The only limit of what you can do with these light tubes is your imagination.
Don’t underestimate the power of good lighting for a photograph. Some people might labor under the delusion that using available light is the only true way to capture photographs. The reality is that when you use proper lighting, you control the outcome of the photo. So where does colored lighting come into play? Carefully placed colored lights can enhance the mood of a photo or even be used to draw a viewer’s eyes to a certain part of the photo. I’ve been using Godox lighting for a couple of years now and love their products because they have a true ecosystem that keeps their lights working together as a cohesive unit rather than individually. One of the products in the Godox product family is the TL60 RGB Tube Light. It’s a continuous lighting source that can be used for white or colored lighting for either video or still photography.
The Godox TL60 Tube Lights are designed to give users creative freedom with their lighting. The tubes have multiple color modes to utilize as well as an ultra-smart control system. The light has a built-in Li-Ion rechargeable battery that provides up to 2 hours of power. Users also have the option to power it using the AC power cable and brick. The tube measures 29.5” in length and 1.9” in diameter. It only weighs 1.6 pounds, which makes it easy to mount or even use handheld.
The tube light features a wide color temperature range of 2700 to 6500K. In addition to the white lights, a user can choose to add gel filter effects from the included Rosco and Lee filter libraries. When the light is in RGB mode, users can tweak the hue, saturation, and intensity to get just the right coloring into the set-up. The light is wireless capable and is equipped with Bluetooth, 2.4Ghz wireless, and digital multiplex (DMX). It can be controlled via the smartphone app, the remote control, or DMX.
The TL60 comes in kits with one, two, or four lights. Each kit has a carrying case, power adapter/DC cable for each light, a retaining clip, RJ-45 cable, and wire rope.
|Color Temperature||2700 to 6500K|
|Color Modes||Full RGB Tuning|
|Color Accuracy Standard||CRI 96|
|Dimming||Yes, 0 to 100%|
|Fixture Dimensions||29.5 x 1.9″ / 750.0 x 48.0 mm|
|Fixture Weight||25.75 oz / 0.73 kg|
|Remote Control Type||Bluetooth, DMX, Wi-Fi, Wireless DMX|
|Wireless Range||164′ / 50 m|
|Wireless Channels / Groups||32 / 6|
|Power Source||Integrated Battery|
|Max Power Consumption||18 W|
|Run Time||2 Hours at Full Power|
|Package Weight||3.77 lb|
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)||31.1 x 3.7 x 3.1″|
When the TL60s arrived, I was immediately impressed with their carrying case. Godox does a great job protecting their gear with semi-hard shell cases. This one is slightly longer than the tubes themselves and has plenty of space for their power cables/adapters and all the other accessories that come with them. I ended up with the 2-light set so I had two of everything including the tubes. After unboxing the kit and pulling one of the tubes out, it looked very much like a lightsaber. As previously mentioned, there are three ways to control the lights. I found the app to be the easiest way, but the onboard controls are also pretty easy once you understand how to navigate through the menus with the provided buttons. The remote is also a great way to control the light. I actually really like that there are several colors that are preset on the remote that allow you to quickly and easily select a direct color without having to dial it in.
To test out the lights, I did a couple of different set-ups. One was a very simple tabletop photograph. I grabbed a couple of figurines from a shelf and set them on top of a bookcase. I used one of the lights as the key light and the other to control the coloring. I actually handheld the tube light I was using for the color treatment. The key light I had set to 3500K at around 40% brightness. Then, I cycled through several colors on the second tube light to see what would happen to the figurines as I shifted the colors. It was actually quite a fun experiment because the figurines already had some color to them (blue and orange) and the tube light color-tinted them to a different shade than they are naturally.
Next, I wanted to test out the special effects. The Godox product page states there are 39 effects that can be used. I’m not entirely sure where that figure came from since the menu only shows 13. The only thing I can figure is that perhaps there are different speeds for each effect and that counts toward the 39. The different effects available include RGB cycle, Flash, Laser, Lightning, Broken Bulb, TV, Candle, Fire, Firework, Police Car, Fire Truck, Ambulance, Music, and SOS. Each of these effects can help to create effects that go along with a practical light option. For example, let’s say that you have candles in your shot, but the flicker isn’t translating on your subject’s face. You could use the candle FX on the tube light to enhance the practical light source. My favorite effect ended up being the Music effect. This option makes the light react to music that is being played nearby. At first, it didn’t work, but when I turned the music up on my speaker, the light was able to feel the vibration and it reacted along with the beat. It was a lot of fun to test out.
Finally, we used the tube lights to accentuate a backdrop that was being used for a portrait of our grandmother. The backdrop is naturally black/dark gray. We set her on a stool about 4-5 feet away from the backdrop. Then, we set an AD200 Pro up along with an AD100 Pro as the key and rim lights. The two tube lights were mounted to standard light stands and pointed at the backdrop. One was set to a pink hue while the other was set to a blue/green color. It ended up casting a gorgeous purple/green tint on the backdrop that really made her spirit come to life.
The only limit a user has with these tube lights is his or her imagination. You have creativity in your hands and dozens of ways to paint the room with colored light. Even though they are a bit of an investment ($240 for the single light kit, at the time of publishing), I think they are well worth it because they can really take your photography to the next level.