The LED Lighting Showdown

Which LED Light is the best? That’s the question I tackle in this post, pitting the $100 LED Light against the $50 LED Light and finally the $20 LED Light. You’re going to be shocked by the results.

So last week and the week before I posted about two really amazing LED Lights. The first was the Yongnuo YN216┬áLED Light which is more of a spotlight. The next was the YongNuo YN600 LED Light. Both of these lights were super bright and easy to use. This week I throw a hardware store light into the mix, just to make life interesting. Here’s how it went.

I set up my test in my video room with a 48″ diffusion panel one foot away from the lights. I set each light at 50% except for the YN600 which started at 50% then I adjusted it to 25%.


Here is a screenshot of the Hardware Store LED:

Hardware Store Led Light

I set this up so that it would have a little bit of bounce from the ceiling but also would shine at me. Not bad for about $20, right?! The bulb was a 100 watt equivalent light that was also dimmable. I always buy dimmable lights because they’re just so much more flexible.

Now there’s the YN216. I got this recently from Amazon for about $50. It’s really more of a spotlight, than anything else. The maker claims it’s daylight balanced at 5500k, which is what I get all my lights in. In practice, it seems a little towards magenta.

YN216 Led Light

Again, I was really impressed with this light (YN216). It’s very bright. Because it is physically smaller than the other two lights, it leaves a bit harder shadow than the others. If you notice the color shift, it really only has a slight change in color, but it was noticeable enough that I felt like I would probably want to change my white balance from the background light.

Finally there was the YN600. This is the brightest of the three lights. I had to dial it down to about 25% to make it an equivalent luminance. It also had the slight magenta shift and surprisingly had sharper shadows than the hardware store light bulb.


First of all, I’ll say all of these are in my lighting kit. I own these and am not making any commission on recommending them. Having said that, I really love the hardware store light. For $100, I could have four of these lights in a wonderfully flexible set. I’ve used this set-up for a while, and for the money, I haven’t found anything even close.

The other two LED lights, the YN216 and the YN600 are both awesome LED lights. They are small, lightweight and can run on PNF batteries. This is the real tradeoff for me. Battery power is so convenient. In real life, I have had issues with the slight color shift, especially when combining it with natural light.

Watch the video here:

Here is my recommendation:

  • If you’re starting out in lighting, definitely start with the hardware store light and a diffuser.
  • If you’re needing a light that can travel well and run off batteries, get the YN600. It’s a lot more flexible and bright.
  • If you need a controlled light, or smaller battery powered LED, get the YN216. The spot power of it is great.

If you’re working on your videos, especially video light, check out my free to you resource for evaluating the biggest problems most people make in the videos. You can download it right here.

Author: Conrad