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Lumens, Color Temperature, and Beam Angles: What is the Right Video Light for Me?

Written by Lee Burghard April 2018

On bright sunny days at shallow depths, my preferred method of filming underwater is to use ambient light.  However, when filming with little available ambient light (cloudy days, greater depths, inside a wreck) or when filming macro subjects, a good pair of video lights is an essential tool for any underwater videographer.

But with so many different options available, what makes the best option for your budget and shooting style? Have a look at this breakdown with some of our top picks and how they can enhance your underwater footage.

Our Top Picks:

Fix Neo 3000 DX

The Fix Neo 3000 DX II is a great choice for those who want to pack in a lot of great features for a cost efficient price. So what do we like about them? :

  • Good Power and a Wide Beam - With 3,000 lumens of power and a wide 100 degree beam in water, these light are versatile enough for wide-angle and macro shooting.
  • Interchangeable Batteries - Removable lithium ion batteries means that you can have spare batteries charging at the surface for days with multiple dives, and fresh battery changes can be accomplished in just seconds.
  • Flexible Charging Options - The batteries can be charged while still installed in the light, or when removed from the light
  • LED Display - The LED display indicates your chosen power setting and the remaining time (in minutes) at that power setting.
  • Modular Design - LED light heads can be swapped out and exchanged. This means the body can become a focus light, fluorescent light, or upgraded to a new video light head from Fix Neo when one's released.
  • Budget Friendly - These are offered at an affordable price point that gives a lot of bang for your buck.
  • Remote Control - Mount the Fix Remote Control Unit onto your camera rig, add a pair of fiber optic cables, and you now have the ability to power your Fix Neo 3000 DX II light on/off and control the power output settings without having to remove your hands from your camera.

Have a look at this video demonstration covering the Fix Neo features:

Light & Motion Sola Video Pro 9600 

When you need professional looking results with beautiful color and lots of power, the Keldan Video 8X lights are more than capable of getting the job done:

    • 9600 Lumens of total output - More than an adequate amount of light for semi-pro to professional underwater lighting in a small, compact form factor.
    • Sealed Design - the light is a completed sealed unit meaning no o-rings to maintain.  This is not a modular light however so spare batteries are not an option. With an approximate 50 min run time and recharge time of approximately 1hr 45mins this is something to be conscious of for shooters planning more than a couple dives in a day.
    • Easy Charging - Charging is available from the rear of the light 
    • LED Display -OLED Dashboard Display for monitoring settings, battery life

Keldan Video 8X 

When you need professional looking results with beautiful color and lots of power, the Keldan Video 8X lights are more than capable of getting the job done:

  • 13000 Lumens CRI 92 and 15000 lumens CRI 82 of total output - This results in a stunning amount of light that offers significant improvement in terms of range and color for underwater filming.
  • Compact Design - With a lightweight and compact design, these lights are ideal for underwater videographers who need a powerful light but are conscious about weight and size.
  • Soft, Super Wide Beam - Due to the unique dome shaped design along the front of the light, the Keldan's offer a 110 degree beam with a soft, gradual light falloff. This means no more harsh "halos" in the corners of your footage where the beam of your light ends.
  • Beautiful, Warm Color - Color is highly accurate and natural looking due to a 5000 Kelvin color temperature and color render index of 82 or 92.
  • Interchangeable batteries - The Keldan batteries are a lithium ion design that's completely modular. Spare battery packs can be charging at the surface while you're diving/shooting, and batteries can be easily swapped to support those longer shooting days on the boat.
  • LED Display - LED indicator lights along the back of the battery display the amount of battery life remaining and also the status when charging.


Have a look at some of the test footage shot with Keldans from our Reef Photo Pro Kevin Palmer: