DIYP reviews the SmallRig RC220B LED Light – a small but mighty light

Tips & Techniques

So, it looks like SmallRig is here to stay as far as LED lights go, and the RC120 (reviewed here) family got some new double-the-power members – the RC220B and the  RC220D. (Those stand for bicolor and daylight).

From what I can tell, it seems that SmallRig refitted the RC120 body with a more powerful LED. And this is a good thing. If you have any bags, cases, or kits that you’ve built for the 120, the 220 would feel right at home for those.

Basic Features

The RC220B is a Bowens mount, bi-color, COB LED light. It has the same form factor as other COB lights, and if you have ever used an Aputure Light Storm or a Nanlite FS light, you would feel right at home.

Here are the features as noted on the SmallRig website:

  1. At a distance of 1 meter (3.3 ft.), the maximum illuminance of the bare light source is 10,100 lux. The illuminance level increases to an impressive 98,700 lux after attaching the hyper reflector.
  2. TLCI 96+, CRI 95+, ultra-high color rendering, truly restore the color of objects
  3. Supports manual light control and remote control with the SmallGoGo App. Intelligent light control offers color temperature adjustment and 9 light effects
  4. Dual power supply system, support AC adapter and 14.4V/26V V-mount battery
  5. The noise level of the ultra-quiet fan is only 30dB±2dB at 1 meter (3.3 ft.).
  6. When the temperature of the lamp body exceeds 60℃ (140°F), the active heat dissipation function is turned on.
  7. Standard Bowens mount: compatible with most light-control accessories
  8. Comes with a high-quality snowflake cloth portable storage bag

Compared to the SmallRig RC120B

As mentioned, the light is very similar to the RC120B. Actually, I could only spot three differences in the light: A blogger COB LED, a different marking on the body (220 vs. 120), and a significantly bigger power supply. Otherwise, the kits are identical down to the power cords and foam fittings in the case.

Now that we have both lights, we wanted to see how they par, so we measured both with a Sekinic C700 spectrometer. Here are the results:

  RC120B RC220B

CCT (@5,600K) 5468 5534

LUX (@1M) 40,200 62,600

CRI 97 97.6

CCi 0.2M 0.2G

Both lights weigh (almost) the same: 1,563g for the RC120 vs. 1,654g for the RC220. And even the bags are identical. Not even a mark of the name, just a nice bold red and back SmallRig logo.

This makes sense: you pay 27% more ($329.00 vs. $259.00), and you get about half a stop more. Easy.

So for all intents and purposes, you can look at our RC 120B video to see what we think about this light.

App Control

On our initial RC 120B review, the app was unavailable to us, but since then, SmallRig has made the app work worldwide, and we could have a look.

The SmallRig application does exactly what you expect from an LED control app. And it does so in an intuitive and minimalistic way.

As you would expect, it supports adding/removing lights, and grouping them together. This allows controlling the lights as individually or grouped together.  Once you click a light or a group, you get your standard set of controls: Brightness and Temperature.

You can also go into the effects mode and select between Paparazzi, Firework, Lightning, Fault Bulb, TV, Breath, Flash, Party, and Flame effects. And within each effect, you can control its brightness, temperature, and frequency. If you like the physical controls on the light, you’ll find the app very easy to use.

We did get a few stability issues and needed to reset the app every once in a while, but I expect SmallRig to improve the app with time and iron out the bugs.

Should you upgrade from the RC120B/120D

Considering that the RC120 series is only two months old, I think it safe to assume that if you bought the light, you are probably happy with the light output. That said if you are getting a new light, getting 150% of the power for an extra $70 is a no-brainer.

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