Hey YouTubers, Aputure is gunning for your money and in my humble opinion, you should give it to them. Aputure has announced four new point-source COB LED lights under the Amaran brand. The 100d, 100x, 200d, and 200x. “D” standing for daylight and “X” for bi-colour. All coming in at a fraction of the price compared to their Light Storm 120d and 300d fixtures. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on a 100d Amaran LED video light and we were not disappointed.

Amaran 100d - 55° Hyper-reflector

Amaran 100d  •  55° Hyper-reflector

Amaran LED Video Light

What we get with the Amaran 100d

The Amaran 100d is a daylight point-source LED fixture with stunning brightness and wireless Bluetooth app control. Meet the perfect light for content creators, interviews, portrait photography, and video production. By using the latest COB technology from Amaran, the 100d is able to output a powerful 39,500 lux at 1 meter using the 55° Hyper-Reflector while remaining incredibly compact.

The 100d also boasts CRI & TLCI scores of 95+ for immaculate color quality. The Amaran LED light also features a Bowens Mount for is compatibility with a wide universe of accessories. The 100d is equipped with Sidus Mesh® technology, forming a network with other Sidus compatible lights, allowing users to precisely control the fixture from nearly any smartphone or tablet using the Sidus Link® mobile app.

Amaran LED VIdeo Light FEATURES

Tech Specifications for the 100d

  • Up to 39,500 lux @ 1 meter with Hyper-Reflector
  • Daylight CCT: 5600K, CRI≥95, TLCI≥95
  • Universal Bowens Mount: Wide Variety of Accessories
  • Built-in Umbrella Holder
  • Sidus Link App Control
  • Compact Lamp Head with Built-in Controls
  • 0-100% Brightness Control
  • 8 Built-in Lighting FX: Paparazzi, Fireworks, Lightning, Faulty Bulb, TV, Pulsing, Strobe, Explosion
  • 48V DC Power Input: AC & Battery Power Options
  • 3m Long Power Supply Cable: No Dangling Power Bricks

Aputure Amaran Unboxing

What’s in the box?

So, the first thing I noticed when unboxing the 100d is the absence of a carrying case/bag. Which is a little unfortunate but understandable given the price point and definitely not a deal breaker. The box it comes in does have a carrying handle and everything is packaged very nicely surrounded by foam making it a totally viable option of transportation.

Amaran 100d - 55° Hyper-reflector

Included with the Amaran LED Light

Inside the box is a 3m long 48V 3-Pin XLR input power supply, a 1.5m AC power cable, a 55° Hyper-Reflector, and the 100d unit itself.

Aputure Amaran Review

Hands-on with the 100d

My first thought when pulling the unit out of the box was “this is a pretty small but solid piece of equipment.” The 100d is encased in a plastic housing compared to the metal housing of the 120d, most likely to keep costs down, and the yoke found on the 120d is replaced by a standard tilt bracket.

The unit itself isn’t too heavy, weighing in at just over three pounds, but I was skeptical that the tilt bracket would hold the weight, especially with a light modifier attached (I’m used to working with cheap third party lights from Amazon). However, once I got the light set up and tightened on the stand those worries dissipated.

Amaran 100d - Light dome II

Amaran LED Video Light  •  Light dome II

Speaking of light modifiers, I absolutely love the inclusion of the Bowens mount which allows you to use a multitude of different light modifiers such as the Light Dome II above or a litany of third party light accessories.

Now, it was the moment of truth, to turn it on and see what it can do. I turned all of the lights in my living room off because I only wanted to see the 100d at work. As soon as I turned it on I was pretty shocked at how much light this little unit was putting out.

I thought to myself “this has to be at least 50% or around there” but when I took a look at the LED screen on the back of the unit, to my amazement it was only at 1%.

Amaran 100d @ 1% - Hyper-reflector

Amaran 100d @ 1%  •  Hyper-reflector

So, I wanted to crank it up and see how bright this thing can get.

Here it is at 50%...

Amaran 100d @ 50% - Hyper-reflector

Amaran 100d @ 50%  •  Hyper-reflector

...and then again all the way to 100%.

Amaran 100d @ 100% - Hyper-reflector

Amaran 100d @ 100%  •  Hyper-reflector

Not too shabby!

Controlling the intensity of the light is easy enough with the dial on the back of the unit but what really unlocks the lights full potential is the Sidus Link app which connects via Bluetooth and allows you to control any Sidus Link compatible lights using a mobile phone or tablet.

Amaran 100d - Intensity dial

Amaran 100d  •  Intensity dial

I think this is fantastic for all of the solo shooters out there. Rather than having to get up each time you need to add more light you simply select the light on the app and with a swipe of your finger you’re all set.

Along with intensity control, with the app you can apply one of eight different lighting effects:  Paparazzi, Fireworks, Lightning, Faulty Bulb, TV, Pulsing, Strobe, or Explosion. I could definitely see myself using one of these on a music video or horror film shoot.

All in all, I think Aputure and Amaran knocked this one out of the park. With so many third parties coming out with competing lights to the 120d, Aputure had to do something and something they did. While I do think these new line of lights will eat into some of the sales for the 120d and 300d, I think the number of upcoming YouTubers and content creators looking for a great budget friendly light will make up for it.

Coming in at $199 USD I expect the Aputure Amaran LED video light to fly off the shelves. Units started shipping on January 14th, 2021.


Four characteristics of light

While we're talking about light, we should discuss its four characteristics — color, quality, direction and quantity. In this post, we'll review how each of these should be considered in any lighting scenario. We'll cover how to approach lighting from the absolute fundamentals so you can light your next scene with intention and purpose. 

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