Lighting effects & energy – LED

Lighting effects & energy – LED

The age of energy saving lamps is over!

Here you will find a comparison between Energy Saving Lamps (ESL) and Light Emission Diode lamps (LED) both for E27 usable for standard soft boxes.

Its should be noticed, that LED are less fragile. I bought one LED because my soft box drops down and the ESL was broken. Some facts:

Energy consumption:

ESL 125 W / LED 50W means factor 2,5 lower

Claimed factor from the manufacturer in comparison to “standard lamps”:

ESL 125 W generates effective 625 W / LED 50 W generates effective 450 W

Colour temperature, claimed:
ESL and LED: 5500 K - explaination of color temperature see:

ESL 340 g / LED 210 g: factor 1,62 lower


Now let’s have a look at the test results made with a Nikon D750.

The setting of white balance was the automatic mode, ISO 400.

Lenses used were the macro lens Sigma EX 50, 2.8 and Nikkor AF-P 70-300, 4.5-5.6.

One softbox equipped either with ESL or LED was positioned always in the same distance to the objects.


Question 1:

Do we see a difference in the exposure (light intensity, lumen)? Used lens was the  AF-P 70-300.

The camera was setted to A priority: A = 7,1

No, we do not see any difference, because the exposure time was for both lamps the same with1/30.

Question 2:

Do we see differences of the colours when using automatic white balance?  Used lens was the Sigma EX 50.

The camera was setted to A priority: A = 11, 1/40 .

Yes, we do. That objects shows more clear the differences than the shot of the books.

Question 3:

Do we see differences of the colour between the two lamps and real daylight /built in flash? Used lens Sigma EX 50.

The camera was setted to A priority: A = 11. Exposure time 1/15 at daylight; internal flash 1/60.

Yes, we do.


Color is always a visual perceptual phenomenon whether we are looking directly at objects or at a camera shots. Three elements have to be considered if we are looking directly at objects:

1.light source: ELL, LED, daylight, flash

2.object: physical surface properties, roughness …

3.eye/brain system: optical properties of the eye lens …

We have in our experiment a camera “eye” with own settings and a computer screen with specific characteristics.

The elements are in new chain:

1. Light source: ESL, LED, daylight, flash

2. Object: physical surface properties, roughness …

3. Camera “eye”: lens, settings…

4. Shot = new object: computer, screen: hardware, software …

5. Eye/brain system: optical properties of our eye lens …

Whatever we use as the light source, some shifts in colors will be always recognized.

I do not want to give a statement to my personal perception of the results, because each of us has different eye conditions, also depending from the age. Even, sometimes each of our two eyes has a different characteristics, check it out by yourself! As we age, our eye lens gradually yellows. This yellowing of the lens tends to absorb and scatter blue light. The “real” color is only measurable by colorimetry with special measurement instruments (e.g. spectrometers).

 A wide field of playing to adjust colors: of course everyone can play with the camera settings or with photo software to shift the colours in a certain direction! Might be that we are satisfied but other people around us, will disagree because they see other colors than we or vice versa.


1) LED is an excellent solution for softboxes. I will use only LED in future.
2) Correct if you want the colors by white balance settings in the camera or with software at you computer.

3) Let’s save energy! That’s why we shall take LED!