Hybrid Shooters Will Love It: Light and Motion CLx10 Review

The Light and Motion CLx10 continuous light could be a great light for on the go hybrid photographers.

We are huge champions of learning how to use flash, strobes, and continuous lights here at The Phoblographer. Nothing is more liberating or more freeing than being able to shoot in many lighting conditions. We were offered the chance to test and review the Light and Motion CLx10. The CLx10 is a 10,000 lumen continuous light. Many photographers might appreciate continuous light more than a standard flash in the day and age of exposure previews. How does this continuous light source work in the real world? Should you buy it? Find out in our full review.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The light is smaller than 70-200mm f2.8 lenses
  • It’s lightweight, well built and weather-sealed (IP54 rating)
  • An output of 10,000 lumens
  • The light produced is very accurate
  • Easy to see and use rear control panel
  • The CLX10 is compatible with Elinchrom modifiers out of the box, but many adapters are available for other modifiers such as Bowens
  • Just 75 minutes to reach 100% charge

Cons

  • The CLX 10 is $1,299.99. The Kit we were sent is $1,999.99
  • At full power, the battery will deplete in under an hour
  • At full power, the fan is quite loud, which could be an issue for videographers
  • No remote triggers to change power settings are included. An RF remote is $129.99 on top of the price of the light
Fujifilm Prime Lenses

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Gear Used

We used the Light and Motion CLx10 Portrait Plus Kit with various light modifiers, including shoot through and reflective umbrellas.

Tech Specs

All technical specifications have been taken directly from the official website for Light and Motion:

  • Lumen Output: High (10000), Medium (4000), Low (500)
  • Charge time: 75 Min
  • Beam Angle: 120° (flood), 120° (native), 50° (modified), 25° – 120°° (range)
  • IP Rating (FL-1): 54
  • Product Color Temperature: 5600k
  • TCI/TLCI: 92/94
  • LUX: 18750
  • Flicker-Free FPS: 1000
  • Thermal Management: Active
  • Fast Charge: True
  • Product Dimensions: 7.17″ x 3.46″ x 3.46″

Ergonomics

light and motion clx10

The first thing you’re going to notice is how small the Light and Motion CLx10 is. This light, for as powerful as it is, is small. With dimensions that make it a little smaller than most 70-200mm f2.8 lenses, and with a weight of just 2.7lbs, the CLx10 is very easy to tote around.

light and motion clx10

You’ll find that the Light and Motion CLx10 is quite minimalistic in design. On top of the unit you’ll find the silver on/off switch, and three buttons which control the mode and power levels.

light and motion clx10

The rear of the CLx10 houses a small, easy to read digital display. You’ll also find the proprietary charging port above the LCD. As I mentioned above, minimalism seems to have been the name of the game when it came to designing this light.

light and motion clx10

Almost the entire front half of this light is taken up by a huge fan to keep the Light and Motion CLx10 nice and cool. At the very front of the body, you’ll obviously find the 10,000 lumens, 5600k LED. The CLx10 is set up to accept Elinchrom modifiers out of the box, but you can buy additional adapters for other light modifiers. The underside of the body houses the mount which will allow you to attach the CLx10 to a light stand of your choice. The mount also has an integrated umbrella holder, which is a nice feature.

Overall, the Light and Motion CLx10 is a well-designed light that’s small enough and light enough to be carried around without breaking your back. The controls are laid out in a way that makes the Clx10 easy to use. From an ergonomics standpoint, Light and Motion have done a great job with the Clx10.

Build Quality

light and motion clx10

The Light and Motion CLx10 is a very robust lighting unit. Light and Motion’s history is quite unique. The company has been making made in the USA lighting gear for underwater use for many years. However, after brainstorming for some time, they decided to enter the photography market. Essentially, the CLx10 is a modified underwater light that had a cooling fan added to it so that it doesn’t spontaneously combust on land. As you could imagine, Light and Motion know a thing or two about making tough waterproof products. The Clx10 is no exception. While the light cannot be fully submerged into a body of water, its IP54 rating ensures that it will be just fine in the rain. This is great for those that want to create dramatic images when liquid is falling from the sky.

In terms of how well this light will stand up to everyday use, you’ll have no issues. The body of the light is solid. I have no doubts that it could be used heavily for a long time with no issues. The controls are all fantastic as well. The buttons require a firm push, and the on/off switch a firm twist. The handle/mounting bracket is made from thick plastic, which, again, feels rather substantial. Overall the build quality of the Light and Motion CLx10 is excellent.

Ease Of Use

Captured with the iPhone 100 Pro Max with the CLx10 lighting the subject.

The Light and Motion CLx10 is an easy light to get to grips with. The great thing about continuous lights is that you’ll see what your end result looks like before you even take your shot. In the age of Mirrorless cameras and instant exposure previews, this is awesome. It takes all the guesswork out of lighting. Set it. See how the light and shadows are falling. Move as needed, take the shot. It’s as easy as that.

