Photographers in search of a constant light that is well built and waterproof will want to check out LitraPro. Just make sure you’ve got deep pockets.
Beginner photographers are often intimated by stroboscopic flash. As a result, those just getting their feet wet with photographic lighting often look to constant lighting as an alternative. Consequently, we’ve seen plenty of LED constant lighting options come to market in recent years. Their overall quality has improved as well. The LitraPro is one such example. It combines a waterproof aluminum housing with a maximum light output of 1,200 lumens and the ability to use a variety of light modifiers. That all sounds great on paper, but is the LitraPro up to the task under real world conditions? Find out in our full review.
Pros and Cons
- built like a tank
- very bright when set to 100% light output
- Bluetooth control via companion app
- lots of accessories
- pricey (MSRP US $$219.95, accessories not included)
- non-removable battery
- light output is only adjustable at 5% increments even when adjusting the intensity via companion app
- gets very hot when set to 100% light output
- companion app can be laggy at times
We tested the LitraPro with the following:
Specs for the LitraPro taken from the official product page:
- 6 oz
- 2.75″ x 2″ x 1.2″
- 1200 lumen output
- 95 CRI
- 70 degree beam angle
- Adjustable color temperature 3000K – 6000K
- 45 minute run time at max output, 10+ hours on low output
- 2 industry standard 1/4 20 mounts
- Waterproof up to 90 feet
- MIL-SPEC 810 tested
- Bluetooth control
- OLED Display
- 0-100% fully dimmable
An array of 60 bi-color LEDs takes up much of the real estate on the front of the LitraPro. All of the LEDs are situated beneath a matte, non-removable plastic front cover. This helps prevent the LEDs from being exposed to the elements and contributes to the LitraPro’s waterproof construction.
Up top, you’ll find a number of buttons along with a small OLED display. To the left of the display are a pair of buttons used to adjust the intensity of the LitraPro’s light output. The pair to the right of the display are used to adjust the LitraPro’s color temperature (from 3,000 K to 6,000 K). The right most button is used to turn the LitraPro on and off.
Popping open the door on the side of the LitraPro reveals the USB Micro-B connector. This is used to charge the LitraPro’s built-in, non-removable battery. A rubber gasket is built into the interior of the battery door to help prevent water from damaging the LitraPro’s internals.
The LitraPro features a pair of industry standard 1/4″-20 mounts. One can be found on the opposite side of the battery door, while the other is situated on the bottom of the light. They allow you to mount the LitraPro onto a light stand or a boom arm (more on this later). You can also attach the LitraPro onto your camera using the included hot shoe mount. A GoPro mount is included as well, allowing you to mount the LitraPro to less conventional locations when necessary.
A number of modifiers are available for the LitraPro. Seen above (listed clockwise beginning from the top right) are the plastic color filters, silicone dome diffuser, and barn doors. The silicone dome diffuser comes included with the LitraPro, while the other modifiers are available separately. The filter set includes five filters: red, green, blue, yellow, and a white diffuser. Annoyingly, only three filter frames are included. They’re made out of plastic, so it can’t possibly be that expensive to throw in two more for the other filters. Litra also makes a 30° honeycomb grid for the LitraPro, but we didn’t get to test the grid out.
A collapsable softbox is also available for the LitraPro. The LitraPro softbox can be stored flat into the included storage pouch when disassembled, making it easy to travel with.
Here’s the softbox when assembled and attached to the LitraPro. It does a good job at softening the light from the LitraPro.
The LitraPro is a solid piece of kit thanks to its black, anodized aluminum chassis. Although it weighs just 6 oz, the LitraPro feels very solid in hand, almost brick-like. Not that we’re recommending you to do so, but you could probably use it to hammer a nail in a pinch if needed. Litra claims that the LitraPro is waterproof at up to 90 feet. To put this to the test, we left it turned on while hosing it down with a garden hose and submerging it into a bowl of water. Neither was able to kill the LitraPro. While we didn’t get to take the LitraPro for a 90 foot dive, you definitely don’t have to worry about using it in the rain. Just make sure that the battery door is closed properly after you charge the LitraPro so that no water makes its way in via the USB connector.
Ease of Use
Using the LitraPro is honestly pretty simple. Turn it on, adjust your color temperature and light output intensity, and you’re off to the races. You can also control the LitraPro remotely via Bluetooth from an Android or iOS device using Litra’s free companion app. While you can turn the LitraPro off from the app, turning the light on must be done physically on the LitraPro itself. The light intensity can only be adjusted at 5% increments from the LitraPro itself or via the app. If you’re looking for a constant LED that offers step-less output adjustments, the LitraPro is not the light for you.
Although the Litra app is well designed, changes can sometimes take a moment before they get transmitted over to the LitraPro. The ability to “black out” the LitraPro from the companion app rather than turning the light on and off between use is pretty handy. Note that this option is only available through the app and absent on the LitraPro itself. It essentially puts the LitraPro into standby mode so you’re not putting a major drain on the built-in battery. While the Litra app also gives you the ability to put the LitraPro into strobe mode, it’s more of a video feature. This is not to be confused with what traditional stroboscopic flash lighting does. Strobe mode basically sets the LitraPro to alternate between on and off at custom defined intervals.
One thing to keep in mind when using the LitraPro is that you do not want to hand hold it if you plan on using it at max light output. The LitraPro’s aluminum chassis is essentially a heat sink. When set to 100% intensity, IT can get scorching hot very quickly. I made the mistake of picking it up to turn the light off after I was done using it and almost burnt my hand. You’ll want to mount the LitraPro onto a light stand, boom arm, or other mounting hardware if you plan on using it at maximum output.
As for runtime, Litra claims that the LitraPro has enough power to run continuously for up to 45 minutes at 100% light output. During our tests, we actually beat that by over 10 minutes. If you’re using the light at lower intensities, it will run even longer.
With a maximum light output of 1,200 lumens, the LitraPro simply isn’t powerful enough to replace conventional stroboscopic flashes when it comes to photographing outdoors. With that said, there are still scenarios under which the LitraPro can come in handy. It can act as a back light for product photography, adding some drama to an otherwise boring background. It’s also pretty useful for macro photography. You can also use it in conjunction with accessories like the Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System to create optical lens distortions in-camera. Below are some sample images that we created using the LitraPro.
- robust build quality
- excellent weather sealing
- ease of use
- runs quite hot when set to maximum light output
The LitraPro is a compact and versatile constant LED light that will be a handy addition to every photographer’s kit. It’s built like a tank, waterproof, and is very simple to use. The ability to control it remotely via your phone comes in handy when you’ve got the LitraPro mounted onto a light stand or placed in unconventional and hard to reach locations. Being able to use a variety of modifiers further adds to the LitraPro’s versatility. All this doesn’t come cheap, however. With a price tag of US $219.95, the LitraPro can be hard to justify when more affordable yet more powerful strobes are available on the market. If you happen to be allergic to strobes and you’ve got deep enough pockets, however, the LitraPro is a solid constant light option.
The LitraPro earns Four out of Five stars. You can pick one up for yourself over at Amazon.