Powering video lights with energy banks

With video LED lights getting extra environment friendly and energy banks getting stronger, it’s now doable to run an entire set of lights utilizing nothing however energy banks. That is enormous as a result of it saves some huge cash and a whole lot of area. There are some things you must take note of, however in the long run, you’ll be able to carry a full set of lights and the facility they want in a small backpack.

The good thing about utilizing energy banks for video lights

Working a video gentle off of energy banks is quick, cheaper than any various, and simple to arrange. For this reason small LED panels have been operating on batteries for years. However solely just lately, it grew to become doable to run highly effective COB LED lights with out a devoted V-mount battery or a brick linked to the wall.

When you select the suitable gentle, proper energy financial institution, and proper cable, you’ll have a tiny setup that wants no devoted batteries and may slot in a small case. USB banks weigh much less, are typically in a snug pocket-friendly type issue, and value lower than devoted video batteries like NPFs and V-mounts.

Listed below are two batteries: an outdated v-mount from SWEET, and a extra trendy energy financial institution from Tether Instruments

Selecting an LED gentle that may run on USB-C energy

That is how a lot LEDs modified in measurement. On the suitable, an outdated Godox SL60W. One the left a Colbor CL60R – each 60 Watts lights.

The very fact is that USB-C is quickly turning into the usual to energy small gadgets. The truth is, beginning in 2024, it is going to turn into mandatory in the EU to have a USB-C port for charging small gadgets. (even Apple had no choice). Lighting manufacturers that use USB-C to energy their lights have already got a giant benefit going ahead. Which means that you could nonetheless use a USB charger to energy these lights, however you too can use a USB energy financial institution for a similar trigger.

There are three “large league” video lights that help USB-C energy, one among them as much as 100W, which is a few severe energy contemplating the scale.

Zhiyun Molus X100

Zhiyun molus x100

The Zhiyun Molus X100 is by far the king of USB-C-powered lights. On the time of penning this information (Summer season 2023), it’s the solely 100-Watt gentle that you could energy with a USB financial institution. It has a novel phone-shaped type issue with an uncovered fan, which makes it the smallest 100-watt gentle available on the market at the moment. Relying on the bundle it runs between $249.00 to $399.00

The professional pack for the Molus X100 does include an hooked up battery, however it may possibly additionally run utilizing a USB port.

Predominant Options

  • Solely 100W COB led that helps USBC energy
  • BI-Colour adjustable coloration temperature
  • Small type issue with a novel “flat” design.
  • Suitable with each Bowens and zy modifiers

Colbor CL60R

Colbor CL60R

We reviewed the Colbor CL60R some time again and have been deeply impressed with the sunshine. If you’re in search of portability, it’s just a bit larger than a soda can. One of many good options of this gentle is that you could join just a few of these lights collectively, creating a much bigger gentle supply. (see this video for our CL60R connecting hacks).

for about $200, the CL60R is an RGB gentle which is a giant plus if you’re contemplating a lightweight for both results or temper lighting. There’s a Colbor app, so if you’re spreading just a few of these lights round, you’ll be able to nonetheless management all of them out of your cellphone, which can be a plus if you’re putting the lights over a giant space.

Identical to the X100, it makes use of a Bowens mount, so you should use normal modifiers to melt the sunshine drastically. The sunshine comes with a USB wall port, however you should use the identical port for a USB financial institution.

Predominant Options

  • 65 Watt gentle
  • Full management app
  • RGB / Bi-color gentle
  • Concerning the measurement of a soda can

Zhiyun Molus G60

The Zhiyun Molus G60 is the final gentle I’m going to suggest right here, and relying on the bundle, it goes for between $199.00-$249.00. It’s a 60 watts gentle from Zhiyun that has a powerful give attention to portability. And just like the X100, it has a tiny type issue, a dice this time. The G60 makes use of a propriety zy mount system with smaller type issue modifiers, so if you’re in search of the equipment with the smallest type issue, this may be a good selection.

The most effective options of this gentle is an adjustable leg that features both as a lightweight stand swivel or as a technique to place the sunshine on the ground or on a tabletop.

Predominant Options

  • 60 Watt gentle
  • small cube-shaped type issue
  • Adjustable leg mount
  • Suitable with each zy and Bowens mount (through adapter)

Several types of energy banks

Not all energy banks are created equally. For an influence financial institution to help the excessive calls for of a video gentle, it must have two options: Energy Supply help and 100 Watt output energy.

Energy Supply (or PD) is a protocol that communicates the facility wants between a USB financial institution and a tool. That is nearly an ordinary with most trendy energy banks, however you need to make it possible for the packaging says Energy Supply or USB-C PD someplace on the specs of the facility financial institution.

However this isn’t sufficient. There are all types of profiles for energy supply. You need to make it possible for the facility financial institution that you just’re shopping for is ready to help the facility you want. PD begins as little as 15 Watts, so simply seeing “PD” isn’t sufficient. For a 60-Watt gentle, you’ll desire a battery able to 60 Watts (PD60), and for a 100W gentle, you’d desire a energy financial institution able to delivering 100 watts of energy (PD100).

Lastly, there may be capability. The capability signifies the “quantity of juice” the facility financial institution holds. (and utilizing the identical analogy, PD score is how briskly the battery can serve that energy). USB banks often point out that quantity in both mAh (milliamps hour), or WH (Watt hour).

