Impact 1-Floodlight Umbrella Kit
Comparing the Light Kits
To finish things off, let's take a look at both setups side-by-side.
Both the fixtures and bulbs get very hot, and the bulb packaging warns of high temperatures. In fact, when we used the Tota-light fixture for the, first time it smoldered for 30 seconds. The safety grill for the Tota-Light was discolored from heat by the end of the review. The lights didn’t seem to raise the ambient temperature of the room but we tried not to leave them on for longer than 30-35 minutes at a time. Working under the lights it was bright but none of subjects complained of it being hot.
Although the Tota-Light produces almost 5800 more lumens than the Impact light, it translated into a little more than one f-stop difference between the lights. The Tota-Light fixture design does not focus the light into a beam but spreads it over an area and therefore it losses some of its effectiveness. When I was using the light you could see the light spill onto the wall when I was used the umbrella. If you use the light without the umbrella it does a better job of illuminating than the Impact flood light.
The Tota-Light is by far the more versatile light. You can purchase colored gel filters, additional shades, and other types of light controls. Additional Tota-lights can stack and lock together with the proper adaptor. The Impact light does not have the same range of accessories.
The Impact light source is cheaper initially but has a shorter life. The Tota-Light source last longer but cost more. Listed below is the light source cost divided by average life:
- Impact light kit .09 cents per hour cost ($5.39/60 hours average life)
- Tota-light kit .04 cents per hour cost ($11.99/300 hours average life)
The final product is perhaps the most important issue in deciding what type of light kit you will ultimately purchase. The two pictures seen below were taken with the light kits in question. Can you tell which one was taken by the Impact light kit and which was taken by the Tota-Light kit?
When I am looking for a product, I usually have a set budget that I work within but I try to consider what I can get if I’m willing to spend more. The Lowel Tota-Light Kit costs $100.00 more than the Impact One Floodlight Umbrella Kit. I have to weight how often I anticipate using the light kit when considering the cost difference. For me, I’m not sure that it is worth $100.00 dollars more. Don’t get me wrong, the Lowel Tota-Light is a great product; it has numerous advantages that certainly make it very attractive.
The key consideration is what you hope to achieve with the studio lighting. Each light kit reviewed has similar outcomes and have similar components, so it comes down to cost versus individual preference. For a beginner with limited funds or if you don’t intend to use it often, the Impact One Floodlight Umbrella Kit might be the right choice. I hope that this review will help you to make a more informed decision.
For those with inquiring minds the Impact Kit was used to take the second picture and the Tota-Light was used on the first picture of the little girl.
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