ikan Multi-K Variable Color Temperature LED Light

When shooting video from a camcorder or a DSLR, on-camera lighting has always had a lot of limitations. One of the biggest limitations is control of color temperature. This is a huge problem these days based on all of the lighting available in so many venues you might be shooting in from tungsten to halogen to fluorescent. ikan has come up with a solution, and it’s pretty sweet!

Introducing the ikan Multi-K Variable Color Temperature  LED Light.  This is one of the coolest little on-camera lights I have ever seen, and the results are amazing.  Never before have I been able to control the color space appropriately in video… or close-up stills, for that matter.

So, let’s look at the physical details.  The box is around 5.25″ wide by 3.5″ tall, 1.5″ thick and weighs .8lbs with 6 AA batteries in it.  All in all, a relatively light unit.  The Multi-K runs on 6 AA batteries, or can be powered with the included 12v DC transformer and D tap power cable to an input on the rear of the light.  Here you can see the light mounted to the top of my Canon 5D Mark II.  As it is a cold shoe mount, it is not camera dependent and can mount to any camera’s hot shoe or cold shoe mount.

On the front of the light are 144 LED bulbs.  These are not the high-powered CREE style LEDs, but the lower power, softer light LEDs.  The majority of the bulbs are a very cool white light – somewhere over 6500ËšK, but there are a bunch of yellow and red LEDs that are turned on in different patterns and brightnesses to actually warm up the outgoing light.  This technique is both brilliant and unique.  For the first time I have ever seen, you can actually control a forward facing light source from your camera and actually dial in the color in 6 different steps using a button on the back of the light.  The functions are pretty simple.  There is a variable output source knob on the top to dial output level and a button on the back to step through the 6 color temps.

Tungsten light is somewhere around 3200˚K and is a common light color that we run into in a church, in many homes and in many indoor arenas where we often shoot.  Outdoor Sunlight can run 5000˚K to 6500˚K, depending on the sky and clouds.  If you are shooting in either of these situations, and need a bit of source light from your camera, having the right color of light will make a lot of difference in your end video or still product.  With the exception of using a gel over a halogen or incandescent camera light, I am not aware of any other on-camera light source that has the ability to change color temperature.  This light is very unique.

As the light changes colors, there are slight differentiations in the amount of lumens that the light can project.  ikan has provided a chart to show us the difference in the output with the different settings from the light itself.  At certain colors, you will need to take into account the light output levels and adjust settings accordingly.  Overall, ikan claims that the light output is equivalent to a 50W tungsten light bulb.  From our tests, that seems about right.  It won’t overwhelm a scene, but provides a nice kicker of light over all.

Here is a short video clip of the light from the front and then illuminating the inside of a piano.  Although it is not terribly obvious from the brightness of the video, I flip through all of the color settings in this video while looking at the front of the light and the light cast while on the camera.  It may appear subtle here, but the right color of light makes all the difference in the world.

I also used the light when shooting some Macro shots. I found that indoors, this was very helpful under tungsten lighting when the ambient light tends to be too strong.  Simply warm the light color up and the richness comes out.  And being small and battery powered, it is easy to move this light around to where it is needed in the shot.

ikan states that the light will run for approximately 90 minutes of consistent use on a set of new batteries.  If you are shooting short takes, turning them off and on, you can get several hours of use from 6 AA cells.

ikan Multi-K
Variable Color Temperature LED Light

SRP: $499.00

Specifications:

  • Operating Volts: 12v – 18v
  • Dimension: L 4.9″ x W 4.3″ x H 1.6″
  • Weight (lbs): .8 with batteries
  • Bulb Type: LED
  • Color Temperature: 2800k – 6500k
  • Shipping Weight: 2

Features:

  • Variable Color Temperatures
  • Uses 6 AA Batteries
  • Lux equivalent to 50W Tungston
  • Weighs less than a pound
  • 144 LED Bulbs in red, white and yellow

If you are looking for a variable color light, there just aren’t many options out there. This ikan Multi-K is certainly a great early entry into the arena.

ikan Lighting website: http://www.ikancorp.com/

Purchase now from B&H Photo

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1 Response

  1. Richard says:

    Both Zylight (Z50 & Z90) and Lowell (Blender) have on camera light models with variable color temperatures.

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