of modifiers are you planning to use? I use the ST-100 on a 3x4' soft box and 3' octabox regularly.