Lighting Your B-roll on a budget
NovoStella are one of those brands I love to stalk they specialise in smart LED lighting, and they offer a range of light bulbs, flood lights and strip lights. But they are more than just your average light brand as their products celebrate the world of connectivity. So if you love controlling devices from your phone or voice command devices this is a company to checkout.
The Novostella 12 meter LED strip lights is a product I just had to get for the studio. I have bought quite a few LED Strip lights for work and after recently fitting a set of these at home I had the idea to use these for some of the product B-roll here in the studio.
There are a range of size options. I bought the 12 meter as it was on offer for just £30 and its actually more than enough for the job I have in mind. BUT you can also get it in 16 and 32 meters.
It is a Amazon Choice product with 700 reviews and a four and a half star rating available at your door next day with ease.
In the box you get two RGB LED light strips which connect together to create the full length of lighting, there is also a 24volt Power adaptor, A RF remote controller, an LED signal receiver and 12 mounting brackets to tidy the cable.
The LEDs offer 20 different colours, at full brightness they will easily light a room when placed around the ceiling or you can dim them down to make a subtle ambience.
The light strips have a sticky adhesive backing which is perfect for mounting to the ceiling or shelving. Be warned though, place the lights right first time – or you will be reducing the effectiveness of the adhesive – or worse still pulling off the paint.
It is a simple DIY install with a mains plug and no fiddling with wiring. One word of caution is to make sure you only expose a foot of the adhesive sticker at a time just to make sure you preserve the quality of the applicator as you position it.
There are a few things I really like about the Nova Stella strip light.
It is a RF Controller not Infrared so you can press in any direction without having to point the remote directly. You get a good amount of light depending on where you fit the strip you can expect a maximum light footprint of 120 degrees.
One of the reasons LED Strip Lights have been so popular is they are incredibly easy to install this is no different. You get a reassuring quality feel from the weight of the plug through to the feel of the wiring. It makes you feel safe leaving this set up powered on. Not like your fridge when you go on holiday.
Everything you need is in the box, there is no upsell here from Novastella. The LED strip is a good quality which does mean it is harder than the cheap lights to bend 90 degrees for corners, however a small kink in the bend does not compromise the wiring or the lighting effect.
There are some issues with this unit that make it less than perfect
Firstly You can find cheaper units on the market. Also it is not a wifi unit so you cannot use this one with your favourite voice command units such as Alexa or Google home. Beyond that The LED Light strip is not waterproof so if you wanted it for outside, Thats a no go.
Finally… These lights when used for a backdrop are in danger of making you TIK TOK Famous!!
As I mentioned there are cheaper units on the market, I didn’t go for the cheapest. For me the sweet spot is never the cheapest. I wanted a decent RF remote and not infrared, I didn’t want that childhood frustration, where you find yourself having to point the remote directly at the TV!
Also I want to be able to leave it on for hours and I’ve not had great experiences with the very cheap plugs and light strips getting hot. With this unit you don’t get that.
It offers great ambient lighting which can transform a room and best of all it is cheap to buy and super cheap to run!
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