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LED 1x1s are used everywhere especially in the documentary/corporate production environment. They have become a “de facto” low budget location soft lights due to small size, low weight and the fact that they can be battery powered (with 12V camera batteries).

I’ve used many different models and all had one common problem: very poor color rendition. It’s not just about an easily visible “green” spike, but their poor spectral color output throughout affects all colors. Plus, different cameras/sensors seem to react differently to the poor color output.

So in short: None of the existing 1×1 panels really interested me as a universal tool, but generally I’m often in need of a small, powerful battery powered LED panel. I discovered the Sumolight. I waited quite some time before I bought one: It’s very expensive. But here is the incentive: the color is really great. It really matches a true color (tungsten/day environments – I bought the bi-color version). It’s very lightweight, power output is good and a lot of accessories are available. I got the octagon softbox, the honeycomb crate and the V-mount battery adapter. Clearly this product is designed by people that actually spend time on set. I really like the Kino-style “lollipop”. Unfortunately, it still has the common “multi source” issue, but it comes with a lot of optical adapters that try to minimize the “dirty shadow” issue with minimal light loss (unless you use a soft box or diffusion, which I mostly do). One thing that really annoyed me was the “cheap-ish” separate AC power adapter. By the way, customer service is great. The CEO of Sumolight personally answered every e-mail inquiry I made and promised a better AC adapter.

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