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on July 7, 2014
Hey guys,

Check out my video review! Hopefully you find it useful when purchasing this light. It's a great light for a great deal. You won't be disappointed. One note I'd like to make is that it is plastic (but still good quality plastic), so it's not indestructible. However, assuming you take good care of your camera, there's no reason that you can't take good care of the light as well. Definitely worth all 5 stars.
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on October 21, 2012
I had recently bought a NEEWER 160 LED light that I gave away, and found this light with the same number of LEDs at an even lower price. The price wasn't my concern, and I had hoped for a little better mounting bracket this time around.

The differences between these two lights is almost negligible, but I discovered that the Chromo light seems to put out the same brightness that the NEEWER light does. It has the same number of LEDs. Instead of having the dimmer on the side, it has it on the back. The button to check for battery life does the same job as the one on the NEEWER light, except that on the Chromo light the light has to be "on" first to test the battery. No problem. There are the same selection of colored gels like the NEEWER light, except that you don't get the plastic sleeve to put them in. Small issue. The light is a bit bulky, mostly because of its dual battery design / Sony or AA batteries. I would recommend not using AA batteries since you need six of them, and it makes the light much heavier and is more expensive to be using disposable AA's than one NP-550. Of course, if you wish to use rechargeable AAs that's another choice, but using just the one Sony battery is a lot easier in my opinion. The Chromo doesn't come with a battery, but NP-550's aren't expensive and neither are the chargers for them.

The mount for the Chromo, in my opinion, was a lot better than the NEEWER mount. The light itself has a threaded hole on the bottom, so you could screw in your own mount if you like -- something that the NEEWER light can't do since its mount uses four tiny screws into the light's frame. The hot shoe mount that comes with the Chromo light is much like others I've seen that come with other brands of LED camera lights. It is a screw-in swivel with a thumbscrew to set the angle you wish to hold the light. It's cheap, but seems to be effective -- a combination of metal and plastic parts -- not just plastic. Mine actually had some rust on the ball joint, something that I was able to easily scrape off and spray with some parts cleaner. These products from China remind me of the old days when we'd get the same type of quality from Japan. However, in general, I'm giving this light 4 stars since so far it seems like it will do the job and is a lot of light for the money. It's also less stressful on the job if this light breaks or gets dropped rather than having spent a lot of money on it like products from LightPanels, that make an obviously superior product but overcharge for what you're getting. We just did a shoot in the Mohave with the NEEWER light. It got rolled in the dust accidentally, but never stopped working and after a bit of cleanup, it still worked fine. These lights are great to use to fill in shadows even in daylight, but you have to get in close. At night, they are amazingly bright. Good also for lighting car interiors and for a quick emergency light when you have to get the shot. With the Chromo, you'll just have to find a place in your bag for the extra gels. Not a big deal.
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The light comes with three filters: a 3200 conversion filter, a diffuser and a pinkish filter. The diffuser doesn't really diffuse -- you can still see all the LEDs and they are annoying bright. I would not ask my talent to stare into one of these if it were on top of my camera. It needs more diffusion. I epoxied two small clips recycled from trade show badgeholder necklaces onto the sides of the light that can hold some diffusion material.

The pink filter is obviously an admission that the LEDs put out a greenish light. The pink/magenta filter brings the light back to neutral. The top-mounted slot holds only one filter at a time.

The lights are small and very light. The attached picture shows a three-unit kit inside of a 16" x 12-1/2" x 2-1/2" case that holds the filters, lights, batteries and improved BestDealUSA Multifunction Ball Head Umbrella/Flash Mount/Holder/Bracket L Stand so I can mount them on 5/8" stud light stands.

Lights dim easily and will be useful for accents, rim lighting or run-and-gun on-camera shooting.
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on September 26, 2014
2 star deduction 12/2014. No satisfactory lithium battery solution found, no response to questions addressed to seller. More info at end of review. Light is good otherwise, but AA batteries do not last long and rechargeable lithium the only viable solution.

First off, I have used all kinds of different lighting solutions. None to date have been perfect. The sun moves and changes, and incandescent and/or halogen bulbs get extremely hot. Flash systems are very complex and expensive requiring things like modeling lights, reflectors, umbrellas and so on.

