When you're making content, be it video or photography, you need good lighting - and Ulanzi are here to light up the room with the VL276 Panel RGB Fill Light.
**The VL276 Panel RGB Fill Light was reviewed using hardware provided and sent to us by Ulanzi , but in no way influenced the review.
The VL276 is quite large, at 200mm wide, 121mm tall and a nice modest profile of 14.7mm, but weighing just 503g it's not a hefty device.
The beauty of the VL276 being quite large, is the vast amount of light it produces - this thing can light up a room with ease, it's incredibly bright., and is is by far the most powerful panel light I've ever used, it's incredible.
The VL276 has a colour temperature output of 3200-5600k, which it does via three different output modes:
Warm light (3200K)
White warm light (4800K)
White light (5600K)
All three modes are powered by 276 high efficiency lamp beads - 180 warm white two-colour SMD and 96 high lumen, high CRI lamp beads.
Whilst the VL276 is indeed a light designed to assist in helping your shots look better, it's actually a pretty good looking device in itself. The front is taken up completely by the light panel, whilst the back is a nice brushed metal effect with an LCD screen - this screen shows what mode the VL276 is currently set to, as well as battery information, brightness, hue, saturation etc.
Looking from the back of the device, the right hand side has 4 interactive buttons/dials:
Function (a mini joystick control with a button click )
Using these to navigate around is pretty intuitive, with my only critique being that it can sometimes take a while to switch between colours - however, because the VL276 operates in a sort of colour fade effect, switching from dark blue through to light blue into green for example, you can actually find some real vibrant colours by accident, so whilst it may not be as fast as applying a physical colour filter over a diffuser, you actually have far more control over what colours are produced.
On the bottom of the device there is a full size USB and a USB-C port, with the latter being the charging port and the former allowing you to use the VL276 as a power bank - that's right, you can charge your phone with it!
It's a genuinely great addition, something I wouldn't think about normally, but it actually makes a great deal of sense - lot's of people are using their phones to take photos, it's a brilliant idea.
As the VL276 is an RGB fill light, there are some preset lighting groups you can choose from, that range from disco, romantic, flames, emergency services and more, and these are accessed by using the Mode button, then using the Function stick to navigate through them. If these aren't you're thing, then there is the RGB mode that allows you to use Hue and Saturation to select the perfect colour you need for your shoot.
Whilst it's difficult to portray in photos and videos just how good a light is, as you can see the light and colour the VL276 produces is fantastic. Colours are vibrant, whites can be both warm and bright, and it provides enough light to provide your shot with absolute control - but if you pair it with secondary lights, it's even better.
I'm no stranger to lighting - I have a three-point light setup that I use for all shoots, whether that's Lets Plays, reviews or tutorials - whatever I'm filming, that's the set up I typically use.
A three-point light setup is a method you can use when you want to light a subject so that is distinguished from a flat background, using a combination of a Key/Main Light, Fill Light and Back Light helping you to establish the camera to the subject axis.
The VL276 is a fantastic addition to this kind of setup, as it's many functions allow it to be used as either a Key, Fill or Back light with ease, and it's portability means it can be moved around to find that sweet spot you need.
Not filming but doing a shoot? The VL276 is perfect for that too. The multipurpose nature of the VL276 means you can put it in your bag with your camera, and you've got an incredibly powerful lighting setup ready to go.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't an all-in-one lighting studio, but it's capable of terrific things, and is a perfect addition to your setup, and genuinely deserves a place in your set-up.