Aputure AL-528 LED Panel

LED panels are awesome for both photography & video work.  A constant light output lets you see the exact effect you're creating with the light and since LED's do not generate much heat they can easily be used in comfort. Many LED panels also allow you to change color temperature with a dial which is extremely useful for matching room ambient lights and avoids the need for gels. LED's can easily be bounced into an umbrella for nice soft light or shot directly onto a subject. Many brands have an option for spot focused beams (best for umbrella to avoid spill) or for a wider focus. LED panels can be mobile while running off batteries or plugged in for longer use.  A key feature of the Aputure AL-528 series is that it actually charges connected batteries while it's plugged in and negates the need for extra chargers.  

Aputure's 528 LED has a very competitive price ranging from $180-$210 depending on the version. Professional LED panels also come in smaller versions. For minor fill light or occasions when I don't need that much light output I also have Fotodiox 144 & 312 LED versions which can be found at a bargain.  In the image below you can see the Sony NP batteries that most LED's run on as well as the dials for power and color temperature. Overall I highly suggest at least one LED panel to beginners as they are a great way to see exactly what you're getting when practicing with lighting. 


Drew Steven Photography Fotodiox 312 LED Panel Color