Most people do not realize the importance of good lighting in photographs or video. The tiny little flash in the camera is almost useless as is the light on the cell phone. You almost have to have something like this or a bigger flash, and when I say flash, I am not talking about a 19$ hot shoe flash, I'm talking about something thats a few hundred dollars. Thats really what it takes to get professional looking photos. Obviously with video, a flash is worthless and a flash cannot stay on all the time because of the heat and battery drain.

Enter LED technology. Its been around for 50 years but only recently (past 10 or so) has it really evolved to a point that its practical and economical to use in flashlights and things such as this. Just now automakers are using LEDs for headlamps and other automotive purposes, the advantages are huge. #1 is very little heat, and #2 is high efficiency. You can use LEDs for hours and not begin to drain the battery where an incandescent bulb would drain it rapidly.

This unit is awesome. It has adjustable power (dimming), various screens of different colors, I presume to use for different lighting conditions, fluorescent etc, and also to diffuse the light so its not so harsh, and the shadows are less "black and white", not such a visible line between light and shadow.

You can use either a rechargeable camera battery or 6 AA batteries. I cannot report on how long they last but will update and adjust if necessary the review accordingly after I have used it. There is also a lighted scale to let you know the charge left in your batteries, you push a button and up to 4 leds light up (small red leds on back) to provide status on batteries.

There is a hot shoe adapter to use on a camera, and also a 1/4" hole in both hot shoe and bottom of the light for mounting on light stand or tripod.

I'm very excited about this and HOPE it lives up to the expectations I have for it. Sometimes these things are fantastic and other times they are a huge disappointment. The jury is out on this still. See the video for further information.

UPDATE 12/13/2014== I have TRIED all of the SONY lithium batteries that the seller recommends and they say "complete list coming soon" which has been there for a long time--what does ---what is coming soon ---mean? Anyway, NONE work right---the np550 works, but it doens't "snap in", and wouldn't last. I have tried to email the seller--or I did email the seller, but have received exactly ZERO answers. I just want to know what battery to use. The AA go fast and 6 at a crack is too expensive. HELP?
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on February 2, 2015
I needed a portable video light for my Canon 70D and choose the Chromo 160 LED CI-160. It's perfect for adding catchlights to eyes and reducing shadows on the face, especially in rooms with unflattering overhead lighting. Mount it on a Super Clamp or boom and it's an excellent hair light. The dimmer works well, allowing anything from gentle fill to a squint inducing blaze. There’s no video light flicker when the CI-160 is dialed down or dimmed. However, the CI-160 has strong greenish cast, so beware if mixing with other daylight balanced lights. I found using using the supplied magenta filter helped reduce the green cast considerably.

Direct LED lighting is harsh. After all, this is a tiny light source and compromises are expected in exchange for the portability of this unit. If I'm working close, I put the CI-160 on a stand and shine it through a white umbrella, tissue paper or bounce off a white panel for softer light.

This light is sold ala carte and doesn't include batteries or power brick. I recommend using Sony NP-F series battery clones: clones are inexpensive, readily available and power it for hours on a charge (DSTE 2x NP-F550 Li-ion Battery + DC01 Charger). I'm impressed with the multiple battery options but thus far have only used a STK NP-F550 clone. It yields nearly two hours of light at 100% power. It's a tight squeeze to install a NP-F550 and my finger often snags the AA battery springs. Also, battery pins are delicate so go easy on them.

The ABS case appears durable but will likely break if dropped on hard surfaces. The tripod socket on the bottom is big deal for me as it allows more flexibility than integral mounts, e.g., use of an arca quick release plate or the ability to mount directly on tripods or monopods. However, it is a metal socket set into plastic so treat it gently and don’t over tighten.

I own a similar light, the NEEWER CN-160. Initially I thought they were the same model but noticed minor differences: the Chromo is thinner, has an all-in-one battery compartment instead of plates, slide-in filters rather than clip-on, a tripod socket on the bottom and dimmer on the back rather than side. The Neewer is closer to 5600K and doesn’t have a green color cast. Instead, it’s slightly magenta. However, the smaller size of the CI-160 is preferable for hot shoe use and I really like the tripod socket.

