I have a very small office space, which I use for work and filming tutorials. For the filming part, I was looking for a compact lighting solution. Typical studio lights are often quite large and wouldn’t have provided the versatility I needed. That’s why I’m glad I got introduced to the Colbor CL60R, which I review in this article.
This tiny LED studio light is perfect for small spaces and offers some interesting features at an affordable price.
The Colbor CL60R is an RGB LED light that not only lets you control color temperature and brightness but also allows you to select from more than three million colors in its HSI mode. At maximum intensity, it can deliver 2,600 lux at a one-meter distance. It can be increased even further with the included reflector mounted via a Bowens adapter.
The CRI rating of 97+, quiet fan, weight of only 600 g, an option to combine several lights in a matrix, and an app you can use to control all the light’s features remotely round off the package Colbor offers.
I should also mention that 13 lighting effects can be simulated, including lightning, fire, and TV. If you use the Colbor CL60R as an ambient light in your video production, those effects might come in handy while they aren’t relevant for photography.
Aside from a carrying bag, a Bowens mount, a reflector, and an adapter to mount the light onto a lighting stand, the Colbor CL60R comes with a compact AC adapter to plug into a wall outlet. Attached to this adapter is a 3 m USB-C cable, which delivers power to the unit.
What I Like
As I show in the feature video, because I don’t have much space behind the camera when filming in my office, I put the light outside the frame and point it at the white wall and ceiling above my camera. The reflected light resulting from this setup is very soft, and because of the power of the Colbor CL60R, still bright enough for my use. I seldom go above 50% intensity when I’m filming at 1/50 s, ISO 100, and f/2.8.
And up to that intensity, I can use the so-called quiet mode of the light. The fan is hardly noticeable then, which is perfect for filming. And even at higher intensities in smart mode, the fan is very silent and never a problem when I record audio with the DJI microphone close to my mouth.
What I noticed immediately after unpacking the light were its build quality and cube-like design. It feels well-made and solid and offers different mounting points on each side. Those allow you to attach accessories like a V-Mount batteries or combine several lights in a matrix.
The build quality doesn’t contribute too much weight, though. At 600 g, the Colbor light feels very lightweight. Size-wise, it’s not much more than a handful.
One of the most important features of a LED light is the variable temperature setting. I can find the perfect temperature for any situation between 2,700 and 6,500 K. With the Colbor app, I can do so remotely.
Moman Power 99
If you buy such a compact light, one thought that might come to mind is to use it outside. Since it doesn’t add much weight to a typical camera backpack, it’s perfect for outdoor photoshoots for which you require some extra light. I recently used it for woodland photography at night.
You might now ask how to power the light during such a photo shoot. The answer comes from Moman, who has several compact V-Mount batteries in their lineup. For my photoshoot, I paired the Colbor CL60R with the Moman Power 99 battery. It was no more than 5 °C, and I used the light at around 70% intensity for nearly 30 minutes. After the shoot, the 99Wh battery still nearly held 80% of its capacity.
Similar to the Colbor light, the battery is a compact powerhouse. It fits in the palm of a hand, weighs only 500 g, is rated safe for aircraft carry-on, and has two 200 W D-Tap outputs that you could use to power not only one but two lights. In addition to that, you can use two USB outputs at the top of the battery to charge smaller electronics.
The only thing taking away some of its versatility is the relatively large D-Tap charger you must buy separately. If Moman manages to get rid of it in a future version of the battery and allows charging via USB-C, it will be perfect for off-grid travel. Another feature I’d like to see is support for fast charging over the USB outlets. The battery could then power tablets and laptops.
What Could Be Improved
I love the possibility of using an app to control the light, and the offering from Colbor works well enough. But there’s room for improvement. The app could be more responsive, and moving a slider should directly affect the light. Currently, new settings are only sent to the unit once you release a slider. It should be fixed in future updates of the app.
Then I have one little gripe with the two wheels at the back of the unit. Those aren’t wheels but switches that don’t feel as well-built as the rest of the light. I would much prefer proper knobs instead. The LCD could also use an upgrade.
Based on the features, portability, and build quality of the Colbor CL60R, a price of $199 is a fair deal. If you don’t require the RGB option, you can save $50 and opt for the CL60, which is available for $149. The biggest selling point for me is its size and weight. If you don’t attach a large light modifier via the included Bowens adapter, you can fit the light even into small spaces. Combined with a V-Mount batterie like the Moman Power 99, it gives you all the flexibility you need to be creative.