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LED Lighting Reviewed: Cineo Matchbox and Dracast LED 500

Get Dracast LED500 and Cineo Matchbox at B&H Photo.

Dracast LED500

See my previous blogs posts on the Cineo Matchbox and the Dracast LED500.

CRI (Color Rendering Index) and TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) are two ratings applied to lighting sources, LED or otherwise. But how does LED lighting compare to real daylight in actual practice? Particularly in terms of the white balance and tint required for a neutral grayscale in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).

Colorimetry is more complex than a simple color rendering rating because it involves spectral distribution, which can render some colors not quite ideally, due to the spectral distribution. CRI in particular is not good at describing the accuracy of some lighting sources which have a “gappy” spectrum.

Cineo Matchbox

But for this test I was curious what kind of white balance and tint these two lights would produce versus daylight, a neutral grayscale being a core requirement for good color. So I shot them under controlled conditions. Along with some general commentary on each, I show the white balance and tint with each as per what Adobe Camera Raw needs to produce a neutral gray scale at the nominal 5600°K output for each source.

There are very significant differences, which must be understood for good color. In DAP:

Cineo Matchbox and Dracast LED500 vs Daylight

Includes daylight as a reference, the two lights as the sole illuminant, and a mix of each with daylight. I recommend the Datacolor Spyder chart as seen below.

See also Sony A7R II: White Balance and Tint in Adobe Camera Raw and Leica SL: White Balance in Adobe Camera Raw, Gray Overcast Lighting.

Test scene for evaluating LED lighting vs daylight
f9 @ 2.5 sec, ISO 100; 2016-01-09 09:07:30
LEICA SL (Typ 601) + VARIO-ELMARIT 1:2.8-4.0/24-90mm ASPH. OIS @ 65mm

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