For those who are still shopping for a set of affordable LED video light panels, here is a closer look at the F&V K4000/ K4000s Bi-Color LED Studio Panel 3 Light Kit.
The K4000/K4000s LED Lights can be powered by V-mount battery, 3.5mm DC input, or by a more robust V-mount to AC wall adapter. The filters are offset to eliminate multi-shadow effects typically found on panels that use multi-led bulb arrays. Sold separately these lights run up to $500/each, but as a 3 piece kit (which includes a travel case) these lights end up running as low as $330/each (found here). If you want to get a few more ideas on how professionals are using these lights, take a look at the F&V Video Gallery page (found here).
K4000 Single Color / K4000S Bi-Color LED Video Light Kits
Unfortunately, as you probably already know, no LED is going to give you as good color accuracy as florescents will. The much more expensive, super powerful ones (from any company) still aren't there yet and they are much more expensive.
However, I think it is important for people that are reading this as a beginner (like I was) and doing research for their first lighting system, that if I had to choose between these or the Chinese manufactured ones found all over Amazon--I would definitely go with F&V.
I am in no way affiliated with them, but I was going crazy for weeks debating on what LEDs to get since there are so many Chinese manufactured options available at the price point most people are looking (myself included). F&V designs, manufactures and QCs all of their lights here in the US and their support is amazing. Calling them results in a response in less than two rings and they respond to e-mails very quickly as well. Also, out of all the LEDs around this price, theirs are by far the most color accurate (according to many comparison reviews). If you are new and dead set on LEDs and do not want flourescents, I would recommend the R300 from their line. It puts out 1900+ Lux with good color accuracy at around $200.
Also, in regards to people stating that the diffusion filters are annoying, that very well may be true and I think they definitely need a design that is a bit quicker. However, with LED panels of that size it is extremely important to have the diffusing a bit from the panel. This is actually another sign you can tell they aren't some cheap system with gimmicky budget solutions. In order to get a wider spread and a better output using the diffusing on a larger panel, having it up against the LEDs like on the smaller ones is not effective.
P.S. I am not a professional or anything. I have just been doing a ton of research lately about lighting solutions and I am just reiterating what I have discovered from 100s of posts, videos, responses and phone calls.
@huis21 and @hugo - I don't really think the R300 and K4000 is a straight comparison. The K4000 is much larger with a higher output and seems more suited to studio work, while the R300 is very portable and suited to run and gun scenarios and rig setups. As mentioned earlier though, I just wish they had a better solution for diffusion on the K4000. The R300 is perfect with the magnetic snap system, so they should have carried that over.
How much more output is there with the Single color vs the Bi color? I'd like the bi color but does that mean 1/2 the amount of output?
Also what is the major advantage to going with the more expensive k4000 vs the cheaper R300?
Anyone had compared this with the F&V R300 light?
I'm in the market for led lights for slowmo recordings, what would give me more light per price? Imagine 1k in LED's, will i get more light with 4 R300 than 3 R4000?
I have the FV4000 (daylight) kit, and I like it, but there are a couple of negatives. The first is complete lack of barndoors - yes, even on LEDs these can be useful - they were supposed to come out with them last summer, nothing happened. Nor are there any other modifiers apart from the single diffuser - so no color, and no eggcrate etc.. And the way of attaching the diffuser is very poorly thought out - it takes way too long to screw in all that stuff and it's easy to lose or drop the screws etc.. I'd like a much faster system of attachment and more modifier options. The color quality is ok as far as LEDs go (a touch green), the power and throw is not bad, as is the build quality... obviously, you can get much better for all these qualities but you'd pay much, much more. Basically, it's a very good buy for the money. That said, I think they can and should improve upon this substantially - there is very rapid development in the LED world. I see they are coming out with the Ultras, but at least on paper, I'm not at all impressed - improvements seem minor and cost dramatically higher. For now, I think the best advice is to sit it out - LEDs are evolving very rapidly... I'll keep using my F&V K4000, and wait until something that's really much, much better before upgrading (the Ultras don't seem to be the ticket, IMHO. YMMV.
@VFM - The three piece daylight kit is about $1K. Divide that by three, that's how it is cheaper per unit.
I can't seem to find the 3 panel kit for $330/ea as you described. Is there a new link? Thanks!
@Bob Krist - That is not standard. Here it is httpss://cheesycam.com/v-mount-adapter-for-sony-l-series-np-f-batteries/
Emm: It looked like the V-battery was actually an adapter that held two of the cheaper style Sony batteries. Is this standard issue with these lights, do you know? Thanks! Bob
Dennis L. Sørensen
I bought the set of 3x K4000s, and i gotta say, i love them.
The only thing i can come up with, is that it only about 1000 lumens @ 1m and that the milk difuser takes to long to attach. They should have made a quick/snap system.
@mike chenoweth - I can throw up some readings from a meter when I get a chance, but yes F&V has good CRI. One thing they are working on is a new 'UltraColor' series of LED lights that will have even higher CRI ratings.
Are you testing the color output and CRI of the panels you're reviewing now? I'm hearing really good things about F&V - curious as to your findings.