When it comes to LED lights finding one which ticks all of the boxes can be tricky. Some win on size but lack the output or colour quality while others deliver perfect light but are too unweildy to put in your camera bag.
The LYKOS Daylight strikes the balance between amazing light and usability for me.
The light is a sturdy plastic body with a textured handle grip. The body allows you to stand the light on a flat surface without a light stand which is really helpful for a quick shoot.
The tripod adapter can be attached to either long edge of the light so it doesn’t favour the right handed user and the handle can be kept out of shot for back lighting.
What I really like about the tripod adapter is the level of quality engineering. It is metal with a ball head built in. This lets you adjust the angle of lighting rapidly without having to mess with the tripod or lighting stand. There is a thumb lever for adjusting the head which gives you and easy release and tight closure. This has all the thought you know and love from a Manfrotto tripod worked into an adapter.
The light features 48 LEDs through a diffusing plastic face. Without gels you get a clean white light which closely resembles daylight. In the photo below you can see the temperature of light from the LYKOS and the window in the background match closely.
The LYKOS comes with a set of gels which slot over the light panel into the track alongside. You can warm up or cool down the light to match the ambient light or mood of your image with the gels.
When it comes to using it I have been switching it between my PIXI Mini Tripod and a Gorilla Pod for flexibility of height.
Compared to my usual continuous lighting solutions (big soft boxes and a ring light) the LYCOS is out and ready to use far more swiftly. The LCD screen on the back gives you a percentage read out on the light intensity which helps you dial up the exact conditions you need every time.
When I’m creating layouts for Instagram and adding in light I can recreate the same look across my images which is a major plus point compared to my adjustable ring light.
For Periscope and other live video I can light myself easily, adjusting the light intensity until the key looks natural yet bright. As I am often broadcasting late at night it is the perfect light to pull out quickly.
The LYKOS has been great for backlighting images. In this shot I wanted to recreate the effect of Spring light behind these flowers but the angle of the sun wasn’t working out for me. I set up the shot with the large window behind me and the LYKOS shooting through a window pane. The Spring-like illumination brings these flowers to life.
I love using the LYKOS Daylight, it has so many well built features to recommend it and the light itself is superb for both stills and film. I will be looking to add a second one to my kit bag and ditch the softboxes.
Kat Molesworth is a Photographer and lifelong camera enthusiast. She works for a range of commercial and private clients and teaches photography workshops in the UK.
Kat is also Director of Blogtacular, the conference for creative bloggers. You can find her on Instagram as@thatkat and she writes her personal blog at Housewife Confidential.