LED panels are everywhere, from the lighting in a photography studio to the ceilings of hospitals. Due to its versatility, choosing the right fixture can sometimes be confusing.
Furthermore, the presence of many manufacturers in the market and their boastful claims aren’t making the situation easier for new buyers. Our guide will help you navigate through the confusion and make informed decisions.
Discover the key features, understand the different options, and gain the knowledge to choose the perfect LED panel lights for your needs.
What are LED Panel Lights?
LED panel lights come in square, rectangular, and round shape fixtures in which Light Emitting Diodes (LED) are arranged linearly, creating a uniform and soft light output. What’s unique about these fixtures is their extremely thin profile.
However, don’t confuse it with downlight fixtures which are usually recessed in false ceilings or walls; instead, LED panels are mostly surface mounted or supported on a tripod for camera work.
LED panel lights have diverse applications making them one of the most versatile LED luminaries.
Versatile Types of LED Panel Lights
LED panels are available in some incredible lighting designs.
General LED Panel Lights
LED panels are an excellent replacement for traditional lighting fixtures if you want soft light distribution and minimalistic design. Whether it’s residential use or commercial use like supermarkets, offices, or halls, LED panels are the best choice. You can also order a customized aluminum or brass frame for extra style.
Typically, LED panels are ratted between 12 W and 50 W, giving off 1600 to 5500 lumens of light. But you can go higher depending on your project requirement.
LED panels are available in different color temperatures from warm light 2500 K all the way to 10000 K daylight hue.
Dimmable LED panel
Whether you want to adjust the lighting for a vlog or just want relaxing vibes in your room, the dimmable LED panel lights are the way to go.
The light intensity is controllable from 0% to 100% output, which is convenient. The dimming feature is more readily available in LED lights than in traditional light sources.
Daylight LED Panels
Daylight LED panels have a white color temperature and the ability to emit high-intensity light. Lightweight and compact, they come in multiple sizes and are alternatives to traditional studio lights.
Bi-color LEDs are a popular choice for creating aesthetic lighting for videography. The panel can emit two different color temperatures; tungsten-balanced (warm hue) and daylight-balanced (cool hue).
With the flexibility to control the color temperature from warm to cool, it’s an excellent choice for indoor and outdoor shooting. You can color-correct the lighting based on the natural lighting of the area or create greater contrast for the mesmerizing artistic flare.
However, having two different color temperature lights means half of the LEDs can be used at a time, making them less bright than daylight LED panels.
RGB Panel Lights
RGB LED panel lights can combine red, blue, and green colors to create 16 million shades of light.
It’s an excellent option to create fantastic decor or make a theme-based lighting setup. However, RGB panel lights are better suited for fill light, meaning they can’t act as the main source of illumination. Rather, it adds flavor to the existing lighting setup.
LED mats are like the regular LED panel light, but the bulbs are integrated into a thin sheet of a flexible circuit board. You can even fold or roll the LED mats making them extremely portable. You can easily stick it on the walls or support it on a tripod.
Soft Light Accessories
LED panels inherently give off a soft light, but you can increase their diffusion by attaching a softbox, diffuser, or gridline to the LED panel. This eliminates shadows and uneven contrasts.
Two Most Exciting Applications of LED Panel Lights
When we say LED panel lights are versatile, we mean it. These lighting panels can do anything from lighting up hospitals to creating aesthetic lighting for cinematography. For ease, we have divided them into two major categories.
1. Photography and Videography
LED panel lights have made the camera work much easier than it used to. Traditional point source lights are bulkier and have limited options. Even though traditional lights still have significance, LED panel technology is becoming more relevant every day. They’re much smaller yet give the same output as high-intensity studio light.
Bi-color and RGB panel lights are excellent choices for key and fill lights, respectively. In photography, key light refers to the main source light, and fill light is subtle illumination to eliminate shadows. LED panel lights also work great for shooting in a car or other tight spaces.
In today’s world, youtubing and vlogging have become a million-dollar industry, and people are always looking for inexpensive light panels for great visuals. Even as a wholesale business, LED panels have great potential.
2. General Illumination
Next up are LED panels for general illumination for residential and commercial use. These slightly differ from the one discussed above but have the same sleek and minimalistic designs.
Compared to downlights, spotlights, and tube light fixtures, the LED panels give off a much softer light. The cool daylight panels are excellent for hospitals and offices where you want bright lights for crisp visuals but with a softer and relaxed ambiance.
You can use warmer light panels to create cozier and more relaxing vibes for homes. Flat-panel LED lights for the kitchen can make cooking a whole lot more fun. Due to the large surface area, sharp contrasting shadows are pretty much eliminated.
Commercially LED panels are usually installed in suspended ceilings or false ceilings. However, the fixtures can also be surface mounted, which is convenient.
Choosing the Right LED Panel Lights
There are many options available for LED panel lights, and more often than not, it becomes confusing for inexperienced buyers. Here are some key factors you should consider while buying LED panels.
