One lighting trend I’ve found particularly interesting has been the emergence of RGB tube lights. Godox has just launched their TL60 tube light that brings a few unique features to the space. If you’re looking for a unique way to light your next photo or video shoot, are these the ones you should pick up?
Tube lights are a pretty easy concept to understand: take a strip of LEDs, pack them into a tube, and add a way of powering them. The result is a very flexible and creative way of adding light to a scene. Godox’s TL60 light takes each of these parts a little further. The LEDs are RGB capable, the tube contains a control system, and batteries allow for untethered operation.
The RGB LEDs enable a huge variety of options for actual lighting. Godox lists various modes including RGB control, HSL control, Rosco and Lee gel emulation, CCT control, and special effects to emulate fires, candles, thunderstorms, and more. The light is capable of putting out about 1500 lux at 100% brightness, with a CRI of 96, making it clear that these are going to be an excellent supplementary source of light and color, but probably not a key light for most purposes. All those modes could be difficult to jump between without a good control scheme, and this is where the TL60 stands apart from some of the competition. Like many others, you can control the light via onboard controls. Beyond that, however, these lights also come with a remote and support for Godox’s app, as well as DMX control. The remote offers direct buttons for a number of presets, as well as a multi-way controller. The DMX controls over RJ45 is particularly interesting when you consider the interconnectivity opened up by this option. This standard opens up not only support for chaining a number of the lights together (a use case Godox clearly intends on, given the multi-light kits available), but also connecting them to a broader lighting setup via a DMX controller for things like music videos.
The actual light itself is output from the front half of the tube, unlike some others that “wrap” around the tube. This isn’t necessarily better or worse than the alternate implementation, as Godox’s version offers less ambient spill and greater output, but also a bit less flexibility in filming “around” the light, without moving it.
For power, they feature an internal 2600mAh battery, which is supposed to produce 2 hours’ worth of light at 100% power. They can also be run via the AC adapter for unlimited operation.
Given the wide range of color options, I can see these as great lights for product photography and B-roll video, taking the place of gels on specialty lights. They’d also be great for light painting, offering a wide range of creative options when it comes to both color and effects. I’ve also seen a number of interesting portraits that play off the creative uses of these lights — as cool LEDs, they’re super easy to play around with and make it easy for a model to work off of, without any need for wires or worries about heat. For video uses, Godox clearly sees them as being a major element for music videos, but I think they can work in a broader capacity as a specialty light source, albeit one that would be difficult to modify.
The Godox TL60 is available in 3 kits, with 1, 2, or 4 lights per kit.