Small, On-Camera, LED Video Light Has Accurate Color Rendition

Review by Erik Vlietinck 

Aperture’s smallest on-camera LED light throws 2400 lux at a distance of 30 cm with CRI/TLCI ratings of over 95, and a color temperature of between 2800K and 6500 K. 

The Amaran AL-MX is a pocket-sized, on-camera, LED light that has a built-in 3.7V 1800mAh Li-ion battery, which you can recharge in a few hours using a USB-C interface. The brightness can be set in four steps, from 20–100%. The same switch allows you to set the CCT range, with adjustments also in four steps, from 2800K to 4300 K, 5000 K, 5500 K, and 6500 K. 

Despite the fact that the Amaran AL-MX is sold as an on-camera video lamp, and thanks to its high CRI/TLCI (especially in the skin tones), it’s also very effective as a continuous photo light. If you want to mount it on a DSLR, there’s even a cold-shoe mount included. 

The light’s color output is very stable. It started at a slightly lower color temperature of 2600K, but the highest cold temperature of my test unit didn’t surpass the 6200 K mark. That range, however, is generous for the purpose that this LED light will be used most. 

In terms of light output, the Amaran AL-MX does very well. At the highest setting, the output was 350 lux (more than you’d expect after reading the specs). With boost mode on (60 sec max), the output was 470 lux. 

This light has many pluses, but one minus is that you can’t power the light from a Sony NP-F battery. Whether you need it is questionable, because my test unit ran at full brightness for eight minutes short of a full hour. During that period, the large red heatsink became very warm, but not really hot. 

In short, the Amaran AL-MX gives back a good deal more than you bargained for. ■