|Review rating: ***|
|List of sponsored/free gear: None
Did I get paid for this review? No
This is the complete review of the NanGuang CN-ST288Cx2 bicolor flexible LED panels (2×1 mats).
Here are the important questions I wanted answered:
- Do the NanGuang CN-ST288Cx2 bicolor flexible LED panels sacrifice quality for its low price?
- Is the CRI rating of 95 real?
- Is the light output of the fixture high enough?
- Is the dimming really stepless, and will there be a shift in color?
- Can it be used for high frame rate (HFR) video?
Let’s get started.
Important: Prices, specifications and my observations and analysis can be totally wrong or incorrect. Please refer to the manufacturer’s website for correct information. You are responsible for your own actions. Results seen here might only apply to me personally and may not reflect your experiences.
NanGuang CN-ST288Cx2 bicolor flexible LED panel review
Watch my entire review:
Notes and specifications from the review
Here’s a quick list of specifications of the NanGuang CN-ST288Cx2 bicolor flexible LED panels:
|Specifications (both mats)|
|Power draw||57.6 Watts|
|Rated Color Temperature||3200-5600K|
|Dimming Range||5-100% stepless|
|LED Rated Lifespan||50,000 hours|
|DC||15-24V, 4-pin XLR|
|Weight per mat||140g|
|Weight of mats and one frame with adapters||1.5 kg|
|Weight of control unit||Approx. 420g|
What you get with the kit:
- 2x 2×1 LED mats, bicolor
- 1x 4×1 frame set (frame, backing, diffusion, 90 degree adapter)
- 1x 2×2 frame set (frame, backing, diffusion, 90 degree adapter)
- Light stand
- Control unit for dimming and color with V-mount adapter
- AC Adapter and V-mount adapter
- Sony battery adapter (dual)
I’ve been told by NanGuang that the price is about $650 excluding shipping and taxes, and you might want to contact Karen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eventually, you might decide to use only one of the two frames, and I figure for most people it’ll be the 2×2. The entire kit stripped down is lightweight and can be transported anywhere. Even if you don’t want the frame, you could easily mount the lights to a foam board or some other frame or wall using Gaffers tape.
The light hardly gets hot, just mildly warm, even after hours of use – on both the front and the back. Impressive!
All measurements were taken at 6 feet, and are in lux.
Here are the measure light output results:
|Values in lux||5600K||3200K||4000K|
At the lowest dimming level the output is about 5% of the total. The dimming is seemingly stepless.
All white balance measurements were taken with a DSC Labs OneShot Chart and a Sony a7S II.
Does the light change colors when dimmed? Not really:
|Actual Reading (WB) at 100%||5300K||3100 M1||4100|
|Dim to 50%||5200K||3100 M1||4100|
|Dim to 1%||5200K||3100 M1||4100|
Excellent color reproduction! Here are the results of the green color cast test:
No issues with color casts at all!
High frame rate mode
I tested the light at 25p, 50p and 100p, and didn’t find any issues. I believe it will be fine up to 120 frames per second, and maybe more!
Comparison with other brands
I compared the 288C with three other brands (2×1 flexible bicolor LEDs):
Here’s the detailed comparison chart I made:
- Westcott 2×1 kit is available for $1,500 approximately (Amazon, B&H)
- The 288C draws a total of 57.6 Watts.
- All mats are weatherproof, but the control panels aren’t.
Only the Socanland FL-80 comes close to the 288C in terms of light output and price, with a few key differences:
- The 288C has two mats, so you can use them separately (E.g.). If one fails the other can still light.
- The FL-80 delivers more power per 2×1 mat, if that’s what you’re looking for.
- The 288C comes with two frames – 4×1 and 2×2, while the FL-80 is just a 2×1 light.
- The larger size of the frame makes the 288C easily the softer light but with the same output. To make the FL-80 softer, you’ll need to add a softbox/diffusion and that will reduce light output.
- The 288C draws only 57.6 Watts, that’s only 70% of the FL-80.
- The FL-80 is foldable in half.
The Westcott and Aladdin lights draw more power and are way more expensive for hardly any major advantages. The BiFlex2 does have DMX, though.
The NanGuang CN-ST288Cx2 bicolor flexible LED kit is cheap ($650), and is rated to run for 50,000 hours. If you’re shooting 4 hours a day for 300 days a year, that’s 40 years.
For its price and features, it is unbeatable. The only major downside I see to it are the plastic construction, which includes the adapters and the tightening knobs. The light stand is a joke. It’s definitely not made for rentals.
Here are some ways NanGuang can improve the ST288Cx2:
- Find a way to attach frames to make larger panels (without collapsing, of course)
- Better diffusion cloth with various levels of diffusion.
- Lockable control panel to the light stand adapter.
- Honeycomb or grid for the frames that can attach easily to the frames.
- Softbox attachment for the 2×2 frame.
- Waterproof control panel.
To purchase the lights you canc ontact Karen directly at email@example.com or the manufacturer directly at Alibaba. I have no ties with them and I am in no way responsible for anything. You buy at your own risk.
I hope you have found my review beneficial. If you need any clarifications let me know in the comments section below.