Powering video lights with energy banks

With video LED lights getting extra environment friendly and energy banks getting stronger, it’s now attainable 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 lots of area. There are some things you have to take note of, however in the long run, you’ll be able to carry a full set of lights and the ability they want in a small backpack.

The good thing about utilizing energy banks for video lights

Working a video mild off of energy banks is quick, cheaper than any different, and simple to arrange. This is the reason small LED panels have been working on batteries for years. However solely not too long ago, it turned attainable to run highly effective COB LED lights and not using a devoted V-mount battery or a brick linked to the wall.

If you happen to select the fitting mild, proper energy financial institution, and proper cable, you’ll have a tiny setup that wants no devoted batteries and might slot in a small case. USB banks weigh much less, are typically in a cushty pocket-friendly kind issue, and value lower than devoted video batteries like NPFs and V-mounts.

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

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

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

The actual fact is that USB-C is quickly turning into the usual to energy small gadgets. Actually, beginning in 2024, it can 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. Meaning 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 “huge league” video lights that help USB-C energy, considered one of them as much as 100W, which is a few severe energy contemplating the dimensions.

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 mild that you could energy with a USB financial institution. It has a singular phone-shaped kind issue with an uncovered fan, which makes it the smallest 100-watt mild in the marketplace at present. Relying on the package deal it runs between $249.00 to $399.00

The professional pack for the Molus X100 does include an connected battery, however it will probably additionally run utilizing a USB port.

Essential Options

  • Solely 100W COB led that helps USBC energy
  • BI-Shade adjustable coloration temperature
  • Small kind issue with a singular “flat” design.
  • Appropriate 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 greater than a soda can. One of many good options of this mild is that you could join a couple of of these lights collectively, creating a much bigger mild supply. (see this video for our CL60R connecting hacks).

for about $200, the CL60R is an RGB mild 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 a couple of of these lights round, you’ll be able to nonetheless management all of them out of your telephone, which can be a plus if you’re inserting the lights over a giant space.

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

Essential Options

  • 65 Watt mild
  • Full management app
  • RGB / Bi-color mild
  • In regards to the measurement of a soda can

Zhiyun Molus G60

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

Probably the greatest options of this mild is an adjustable leg that capabilities both as a lightweight stand swivel or as a solution to place the sunshine on the ground or on a tabletop.

Essential Options

  • 60 Watt mild
  • small cube-shaped kind issue
  • Adjustable leg mount
  • Appropriate with each zy and Bowens mount (through adapter)

Various kinds of energy banks

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

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

However this isn’t sufficient. There are every kind of profiles for energy supply. You wish to make it possible for the ability financial institution that you simply’re shopping for is ready to help the ability you want. PD begins as little as 15 Watts, so simply seeing “PD” just isn’t sufficient. For a 60-Watt mild, you’ll desire a battery able to 60 Watts (PD60), and for a 100W mild, 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 ability financial institution holds. (and utilizing the identical analogy, PD ranking 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 may have about 25,600mAh, which is identical as 100Wh. A 100Wh energy financial institution will energy a 100 watts mild for one hour. Equally, a 50Wh energy financial institution will energy a 100 watts mild for half an hour.

The TL;DR of it’s: Get a 100WH energy financial institution with 100 watts PD ranking. 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 probably 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 available in the market 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 an important 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 when you simply wish to get fast standing learn for a shoot. It additionally reveals the draw from every of the ports. This may occasionally turn out to be useful to steadiness brightness and time.

Essential Options

  • As much as 140 Watts with PD3.1
  • Recharges in lower than one hour
  • Good 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 the best way 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 when you transfer right into a location the place you will have entry to energy, you’ll be able to prime the battery with out an interruption to your workflow.

Essential 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 this can be a sturdy unit that may energy a 100W mild for an hour or a 60W mild 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.

Essential 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

Upon getting a lightweight and an influence financial institution, you have to discover a solution to get them shut to at least one one other. If the sunshine goes on a stand, you then would wish to safe the ability financial institution to the stand as effectively.

In case your USB cable is lengthy sufficient, I like to recommend inserting the battery nearer to the underside of the stand. This offers you entry when you want a alternative battery but in addition 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 may be some type 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 at all times use a Ball Bungee for about half a dollar a pop. These aren’t 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 telephone holder. I’m fairly certain I might not undergo the difficulty of constructing a unit only for this, however I had one thing I cobbled collectively for a distinct venture. Or you may get a pre-made one for pretty cheap.

Utilizing the fitting cable between the ability financial institution and the sunshine

Similar to energy banks aren’t all the identical, cables aren’t made equally as effectively. The brand new energy necessities coming from delivering 100 watts name for thicker, extra environment friendly cables. And you could be stunned 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.

If you go and select your cable, make it possible for it’s rated for 100 watts and the PD3.0 protocol (or increased). 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 stated, there are many other cable makers on the market. Simply ensure you have the fitting ranking.


the best way to inform the capability of your energy financial institution

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

Which forms of energy banks are good for video lights

If you’re utilizing a high-power mild (60 watts and above), be sure 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 permit as much as two batteries of 100WH capability. That stated, it’s finest to examine along with your particular airline. One other factor to notice is that almost all airways require that you simply put the batteries in your cabin bag.


We’ve gone a great distance from enormous cumbersome lights and energy choices to tiny lights and far transportable energy. If you’re available in the market for a lightweight as much as 100 watts, I encourage you to ensure it helps powering through a USB port. It might imply sooner setup, much less bills, and fewer trunk area.