Last Updated on 02/05/2023 by Mark Beckenbach
Powerful, compact, and wireless are the top three things I look for in lighting equipment. All too often, manufacturers focus on one or two of those features and skimp on the other to keep prices down. It’s considered a luxury and priced accordingly if lighting equipment checks all three boxes. The Nanlite Forza 150B aims to do just that while maintaining a reasonable price tag.
The Forza 150B is a powerful 170W bi-color LED option for content makers. It follows a tried and true design, comes with a smartphone app, and accommodates Bowens accessories with the included adapter for extra versatility. And while it won’t replace your strobe lighting. it could be a great addition to your current lighting ecosystem. The best part? The kit starts at $539. Could this LED option fit into your existing workflow? Keep reading to find out.
Table of Contents
The Big Picture
The Nanlite Forza 150B is a powerful bi-color LED option for creatives. It’s lightweight, compact, and easy to use. The smartphone app is great for making adjustments without needing to repeatedly adjust the light itself. The Forza B comes with a Bowens mount adapter for added versatility. It’s a great addition to complement existing light sources.
However, the kit should ship with a battery handle and extra batteries. It’s inexpensive, and people would gladly pay extra for it. And its lack of mobility overshadows its benefits. Not only is being tethered to the wall a bit of a pain, but its power cord too easily disconnects from the power supply.
The Forza B comes with some cool effects that are great for video effects. But, photographers won’t get much use out of it unless they’re creating other media like gifs or Cinemagraphs. Yet, all in all, it’s a great value.
We are giving the Nanlite Forza B four out of five stars. Want one? You can pick up the kit for $539. Do yourself a favor and splurge for a battery option to get the most out of it.
- Powerful LED
- Easy to use
- Smartphone app
- Great for blending light
- Lightweight and compact
- Compatible with Bowens mount lighting modifiers via included adapter
- The kit should ship with the battery handle and extra batteries
- Best used with other lights
- It’s geared more toward videography, and that’s not a bad thing
We received the Nanlite Forza 150B as a loan from the manufacturer and tested it with the following:
- Hasselblad X2D 100c (one loan)
- Sony a7r V (on loan)
- Canon 5D Mark III (our own unit)
- Matterport Pro 3 (on loan)
The Nanlite Forza 150B isn’t breaking new ground in the world of bi-color LED lighting. It’s a great little unit and is reasonably priced. Nanlite ships with a power cord, although you can buy a few accessories and enjoy the untethered life. It also includes some neat special effects that video makers will surely enjoy. The Forza 150B will not replace your strobe lighting, and it doesn’t aim to. Instead, it is intended to be part of a creative lighting ecosystem.
The Nanlite Forza 150B weighs just shy of 3.5lbs and is less than a foot long. It’s lightweight and easy to transport with its included carrying case. The LED is small enough to carry around in your existing lighting case. It ships with a reflector, Bowen’s adaptor, diffuser, and power cord.
The back panel is home to an LED display, USB Type-A port, DMX in/out port, power button, DC power socket, mode button, and two control knobs. It is a design that is seen on many LED offerings.
The L-bracket makes swift and secure light adjustments. Loosen the bottom knob to secure the Forza B to a light stand.
You can attach the Bowen’s mount if you prefer to use an umbrella. The lighting accessories attach to the front of the light. Press the button down and twist to lock them into place.
This is what it looks like from the top.
You can see its fan from the bottom view.
Ease Of Use
Photographers who frequently use LED light sources will feel right at home with the Nanlite Forza 150B. It’s straightforward to learn for photographers dipping their toes in for the first time. It also has a smartphone app for added convenience.
Attach the light to a light stand, choose your modifier, plug it in, and power it on. The Forza 150B ships with a Bowen’s mount, unlocking an arsenal of modifiers at your disposal for purchase. It attaches to the front of the unit. You can connect an umbrella at the bottom of the adapter.
Nanlite’s control panel operates like many of the LED options on the market. The left knob controls the power output of the light, and the right knob controls the color temperature.
Here is an example of the variable color temperature. I appreciated how easy it was to balance existing light and play up the overall mood of an image.
