F&V is the company that introduced the very popular Z96 LED Video light. This year they are offering a few more affordable additions starting as low as $32 dollars to about $60 dollars. The lights can be attached together to create a larger panel, and have the unique Expandable Link System and SmartSync Control Circuit. These lights are coming in at smaller setups called the K160, K320, and K480. There's also a larger Z180, that contains 180 LED bulbs and available in 5600K or Bi-Color options.
[Update] F&V writes in and mentions that some overseas LED lights are sold by unauthorized dealers. These cheaper versions could be using LED bulbs that fail to meet export standards (basically B-Stock or less) and don't go through the same Detailed Review Process testing as their export products. Purchasing LED lights directly from F&V will guarantee the product has a Higher CRI value, greater light output, a more dependable product, and of course warranty.
You can find all the different F&V LED light panels and other accessories available at their website following the link (click here).
F&V New Smart LED K160, K320, K480 LED Video Lighting
Does coollcd.com fall under the same "fake" F&V warning? They're 50% cheaper than the F&V website, but they appear to be "overseas"
@Connor - Thanks for your time and information!
@Adolfo - So far it appears these lights can still be found via eBay from Greenlife, but as stated in the article be informed about the what F&V states could be the difference in possible quality.
F&V sells the Z96 for $199, but the original (older) cheesy cam post, from where I bought my Z96, it points to a "Greenlife" Ebay store and they sell for $79.(httpss://cheesycam.com/296-dollar-z96-led-advertises-for-69-dollar-z96-led/).
Could anyone clarify? Are we looking at two different products?
I've always liked that Cheesycam is all about finding the best bargain, while keeping quality for filmmakers.
Thanks for your message and concern.
Let me explain the difference between AA batteries, DV batteries, and how our lights work in general.
Our lights provide a steady light output, that means the light output stays the same over the whole discharge time of an external battery.
DV batteries include an internal circuit that communicates with the Z96, for example, and the Z96 will shut down completely when the charge of the DV battery is too low to power the light 100%. Other batteries like AA batteries are "dumb", so when the charge get's below a certain strength, and the light cannot be powered with a steady output anymore, the Z96 flickers on-and-off. This should be understood as a warning to change the batteries as the power remaining cannot keep the light output at a steady level anymore. Not too long after the flickering, the light will shut down completely.
Most other lights don't act this way to provide steady light output. When the charge is too low to power them they just reduce the light output (basically they dim without any warning) which is not good in our opinion as your light quality will then change with time.
We will make some new measurements with different AA and AAA batteries to provide you with more accurate battery lasting times for the K-Series and also the Z96 and Z180 / Z180s in comparison.
I'm a bit concerned about the light flicker issue that was found in the z96 when using AAs that start to run low, since the K series seems to be AAA batteries or DC only I hope that flicker issue has been resolved.
If you come up with something like Z96 with that Links System (at a simmilar price of Z96), i would buy a few in a second!!!
For us oustide US/UK is very hard to find a decent quality afordable light (any kind of light, not only LEDs) and the price and quality of Z96 is perfect! With that Link System to dim 2 or 4 of those stacked, I could have a very flexible, light weight and affordable lighting gear to use in A LOT of situations...
the main difference to the Z96 is price and light output. We introduced the K-series lights to offer a good LED light to customers who don't want or can't spent the price of the Z96. Also sometimes size can make a difference and the K-series offers relatively high output and good quality light at a very small size.
But you are right, if you can afford the Z96 it beats the K-series lights regarding light output and does not weight much more and still has a small form factor. The Expandable Link System and SmartSync Control Circuit is something the K-Series offers and the Z96 does not have - only the stronger Z180's offer similar features with a much higher light output.
Other than a smaller light for smaller cameras, Why do you need those other different sizes when the z96 is a pretty small form factor, can dim, and can stack too?
@Mark-André Voss - Thanks for the clarification!
thanks for taking notice of the K-Series lights.
"Don’t let the names fool you, because they actually only have about 24, 48, and 72 LED bulbs."
The names of the lights don't imply the number of LEDs that are being used but represent the light output in Lux.
The K160 for example features 24 Power LEDs that deliver 160 lx of illumination at 1-meter distance.
Actually the number of LEDs does not tell much about an LED light, we have lights with 4 LEDs that are much stronger than others with 24, 96 or even more LEDs. Also the light output is highly dependent on the beam angle, with a narrow beam angle the light output will be much higher than with a broad beam angle. For the real quality of an LED light many other factors are very important like correct color temperature, CRI and consistancy between the LEDs. Even a high CRI value does not ensure that the light quality is good as the CRI depends on many factors and some combinations can create a high CRI but still the light quality is not good.
The K-Series lights are great lights at very affordable prices. They are not meant as a replacement for the Z96 or Z180s as those lights provide more light output and additional features. On their own or in combination with the Z96 or Z180 they will help significantly to light any scene or subject.
All the best
Hm not a bad price, just a matter of question how good the quality is.
Nice find. It would be nice to see how these stack up against the Z96. I haven't bought one yet, but I need to soon.