By associate editor Elliot Smith:
On-camera panels are one of the best ways to feel the benefits of using LED lights: they’re small, light and batteries often last much longer than their halogen or tungsten equivalents.
Because of their size they’re also often riggable with tape or Velcro in a pinch rather than having to mess about with awkward support arms unbalancing your rig.
And now hoping to win a spot on top of your camera are two new LED units from Ikan, the iLED-MA flood and the iLED-MS spot. The flood has a 120 degree beam angle and the spot 30-degrees – and both are described as using ‘Daylight 5600K’ LEDs.
They’re also very light: 4.8oz for the MA and 4.5oz for the MS. That’s 136g and 127g if you think in metric. As a point of reference, Litepanels’ popular LP-Micro, itself a compact LED unit, weighs in at 10.5oz (297g). So the Ikan units are small and light.
They both feature hot shoe and threaded mounts, with internal batteries that are charged over USB. This is something that’s becoming increasingly common in small units like these, and to be honest it’s a bit of a trade-off between size and convenience – the lights themselves are much smaller but you won’t be changing batteries in the field when they run out because, well, you can’t.
Still, Ikan’s lights are inexpensive and look like they could be small, useful options to have in your bag or on your camera. We’re hoping to have some review units soon and we’ll take a proper hands-on look then.