Today I have the JetBeam PL-190R on my review table. It’s a photography and video fill light that’s capable of full spectrum colored light as well as white light. The fill light also features a 5000mAh battery that can be as a power bank as well. Thanks to Jetbeam for sending this to me to take a look at and review.
YouTube Version of this Review:
Packaging here is pretty minimal, it’s a clear folded plastic box, the light sits inside a try, and the only accessories that are included are the manual, and a USB OTG cable for allowing you to plug in another cable to use the fill light as a battery power bank as well.
The PL-190R reminds me in shape and build quality to a modern smartphone but thicker. On the front you have a diffused plastic panel with some orange peel to help diffuse each LED. Around the edges you have a metal frame, it has ¼ 20 threads that enable you to mount the light in the portrait or landscape profiles. When mounted in a landscape format your jog wheels are on the left, and your mode and power button end up on the top right. In the lower right hand corner on the bezel you have the USB-A and USB-C connections. The back is made of glass and has a fairly small OLED screen in the top left corner.
Size & Weight
I measured the length at 129mm, width at 72mm, and thickness at 15.5mm. Weight was 216.4g. It’s roughly the same footprint as the previous model but thicker.
LED | Runtime
The PL-190R has a lot of LED’s onboard, 220 to be exact. 120 of those are for the white light, with 60 being a warm white, and 60 being a cool white LED. When combined together you get a tint of between 2500k and 8500k. The remaining 100 LED’s are larger RGB LED’s used for the color.
The screen has a built in runtime estimator on it but I found it to not be very accurate. I did a test where I set the light to 4000k and 100% brightness. The estimate showed about 2 minutes 50 second, but the light goes on for significantly longer. My only guess is that estimate is before any change in brightness. Total runtime in this mode was right at 200 minutes. The first 50 minutes or so are at 90% relative output, and 170 minutes are above 80%. After the 50 minute the mark output becomes a little unstable with it stepping up and down slightly. This isn’t noticeable to the eye but could be in photo and video settings probably.
UI & Modes
Instead of buttons to change modes, and brightnesses the PL-190R is using dials which I prefer. It’s easier and quicker to use the dials then a button, once you understand the UI it’s pretty induative. The brightness wheel rotates continuously where as the mode dial allows you to rock the wheel up and down and click. I only had problems here with the brightness wheel at very low power, it’s sensitive enough to make the light almost flicker when down at 1-2% if shaken or vibrated too hard.
This light has 3 modes of operation.
In white light mode, the light uses it’s 60 warm and 60 cold LED’s to make a mix of light to reach the desired tint. IT ranges from 2500k to 8500k in 100k increments. Brightness is controllable in 1% increments and the light is rated for up to 650 lumens at 8500k, and 570 lumens at 2500k.
RGB mode is similar, but using the 50 RGB LED’s. It’s measuring tint in degrees of color gamut, and isn’t quite as fluid as as the white LED’s since everything is being done on each die vs a combination of 2 or more LEDs. It’s also adjustable for 0-100% intensity. The other rocker allows you to adjust the color, and then saturation level as well. Think of color as the course adjustment and saturation as the fine adjustment. I don’t have the equipment needed to give a lumen level for colored light, but generally RGB’s don’t put out as much light as the equivalently sized white LED. Personally I see this as being more of a photography or video fill light to light a tabletop scene and you will see in my night shots it puts out a decent amount of light.
The light also features a couple of modes that are programmed in. Practically for a filming/photography reason I don’t see these being super useful but it didn’t take any more space to do and it’s a seperate mode so I guess no harm is done including it. There are a total of 9 scene mode available including Lightning I, Lightning II, SOS mode, Club simulation, Color chase, Candlelight, Police car, Red and green flashing, and Blue and green flashing. These are fixed modes and its’ not capable of speeding up or slowing down the change, but you can control the brightness.
Recharging & Powerbank Functions
The PL-190R has a 5000mAh battery built inside. This is used to power the light but can also be used as a power bank. Impressively the light is capable of delivering upto 18W in powerbank mode, up to 12V or 3A appropriately. Unfortunately it doesn’t charge via a USB-C to C cable, so a A to C cable is required for modern devices.
Charge time via the USB-C input was just under 3 hours and it charged at 2A no problem.
The Jetbeam PL-190R is an interesting take on a photography fill light with the addition of color it becomes more capable as a video fill light as well. While not the only name in the game, it’s probably one of the better known flashlight companies doing this. There are other similar products from some other Chinese companies but none quite as bright or as many features.
For me I will probably use this as a photography fill light, for some supplemental lighting. If you don’t follow my instagram make sure you follow because this is where you will probably see this in use first. I will keep my original Jetbeam fill light as my video light since it’s smaller and I don’t need the color features for video work like this review.
If you are interested I will have a link below to where you can find it on Jetbeam’s website and for a few US retailers I can find.
Full Image Gallery https://imgur.com/a/wySE6Md
Purchase the Jetbeam PL-190R at BatteryJunction at https://www.batteryjunction.com/jetbeam-pl-190r-photography-light.html
See more information on Jetbeams website at http://www.jetbeamlight.com/products_show308.html