For a Jackson and change, the Chromo 160 LED CI-160 is an excellent small video light. Be aware of the green cast and use a magenta filter or be prepared for extra work color correcting in post production.
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on December 23, 2017
I wanted to have a light I could attach to either my G7 or a small stand to focus light on my video subject, particularly when working inside of my PC case, and boy does this light do the job well. At its brightest setting, it's blinding to look at, but that's great when trying to shine light on a specific area. The dimmer works very well and it's nice to see a battery meter of sorts to let you know when it's time to change them.

The filters that come with it I could do without as they don't do much, particularly the clear one, but there is a hint of color with the orange and pink filters, just not a lot.
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on May 15, 2014
I would have given this LED light 5 stars but found the design for the Sony Lithium battery holder extremely poorly designed. It took me over 10 minutes of frustration before I had it correctly seated so that the light came on. It's also difficult to remove it, but not nearly as bad as trying to install it.

How can any competent engineer design something so poorly? There are two thin rods which slide into the Sony Lithium battery, but there is so little space in the compartment that this is difficult to do. Instead, the battery can easily bend the rods down, so that they cannot line up with the battery holes.

Unless my sample is defective, I don't see how others have not complained about this. I was very careful when inserting the battery, to be sure I was doing it right. Of course, as usual, there are no clear instructions (no instructions at all), for installing the battery. I have lots of cameras with lithium ion batteries with very similar shapes, and neither the cameras, nor the chargers, including 3rd party chargers have ever posed any problems or frustrations. The peculiar design of these Sony Lithiums is probably part of the cause, most other batteries have contacts at one end, these have two holes which must align properly so that the contact rods can slide into these holes, therefore the battery must move horizontally to mate properly.

I've only had the LED light for 2 days so I cannot say anything about the reliabiliy. It's important to keep in mind that the mounting post with the ball head is fairly sturdy, but it's important to note that you can unscrew it from the body of the light, which then reveals a standard 1/4 inch mounting hole which will allow mounting onto a tripod which will be really sturdy.

The light is very bright, so that lives up to all of the positive comments about this product.
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on May 19, 2016
Honestly an amazing light for its price. Excellent for videographers looking to get some extra depth in their videos or even for photographers to get a nice even spread of light. Seriously if you're thinking about buying it, go ahead and do it. 10/10
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on November 25, 2014
This works as promised. Video results are "good."It's (can be) bright as heck. I recommend this for the price and features / performance. At time of my purchase, price and specs / reviews pointed me to this. I am pleased with this purchase for my "amateur video" Nikon D-7000 setup. It does have a metal ball (versus plastic of some competitors' - like Neweer, as pointed out by previous reviewers -- maybe plastic is better? -see following), *but* the "floppy D-Ring" tightening mechanism is *still* inadequate and a poor design in my opinion. The threads on the D-Ring stud and ball housing appear to be too coarse to get an effective "lockup" simply by hand (at least my 60+yr-old hand), requiring pliers (no kidding) to effectively secure the mass of the unit (negligible) *and* 6 "AA" batteries (not so negligible) on an appx. 1/2" too-polished ball. In a word: floppy, if only hand-tightened. The batteries *do* stare out at you from back of unit (see pic). Good for heat dissipation. Time will tell if having to use, in essence, a "cheater bar" on the ball mechanism to secure the light will destroy, or be a part of this product's life. Luckily this light doesn't require frequent re-direction. I use rechargeable NiMH batteries, am loaded with Dollar-Store alkalines in photo just to see how long they last...
The color / temperature, brightness range are all within discernible, stated spec. ranges according to my post-processing. A GOOD light for the price !
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on December 25, 2015
I hope you like taking apart your electronics, because you will eventually have to disassemble this one to fix it. The on/off adjustment knob is secured with a screw. Over time this securing screw will come loose and the know will rotate freely, thus keeping you from turning the unit on or off. The fix is relatively easy, remove the back case screws and tighten the screw securing the knob. I've done it once will little issue, but when you disassemble the device you will realize it is rather fragile on the inside. I'm am on my second time having to do this, but this time around I will use some silicone or other glue to secure the secure the screw. May also use it to secure the other electronic components on the inside to ensure long lifespan.

Biggest only other complaint beyound the knob, is there is no way to secure the light filters. They slip out quite easily.
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