Whether you’re a photographer or a videographer, trying to find the most versatile light for your craft can often be a real challenge. On certain shoots, large lights may offer more power but come with the downside of being very difficult to adapt to confined quarters. Then their smaller brethren offer the opposite, giving more portability and ease of use while often lacking in the power department. That is what made the Westcott Flex Panel such an interesting prospect—power similar to larger lights with the versatility of smaller LED panels.
Westcott has made their line-up of Flex Panel products quite diverse in a short period of time, offering several different size and colour-temperature variations. For my test I used the 10 x 10” Flex Daylight kit, which is one of the company’s mid-range lights. It offers an output of 2100 lux at 1 metre and reproduces a daylight colour temperature of 5600K rated 95 (out of a possible 100) on the colour rendering index. The flex is also dimmable down to 5% of its full power. All of this is packed into a body that is under 7-mm thick, weighs less than 200 g and is water-resistant. Needless to say, this is one powerful light.
Using the Flex is also very simple: plug it in, turn it to the desired brightness and mount it whichever way meets your needs. This is where the Flex sets itself apart: remove its mounting bracket, and it turns from a ridged stand light to a flexible, pliable light. It’s easy to change its shape to meet directional and space needs. When testing the light, it worked amazingly well at illuminating tight, confined spaces—like the interiors of cars—and it was easy to keep out of the shot as it could be molded to the shape of the dash. The colour reproduction is also spot on, providing a clean, even light that did not vary far from its colour temperature. Its water-resistance also makes it fantastic to work with when shooting in inclement weather. There was little to no worry about wrecking the Flex.
The Westcott Flex Panel proved itself an apt companion when I was shooting both photo and video and is a must-have for any videographer or photographer who wants to use continuous light. While the price of this light is a bit higher than other lights on the market, its sheer versatility makes it worthy of consideration for anyone’s lighting kit. For more information about the Westcott Flex lighting system, visit fjwestcott.com or thecamerastore.com.