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Yongnuo YN300 LED photo light with high CRI

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Recently videographer Andrey Tarakanov visited my house and he had a Chinese spotlight with him. It is very popular among those who shoot photo and video. We measured its parameters and found out whether it really has such a high color rendering index as they promise.
Yongnuo YN300 LED photo light with high CRI
Sellers cite the following technical parameters for the illuminator :
Light source: 96 LED beads
Color temperature: 3200-5500K
Output power: 18W
Lumen: 2000LM
Luminance angle: 110°
Color rendering index: Greater than to 95
Size and weight: 185x135x22mm, 500g
Power supply: Lithium battery/the external 8V, 5A DC power (NOT Included)
Average service life: 50000 hours
The illuminator works with standard batteries from Sony cameras and there is no battery included.
The LEDs used are of two color temperatures – warm and cool. For each of the two LED arrays, you can set the brightness level from 0 to 99.
Yongnuo YN300 LED photo light with high CRI
With a spectrometer. UPRtek MK350D I measured the color parameters of the illuminator in three modes.
100% warm light. The CRI of the illuminator is very high indeed – 95. The R9’s flesh tones in this mode are almost 81. The color temperature is about 3200K.
Yongnuo YN300 LED photo light with high CRI
100% cold light. CRI almost 96, R9 almost 91, color temperature about 6100K.
Yongnuo YN300 LED photo light with high CRI
With both warm and cool LEDs turned on at 100%, CRI stays high at 95, R9 goes up to 96 (that’s very, very good), color temperature is about 4400K.
Yongnuo YN300 LED photo light with high CRI
But it’s not so good with the light output (the amount of light the illuminator gives).
The illuminator was at my disposal for only one hour and I had no possibility to measure its exact luminous flux in the laboratory in a two-meter sphere, so I resorted to an indirect method: the illuminator was placed on a tripod and shone on a wall covered with gray wallpaper. Using the same spectrometer, the illuminance of the wall was measured from a fixed distance. Then a 10-watt spotlight was placed on the same tripod, whose luminous flux (650 lm) had been accurately measured earlier.
Yongnuo YN300 LED photo light with high CRI
With all LEDs turned on at maximum brightness, the illuminator gave a result of 110 lux. The illuminator gave a result of 99 lux. So the luminous flux of the illuminator is about 720 lm, not 2000 lm as the sellers promise.
If you use the illuminator in warm light only or cold light only mode, its luminous flux will be even less – it will give no more light than a normal 40-watt "Ilich bulb".
The light is $40 without the battery. It gives a very high quality light and is great for portraits and any other shooting where accurate color reproduction is important, but when buying it you should be aware that it gives much less light than is promised.
© 2017, Alexei Nadezhin

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