Articles, Blog

GEAR REVIEW: Dracast LED500 silver series bi-color LED light

January 22, 2020


Hey everyone, Adam with Droi Media here, and
today we’re going to be taking a look at the Dracast LED500 Silver Series Bi-Color
Light. Now this is the bi-color version of the light
and what that means is you have the option to go from 3200 Kelvin all the up to 5600
Kelvin. Unlike some other panels I’ve used in the
past there’s not just a dial on the back that you can adjust to an exact color temperature. Instead there’s a daylight knob and a tungsten
knob and you can adjust those accordingly depending on if you need daylight or tungsten
for your shot. Or if you want the light up all the way you
can just turn them both up to 100%. Something to be aware of with this, is that
even though the light has 500 LEDs on it, only 250 are daylight and the other 250 are
tungsten. So to get the full power output from the light
you’re going to have kind of a mixed color temperature with both the daylight and the
tungsten turned up. One of the nice things about this light though
is that even with a mixed color temperature, the light that it puts out is still really
good. The color rendering index, or CRI, is rated
at 95, which is one of the reasons I bought it. We’ve got a couple options when it comes
to powering this light. It comes with an AC power adapter so you can
plug it in just like any other light you might have. And the great thing about it is it comes with
a couple of battery options. I went ahead and got the dual NP-F slot version
because I have some NP-F batteries laying around already and they fit into my workflow. I believe you can get a V-Mount version as
well. Now I ran some tests and this light, with
a fully charged NP-F970 battery, and both the daylight and tungsten turned all the way
up, will run for about 5 hours. There is some significant dimming at about
3 hours in, so if you were just going to use the daylight or just use the tungsten color
temperatures, I would assume you could get probably 4 or 5 usable hours out of one single
battery, and with two batteries you could probably run an entire day on just those. In terms of build quality this thing is built
like a tank – there’s very little plastic on this at all, and it’s held up really
well with general use. And it’s really sturdy when you hold it
– it feels robust. Now when I got it, it was a lot smaller than
I thought it would be. I’ve worked with some other light panels
before and they’ve always been one-by-ones, and this thing when I opened it up was smaller. I mean this thing is only about 9 inches across,
it’s the size of my palm or my face. However, it packs a really good punch for
its size, and it is just as well made if not more so than some of the other panels I’ve
used before. Some of the things i like most about this
light… being able to run off of batteries or AC power is great. It’s got a little piece of diffusion that
you can slide in and out to protect the LEDs a little bit better, and give you a little
more diffusion. The barn doors… these barn doors are incredible. I have not used LED panels with barn doors
on them before and I find myself using these all the time to direct or cut the light. I clip diffusion on to these like I would
with a Fresnel. I really like that aspect of them. I’ve been using this light for a couple
of months now, and while I think it is a great light, there are a couple of quirks to be
aware of. I love these barn doors like I said, but this
bottom one seems to get stuck against this panel a lot. I’ll find myself on shoots trying to use
a key to get under it and pry it out. Just something to be aware of. And then another thing, if you’re going
to hang this off a boom arm or something, this diffusion panel doesn’t stick in as
well as I want it to. I don’t hang it from booms, or hang it at
odd angles all that often, but when I do I just have to be careful or put a little piece
of gaff tape on there to keep it in. Overall this light is a winner for me. It’s small, it’s well made and robust,
it’s powerful and it’s really user-friendly too. I like it a lot, and I think if, like me,
you do a lot of interview or testimonial based videos this would be a really good light to
consider having in your kit. I use this constantly for fill light now,
and in fact this is the first time I haven’t used it as a fill light when doing something
on camera. If you want to know more about this light
there are links down below, if you have comments or questions leave those below as well. If you liked what you saw click like or click
subscribe. Thank you for sticking around for this review
and I’ll see you in the next video!

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30 Comments

  • Reply Ryan Bultrowicz March 11, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Really high-quality stuff! I'd suggest maybe looking for a better background, though. Yours doesn't by any means look bad but if you were somewhere else it might add a level of professionalism as opposed to what looks like your computer den, maybe? You definitely know the product your talking about. Nice video, overall!

  • Reply Aeonism March 17, 2017 at 1:34 am

    Hi! Great review. I'm really strongly considering this light, but I'm not sure what kind of output I can expect. I wouldn't be using it for much more than my key light in 1 on 1 interviews, but I've read conflicting takes on the output – some people are disappointed, you seem to really like it. What should I not expect it to do? (i.e.: I'd love to be able to shoot at f4-f5.6 at 100-400 ISO.)

  • Reply Mohammad Rahpeima April 3, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Great Review,
    BTW It has a lock for the filter not to fall of from any side,

  • Reply Gabbie McGuire April 19, 2017 at 6:03 am

    Hey,

    Thank you for making this!!

