We’ve been busy working on our new YouTube studio space recently, so I do apologise that this episode is a bit simple. We were at IKEA the other day looking for furniture and I spotted this: they call it the Jansjo. It’s a USB powered LED light on a gooseneck and it’s only £2! So I thought I would see just how many ways we can use this for filmmaking.
These types of lights are meant for lighting up a laptop keyboard if you are typing away at night. Can we class this as filmmaking? Writing, maybe? There’s use number one!
The Power Junkie is a battery solution we use for powering the Sony a7s because the standard battery only lasts 40 minutes at best. The Power Junkie converts your battery into an NPF solution, giving you more battery life for a longer shoot.
We did a review of the Power Junkie here if you want to know more!
The Power Junkie includes USB ports as well, which means you can plug in the Jansjo light at the same time the NPF battery is powering the camera, and use it to light up hard to find microphone and headphone ports as well as rigging up a follow focus when you are working in the dark. It saves another person having to hold a light or ✔ jamming one in your mouth.
USB POWER BANK
If you don’t have a power junkie, you can always use something like a USB power bank and secure it to your camera, preferably onto a cage. It will do a similar job in terms of instant plug-in power for a work light.
But is it useful as an actual production light?
It’s a bit of a ridiculously test, but we thought we may as well try to see if you can use this as any sort of key light on a subject.
The Jansjo light is 10 lumens at 0.3 watts so it’s not very bright.
But we tested it in a very dark room and it didn’t do too bad! Obviously we are shooting on the Sony a7s which is known for being a beasty low light camera, but the settings were certainly not out of the realm of shooting.
Surprisingly, it could work as a key.
Next, we tested to see if you could use this as a makeshift eye light when the subject’s eyes have no natural eye light. From these results, it didn’t work very well!
The Jansjo is only 10 lumens so it just doesn’t pump out enough light to catch an eye...at least, not from the length of the gooseneck.
We’ve had projects in the past when we just need a tiny little light source in the background to generate some bokeh balls. Really, just to give the background some life. With USB power like the Power Junkie, we were able to pop the light in the background and give it a bit more energy.
With some coloured gels, it's easy enough to change the colour of the background bokeh.
If you wanted to do something like this, it’s probably worth looking into the Jansjo light which comes with a clamp. It’s a lot brighter, and it much easier to rig up into a shot!
It could come in handy as a bomb defusal light or a bank heist pock picking light. Get imaginative!
BACK OF PC
What it’s actually perfect for is plugging into the back of your PC when you are swapping out ports and plugging things in. As it’s only £2, I would plug this into a spare USB socket and just leave it there.
The biggest let down of this light is the lack of on/off switch. I’d have it on a camera rig all the time if you could switch it off while keeping it plugged in. So while we carry on renovating the new Film Look studio, there’s some food for thought on a bargain product. Let us know how you’d use something like this for filmmaking, or if you think it’s an absolute waste of time!
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🎬 In case you missed it
Aputure Mini-20 Light Review - https://youtu.be/Pa58MhaeLlo
Power Junkie Review - https://youtu.be/UZZ-UA4r3js
How to Light an Exterior Night Scene - https://youtu.be/foEV4YGXqGU
Get the FILM LOOK with the Aputure 300d - https://youtu.be/FWThzBtyvsA
🎥 This episode's kit/gear/equipment:
🇺🇸 US links:
Ikea Jansjo USB Light - http://bit.ly/2YG2NRB
Amazon Ikea Jansjo USB Light - https://amzn.to/2YOw5hh
Blind Spot Power Junkie - https://amzn.to/2UdIVre
Sony a7s Dummy Battery - https://amzn.to/2UdwEmN
Canon 5D Dummy Battery - https://amzn.to/2HWI0oP
GH4/GH5 Dummy Battery - https://amzn.to/2uHQeZh
BMPCC4K Dummy Battery - https://amzn.to/2HWI0oP
15mm Rode Cheese Plate - https://amzn.to/2uPZQkt
🇬🇧 UK links:
Ikea Jansjo USB Light - http://bit.ly/2wf4JVe
Amazon Ikea Jansjo USB Light - https://amzn.to/2QjKQWi
Blind Spot Power Junkie - https://bit.ly/2G1uBti
Sony a7s Dummy Battery - https://bit.ly/2CTqwW4
Canon 5D Dummy Battery - https://bit.ly/2UfT0Ec
GH4/GH5 Dummy Battery - https://bit.ly/2UlX2uY
BMPCC4K Dummy Battery - https://bit.ly/2UfT0Ec
15mm Rode Cheese Plate - https://amzn.to/2CVEyqn
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