Disclaimer: A promotional unit was sent to me for testing and review. The opinions shared in this article are completely independent of Fositan, and I am not connected or bound to the company in any way. Basically, this means that if the unit sucks, I’ll tell you it sucks.
Is it lit?
Fositan’s FL3036 is a relatively compact LED light panel kit used for continuous lighting in both still shooting and video applications.
“Is this light bright enough?” That’s the first thing anyone looking to purchase a unit like this will most like be asking. And to that, I would confidently answer- “Hell yes it’s bright enough”. This thing is bright. Blindingly bright.
With a 400w equivalent of light output that can be adjusted over 15 increments via wireless remote, this panel is actually difficult to sit in front of at full power without squinting.
It’s powered by a crap-ton of LED rows, so as you can imagine, it may look a bit harsh without any diffusion. The unit does come with a fabric scrim that attaches to the frame which provides some softening.
However, there’s no harm in layering additional diffusion materials. In my opinion, doing this gives a better quality of light on your subject, and this unit definitely has the output to compensate for any light reduction.
Just roll and go
I think the majority of people using this light panel will keep the unit assembled and set up, but it can just as easily be broken down quickly and packed away into a small carrying case for on-location shoots.
Keep in mind though that you will be tethered by a power cord which will limit any outdoor activities unless you’re utilizing a power bank.
Speaking of using this light outdoors- it definitely won’t take the place of a large high-powered strobe for daylight shooting, but it is powerful enough to light subjects at a closer distance and provide fill any needed light.
An inexpensive alternative
If this panel looks familiar, it’s because it follows a similar design to Wescott’s Flex LED light kit, used by head-shot photographer Peter Hurley.
In Hurley’s setups, he will place three or four Flex LED panels in front of a client in either a triangle or square configuration and then shoot through the center.
While I have no doubt that the kit from Westcott is a quality setup, you’ll definitely pay for it. At a price tag of over $4k, one set includes only three panels and a few accessories. To compare, a kit of equal size using the Fositan lights will set you back about $350. That’s quite a difference, which brings into question- how well built are these lights?
The materials and construction seem to be on par with the price. I’d say that it appears to be made well enough to last a while but definitely won’t last forever.
I want to be upfront though- I haven’t used this unit long enough to accurately give an opinion on the durability. I did however actually try to purposefully break the light by laying the unit flat on a table then repeatedly slamming my fist down on the LEDS. Far from a scientific procedure, but everything survived, so that’s a plus. Check out the video posted below for a visual demonstration.
Some assembly required
There’s something that I like to do the first time that I try out any piece of new gear. I’m always curious to see if I can use or assemble whatever it is without referencing the instructions or reading the manual. I call this the “monkey f*cking a football test”.
I’m happy to report that this light panel passed. I successfully assembled a bag of multiple pieces into a working unit without reading any directions. It’s fairly straightforward and easy enough to put together right out of the box.
Fositan has designed this panel to be rolled up, twisted, or molded to nearly any shape. A contortionist would probably be a little bit jealous of the FL360.
While most people would most likely use this unit in the rigid frame as a video light or for portraits, the main reason that I had any interest in testing it was because of the panel’s flexibility.
The fabric backing of the panel allows you to bend the light into odd shapes, or even fold it up and cram it into small spaces or wrap it around objects. This means I can get creative lighting things in ways that I normally couldn’t.
Should you buy the Fositan FL3060? Maybe.
In my opinion, it’s not a bad deal for the price. There are definitely things I like about this unit including the flexibility, brightness, ease of setup/ break-down, and the ability to control it via remote.
At the end of the day though, the market for 5000k LED photography lights is very saturated with plenty of models and options to choose from.
But if you’re looking for a continuous light source that’s compact, portable, and has a decent amount of light output the Fositan FL3060 could be exactly what you need.
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