In recent years LED lighting has become a popular choice among professional photographers for not only video assignments but is now being used for commercial, portrait and even wedding photography, replacing flash photography.
And why not? Although there are certain disadvantages, one would be the lack of power coming from these LED units. There continues to be technological improvements in power output, plus the fact that digital cameras today, both DSLR and mirrorless now have the capability of producing outstanding images at high ISOs and the high output of electronic flash is not needed in most lighting situations.
Some advantages to using LED lights would be:
- LEDs remain cool
- Inexpensive and easy to travel with
- Easy to set up and control
Also with this type of continuous lighting, you get to see the results as you are setting up and adjusting the lights. When I first started in photography in the 1960s, I did mostly black & white and I used tungsten lighting. In fact, tungsten lighting was a popular choice among legendary photographers like Yousuf Karsh, who preferred Tungsten flood & spot lighting.
LED lighting is fairly new but there are already several manufacturers now making LED lighting units for the professional photographer. The Lowel GL-1 is a powerful handheld unit made for the wedding and portrait photography market. Fotodiox Pro LED 1000ASVL with Barndoor and LCD Display Still / Video LED Light Kit is another unit designed for the professional photography market. Fancier makes several LED light panels as well as a 3 500 LED Light kit and of course has a nice on-camera LED light unit.
To see how inexpensive LED lighting units can be used to photograph small products see video below