Light Mat vs LED Panel vs Softboxes: Video Production Lighting

Photographers have a long list when choosing the perfect lighting solution to achieve soft, flattering illumination in their shots. Traditional softboxes and LED light panels have been the go-to choices, each with its own set of advantages and drawbacks in photography. However, a new solution, the LED light mat, promises to revolutionise the way users approach lighting setups. 

In this blog, we’ll compare these three options based on factors such as size, weight, setup, versatility and potential. 

What makes soft light a preferred choice in photography?

Generally, soft light is widely used in photography and filmmaking for its ability to create a visually appealing, flattering, and versatile illumination that enhances the overall quality of the images and contributes to the desired mood or atmosphere of the scene.

Light Mats vs Softboxes: Practical Reviews By PixaPro

Hard Light (left) vs Soft Light (right)

How do LED mats differ from softboxes and LED panels in photography ?

This guide is specifically based on the comparison between the F200Bi LED Mat and the Godox UL60 LED light with a softbox.  

 

Size 

Softboxes are renowned for their large size, taking up considerable room in a photographer's space. While LED panels offer a more efficient alternative, their bulkiness can still be a concern. The light mat, on the other hand, presents a one-panel solution that is super thin. Its design translates into a space-saving design that is particularly necessary for photographers who need to manage their equipment efficiently.

Its smaller size also means more room in the kit for other essential gear, allowing photographers to optimise their setups without sacrificing the quality of their lighting.  Even more, this innovative lighting source effortlessly produces soft light without requiring any additional diffusion setup, providing photographers with a hassle-free lighting solution. 

Light Mat vs Softbox: PixaPro Comparison Review

Weight and Portability

In fact, the light mat’s design is more compact when compared to softboxes and LED panels. While traditional lighting setups can often be cumbersome, especially when travelling to different locations or navigating on-location shoots,. In contrast, the light mat's reduction in overall weight is valuable for photographers who are constantly on the move.

For instance, in event photography, the light mat enhances the photographer’s ability to adapt swiftly to changing environments, ensuring that the creative process remains unhindered by the constraints of heavy equipment. As the demand for portable and versatile solutions continues to rise, the compact design and reduced weight of the light mat position it as an ideal companion for photographers who value both performance and convenience in their lighting equipment.  

Light Mat vs LED panel vs Softbox: The Future of Lighting Solution

Ease of Setup 

The process of setting up softboxes and LED panels often involves multiple stands and diffusion setups. Conversely, the light mat simplifies the process by serving as one large, efficient light source that eliminates the need for extra stands or diffusion. In other cases, should you choose to use stands, there’s no requirement for heavy C-stands; less cumbersome light stands are perfectly adequate. 

F200Bi LED Light Mat without diffusion (left) vs F200Bi with difusion (right)F200Bi without diffusion (left) vs F200Bi with diffusion (right) 

Versatility in Mounting 

Moreover, for added convenience, the light mat offers exceptional versatility when it comes to mounting options. By utilising Velcro, photographers can securely attach the light mat to walls or ceilings, which is a space-saving lighting solution and also saves time in setup. Its simplified setup process opens creative opportunities for achieving distinctive lighting angles and setups. It also means the LED light mat not only enhances convenience but also plays a pivotal role in shaping the visual aesthetic of the final images. 

F200Bi 200W Bi-colour LED Light Mat By PixaPro

Waterproof Capability

The waterproof design of the LED light mat sets it apart from conventional lighting solutions, providing a unique edge in versatility for photographers. While many traditional softboxes and LED panels are restricted to controlled outdoor photography, conversely, the LED light mat opens up a world of possibilities for outdoor shoots. This feature is a game-changer for photographers who navigate various shooting environments, offering peace of mind in unpredictable weather conditions. Therefore, it is the perfect on-the-go lighting solution for those who prioritise adaptability and innovation in their craft. 

F200Bi Foldable and Durable LED Light Mat By PixaPro

Adaptability for Overhead Lighting

One standout feature of the LED mat is its exceptional adaptability for overhead lighting setups. Unlike some traditional lighting solutions that require a significant ceiling height, the LED mat can produce soft, flattering light without any limitation. The LED mat enables photographers to experiment with overhead lighting effects that add depth and dimension to their objects. Whether capturing captivating portraits or dynamic scenes, the LED mats empower photographers to transcend space limitations and achieve professional results in diverse shooting environments. 

Expandable Setups

LED mats offer photographers the advantage of creating larger and more powerful lighting setups by seamlessly connecting multiple panels. It provides more adaptability that may be challenging to achieve with traditional softboxes or panels. Photographers can tailor the lighting configuration to suit specific shooting scenarios, adapting to the unique requirements of each project. It is particularly valuable in dynamic environments where the need for adaptable lighting setups is necessary, such as in a spacious studio or a more confined space. 

The practical applications of the LED mat are utilised. 

LED Light Mat as a Keylight in Product Photography
Keylight in Product Photography
LED Light Mat can be used as a backlight in interview shooting
Backlight in Interview Shooting
Utilising Multiple Backlights in Narrow Space
Multiple Backlights in Narrow Space

 

Shop Godox KNOWLED LED Mat Series at EssentialPhoto & Video

F200Bi LED Mat
F400Bi LED Mat
F600Bi LED Mat

In conclusion, the light matt is particularly helpful in the professional sector with competitive pricing. Its compact design, ease of setup, versatility and adaptability to various shooting environments position it as a leader in the future of lighting solutions. While softboxes and LED panels still have their place in the photographer’s toolkit, the light mat is an innovative option for those seeking efficiency and creativity in photography lighting equipment.

EssentialPhoto is an Official Godox Partner and trusted UK Distributor, stocking the widest range of Godox kit in the UK. We offer a 2 Year Warranty* across our stock and Customer Support and after-sales repair at our British store.

We are excited to now be able to offer support and installation of large-scale products & shooting environments to a wide range of Photography & Videography areas such as Film & Televisions Studios, Commercial Studios and many more!

Find out more at https://www.essentialphoto.co.uk/pages/project-installation-department

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