Filming With The Manfrotto LYKOS LED Lights In The Shard

The Manfrotto LYKOS LED lights are the latest light fixtures in my arsenal, much smaller than, and just as powerful as their 1x1 models that I've used in the past. Surface mount LEDs have increased the power output and reduced the size, meaning you can easily carry a 3 point lighting setup and nano stands in a backpack or grip bag.

They run off conventional NP-F batteries, D-tap or AC power. Using widely available batteries (rather than only mains or AA batteries) make using the lights much easier on location. They'll run for 1 hour 25 minutes continuously on an NP-F750 before the battery shows as empty on the display. I powered the light back up and continued timing to see how much more juice could be used, I only got another 5 minutes max. They don't have a hot swapping battery option so if a battery runs out, the light powers down while the battery is replaced.

Manfrotto LYKOS lights

A killer feature is the Bluetooth control via an app, which can adjust the power, brightness and colour temperature. This works by using the Bluetooth dongle and pairing the lights to an iPhone through the LYKOS app, and can control from 1 to 16 units for larger remote setups.

I used the LYKOS lights on a recent video shoot in the shard for Surrey Scout Media. On the 22nd floor I set up two LYKOS on nano stands in an office with a glorious London skyline in the background. With golden hour approaching, the summer sun beamed through the huge Windows. I had a wonderful back light, wonderful view, but would the lights hold up against the sunlight?

Positioned close to the subject and composing the shot on a 35mm prime, it was easy to adjust the light intensity for the desired exposure. Combating the bright setting sun was difficult and I could have done with a reflector, but live and learn!

The lights have a wide beam angle (50 degrees) but give off a soft, wrapping wash around the subject. The high CRI (93) also gave pleasant skin tones without a green shift in the tint, which is sometimes apparent in other LED lights.

At the end of the shoot the lights and stands were packed quickly away into the Off Road Backpack, ready to navigate rush hour underground in London.

Here's the final video, promoting a Surrey Scouts event in 2017 -

The Manfrotto LYKOS LED lights performed above my expectation for lights of their size. Being able to add in soft key lights against bright sunlight confirmed those expectations. If I had another light, I would have banked the two together for a stronger light source, but I only had two on me at the time. For a portable lighting kit you can't go wrong with a set, the bi-colour model offers more flexibility with adjusting to a number of locations too.