Bringing along your own lighting has always been a challenge for photographers traveling to a location shoot. Polaroid has come to the rescue with a lightweight, flexible system, the Polaroid Flexi LED Lighting Panel. And when I say “flexible,” I’m not kidding. The lighting panel rolls up.
The Polaroid Flexi LED Lighting Panel can produce up to 4500 Lumens – nearly the brightness of direct sunlight – but can fit in a backpack almost unnoticed. Polaroid made this possible by mounting 256 LEDs on a 12×12-inch flexible panel. The panel weighs only 11.8 ounces. Not only does this make the unit easy to transport, its flexible design allows you to manage the light to provide angled, diffused, or spotlight effects.
The kit contains the lighting panel, a set of mounting frames, a diffusion layer, electrical connections, a mounting handle, and a remote control. These are all packed in a convenient, strapped carrying case.
The bottom of the frame contains a standard tripod mount where you can attach the light stand mount or attach the light directly to a tripod. You could also use the mount to handhold the light.
As a test, I mounted it directly on an extremely lightweight tripod, the kind I might carry in a backpack. This worked well and was not top-heavy. I also used it atop a monopod which I placed behind my computer camera for teleconferencing. Again, this was fast and easy to configure.
I Want More
The remote control is amazing. Besides turning the light on and off, you can adjust both the intensity and the color temperature of the light. This was so intuitive, I discovered the functionality without looking at the user guide. When I did get around to reading the user guide in detail, I discovered that unlike many guides that come with electronics these days, it was thorough, yet easy to read.
There are situations, however, when you want more than one light or you’re working in a studio environment. This system provides value there also. You can link four sets of three lights each. So, you can set up, for portraiture for instance, a key light, a fill light, a hair light, and a background light, then adjust the intensity of each set from the one remote. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Special functions of the remote include allowing you to turn all the lights to maximum brightness at once and adjust the color temperature of all the lights at once.
The kit scores high in convenience and versatility. You can find it online for around $130. If you were going to purchase 12 of them for a complete studio setup, you might want to compare the cost to more traditional, less portable lighting systems.
For photographers like me who do most of our shoots at remote locations such as conferences or film festivals, the Polaroid Flexi LED Lighting Panel should prove a valuable and useful accessory. It will be part of my kit on my next assignment.