We got Godox’s new and special product for a test ride. It is a flexible LED light panel that can be rolled up but has similar performance as like as regular LED-panels. Interesting concept but several questions remained.
Godox presented their flexible LED lights at Photokina trade show in September this year. It is such a new product range that it is still not listed on Godox’s website and I’ve found no mention about them throughout the web. The FL60 is the smallest model but there will be bigger FL100 and FL150 versions too. What are these numbers mean? We do not know yet. It is not about the size since the FL60 had just 55-56cm diameter. It is not about the amount of LEDs since the FL60 had no 60 diodes but 240. And it is neither about the performance in Watts because 60W would be exaggeration. Bigger regular LED-panels with 1000 diodes usually perform about 70W, and no LED-panel is near to 100 or 150W at the moment.
The point of a flexible LED light lies in its compactness. The LED diode lines are mounted on a textile-based material, so during transport or storage you are able to roll them up and put the whole panel in a paper tube. During assembling you just unfold it and fix its corners to the X-shaped, collapsible framing. The panel connects to its controller with an XLR cable and you can hung it on the light stand below the mounted panel. You can adjust brightness (10-100% in 1% increments) and white balance (3300K-5600K) because the Godox FL60 has dual-color LEDs.
The LED panel has velcro on its sides which suggests that multiple panels can be velcroed together but I have no idea how to do the framing like this.
The Godox FL60 possibly works together is the company’s remote controller because the controller has two huge antennas on the top and you can choose A-B-C wireless groups and channels for the light. Also I have no idea why the controller needed such huge wifi-antennas even double.
The controller however got a nice extending hook for easier hanging – if you don’t need it you just push it back into the housing. You can choose between battery and mains power operation. For the latter you’ll need to plug in another XLR cable with a power adapter into the controller unit. Compatible batteries are some kind of standard ones from the market but I do not know the exact type at the moment. When you do not use a battery then a velcro harness can be mounted on the place of it. I do not know what is it good for. Maybe you can fix the rolled up panel here during transporting or storage, but I am not sure about this.
Although the operation of the Godox FL60 flexible LED light is almost flawless, I’ve tried it for food photography during my test. The light is powerful enough, however it is not a lighthouse but it is fair enough compared to its size. I’ve used it from 80cm distance and got ISO400, f/5.6, 1/60s values (cinematographers welcome, you don’t have to calculate 😉 ). If you put the panel closer to your subject the shadows will be striped which is not nice. Even from 80cm distance you’ll may need some kind of DIY diffuser, approx. 80cm is the borderline for striped-style shadows on your subject. The yellow and white LEDs have quite similar performance, I’ve measured approx. 1/4 EV difference in power between 3300K and 5600K modes (yellow is the weaker).
All in all I liked and unliked the Godox FL60. Being a compact and non-vulnerable light, it has to be called a brilliant concept. Although the fact that you’ll need to carry not only the rolled up panel, but the framing, the controller, the power adapter, two XLR cables plus you light stand, then you’ll have to connect here, connect there, hung up this, mount that…this is not very convenient. Moreover you’ll need a hex-key for tightening the framing during assembly…baah…
The Godox FL-series price and availablility is still a mystery. How did I start with…? So many questions remained.