Switronix has always had great solutions for folks looking for effective products at an affordable price. We’ve been playing with their new TorchLED Bolt 220 light for a little while now and believe that for indie filmmakers and news shooters, it’s a lightweight solution for all the problems that plague videographers. The light is an LED with variable color temperature control in both the Tungsten and Daylight scopes. This product is an update to their original TorchLED Bolt, and it shows quite a number of other improvements besides just output.
Pros and Cons
– Super powerful light output is also useful in case a deer happens to walk onto your set
– Simplistic to use
– Fairly good build quality
– Light diffuser that comes with the light is quite powerful at nerfing the output
– Lots of accessories included
– Included camera connector is a bit flimsy
We used with TorchLED Bolt 220 with the Black Magic Cinema Camera and a Sigma 50mm f1.4 lens.
Specs taken from the B&H Photo listing of the product.
|Lamp Type||16 LED with|
|Mount Type||1/4″-20 (includes swivel shoe-mount adapter)|
|Color Temperature||3200 to 5600K|
|Illumination||3200K: Approx. 2100 lux at 3.3′ (1.0 m)
5600K: Approx. 2600 lux at 3.3′ (1.0 m)
|Equivalent Light Output||Max. 220W|
|Dimming Range||0 to 100%|
|Power Connector||PowerTap cable|
|Power Requirements||7.2-16.8 VDC
Sony L-Series battery
|Power Consumption||13 W|
|Material||Housing: Black ABS plastic|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||Light body only: 5.59 x 4.00 x 2.95″ (14.20 x 10.16 x 7.49 cm)|
|Weight||1.15 lb (0.52 kg)|
Switronix’s TorchLED Bolt light is actually a lot smaller than it looks. The unit itself is really thin and you’ll only need to be wary of the massive Sony batteries that the light uses to give you lots of light output. In general, the sides of the light don’t have much except for vents to keep it cool.
On the back left, you’ll see two controls: one for brightness and the other for color temperature. This is also where one might plug in the battery or an AC adapter for longer amounts of power.
The front of the unit obviously contains the lights. The included diffuser can be placed here which basically cuts down almost all the light in our tests. In fact, we would probably prefer to mount this light in a large softbox instead.
The overall feeling of the new TorchLED Bolt 220 is pretty good; but you’ll probably want to keep it in a very well padded pocket of your backpack or bag. A bit too much bumping around is something that we feel that this unit can’t really take. There are vents to keep it cool and there are LED lights in there too. So by all means, take care of it.
Ease of Use
These knobs are really all that you’ll need to care about in all honesty. There are knobs: color and brightness. That’s really all there is to it. By turning the color temperature knob you change the temperature from daylight to tungsten. Then the brightness of the overall light can be added in accordingly.
The light overall outputs a ton of usable light for more than just interviews–which is what it was really designed for. Inspired by a project that my roommate did for Vimeo, we decided to record me doing a modified way or making a traditional absinthe drink. Throughout the video, we also messed with the color balance of the light to show off its capabilities.
In truth, this light can be used for a heck of a lot more than interviews. And in many situations, it could be the only light you ever need.
Big thanks to my buddy Doug Guerra for helping me out with this project.
Overall, if you’re a videographer and want a small, portable, and easily placeable light, Switronix’s TorchLED Bolt is a great option. It can be used for a myriad of things and can also help you by working with your camera’s white balancing to make it easier for your editors. Obviously, it won’t replace massive panels, but it’s still quite good for the price point.
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