Review: CN-600SA LED Light

CN-600SA Led light

CN-600SA LED light panel (shown with diffusion panel installed)

Introduction

The CN-600 is an inexpensive, dimmable, well-built LED light panel for photography and video use. Prices seem to vary a lot; I just did a search and found them listed for $150 to $250, with the lowest prices found on ebay. It runs on AC power or V-mount battery. It’s lightweight and compact, and pretty powerful.

CN-600SA Led light

Rear view of CN-600SA

Features

  • 600 daylight-balanced LEDs in one 10″ panel (housing is slightly bigger)
  • onboard dimmer
  • barn doors
  • accepts V-mount batteries
  • includes AC power cable (with annoying AC/DC converter brick on cable)
  • yoke: allows fixture to freely tilt up and down; with standard 5/8″ light stand mount
  • jack for remote dimming; wired and wireless remote dimmers are available
  • comes with three or four (depending where you buy it) large plastic filters that neatly slide into a slot at the top of the panel: slight diffusion, heavier diffusion, CTO/orange (to match tungsten light), and magenta (to match fluorescent light)

Versions

CN-600HS: a bit boxier than the SA version, and filters slide in from the side instead of the top (and tend to be hard to remove, according to some reports).

CN-600SA: This model seems to be the most common, and the model this review covers.

CN-600HS: Very similar to the SA version, but this unit is bi-color, meaning it has both tungsten-balanced and daylight-balanced diodes; each has a dimmer, so you can select tungsten-only, daylight-only, or mix the two. The disadvantage to bi-color LED lights, is that if you’re set for tungsten-only or daylight-only, you’re only getting half the power (half of the diodes will be powered off).

Who Makes It?

These are made in China, often labeled “CN-600SA” on the back, but no manufacturer name (though they are sold by Neewer and Cowboy Studio).

Impressions

I like this light a lot. For an inexpensive generic fixture, it feels solid and well-built; nice and compact while still providing a relatively large source with powerful light output.The barn doors and yoke are sturdy and work well–they don’t feel flimsy like other cheap gear I’ve used.

Pros:

  • lightweight, compact, solid build
  • nice quality of light
  • stays cool without a fan (I was looking at another LED fixture that has a built-in fan; not good when you’re recording audio)
  • can be powered with A/C or battery
  • inexpensive

Cons:

  • V-mount batteries are expensive
  • AC power cable has converter brick/wall-wart, which is a bit awkward; you’ll probably want to use gaffer’s tape or velcro to attach the brick to your light stand

Where To Buy

The CN-600SA is not hard to find; I’ve seen them for sale on ebay, Amazon, Cowboy Studio

 

 

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *