The VL119 RGB Handheld Light Wand is the exciting big brother to Ulanzi’s VL110 Magnetic RGB Tube Light. Offering an extremely creative array of lighting options, which can be used in a wide variety of situations, the VL119 is definitely worth the investment.
The Ulanzi Light Wand only weighs 205 grams and from base to tip is 500mm, providing the user with 355mms of illumination, which lights half the 37mm wand diameter. This enables a lighting angle of a helpful 120 degrees. The handle features an On & Off button positioned on the side, just where the users right thumb rests. Located just above this is the USB-C charging port and accompanying the wand is a USB to USB-C charging cable. The light is controlled by four buttons next to each other in square configuration, underneath a small LED panel that leads you easily through the settings. If you’ve used Ulanzi lights before you’ll be more than comfortable navigating the menu. At the base of the handle is a ¼-20” female mounting screw and a latch to attach a lanyard or wrist strap to.
CREATIVE LIGHTING OPTIONS
There are countless versions of LED lights flooding the market, so a different angle, forgive the pun, is needed and that is what the VL119 offers. Adopting the light saber form it does, it indefinately increases the creative applications, including:
· Light painting the background of a subject you wish to highlight.
· Creatively lighting a huge array of products, with any colour light on the spectrum, in both direct and indirect ways.
· Lighting a model creatively from behind or in front.
· Acting as a key light, rim light, back light or mood light for any subject being videoed of photographed.
· Simulating lighting affects with the 20 different lighting scenarios (including emergency services, fireworks, TV, fire, faulty/flicker florescent bulbs, strobe in white and multicolour, etc).
· And among other things, of course, simulating a Star Wars fight scene.
This is not to mention the applications outside of photography, as I think of my children using it to create a disco with their friends.
KELVIN LIGHT OPTIONS
The VL119 also offers a constant and adjustable Kelvin light temperature setting, with adjustable temperature from 2500K – 9000K, 5500K obviously being daylight. This complimented with lighting intensity settings from 1 - 100% enables you to solve a huge range of lighting challenges. The light can be gradually increased by singular digit increments or by holding down the '+' or '-' you can jump in 10 digit increments.
Photo from www.ulanzi.com
Do you need a wide range of colour? Well to compliment the Kelvin properties of this light wand, you can choose from the full 360 degree colour gamut with fully adjustable hue, saturation and brightness at each degree. The photo above taken by Ulanzi illustrates some of the vast number of colour options available.
This is always a difficult aspect to convey of any light. At 33cm the light illumination expereinced is 395 LUX. At 50cm this drops to 178 LUX and at 1 meter it reduces further to 52 LUX. For some context, the light from a full moon is 1 LUX, the average illumination in a family living room is 50 LUX and the average illumination in a school classroom or lecture theatre is 250 LUX and in a supermarket is 750 LUX. All that being said the VL119 RGB Light Wand offers lots of illumination for its size, weight and cost.
All of this can be tracked on the OLED, which is Organic Light Emitting Diode display screen which is quite small, despite Ulanzi using most of the handle space available to them for this format of display. I found it hard to read the display when the light wand was turned up to full power. The display itself fits a lot of information into a small space, including the light setting, the remaining battery charge, the option to select from sub menus, effective percentage indicators, and descriptive text so you know which light setting you are using.
When I tested the light at full intensity it ran for 95 minutes which is impressive from the built in rechargeable 2000mAh lithium battery. Charging takes 120 minutes, which highlights an area of development needed, as an ideal product I feel should work for longer than it takes to recharge, but you can use it while charging, which is a great benefit.
I really like the design placement of buttons for the VL119 Light Wand. The ‘on’ and ‘off’ switch is very handy for situations where you can’t see or remember where all the buttons are. The four control buttons: Mode, Select, + & - sit together but slightly separated which is helpful. They feel plastic to the touch, but there is a satisfying click that comes with a press of each of the buttons. Using the Mode button you can move between RGB, CCT and Scene choice. The Select button enables you to navigate through the options of the mode you’ve chosen. The + and – enable you to then select what specific lighting result you desire within the mode you’ve chosen. After using the light in a variety of circumstances, I found it easy, if not being careful, to accidentally press the buttons and change the light setting. It would be a great addition to have a ‘lock’ switch on the handle that disables the buttons when engaged. This would improve the user experience even further.
MOUNTING AND CARRYING
On the base of the VL119’s handle is a ¼-20” female mounting thread, which allows you to secure the light to any number of mounts and tripods, increasing its versatility. The lanyard latch ensures its security if you need to hang the light on your wrist, bag, hook, etc. You’ll also notice from the above image that there is a slight grip pattern on the rear of the handle.
The VL119 RGB Handheld Light Wand from Ulanzi is a wonderful addition to your camera or film kit. It’s lightweight and feels easy to use, effective in the hand, offers lots of easily selectable lighting options and the 330mm light bar means you can stretch your creativity even further. You can pick yours up from Ulanzi at a very affordable $34.95 here.