Need A Great Video Studio Light? Check Out The YU Series Before Making A Decision!

Today we have our hands on the YU200R LED RGB panel and the YU300R LED RGB by GVM. Now these new LED RGB panels really bring GVM’s game to a whole new level, with impressive built quality and power, in app remote control and portability. So whether you are shooting video or photo, in the studio or outdoors, these lights will make a great addition to the equipment of anyone looking for a versatile, powerful and portable lighting option! As a matter of fact they are so good I am using them to shoot this A-roll! Let’s dive in!

Case, Built Quality and Connectivity

Before we get to the lights it is worth mentioning that both of them come with heavy duty protective cases which is really nice! The inside of the protective case is laser cut and everything fits snuggly in it. In it you’ll find the LED panel of course, the power cord, a V-mount battery to XLR-2p plug adapter as well as a dmx cable. This case is a neat addition and will make carrying your case to the shoot a breeze. Now let’s talk about the build! These lights feel and are indeed very solid!   The top and bottom edges and the back of the nuit are made of an aluminum alloy that protects the internal components and helps with heat dissipation.  The rest of the unit is covered in Techno Polymer Plastic, a high-density plastic that protects the internal components. This makes the light feel sturdy and solid which is something you’d want and expect for a light at this price range. The top handle is also super handy for carrying the light on set and mounting it. In terms of power and connectivity, you’ll find at the back of both units a power cord connector for AC power , a 24-33 volt XLR-2p port for powering the unit in the field with a V-mount battery or using a DC power chord, and 16 bit compatible DMX in and out ports for remote control of the panel.  

Tech specs

The YU200 and the YU300 are very similar in the way they look and work but there are a few key differences. First the size. The YU200 is 14.37 inches wide, 11 inches tall and 6 inches deep whereas the YU300 is bigger at 17.52 inches wide, 11 inches tall and 6 inches deep. They also differ in weight with the YU200 at 19 pounds and the YU300 at 22 pounds. Another key difference between the YU200 and the YU300 are the lux output and the wattage. The YU200 is a 200watts light and can output 21000lux at 0.5 meter and 5700 lux at 1m and the YU300 is a 300 watts light and can output 30000lux at 0.5m and 7600 at 1 m. And to show you how powerful these lights are, let me show you our studio environment : we are shooting in total black out and the lights are only powered at 50%.  

The control panel

At the back of both units you will find a digital display showing a variety of information ranging from the mode the panel is operating in to the brightness, hue or color temperature and the different menu options. You’ll also find four buttons: a mode switch, a menu button, there was a mix up at the factory it’s labeled mune but you get the idea, a back button that lets you go back to the last window you were configuring and an on and off switch. Lastly there are three knobs that have multiple functions depending on the mode that is in use. The first one acts as a selector but also lets you dim or brighten the intensity of the light or the intensity of the red channel in RGB mode. The second knob sets the color temperature in CCT mode, the huye and the green channel’s intensity. The third knob is used to set the saturation,and the blue channel’s intensity.

 

Now that we looked at the difference, let’s look at the features both YU200 and YU300 share.  

Light modes

The YU200R and YU300R both offer seven selectable light modes. The CCT mode is a white light mode that lets you adjust the brightness from 0 to 100% and the color temperature from 2700 to 7500k to match any lighting situations such as the warm shades of a sunset or the blue tones of a dark sky. Both lights also have four dimming curves that can be selected to meet technical requirements of studio devices such as News and entertainment production sets. And the green and magenta correction function in CCT mode lets you fine tune the lights balance to match other HMI, LED or fluorescent lights and to provide an accurate color balance for different camera sensors.  

HSI stands for Hue, saturation and intensity and that’s exactly what the HIS mode does. Just pick a color of your choice and adjust the brightness and saturation at the touch of a know. Perfect for quick creative looks! You can achieve 36 million colors with HIS. Pretty neat!

The classic RGB mode will let you dial in a precise hue using the red, green and blue channel. Perfect if you know the RGB values of the color you want to use and enter them quickly.

Another lighting mode is the Gel Mode. The YU200r and the YU300R let you choose between ROSCO and LEE color paper and each type of color paper has 30 colors available, letting you choose from 60 color paper options that are industry standard for television and film production.

Light Matching Mode allows you to easily match other light sources you may need on set. You have 12 different presets to choose from, from tungsten to HMI5600 and daylight or sunset. Using this light mode, you will be able to quickly and easily match ambient lighting.

The two last light modes are effect light mode and you’ll be able to choose from 12 different effects.  White effects like for example thunder, paparazzi, explosion or TV screen and 4 color effects including cop car, hue cycle, party and disco.

The app offers a last mode not available straight from the panel and that is the Rhythm light mode. In live mode you can either use your phone’s mic to let the app listen to the ambient music and make the app follow the rhythm or you can import an audio file in the app to use it as an audio source. Pretty neat for music video shoots.  

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App Bluetooth remote control and DMX remote control

Ok so a great performing light is cool, but a great performing light you can control from your phone via Bluetooth is way way cooler! And you can do just that using the GVM LED app. Head to the google play store or the app store, download the app, register an account and you are good to go. In app you can select any of the light modes we reviewed earlier, set the dimmer curve, set the color temp and choose your brightness. You can also group several lights together and have them work together or control different lights independently. It’s comprehensive and works flawlessly. And for news studios or film production that require a standardized remote control method the  YU200R and YU300R can also be control using the built-in industry standard DMX-512 interface. The units are equipped with two XLR-3 pins DMX ports allowing it to be connected to a DMX lighting console and providing DMX control with 8 and 16 bits precision.  

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Dual fan, cooling system and fan noise

Let’s talk about the F-word : fan noise! And by extension about the cooling system of the YU200R and YU300R. There is nothing more frustrating than a noisy fan when you are trying to record an interview or a news broadcast.  I’m not going to bore you with hyper technical details but as a rule of thumb here is how things work: the colder the environment and the components are, the better and more stable the light output is. And LED lights generate a lot of heat! GVM answers this problem with a dual fan system and a design of multiple dissipation metal sheets and heat inductions copper tubes. Two fans You tell me! Should that make more noise? Well actually two fans allow them to spin slower while sending more heat out the light. And the dissipation metal sheets and heat conduction copper tubes maximize the heat transfer to the outside. That’s all very nice but how does this all sound? Well let me show you! Ah the sweet sound of silence. And thanks to all this onboard technologies the YU300R and YU200R can be maintained at a reasonable temperature for a long time.  

So that pretty much covers it for the YU200R and the YUU300R RGB LED panels by GVM. I’m really impressed by the overall combination of built quality, power and versatility of both panels and I’m really looking forward to using them in future productions. So what kind of prosecutions would you use these lights for if you had them in your arsenal?

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