The unedited image above was captured with an iPhone 11 Pro Max. This should give some indication of how easy it is to use this light. I will state that Light and Motion sent along the CLx10 with the Portrait Plus Kit, which comes with another small light called the Stella 2000. I used this to create some nice lighting on the side of Ashlee’s hair. It’s amazing to think that the image above was captured with a phone, but this is what good, easy to use lighting can do for you.

light and motion clx10

The built-in umbrella holder in the mount is a nice touch. During my time with the light, I used a shoot-through umbrella and a reflective umbrella. This made the whole package incredibly easy to tote around.

The image above also shows you the proprietary charging port. While this light can go from zero to full charge in 75 minutes, it’s a pain to have to carry around another power adapter. Believe me when I say you’ll need to carry the huge charging brick around. The battery depletes quickly when at full power. Full power is where you’ll find yourself if you plan on doing any outdoor shoots. You’ll get less than an hour at 10,000 lumens. Cut it down to 8,000 lumens, and you’ll hit an hour. 6,000 lumens gets you just over an hour. At 4,000 lumens, you’ll squeak out about 2 hours, and at the lowest setting of 500 lumens, you’re looking at 12 hours of run time.

light and motion clx10

A complaint that I have with this light is that no remote is included to control it. However, you can buy an RF remote for $129.99, but it really should come with a light that costs $1,299.99. The remote wasn’t even included in the $1,999.99 Portrait Plus kit we were sent to test. The remote is a must-have, or your workflow will be impacted. Still, having said that, it’s not like changing the settings is hard.

There are literally three controls on this light. Four if you included the on/off switch. You simply turn it on, select your mode with the middle button, and then use the up and down power controls to change the output. It’s really that simple. There are no complicated menus and no options that really don’t need to be there. It’s straightforward and easy to use.

Now, in regards to how powerful this light is. I used the light in shady areas of a botanical garden and in a studio environment. In the studio environment, the light excelled both as a light source for product photography and as a continuous light to illuminate me during The Photographer’s weekly streaming show, Pro Camera Reviews. The light is more than powerful enough for this. I never put the light past 4000 lumens for the live shows. Still, one thing to keep in mind if you plan on shooting a video is fan noise. At 8,000 lumens and above, the fan kicks in, and it’s quite loud.

Things get a little trickier when outside. I quickly found out that this light has nowhere near enough output to challenge the sun. We took advantage of shady areas, though, and the Light and Motion CLx10 performed rather well. The CLx10 gives off just the right amount of light to fill in shadows nicely. It creates nice catchlights and will give your subject a nice glow. If I had to equate the output to another light source, I would say it is on par with what you’d get from a standard speed light. Overall the CLx10 is incredibly easy to use. Buy it knowing that it’s no match for a powerful strobe on a bright sunny day, and all will be okay. Once you learn how to position your light, you can create gorgeous images.

Light Quality

light and motion clx10

The light the CLx10 produces is very nice. The CLx10 is set to 5600K, and it has color accuracy ratings of TCI/TLCI: 93/94. These ratings are excellent. I had absolutely no issues with the light in terms of its color accuracy and overall output. It’s worth noting that the CLx10’s LED has a 1,000 fps flicker-free rating. So you have nothing to worry about when it comes to shooting video. I set one of my cameras (a Pentax K1 II) to the same white balance as the light and went about my business. Here are the results.

Conclusion

Likes

  • Small and lightweight
  • Accurate output
  • Well built and durable
  • Incredibly easy to use

Dislikes

  • The price point
  • The fan is a little loud at high power settings
  • Proprietary charging port (this needs to be standardized)

I have been quite impressed with the Light and Motion CLx10. The small size and weight of the light made it easy to carry around. This is something that’s not usually the case with more powerful strobes. The CLx10 is incredibly easy to learn too. It was a joy to use with just 3 main controls and no complicated menus to sift through. Then there’s the overall output and color consistency, which makes this light excel, and we can’t forget about the rugged build. It’s a great package.

There are many pros to the Light and Motion Clx10, but there are also some cons. The Light and Motion CLx10 is $1,299.99. The light comes with a c-stand mount, an umbrella holder, a couple of adapters, and a charger. That’s pretty pricey for a basic continuous light kit. We were sent the Portrait Plus kit. This kit includes a secondary kicker light, various fresnel heads, colored gels, barn door modifiers, and a few other modifiers. The Portrait Plus kit is better for sure, but it will run you $1,999.99. The loud fan kicks in at 8,000 lumens, which could be an issue when filming outside in tough lighting conditions. No included remote can hinder your workflow unless you have an assistant who can change the output settings for you, and battery life at full power could be better.

The Light and Motion CLx10 receives four out of five stars. So who is this light for? There are better, more powerful options out there at this price point for those who just participate in photography. The Profoto B10 comes to mind. If you’re a hybrid shooter who does video work and photography, the Light and Motion CLx10 starts to make more sense. The small size, great build, and nice consistent output make it perfect for those who want to carry just one light with them. Interested? Head on over to the Light and Motion website for more information.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.