Video Review of the Ice Light By Westcott

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Last week Wescott released a brand new style of light.   It’s very unique.  It’s very useful.  And it’s going to make life a lot easier for many photographers and videographers.

It’s called the Ice Light and it looks like a small, Star Wars light saber.  Powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and daylight balanced LED bulbs, the Ice Light not only eliminates the hassle of dealing with traditional photo/video lights…but it also allows you to take light where you’ve probably never taken it before.

On the technical side, the Ice Light is a little over 20 inches long and weighs a little over a pound.  It contains two 1/4″ 20 thread female mounts on each end so you can attach it to any light stand or tripod.  It uses an LED light array with a frosted diffusion panel for nice soft, even light.  Since the light is dimmable, how long the battery lasts depends on how bright you run the light.  You’ll get a little over 1 hour of use at full beam and a little over 2 hours at the lowest output.

You’re not limited to just the battery though.  The Ice Light comes with an AC adapter and power cord, so you can plug it in and run it all day if you want to (adapters for 3 different countries are also included).  And the Ice Light’s battery will simultaneously charge while  you use it (a very nice touch…that means you can run the battery dead and then plug it in and keep right on using it…while the battery charges up again).

The Ice Light runs in the daylight color range but if you want to use a gel to change the light color, they make that easy too by providing plastic snaps designed to hold gels over the light.

And it’s this attention to detail that’s refreshing about the Ice Light.  With most lights, it seems they were designed by engineers who have never held a camera, photo or video.  But the Ice Light was actually designed by world-class photographer Jerry Ghionis and it shows.  It contains little details that can only come from someone who knows what it’s like to work with photo and video lights in the real world.

On the practical side, the Ice Light is great in many situations, but not all.  To be clear, this is a light designed for portrait style photography and talking head style videos.  The Ice Light doesn’t offer much throw and must be pretty close to the subject to be useful.  That’s another way of saying don’t expect the Ice Light…or several of them…to light a green screen or an entire room.  They won’t, they can’t and they are not supposed to.  They are designed for intimate lighting…not broad lighting.

The one thing people will probably complain about most is the price.  Westcott lists the Ice Light at a suggested retail price of $599 on their web site.  Most resellers offer it for $499.  And some are selling it for $449.

Is that a bit salty?  Yea, maybe a little.  But you also have to remember that the Ice Light is the ultimate in portability and a huge time-saver.

For example, the video above was shot in an empty circa-1900 warehouse.  On the 5th floor.  The last thing I would want to do is drag heavy, expensive, lights up 5 sets of unlit, 100+ year old stairs.  There also wasn’t any power on the floor, so I would have had to figure out how to get clean power to the lights.

I had no such worries with the Ice Light (remember, the little guy runs on a rechargeable battery and weighs about a pound).  In fact, I arrived, shot and left faster than it probably would have taken me to get even the first shot setup using traditional video lights.  And keep in mind I was using the Ice Light for video.  For photography, it has even more advantages.

So are there any cons?  Just one that I’ve found so far.  I wish I had several Ice Lights instead of one.

To go to Westcott’s web site for the full details on the Ice Light, click here.

 

 

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