Ulanzi L2 RGB COB Video Light

The Ulanzi L2 RGB COB Video Light is a different sort of video light than you might be used to, occupying the form of a cube. It’s a helpful complimentary light to a similar L2 product Ulanzi created which was not RGB but was waterproof (L2 Cute Lite Waterproof LED Light). The L2 RGB status means it can display coloured light on the red, green and blue spectrum, resulting in 360 degrees of possible colour choices. COB means the light has a Chip-On-Board, enabling it to be compact, energy efficient and offer a uniformity of brightness.

BUILD QUALITY

It’s 41mm square form only weighs 70 grams, the weight of an egg. Encased in a tough plastic box with a magnetic back it can be attached to any (non aluminium) metal surface. Great for mounting it to metal surfaces if other mounting points are unavailable. The light element is on the front of the L2, the OLED and control buttons are on the top, the USB-C charging port on the rear and a ¼ 20” female thread for mounting underneath. There are four magnets surrounding the front light element which enable the addition of filters and accessories.

OLED DISPLAY

On the top of the unit, you’ll find the OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display, which displays information as a digital bright green against a black background. The OLED provides information pertaining to battery percentage, mode in use, colour choice and light brightness.

BUTTONS

The information displayed on the OLED can be navigated by the three buttons on top of the unit, under the OLED. The power button turns on the unit, by a long press, and the same button, when long pressed turns the unit off. When on, you can switch between colour selection and brightness by short pressing the power button. There are two arrow buttons which enable you to then select the setting you desire for the Hue and brightness, while on RGB Mode. If you press both arrow buttons at once, you can access the Scene Mode, and navigate through this menu the same way you would the RGB menu.

RGB COLOURS

Given the L2 is an RGB unit, you have 360 degrees of colour to choose from and any form of brightness of those colours. Each measurable in 1% increments up to 100%. These can be selected using the arrow buttons and changed in 1% increments at any speed. By holding down an arrow key the setting figure will change rapidly. You can expect to enjoy a 60-degree lighting range from the front element and a uniformity of light on your subject.

LIGHTING EFFECTS

There are 11 dynamic lighting affects available on the L2 RGB COB Video Light. These are cop car, ambulance, fire engine, fireworks, party, RGB strobe, red flash, green flash, blue flash, HSI slow and HSI fast. When the light is on Scene Mode and is turned off the L2 resets back to RGB mode. When you go back into the Scene Mode, the light resets back to Cop Car and 50% strength. It would have been a helpful improvement to have the light settings remain, so you can turn the light off and on again, and it was how you left it. This is true for the RGB Mode but not the Scene Mode.

Given the light does not have the ability to produce lighting on the Kelvin scale, I feel it would be an advantage, making the most of the RGB abilities, to have a larger range of special lighting effects, which Ulanzi are renowned for in their other products.

BRIGHTNESS

My best calculations, arrived at by comparing the L2 RGB COB Video Light to other Ulanzi light units is that at ½ meter the strength of the light is 750 lux, reducing to 200 lux at 1 meter. At full strength this light offers more brightness than you’d need to light your face in colour at 1 meter.

BATTERY

The L2 RGB COB Video Light is powered by an internal 800mAh high capacity rechargeable lithium battery with a life expectancy of 50,000 hours, that’s 2083 continuous days. You can expect to get  60-65 minutes of use when fully charged and used at full brightness or 240 minutes when used on its lowest setting. Obviously you’ll get much longer usage times if the light is on less than 100% brightness. The constant current omitted by the battery means the light has stepless dimming, you can turn the brightness of the light up and down without turning the light off to do so. The battery is recharged through a USB-C cord and takes 60 minutes to recharge. You can also use the light while it is being charged, giving much longer light usage, if required, from the L2 RGB.

ACCESSSORIES

You’ll find a generous number of accessories accompanying this product.

The Cold Shoe Adapter enable you to mount this light onto the top of your camera, very useful for vlogging.

Four-page Barndoor Plate which allows you to direct or limit the amount of light put on the subject you are lighting. All four doors are adjustable and attached via magnets to the front of the light. It’s really neat, how it works.

Snoot enables you to direct the light through the magnetised attaching funnel into a small spotlight. This is very handy for highlighting your subject.

Silicone Diffuser softens the light for those moments when you don’t want less light, you just need it to be more diffused. This accessory is applied by pulling it over the front face of the element, where the stretch pressure holds it in place.

Honeycomb Diffuser Mesh provides some further creative options and is held in place like the other attachments with magnets.

0.3m Type-C Charging Cable is a USB to USB-C cable.

Instruction Manual, I don’t think I need to explain this, do I?

USES FOR THE L2 RGB COB VIDEO LIGHT

It’s called a video light because it’s designed to sit in the hot shoe of your camera while you are filming or vlogging. Keep in mind that it is an RGB light, so you may not use it in this capacity on a regular basis. Its ability to be dimmed and it’s wide 60 degree range, plus the optional diffuser means it’s a creative tool for light painting or setting a colourful scene in which you will film. A further use is for highlighting products, making use of the creative accessories to aid you. Not to mention using the RGB and special effects capabilities for creative back lighting and background lighting. The L2 is very small and lightweight meaning it takes up a very small space in your bag and adds almost nothing to your weight limit.

It’s nice to have a light that is built for one thing, and because of this you don’t need to wade through countless options to access the settings you’re after. I imagine there are some who look at this light and wish it had the ability to offer the Kelvin range of light, but there are many products out there that already do this. Given this compromise I would have liked the light to have been brighter, but I am unfamiliar with the limitations of technology and if this is even possible. Both the size and accessories give the user a variety of creative expressions that would be beneficial in a lot of circumstances. At $39.95 this may be the solution you’re looking for and if so, I’d encourage you to buy it here.

Thanks to Ralph Mayhew for the review article, here is the link to the original article.