GVM RGB20W On-Camera LED Video Lights

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I’ve only had my GVM RGB20W light for a day or so. I don’t have a ton to tell you about it, but as soon as I got the light in my hand I was able to answer a question that didn’t seem to be asked anywhere on the Internet. That seems like a good enough reason for a quick write-up.

Let’s just get that question out of the way. How do they get a high CRI rating out of RGB LEDs?!

The answer is that they don’t. There are three sets of LEDs in here: daylight, warm, and RGB. When in correlated color temperature (CCT) mode, the daylight and warm LEDs are mixed to provide the correct color temperature. When in RGB mode, the daylight and warm LEDs go dark.

When they say this is a 20-watt light, I am assuming the total output at 100% in either mode reaches around 20 watts. So it should be a 20-watt bicolor LED in CCT mode or a 20-watt RGB LED. Maybe. Probably.

What am I doing with the GVM RGB light?

I didn’t actually set out to buy this light. My friend Brian Moses wanted one of these lights, but they come in packs of two at Amazon. He asked if I wanted to split a pack, and I said sure.

For around $125 you get two lights, two 9-volt power supplies, and two mediocre light stands. I think it was a pretty reasonable value.

NOTE: Twitter’s compression demolishes the video quality, but at least I can still tell that the lighting is better!

Ever since signing up to be co-host of The Creativity Podcast, I have been trying my best to improve my video recording setup here at my desk.

I was bouncing a random 100-watt quivalent LED bulb in an IKEA Tertial arm lamp off of a card then onto my face. This left me looking a bit green, so I upgraded that to a 100-watt equivalent high-CRI Cree bulb. That helped a lot with my white balance, but my camera still needed to correct towards magenta.

The GVM light is most definitely an upgrade. I’m struggling a bit trying to figure out where to mount it and how to diffuse it, but the white balancing my Sony ZV-1 with a gray card is working great. It isn’t pushing towards magenta at all. It is dead center, and that is fantastic.

I really wanted a fancier light

I was eyeballing the much more expensive GVM 80-watt chip-on-board (COB) light with a soft light dome for $160. Mostly because I really want a nice light dome.

I just can’t use something like that at my desk, and this is where I need to be to record episodes of The Creativity Podcast and The Butter, What?! Show.

The body of the big GVM light is probably 8” to 12” deep, and the dome is another 18” or 24” deep. There’s just not enough room between me and the wall for that light.

Even if I could squeeze it in, I would have to take it down between shoots, and I really want something more permanent. I would feel uncomfortable with that giant light dome looming over me while I’m working.

Is it really 20-watts?!

I can’t tell you for sure. I don’t have equipment to measure this.

Here’s what I can tell you. The Cree bulb I’m replacing claims to be an 18-watt bulb, and Cree is a reputable LED manufacturer.

The GVM light definitely seems brighter, so I have no reason not to believe them. It is probably a 20-watt light.

Conclusion

I don’t have a ton to say. It seems like the GVM RGB20W is a fine video light, but I haven’t used it long enough to tell you much else.

Are you using the GVM RGB20W video light? Are you using other lights from GVM? Did I make a good choice with this light? Should I have bought something completely different? Let me know in the comments, or stop by the Butter, What?! Discord server to chat with me about it!

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