I have recently bought a Westcott Ice Light (LED light on a stick), and just used it once on a paid job but tried it a lot using my very cooperative kids as models.
They have gotten quite used to me testing all sorts of lighting setups, but here is the first big difference to my standard use of Speedlights or Profoto studio lights, this doesn’t flash. It is constant, and after flicking the light on, they get used to it pretty quick. And forgets it is even there. Unless I try to blinding them with it.
It is a luxury to work with lights were you can see directly in the camera exactly how it is going to look, just adjust after taste. Ok, it is not that hard with Speedlights, you just take a test shot. But this is a lot quicker. You set it up in a matter of seconds, not minutes.
Tha above portrait is using the Ice Light on a stand, as seen on the top photo. You have threaded mounts in both ends, so it is easy to screw it onto a light stand. I used mine with a swivel/tilt bracket so I can use it angled in any way I want.
This is what the handle looks like. The LED daylight light source. A hole for the charger, a battery meter lamp, up/down buttons for light output and the Off-button.
The battery meter gives you a very rough description of huw much you have left, it starts with a green light but switches to orange pretty soon, and stays there almost until you run out of battery. A little more information would have been nice.
Here I used it camera right just to add a little more light, it is almost invisible. Mixing Ice Light with daylight is very easy and feels natural.
You can use it angled however you want, the spread is pretty good so it covers a bigger area than you think. The metallic ends and middle of the tube could maybe have been with a rubber coating, that would have made the product feel more rugged.
Here the Ice Light is camera right again, and a lot more visible. Without it the light from the windows would have bleeded much more into the picture.
Using the Ice Light as main light for this photo made it more balanced, I think. You can definitely see that there is some kind of artifical light in play but I think the combination of sunlight on the background near the windows and the LED light in the foreground mixes well.
You can also use it to help indoor lighting for smaller group shots. Here it is on full effect less than a meter away. It mixes a bit with the light from a windows camera right above and the ceiling lamp.
When you buy the Ice Light, you get some clamps for filter gels, a charger and this bag and a strap. You can hang it onto your camera bag and not notice the difference in weight, so it is and easy thing to always have with you.
All in all, I am very satisified with the results so far. When I have used it indoor it feels like it adds a lot of light to the picture, it I want. But outside in the day it is more useful as fill or just to add a little sparkle in the eyes.
To make it a complete solution for portraits on-location, I think another one would be needed. Or just use some other (cheaper) kind of LED-light to add fill or separation. The price is always something people talk about, and sure, it is not cheap.
But the easy of use, speed and mobility with a light like this, using it as a professional you would probably earn that money back in no time. The alternative would maybe be Speedlights, and they are not free either.
I think this something I will use a lot for quick portraits, and adding my own light to all kinds of photos I take. Having it together with a Manfrotto Nano stand on the outside of my camera bags is a simple way of always being able to use bad lighting situations and turing them into something useful.
Click here for more reviews of the Westcott Ice Light.
If you have any questions, please let me know. I will do a more detailed review as soon as I have used it more on real world assignments.