The larger energy banks can have about 25,600mAh, which is identical as 100Wh. A 100Wh energy financial institution will energy a 100 watts gentle for one hour. Equally, a 50Wh energy financial institution will energy a 100 watts gentle for half an hour.

The TL;DR of it’s: Get a 100WH energy financial institution with 100 watts PD score. Listed below are three choices:

ANKER 737 USB-C 24,000 mAh energy financial institution

ANKER 737 USB-C 24,000 mAh power bank

At $159.99, that is essentially the most spectacular unit we’ve seen on the checklist and the one one which helps the PD3.1 protocol. There aren’t any lights out there that may take 140W through USB, however it will present some future-proofing.

Other than having the ability to push 140 watts, this energy financial institution additionally has a terrific OLED show that reveals how a lot energy is left within the battery and the way lengthy you’ll be able to proceed to make use of it at this energy. That is extremely helpful for those who simply need to get fast standing learn for a shoot. It additionally reveals the draw from every of the ports. This will likely turn out to be useful to steadiness brightness and time.

Predominant Options

  • As much as 140 Watts with PD3.1
  • Recharges in lower than one hour
  • Sensible OLED show
  • Three ports: 140W on both USB-C+18W on USB-A

Tether Instruments ONsite USB-C Energy Financial institution (25,600mAh, 150W)

Tether tools ONsite USB-C 150W PD

Tether Instruments has been across the block with pictures, which for me, means they know easy methods to optimize their gear for our wants. For $179.00, the ONsite USB-C energy financial institution can energy a 100W LED for an hour or a 60W LED for about 90 minutes.

One of many good options of this unit is pass-through charging, which implies that you could cost the battery and use it on the identical time. That implies that when for those who transfer right into a location the place you may have entry to energy, you’ll be able to prime the battery with out an interruption to your workflow.

Predominant Options

  • USB-C PD 100 Watts port
  • Go-through charging
  • Complete of three ports (100W, 27W, 18W)
  • Recharge in two hours

UGREEN 145W Energy Financial institution 25000mAh

UGREEN 145W Power Bank 25000mAh

For about $150.00 it is a sturdy unit that may energy a 100W gentle for an hour or a 60W gentle for about 90 minutes. To make issues simpler for you, there’s a digital show that reveals the remaining energy within the financial institution with extra accuracy than the usual four-LED gauge. It weighs half a kilo, which as you’ll see, is typical for this quantity of energy.

Predominant Options

  • USB-C PD 100 Watts port
  • Complete of three ports (100W, 45W, 18W)
  • LCD show of remaining energy
  • Features a 100W USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Recharges at 65W / two hours

Mounting the battery to a lightweight stand

After you have a lightweight and an influence financial institution, you must discover a technique to get them shut to 1 one other. If the sunshine goes on a stand, you then would need to safe the facility financial institution to the stand as properly.

In case your USB cable is lengthy sufficient, I like to recommend putting the battery nearer to the underside of the stand. This gives you entry for those who want a alternative battery but additionally act as an anchor to steadiness the stand.

My favourite method so as to add a battery to a stand is with an adjunct known as StrapMoore from Tether Instruments. It solely prices $19.99, and it wraps round each the stand and the battery with velcro. There’s some form of slip-resistant coating on the strap, so it holds very agency.

If you’re in search of one thing extra DIY, you’ll be able to all the time use a Ball Bungee for about half a dollar a pop. These are usually not as agency because the StraoMoore, so they’re higher used on the backside of the stand.

Lastly, I typically use a combo of a mini-clamp and a cellphone holder. I’m fairly certain I’d not undergo the difficulty of constructing a unit only for this, however I had one thing I cobbled collectively for a special venture. Or you will get a pre-made one for pretty cheap.

Utilizing the suitable cable between the facility financial institution and the sunshine

Identical to energy banks are usually not all the identical, cables are usually not made equally as properly. The brand new energy necessities coming from delivering 100 watts name for thicker, extra environment friendly cables. And you could be shocked to know, however cables that help the PD protocol even have a communication chip to make it possible for the correct amount of energy is delivered.

While you go and select your cable, make it possible for it’s rated for 100 watts and the PD3.0 protocol (or larger). I’m utilizing these cables from UGREEN ($19.99 for two). They’re a bit dearer, however price it for me as a result of they’re extra versatile than a number of the different manufacturers. That mentioned, there are many other cable makers on the market. Simply be sure you have the suitable score.


easy methods to inform the capability of your energy financial institution

Search for the mAh score. For one hour with a 100W gentle, you need one thing round 25,000mAh (that is about 100WH)

Which sorts of energy banks are good for video lights

If you’re utilizing a high-power gentle (60 watts and above), ensure the cables is rated for PD (energy supply) and 100 watts

Are energy banks TSA-safe? Can I take my energy financial institution on an airplane?

Most airways enable as much as two batteries of 100WH capability. That mentioned, it’s greatest to verify together with your particular airline. One other factor to notice is that almost all airways require that you just put the batteries in your cabin bag.


Now we have gone a great distance from enormous cumbersome lights and energy choices to tiny lights and far moveable energy. If you’re out there for a lightweight as much as 100 watts, I encourage you to verify it helps powering through a USB port. It will imply quicker setup, much less bills, and fewer trunk area.