Lumen is a unit that defines the brightness of LED lights. When planning to utilize LED panels, it is crucial to consider the appropriate wattage required for your specific usage.
Color Rendering Index-CRI
Color Rendering Index means how well an artificial light source can mimic natural light (CRI 100) in illuminating an object.
In simpler terms, a higher CRI rating means the light source can efficiently bring out the vibrant colors of an object. Typically, LED lights have a CRI rating between 70 to 98.
We suggest going for LED panels with 95+ CRI if you want to light for camera work. Though they’re a bit expensive, the results are stunning.
In residential and commercial use, 70-85 CRI works perfectly. You can learn more about the color rendering index (CRI) here.
Halogen and Incandescent lights have 100 CRI. However, their color rendering is still subpar to LED panel lights due to warmer temperature light output.
Color temperature refers to the color shade of light. The light with yellow (tungsten) hue is warmer, and the whiter and bluer hue is cooler. There is a whole spectrum from 2700 kelvin to 6000 kelvin you can choose from.
As discussed above, LED panels for camera work can be daylight balanced(only white source) or bi-color(white and tungsten). Making them effective for outdoor as well as indoor shooting.
Having the right color temperature LED panel is absolutely critical for great visuals.
But you can not always have an LED panel with every possible color temperature in the spectrum. This is where color correction gel comes in. It’s a thin film of various colors that can adjust the color temperature when placed in front of a light source.
For general illumination like ceiling lights, choose the one that best compliments your decor and interior.
Buy Soft Light Accessories
LED panel lights’ main feature is that they emit soft light. However, due to their smaller size and high intensity, they can still cast strong shadows. So, we recommend buying a diffuser box or a grid to soften the light a bit more.
LED panels for residential use already have a diffuser screen, so there isn’t much need to bother about it.
Main supply or Battery power
LED panel lights for camera work also come with battery options. Bigger batteries can last a whole day which can be pretty convenient for daytime shooting.
Components of LED Panel Lights
LED panels are simple fixtures with the following components. Knowing about these components will help you repair and maintain these luminaires.
LED panels for studios have standard black frames, sometimes also called housing. For an aesthetic look, LED panels for general lighting can have plastic, steel, or aluminum frames.
Diffuser simply softens the light spread and makes it more even. LED panels for studio work don’t come with a diffuser. You have to order them separately.
Light Guide Plate
That’s the basic frame that supports the LED chips. Make sure to secure it properly to the wall or ceiling.
LED Driver and Chipset
LED drivers are microcontrollers of LED lights. They’re usually attached to the back of LED panels. Make sure they are properly ventilated.
Advantages of Led Panel Lights
With dimmable LED panels, you have the flexibility to set the right mood, whether you want cozy and relaxed lighting or bright and energetic illumination.
LED panel lights are tough cookies! They can handle accidental bumps and vibrations without shattering or breaking, making them highly durable and reliable.
Light Weight and Compact
LED panel lights are feather-light and compact, making them easy to install and maneuver without changing the ceiling grid. They won’t weigh you down during setup or take up too much space.
Flexible LED panels, also called LED mats, are foldable, making them extremely portable. They can also fix in tight spaces. Even if you aren’t using LED mats, the general fixtures have thin, slim profiles that allow easy installation and portability.
LED panel lights come in a wide range of vibrant colors and temperatures, allowing you to unleash your creativity and set the perfect tone for any occasion or setting.
Take charge of your lighting experience! Programmable LED panels let you personalize your space with customized lighting scenes and presets
Less Eye Strain
Unlike fluorescent lights, LED panel lights emit a soft, flicker-free light that reduces eye strain and fatigue, providing a more comfortable and enjoyable lighting experience.
LED panel lights are energy-efficient superheroes, consuming significantly less electricity compared to traditional lighting sources. They help you save on energy bills while reducing your carbon footprint.
LED panel lights boast an impressive lifespan, lasting much longer than traditional lighting options. An LED lasts 50 times more than a traditional incandescent bulb.
Light up with a clear conscience! LED panels are environmentally friendly. They are free of toxic substances like mercury (like fluorescent tubes) and produce minimal carbon emissions, ensuring that your lighting choices align with your sustainability goals. Also, they dissipate heat efficiently, preventing overheating and maintaining a safe lighting environment.
The Future of LED Panel Lights
The future of LED panels is bright, with a thriving market that presents excellent prospects for wholesale businesses. With their versatile applications, customizable features, and eco-friendly nature, LED panel lights continue to gain popularity.
As technology progresses, LED light source is becoming increasingly affordable while offering better quality than ever before. This cost reduction, coupled with advancements in LED technology, allows for LED panels with improved brightness, color accuracy, and durability at more accessible price points.
Overall, LED panels are a reliable and efficient general lighting and photography solution.
LED light panels are versatile lighting fixtures with numerous applications. After going through this guide, you’ll now be familiar with the main types and features they offer. We’ve also discussed various sizes available in the market and how they can benefit your particular application.
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