Here at West End Camera Club, we love gadgets and new toys, so when Simon and I (Tyler) recently stopped into Photo Continental the other day, we couldn't help but pick up one of these great Aputure Amaran 160 LED Light panels for $99 each. This is a great little LED light panel that fits nicely into our camera bags which doesn't take up too much room and is relatively light as well.
On the technical side of things, the Aputure Amaran 160 can be powered by either Sony video camera batteries (or generic ones of the same variety) or 6 AA batteries which are more than readily available just about everywhere. The light has a dimmable control on the back of the light which allows for precise control of the light output. One problem I have encountered so far is that the lowest power setting isn't quite low enough and can sometimes be just a little too bright, especially if you are in really dark environments. In my experience, the more expensive LED panels from Lite Panel for example have a much better control over this problem letting you adjust power from about 5%–100% whereas the Aputure Amaran 160 lets you choose from 20%–100%.
Other than this, the Aputure Amaran 160 LED is a great addition to my bag and I will definitely be getting another one to add to the kit for more creative use in the future.
Below are just two images that I used the Aputure Amaran 160 on as a backlight or hairlight. The first one I attached the included CTO (colour temperature orange) filter diffuser to the front of the LED panel to warm the light like a setting sun. The second image although in black and white, I simply used the bare LED panel without either of the included diffusers to maximise the brightness of the LED panel.
By Tyler Alberti