Customer Review

57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Starts smoking if used under studio conditions, April 1, 2012
I bought 4 of these as lights to take out on location (my studio is fitted out with 5 Alien Bees). Since these are small and cheap - I figured that I could keep them in my vehicle for some impromptu shoots.

I set up one of the NEEWER 300W Studio Photographic Strobe/Flash units to do some testing in the studio. I set it up with an umbrella - with the light aimed upwards at about a 45-degree angle (so that any heat from the modeling lamp would rise away from the light).
After just 2 hours - it started to smoke. I suspect that one of the capacitors overheated and melted.

Afterwards - I re-read the instructions which indicate that you can only use the flash a couple minutes at a time, followed by 5 minutes of non-use.
That certainly is not something that is very useful for a studio shooting situation.
I'm glad that I didn't spend too much on these, and since they are cheap, I am going to tear one apart to see if there is a way to mount some kind of cooling fan inside them (maybe that will allow use under normal studio conditions).

I shoot fashion - and expect lights to be able to fire reliably without becoming a fire danger.
Shame on me for not fully reading the instructions before using the light, but after doing photography for 25 years, I just expected the light to work.
I was really, really happy with it for about 2 hours.

I suppose for people doing light amounts of shooting (some shots of their family members or students who need lighting for doing assignments), these lights will probably work just fine. For my needs, they currently just don't cut it.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 20, 2012 10:15:23 AM PDT
Jeff says:
Hey James, Any luck installing cooling fans in these?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 4:18:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 25, 2012 4:22:15 PM PDT
For any readers wondering -- yes, 3 of the capacitors inside the unit showed heavy damage after my heavy round of shooting. That is where the smoke came from.

Unfortunately - the insides are jammed packed, and the rounded case makes it difficult to get a "seal" with an exterior mounted fan.
While I had the unit apart - I also discovered that the flash-tubes are permanently installed (soldered in place).
That means - once the flash tubes start to misfire (due to age), there is no way to put in another flash tube.

These will be great little units to keep in the car for "emergency use" (if I break one or more of my good lights) or for "impromptu shoots" (with today's high-ISO cameras, you don't need tons of light to get some really great sculpted looks). However, my hope that they would be a reliable light for on-location fashion work has been dashed. For most people - I am sure these lights will fit the bill and be a great piece of equipment at a great price. I am just too heavy of a shooter - and need fast recycle times.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2013 9:00:45 PM PST
vesha says:
Hey James, What would you recommend instead of the neewer strobes? Have you found anything you like better for a comparable price?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013 11:40:09 AM PST
I have been very happy with Paul C. Buff Alien Bees. They are pricier, but they recycle FAST, are durable, and don't set themselves on fire. :)

I have now had 2 of the NEWER 300s suffer a "melt-down" during photo shoots. Luckily my studio is made of concrete and nothing nearby was flammable. Scared the heck out of 2 of my female models who came in to do a glamour shoot. One of them shrieked "your thingie is smoking!" :)

I now use the NEWER 300s for quick shoots - where I'm only doing a couple dozen shots on location (when I don't want to tear apart my alien bees and haul them off on location).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 6:57:32 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 6:58:39 AM PST
Gods. Work says:
I bought 4 of neewer 300s and used them once in the studio. I bought them because I don't do that much studio shoots and are way cheaper than the alien bees. One day I took my four units to test them out since I was told if you store them away for a period of time is good to take them out and exercise the capacitors. Big mistake! I went to test them out and all worked just fine. All I did was turn off one of the units and it torched by itself. It was a mystery to me. It was connected to a surge supressor like the other units and all I did was turn it off and that was it. I then try to contact the seller but they only offer 30 days on ebay of warranty. Now I know why. Next time buy an additional warranty or look for alien bees.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2014 8:58:49 AM PST
Thank you James for stating that the flash tubes cannot be replaced. I just ordered one, and I will be sending it back! Appreciate you comments!
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