Hobolite LED Lights – where vintage style and modern technology come together. This new brand on the market has a series of LED lights and accessories that’s been created for the photographer and videographer who pays attention to the small details such as looks and design and have high expectations on the quality.
A month ago I got the possibility to try out Hobolites LED-light in the medium range, Hobolite Avant together with its accessories, and also Hobolite Softbox 60 cm. Usually, I use flash for my photos and LED light only when filming videos and shooting stop-motions. But I was curious to see how Hobolite Avant would work out for my photos.
Before I was introduced to the Hobolite brand, I had never heard of them, but I quickly found out that the brand was recently created and now officially launched in 2023. Despite being a newcomer to the market, they won the IF Design Award & Red Dot Award last year for their design and environmentally friendly faux leather details and fully repairable/replaceable components.
I’m glad to know that they didn’t use real leather and instead chose a high quality and environmentally friendly imitation leather.
The Hobolite brand is backed by AEC Lighting Solutions, a company with many years of experience in the manufacture of high quality LED lighting products. Hobolite’s LED lights have a retro look and feel. However, they incorporate all the latest technology that you would expect from an LED light for productive use in photo and video shoots.
They have three different LED lights in their range, Mini (20W), Avant (100W) and Pro (300W) and they have a range of different accessories to use with their lights, which are also designed in a retro style to match the retro looking lights.
Hobolite Avant main characteristics
Before I go on with my experiences and thoughts, first of all you will find below some of the main characteristics of the Hobolite Avant:
- Power 100 W
- Lumens (6500K) 8500lm, Lumens (2700K) 6000lm
- Input AC 100-240V, 50~60Hz DC 12-20V
- CRl 96
- TLCI 96
- CCT 2700-6500K
- Wireless Method Bluetooth, operating range 20 m
- Noise 26db@1m
- Operating Temperature -10~40°C
- Dimension 83.6×117.7×124.6mm
- Net weight 1.25 kg
As you can see in the picture above, the Hobolite Avant LED light is attached to my light stand thanks to a clamp that attaches to the V-mount holder and is very easy to rotate to lock it in position.
If you prefer to use an app to control the light, Hobolite has its own app that you connect via bluetooth. Otherwise, the LCD screen on the back of the light is large and its easy to adjust settings directly.
My experience with Hobolite Avant
The lights were very easy to unpack and set up and I have to admit they add something extra to the shooting environment. With their retro look they are an eye-catcher :-) It is a lot more fun to work when you are surrounded by well-designed equipment as well.
Hobolite Led lights add something extra to the shooting environment. With their retro look they are an eye-catcher.
I tried the light on a couple of different food scenes I had prepared and found the Hobolite Avant easy to work with. The advantage of an LED light is that you can see how much light you have in your scene and make the necessary adjustments before you shoot.
I only used the Hobolite Avant in my studio, so I used it with the 3 metre long power cord, the long length is quite unusual! It was a positive surprise. Often I have to use extension cords as these are shorter. Nevertheless, the LED light can be used outdoors with a battery and is quite light (1.5kg) as it is made from aircraft grade aluminium.
The LCD screen on the back of the light allows you to easily adjust the light intensity and colour temperature.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the Hobolite Softbox was how strong the material of the umbrella was. It was very easy to unfold and refold as an umbrella. It felt very well constructed and strong. The inside of the umbrella is reflective and there is also a grid included that you can use if you want a more concentrated diffusion of light. There is also a handy canvas bag with straps included so you can easily store the softbox when not in use, and even more handy when travelling between locations.
Below you will see a behind the scenes photo of the softbox when its attached to the Hobolite Avant LED-light.
What is the difference between using a softbox and a barn door? I took two photos, one with the softbox and one with the barn door, so you can see the difference. With the softbox the light is diffused and very soft.
Below you will see how the same scene looks like, using only the barndoor, the light is stronger.
I have been experimenting with the Hobolite Avant LED light for a month now. So far I am pleased with the results. The LED light is small, doesn’t take up much space and is easy to mount on the light stand.
Moreover, the LED light’s adjustable colour temperature and brightness settings allowed me to effortlessly capture the perfect lighting for my food scenes, enhancing their appeal and colours. As you can see in the photo of the oranges, the colours are true to life as the high colour rendering index (CRI: 96) of the LED light fixture ensured that the food looked vibrant and natural. The LED light is also very user-friendly. Its compact design and intuitive controls made it a breeze to set up and use, saving me valuable time during my food photography sessions.
I think the Hobolite Avant is perfect for food photography, especially dark and moddy food photos. I would have opted for the Pro version for light and airy scenes as these types of scenes require more light.
To sum up, I find it as an indispensable tool for capturing mouth-watering, professional-looking shots.