|One Light (w/ diffuser)|
|Both Lights (w/ diffuser)|
|Both Lights (w/o diffuser)|
|Warmer Color Filter|
|Testing it in other areas|
|With the lights closer|
|With ISO bumped up (a little)|
|Don't forget to subscribe ;)|
Maybe you're a content creator. You're a Twitch streamer, YouTuber, whatever you are, you've probably been in the market for key lights, something with a big panel. The one thing about these is they can be a bit expensive, so, you might be in the market of looking for an affordable one. Samtian came out with an LED Camera Lamp, the TL-96. Basically, this is a two-pack of LED lights, meant for YouTubers, Twitch streamers, content creators, and more, and it's under $40 (prices may change). Let's see if it's any good. Let's get right into it.
Let's do the unboxing. Here we go. We got a box, LED Lamp, TL-96. It's got a little notice, "Please do not touch the lamp beads directly with your hands to avoid damage," so don't touch the product if you plan on using it. Just don't touch it. There's no safety tape, but it's packaged nicely. Off the bat, you're treated with both the LED lamps. These are pretty lightweight, and it comes with a filter. It's got a USB plug. I'm assuming you can just plug this into any power bank or wall outlet, and you're good.
We got two of those. The TL-96 is technically RGB because it does come with RGB color gels. You got your RGB, red, green, blue, and then, you got orange and yellow. Keep your warmer colors to stay warm in the winter, even though it's summer. You got two of those for each lamp. It's got a 360-degree ball head for you to attach to the top of the camera. There is also a hot shoe mount to attach to the top of a DSLR or mirrorless camera. You got your stands, and a selfie stick. The set comes with a little stand which connects to a tripod.
The tripod feels pretty heavy, pretty hefty, and the selfie stick is just like... a selfie stick, so it feels very light. It is just going to go screw onto the bottom. It comes with two more of those and another ball head, and we're done with the box. Here is something important to note. The TL-96 do not come with anything to plug into, so you get the USB, and they are assuming that you have something to plug into it, so, you are going to need a power adapter, something like your phone charger, or you could possibly plug it into your PC. I'm not going to recommend that though. That could draw a lot of power off your power supply, so do not plug it into your PC.
The tripod has very wide legs, so there's a lot of stability. Unfortunately, there's absolutely no grip on it, so if you accidentally push it off the table, it's gone. It's very easy to assemble, though, to put on the top of the tripod. This does extend just like a selfie stick, so you do twist the sides and bring it up. The TL-96 is just going to twist onto the top. Just be careful with the cable. There we go, our light is set up and plugged in.
I took off the filter really quick, and I turned it on. This does have dimmable options, so you can change it from a lower brightness, make it higher. By default, the TL-96 was set to the lowest setting, but now, I'm a lot more hopeful about it. Not only that, you can change modes on it, so if you want to have a gleaming effect, where it's just glowing, you can do that. If you want a flash effect, you can do that. We also have a lightning mode, and then you just have the basics. You do get three different kinds of modes. You can take the regular filter out to put in the new one. I'm going to slide in the red gel, then turn it back on. The red is more of a pink than a red, but you get what you get.
Watch the test from 4:41 to 8:10.
I'm going to go ahead and turn off all my other lights and do a quick test on what it would look like with both of them on. This is what it looks like if we were at a lame nightclub. The light on my right is arms length away from me. I'm about to turn it on and show you what it looks like if there was just one light turned on. There we go. Obviously, the TL-96 is very bright. This is at maximum brightness with the white filter on it, which acts as a diffuser to let the light be a lot softer on your skin or your subject. I'm probably going to have both of them on, so let me do that.
This is what it looks like at maximum brightness for both of the TL-96. They are both literally arms length away from me, and to be honest, the lighting isn't that bad. It's not that bad at all. I want you to know what it looks like when I take them off.
This is what it looks like when I take them off. There are more harsh shadows, and they just get a little bit too bright. In my personal opinion, I would keep the diffusers in the TL-96, not only to save my eyes and just not hurt myself, but to get the best lighting available for these. Obviously, this is the coldest temperature available. I'm going to put in an orange color temperature to show you what it looks like when it's a little bit warmer.
This is what it looks like when one of the TL-96 lights has a warmer color temperature. Personally, I like it. This makes me feel much more comfortable and just filming in general, this is easier on my eyes. Obviously, I'm not going to be looking directly towards the light. I can, because I'm used to it, but don't. You can get pretty creative with these color gels. I have red and blue to match my lights in the back. I flipped them to create a really nice effect. You can get pretty creative with these, to be honest. Now I'm done with just the "sitting down here" part. Let me do it in other areas.
Now, I am on my couch, which is where a lot of people start on YouTube. Think about that. Both the TL-96 lights are set without the filters, completely at maximum power, 3ft away from me. I turned on a third light to make it look like there was a window open. Obviously, right now I'm a little dark. It could be a little bit better. If I turn to my right, I'll have the camera showing exactly what is going on. I have the two lights on my left and another light on my right. One thing to note is that you do see shadows on my face, so when I raise my hand in front of my face, the light is blocking it. That is because there's not enough light coming from each angle. Let me show you what the lights look like if they were closer to my face.
Understand that the TL-96 lights are literally a foot and a half away from me. If I am doing a product review at the camera, not too high. One thing I haven't done is turn on the overhead light that's on the ceiling. I personally don't like doing this because it does create harsh shadows under your eyelids if the light is not defused enough. But right now, since the lights are kind of diffused in my face and then there are lights above me, it doesn't look half bad, I'll try one more thing.
This is what it looks like when I bump up my ISO a little bit. Yes, it will introduce a little bit more grain, but if I'm just doing simple content creation or trying to get a start on YouTube or I'm on a budget, then this is plenty enough and doesn't look half bad. Now, I can get a little bit more light on my subject. Say I'm doing a product review of a makeup palette or something or I'm showing off my Denzel Curry six-inch vinyl, this is what it would look like. Is this a pass or trash? I'm going to give the TL-96 a pass, so thank you SAMTIAN for these lights. A shoutout to you all.
That is pretty much it for me today. If you enjoyed today's video, don't forget to like it and comment here if you want me to do anything else or if you want to see anything else. I hope you guys enjoyed the review. Subscribe now to become part of the FOTO FAM. We are on the road to a thousand subscribers. I appreciate every single one of you all. I will catch you guys in next video whenever that is. I appreciate you all. Take it easy. Bye.
A photographer and artist looking to make art more of a community. We are the FOTO FAM