Super Nimble LED Lighting Kit for Photogs on the Go

I need lighting for product shots, macro work, video interviews, and gosh-knows-what when I'm on the go. But my camera bag has only inches of space to spare. So I've devised a kit using the Ikan iLED-MS Micro Spot On-Camera Light, a film can diffuser, and a Joby GorillaPod Tripod. The entire kit weighs less than 7 ounces, yet provides powerful, flexible, diffused lighting.

portable-lighting-rig.jpg The Ikan LED light with DIY film can diffuser and Joby Tripod. Photos by Derrick Story.

The Ikan light by itself is a nifty unit. It's a lightweight, cool-to-the touch, daylight-balanced, LED about the size of a small flashlight (5" long). The front of the light incorporates a lens system that creates a 30 Degree beam angle providing a directional light well suited for on-camera use or also as a kicker light.

The unit features a discrete on/off switch and is dimmable from 100 to 10 percent on using an integrated thumb wheel on the side. It also includes a built-in diffuser panel, CTO filter for balancing with ambient indoor lighting, and a set of barn doors. Everything folds up neatly. You can recharge it via any USB charger you already have in your bag.

I was impressed with the built-in diffuser panel that simply flips over the LED bulb. But there were instances when I wanted even a softer light. So I retrofitted a FujiFilm 35mm canister to create a gentle light for macro and product photography.

diffuser-with-gaffers.jpg FujiFilm 35mm canister with white gaffer's tape for a snug fit.

The film can mounted pretty well in the LED light, but it was just a tad loose. So I wrapped a few strips of white gaffer's tape to create a snug fit.


The modified light with the film can diffuser works great for close up work. And since I can adjust the output from 10-100 percent, I can get just the look I want. The entire kit weighs just ounces and fits nearly anywhere in my camera bag. In fact, it's so nimble, I may set up a second kit so I can use two-light schemes.

Nimble Photographer Logo

The Ikan iLED-MS Micro Spot On-Camera Light kit has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting

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