Video and Photo LED Light with Excellent Color Rendition

Review by Erik Vlietinck

LED lights used to be expensive and not too good at rendering skin tones properly. Then they became better at the former, but only slightly better at the latter. And now there’s Aputure—the company that’s building itself a reputation for quality that performs far better than what you’d expect when you see the price—with the Amaran AL-MW LED light.

This new Amaran is made of aluminum, fits in your shirt pocket, and has a CRI/TLCI of more than 95 with lovely skin tones as a result. It’s the brightest LED light with 10 output levels that I measured to be 1,280 lux at 50 cm at maximum level, and 5,800 lux in Boost mode (which you can keep on for 60 seconds). And you can throw it in a bathtub, as it’s waterproof to a depth of 10 meters.

Battery life is touted to be 24 hours at minimum output and 80 minutes at its highest setting. A USB-C/USB-A charging cable is included. The light also comes with five built-in effects (Paparazzi, TV, Faulty Bulb, Fireworks, and Lightning), which I found lovely to play with but which is probably less important for the typical buyers of these lights (anyone from YouTube channel creators to action movie makers).

I can imagine this light finding its way into photographers’ kit bags too, because it manages to keep its color temperature on a steady 5150K throughout! And you get a clip-on gel holder with a range of CTO and CTB filters including full CTO, 1/2 CTO, 1/4 CTO, full CTB, 1/2 CTB, and 1/4 CTB. It also includes a 1.5-stop diffusing frost and a 2.5-stop silicone diffusion accessory. ■