Aputure released the B7c last year. It has been popular and somewhat hard to get due to its competitive pricing and the fact that there are not many professional options for practicals that fit into a standard E26/E27 lamp socket. Since I already reviewed the B7c, check out the full review here.
Having one Accent B7c will whet your appetite, and once you play around with it, you most likely will want another one, two, or more. Aputure now has a kit with eight B7c in a nice road case that also charges the bulbs all at the same time. The B7c lights feature flicker-free dimming up to 1,000fps.
|Aputure Accent B7c RGBWW LED Bulbs||8|
|Accent B7c 8-Light Charging Case||1|
- Hard Shell Charging Case
- Stores, Protects, and Charges up to 8 Accent B7c Bulbs
- 7W RGBWW LED Smart Bulb
- Standard E26/E27 Light Bulb Socket
- Built-in Lithium-polymer Battery (70+ min. @ Max)
- Fully Tunable CCT from 2,000K to 10,000K
- Average CRI 95+, TLCI 96+, SSI (Tungsten): 85, SSI (D56): 74
- RGB Color Tunability with Hue, Saturation & Intensity
- 9 Built-in Lighting FX: Paparazzi, Fireworks, Faulty Bulb, Lightning, TV, Party, Pulsing, Cop Car, and Fire.
- Only Bulb with On-board Intensity & CCT Controls
- Sidus Link App Compatible, Firmware Upgradeable
- Wireless Bluetooth Mesh Control
- Two Power Modes: Standard/AC Mode, Battery/DC Mode
The Charging/Travel Case
Having a case is essential for the B7c as bulbs are hard to store. They tend to roll if left on their side, and if you put them all in a box or bag, they will get banged up.
The lid has a rigid foam insert that will keep the B7c in place. Aputure clearly made it good to go for rental houses and people who need to transport them without damaging the plastic lens and socket.
The case includes a charger with a push-pull mechanism for the lamp sockets. The socket holds the lamp securely. It takes approximately 3 hours to charge a depleted B7c fully and will last around 70 minutes at maximum output.
I wish the case had a light that turns green when the charge was complete. It does take some guessing. One way is to use the Sidus Link app with the B7c not being charged, and then you can see how much time is left at the output you select. This is handy.
Charging with the lid closed is not advisable as heat does get generated with each bulb while charging. Keep the lid open to avoid issues.
Another is using the B7c buttons by holding down the – and + buttons simultaneously. The bulb will flash up to 5-times. Each flash indicates that it is 20% charged. While these two methods work, you must interact with other products to know if the B7c is fully charged. A fully charged B7c will show approximately 7-hours when the bulb is at 0.0% output. The B7c has to be on for the app to read the battery capacity.
I like that all the B7c’s will charge at the same time. Since it takes hours to charge, it would be a full day to charge all eight individually. Not the case here.
I ran a test on a fully depleted B7c and kept checking with the Sidus Link to see how long it takes to charge fully. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a bit of a pain to do this and would be so much better if the case had a finished charging indicator of some kind.
2hrs 45min = 5 hrs 58 min charge.
4 hours = 6hrs 57 min
4 hours 20 min = 7hrs 7 min
I tried my best while multitasking to check the status, and I think it’s safe to say that it takes a little over four hours to charge fully.
To power the case, you use the included AC cable. It is a little short, but it does fit inside the case. It is nice that you don’t need a power brick as it’s all built inside the case. No extra hardware is needed.
When I first reviewed the B7c, I found it to be a little confusing to use as there is no LCD screen or onboard menu. You use the three buttons on the side to access different options. I still find it a little confusing.
On the bulb side is etched menu shortcuts that will let you tap into basic functions using the 3-buttons.
To get the best user experience, you need to use the Sidus Link app. With the app, you have full control of the B7c, and the real fun starts.
With only 7-watts, the bulb isn’t going to give you a ton of output, but for inserting into a lamp or used in the background, it should be plenty depending on the lighting in the scene. The following readings are from one meter.
- 2000K = 56.4 lx
- 3000K = 71 lx
- 4000K = 72.9 lx
- 5000K = 83.7 lx
- 6000K = 87.1 lx
- 7000K = 84 lx
- 8000K = 82 lx
- 9000K = 78.1 lx
- 10,000K = 84.3 lx
- 0 Degree (Red) = 47 lx
- 270 Degree (Purple) = 49.4 lx
- 180 Degree (Cyan) = 70 lx
- 90 Degree (yellowish Green) = 69 lx
I like these bulbs! I used one in a lamp for my wife’s live shots from our home studio and also for live streaming. It’s fun to add some color or just warm it up. The bulbs are plenty bright, and since they are more a practical they generally need to be set at a lower output level.
The charging case is sturdy and does exactly what it’s designed to do. Store safely and charge all the bulbs at the same time. Since the B7c will last a long time on batteries, you can get plenty of time using them before needing a charge; plus, if they are installed in a lamp that is plugged in, it charges them up as well. I wish the case had an indicator that lets the user know they are done and fully charged.
The Sidus Link is a must-use app to take full advantage of the B7c. Yes, you can use it without it, but then all you have is the onboard buttons and minimal control. Since the smartphone version is free, it’s a no-brainer to use it. The iPad version is nice, but it cost a few bucks at $9.99. I think it’s worth it since I don’t like using my phone to control video production devices.
Another advantage to using the Sidus Link is seeing how much runtime is left on each B7c. Depending on the output, you can get around six hours of use.
The B7c, to my knowledge, is the only bulb-type light that has a built-in battery. The only competition for the B7c would be the Astera NYX Bulb ($105). Matt reviewed them, so worth checking out and comparing. They also have an eight-light kit that retails for $1150.
Price and Availability
The Accent B7c eight-light kit retails for $799 US and available with US, UK, EU, and AU plugs. This is a little higher than originally announced, but anyone who already placed a pre-order by this past weekend will still have the old price honored by the dealers they ordered through.
If you already have several Accent B7c bulbs, Aputure has stated that the charging case will be available as a stand-alone item in the near future.
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