You can also press the mode button to access its special effects. Turn the right knob to cycle between each one. I enjoyed the TV and lightning storm the best.
The Forza 150B boasts 170w of power and is quite excellent for photographing indoors. It’s powerful enough to nearly freeze motion if you’re willing to compromise on ISO and risk noise.
I forgot how much I do not enjoy being tethered to a wall. I think that’s why this was the first time I didn’t feel a rush of inspiration and excitement. That’s not to say it’s a lackluster light because it’s not. The lack of versatility squashed the endorphin high I usually feel when testing out new gear.
I found myself utilizing the Forza 150B as a fill light more times than I felt compelled to use it as a key light. It came in very handy when photographing the dark interior of a historic local building. The Nanlite gave an extra pop in a wood-paneled room and brightened shadows in rooms with little available light. It was also great to create some fake sunshine in a garden room when a freak hail storm blew through.
The bi-color LED is fantastic for balancing light and creating a mood with portraits and product images. I used the Forza 150B with an umbrella as a key light for a realtor’s headshots alongside two additional LED’s that were used to fill in the shadows. It can be used for your main light and create striking imagery. I recommend investing in a battery-powered option. The extra mobility is always worth a bump in price.
Extra Image Samples
From day one, The Phoblographer has been huge on transparency with our audience. Nothing from this review is sponsored. Further, lots of folks will post reviews and show lots of editing in the photos. The problem then becomes that anyone and everyone can do the same thing. They’re not showing what the lens can do. So we have a section in our Extra Image Samples area to show edited and unedited photos. From this, you can make a decision for yourself.
Who Should Buy The Nanlite Forza 150B?
I have been spoiled with my 800ws Broncolor Siros L and am not easily swooned by modern LED’s with the type of work I do. As such, I would only purchase this if I frequently needed some creative fill light. It would be a different story had I gone the LED route or wanted to add it to my studio.
The Nanlite Forza 150B is lightweight, compact, and easy to use. The smartphone app is a nice touch of convenience. It comes with a Bowen’s adapter to suit your modifier needs and unleash your creativity. The biggest downfall is that it doesn’t ship with batteries and a battery mount. It should because photographers would gladly pay extra. The power cord would come loose as I moved the light around the power outlets in the studio.
Hybrid creatives would really appreciate the functionality and creative lighting of the Nanlite Forza 150B. It’s powerful enough to be a key light for impactful portraits. I think it’s even better as part of an existing ecosystem and used as a fill light.
The Nanlite Forza 150B would be an excellent addition for real estate, portrait, commercial, and documentary photographers who prefer LED lighting. Its $539 price tag would also be a complementary addition to those accustomed to working with strobes.
Tech specs are from the manufacturer.
- Model: Forza 150B
- Rated Power: 170W
- Input Voltage/Current: DC24V/7.5A Max, AC100-240V 50/60Hz
- CRI: Average 96
- TLCI: Average 98
- TM-30 Rf: Average 93
- TM-30 Rg: Average 102
- Dimming: 0-100%
- Control: On-board, 2.4G, Bluetooth, NANLINK APP, DMX/RDM
- Special Effects: CCT Loop, INT Loop, Flash, Pulse, Storm, TV, Paparazzi, Candle/Fire, Bad Bulb, Firework, Explosion and Welding
- Product Size: Light Fixture(without protective cap): 247 × 133 × 115mm / 9.72 × 5.24 × 4.53″
- Power Adapter(with base): 167 × 80 × 45mm / 6.57 × 3.15 × 1.77″
- Product Weight: Light Fixture: 1.56kg / 3.44lb
- Power Adapter: 0.67kg / 1.48lb
- Power Cable 4.5M: 0.4kg / 0.88lb
- Reflector: 0.14kg / 0.31lb
- Bowens Mount Adapter: 0.19kg / 0.42lb
- Master Carton Size: 555 × 445 × 535mm / 21.85 × 17.52 × 21.06″
- Packing Quantity: 4
- Certifications: CE, UKCA, ROHS, FCC-ID, NCC