By technical editor Matt Allard:
Many news and documentary shooters have a 1×1 LED light as part of their kit. With low power consumption, no need for mains power and producing almost no heat it is easy to see why so many use them on a daily basis. It’s fair to say that 1×1 LED may be the most commonly used lights out there.
The problem with most LED lights (and not just the 1×1 style) is that they tend to give quite a harsh light. Instead of the light coming from one single source LED lights rely on lots of small bulbs to create a larger source.
A common way to alleviate this has been to use a soft box to diffuse and soften the light. Chimera make a kit for the 1×1 Litepanels that retails for $250 US, with an optional egg crate which runs you another $75 US more. These are great but not cheap.
Enter Airbox Lights. They have come up with a unique solution. I previously reviewed a smaller version that is available for more compact LED lights. The new 1×1 version picks up from where the smaller version left off. It does a great job of softening the LED light and yet compresses down into a small, easy to travel with solution. For the budget conscious or space limited user it is a great alternative to the more conventional options.
The kit includes the inflatable soft box, instructions and a puncture repair kit. An optional honeycomb grid diffuser is also available. For more information go to www.airboxlights.com
The Airbox Lights 1×1 retails for $99.99 US and you can purchase a kit with a grid diffuser for $129.99 US.