East Grinstead photographer and filmmaker Nitsan Simantov. Wedding photography and commercial video production in London and West Sussex.

Battery options for very high power LEDs

[Once again, I do not work for Pixapro. I post a lot about their lights because they have become an essential part of my work.]

Three days ago I saw this new video posted by Pixapro.

I asked them this:

I got an email from them today that I wanted to share with you:

"We have run a few tests with our PowerGenorator with our LED100Ds and the results we have found so far are as follows:
  • With three LED100Ds set to minimum power simultaneously plugged it, the PowerGenerator lasted for approximately 2 hours.
  • With three LED100Ds set to maximum power simultaneously plugged it, the PowerGenerator lasted for approximately 30 minutes.
  • With two LED100Ds set to maximum power simultaneously plugged it, the PowerGenerator lasted for  just under 60 minutes.
The brightness of the LED100Ds remained pretty constant until the PowerGenerator’s battery died. There was no sign of the lights losing brightness at all. We did find that the PowerGenorator’s fan did start up pretty much straight away when we plugged the three heads in, and the fan is a fair bit louder than the fans that came with the LED100D. I think this is because the battery has to work harder to power constant lighting.
We are still performing tests but these are results we have found so far."

So this means it could be an option for powering up my Pixapros in locations where I have no power supply. It is not a very cheap option, but it should give enough power for a full shoot at a price that's very reasonable for a professional, especially considering additional batteries for it can be bought for a lot less than the set which includes the battery and the 240v power inverter together.

For many of us a second lighting kit of lower-power lights running on Sony batteries will be a cheaper option, however, as I have mentioned before, the Pixapros give me light quality, power and control unrivaled by anything even remotely close to their price range. LINK to example. V-mount battery powered lights are also an option although they are usually not as portable or as cheap as sony battery powered LED kits. My current favorite for ultimate portability is still this one [LINK] although it is nowhere near the quality of the Pixapro. 

Pixapro links:
The TSL-2009 eBay store here (LINK)

Pixapro on Amazon (LINK) (LINK)

I started looking around and I see that there may be battery powered options that will cost less.

These 17 amp-hour battery packs cost about £90 [LINK]  and claim to support up to 200W, which should be more than enough for these 100W pixapros. They do not state the weight of these packs and you will need one pack for each light since they only have one socket. The specs of the Pixapro state "Battery Capacity - 12Ah (12.8V)" but I do not know if the performance of these two products is directly comparable.

Petrol generators start from about £100 [LINK], but they are very heavy and very loud so will not be suitable for many on-location shoots, especially for video where the noise could be an issue. If used correctly and safely these could be good for some uses. 

Sony NP-f compatible batteries [LINK] cost around £50 for a set of batteries to give you approximately the same amount of power as the Pixapro (by my calculations: x4 6.8 amp-hour at 7.2 volts), however, for now they are currently limited to smaller lights such as the Yongnuo YN-600 [REVIEW LINK] or YN160s units [video link]. They are not as easily controllable (no softboxes, etc) and the 600 does have a fan noise issue but they are a cheaper, more compact option that still gives you roughly the same brightness for your money, although I don't know of any other small lights that do the same. For example, the YN-160s gives about 1/10th the brightness at about 1/10th the price of the Pixapro, and the YN-600 gives about a third the brightness at about a third of the cost. 

I would love to hear from any of you who have recommendations for good power packs.