    So have you tried the Lumahawks? If so, which one do you like best?

  • Reply Adam Barefoot April 19, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    hmm is it brighter thanthe aputure 672 panels?

  • Reply mjmbk May 4, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Awesome vid man!

  • Reply Dave Moore July 20, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Excellent review, thank you for the info!

  • Reply The Rabbit Hole August 22, 2017 at 1:32 am

    I have had to use an allen key to tighten the screw on other Dracast LEDs. Has anyone else's tie down get detached from the screw?

  • Reply a.k.a Geek Girl September 8, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Are you sure this is the model DRSP-500BN? I've looked on both Amazon and B&H. The back panel on the units matching that product number do not show any numeric LCD display.

  • Reply ModernArtistRev October 10, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Hey Brother this is a great video! I had a question as well. If you are using this thing full blast what are you setting your camera for a white balance? Daylight or Tungsten? I'm looking to get a 3 panel set and making these the work horses for awhile until I can upgrade to the 1k model.

  • Reply Reza Molavi October 17, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Thank you.

  • Reply Beema Baby October 28, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Great Review. You mentioned that you use this as a fill light on a majority of your projects. What do you use for your key light?

  • Reply Zach Blackburn November 23, 2017 at 6:57 am

    What is the brand and name of the diffusion you used during the example?

  • Reply Ed Mund November 29, 2017 at 4:33 am

    Great Job describing and defining the pro's & con's of the light…  I based my purchase heavily on your clear & thorough coverage of the lights!

  • Reply Accelerated Video December 17, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    is there a way to add a softbox or is the diffusion panel good for interviews? samples of interviews with these? thanks!!

  • Reply Should I Get It Reviews January 14, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Would you recommend this lights for self-filming like you were setup in this video? I'm thinking of getting two and adding a reflector in under me as well. My goal is to film myself and one other person talking on a couch.

  • Reply Vallonier Studios January 28, 2018 at 2:14 am

    Dude, most straight to the point, concise review I've ever seen. Thank you. Buying them.

  • Reply kipling1957 May 13, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Interesting – they seem to have changed the controls on the latest version so that you can control CT directly, together with an LED readout of that (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1367520-REG/dracast_drsppl500bn_s_series_led500_plus.html) Anyway, I'm buying one of these puppys and thanks for the review.

  • Reply kipling1957 May 22, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    I have just purchased this, pretty much based on your review and am very pleased. Now I plan to get two additional daylight versions. One thing I noticed, on mine at least, is that you need to have both NP-F battery slots occupied for it to work on battery power. This doesn't appear the case with yours. No biggy – I have plenty of NP-Fs lying about. I'm just curious if anyone else has this on the newer version.

  • Reply Dorthy Roi July 7, 2018 at 1:56 am

    Can these light be used for portraiture??

  • Reply Walker Hicks July 13, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    What mic did you use here? On camera mini-shotgun? Brand? Sounds good.

  • Reply Shark August 17, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Great review dude. I unsure whether I should get the Daylight version or the Bi-Colour. Now I am thinking of getting the B-Colour version.

  • Reply Nella Ca August 31, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks for the review. You said in your comments youre thinking about getting the daylight version now. Does that mean you will get CT filters? What are the pros and cons of daylight vs bi color? I'm new to lights and stressing over which one to get.

  • Reply CaptureYouVideo November 5, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    1) Put a bit of a ben on one of the barn doors to help get a grip of it to open it away from the led wall… 2) Stick a bit of bluetak to stop the diffusion panel from falling out… Worked out well for me…

  • Reply Matt Armon November 9, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Do you think this would be good as a key light? or maybe the daylight only version.

  • Reply Nicholas Kilgore January 19, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Hey there from a new subscriber. Great review, I'm definitely going to pick up the 3 Piece Kit on B&H after seeing this. Thing is, the project that these will be used on is being filmed on boat, with no outlets on it. Is there a way you could link the batteries you used in this video? They look like exactly what I need. Thanks again for the thoroughness of this video!

  • Reply George Daniels May 6, 2019 at 2:17 am

    Great video! Would you still recommend this light in 2019? I am considering this as a key light, mainly for interview type projects. Or, do you recommend something different? Thanks.

  • Reply Sean Gabriel McClelland July 31, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    How in the heck do you match light temperature to various ambient light with two dials? How do you know what the light temp in Kelvin is? Also, don't like how that power cable connects, could get damaged pretty easily from downward force of the rest of the cable.

  • Reply Christian Owens August 23, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Appreciate the concise and quick review! Most people go on for way too long with useless info.

  • Reply Nate Reutter December 10, 2019 at 12:26 am

    You killed it — great review.

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