Review: Sirui B25R Bendable RGB Light
The Sirui Dragon Series Bendable RGB Panel Light B25R bends to shape the light, achieving lighting effects not possible with a flat panel. It features high-quality RGB, CCT, and HCI light. We had a look at some of what the B25R can do.
About the Sirui Dragon Series Bendable RGB Panel Light B25R
The bendable light is certainly unusual and caught my eye. That’s what inspired me to agree to do the review. I love unique designs. But would this be practical?
Link two or more bendable panels
The bendable light panel has a quick-release design at each end. This means that you can link several lights together to create a longer, brighter, and more bendable light source. Join two of these, and you can form them into a half-circle, fantastic for product photography. Join four and create a circle with all the light aiming inside.
- It’s fun to use
- It bends, it bends!
- High quality CCT and RGB lighting with high CRI
- Innovative design
- Easy to use
- Nice long AC adapter
- No backlit buttons
- Labels for the four buttons are written in dark blue instead of white
Sirui Dragon Series Bendable RGB Panel Light B25R — Technical specifications
All of the technical specifications for the Sirui Dragon Series Bendable RGB Panel Light B25R are from the official Sirui user’s manual on their website.
- Dimensions: 583 x 75 x32.3mm/22.95 x 2.95 x 1.27 inches
- Weight: 960g/2.12 lbs.
- Adapter: 9V 4A
- Power Consumption: Max 25W
- CCT: 2700K-8500K
- Special Effects: 16
- 100% Illuminance (LUX): 0.5m 2000 lux
- TLCI: 98
- CRI: 96
- Ambient Temperature Operation: -10C — 45C
- Control Method: app and light panel
- Wireless Operating Range (Bluetooth): 15 meters
Sirui Dragon Series Bendable RGB Panel Light B25R — Ergonomics and build quality
Bending the panel
The light panel is easy to bend and is relatively lightweight. You may use an app to control the light. However, even without the app, the panel is easy enough to figure out.
The light panel is easy to bend in either direction. It does not retain its fully-extended bend independently. Nor is it rubbery. I wouldn’t bend it super hard either, as I am not sure what might happen. It’s not that it seems fragile. It just does not feel like it was designed to be bent real hard.
Because of its ability to bend, the light excels at photographing small objects in the studio. Of course, it can also act as a fill light or otherwise be used for any other needs that you might typically do with an LED light panel.
How to access all those different kinds of lights
There are four small buttons (Mode, Function, Up, Down). These do not wiggle and feel fine. The LCD panel allows you to dial in white light at a temperature range from 2700K to 8500K. It also offers an RGB color range from zero to 360 degrees (saturation 0-100). It can also create colorful light in HSL mode as well.
The panel uses frosted plastic diffusers placed over each. of the nine segmented lights.
The fun really begins, especially if you are vlogging, with the 16 preset lighting effects. These can be set and changed with the controls on the back of the device or with the Sirui Light mobile app. This allows you to cycle through the RGB colors, which you can see in the video below.
You may also use other effects, such as SOS, pulsing, fire, broken light bulbs, welding, camera flash, police car lights, and more.
Sirui Dragon Series Bendable RGB Panel Light B25R — In the field
Because the panel has a lit LCD back panel, it’s relatively easy to adjust, even in the dark. However, you do have to memorize the functions of the buttons since they are not backlit. It’s not too difficult to figure out, of course, since there’s only four buttons, and you know that the left-most button selects the mode of light used, and the right two buttons navigate up and down.
Each of the bendable panels has three 1/4-inch threads for mounting, one at each end and one in the middle, offering, well, flexibility in mounting. I was able to mount it easily on an Oben CTT-1000 tripod.
I powered the light from their AC adapter. The light can also be run with an NP-F970 battery for portability. I did not have this battery and could not test its duration.
I feel that the B25R would be particularly useful if you linked two of them to form a half-circle. This would further unleash to ability to bend. With just one bendable panel, to obtain the full benefit of bending, you have to photograph very small objects. Regardless, I liked the ability to shape and curve the light to create “wraparound” light.
Because the light is rated for a TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) of 96 and a CRI of 98, the light holds detail. In the image, it gives you what you see in person. The frosted diffuser still creates a reasonably soft light. This is especially important since with product photography, you’re likely to place a bendable light source such as this very close to the object.
CRI stands for Color Rendering Index of how a light renders colors, with a perfect score being 100. Higher scores of above 90 hold detail and look richer and more vibrant. Lower scores can look increasingly washed out and lacking detail.
TLCI stands for Television Lighting Consistency Index. It is a color accuracy score with the highest score being 100. A range of about 85-100 does not require color correction in post when using a video camera.
I used the light for over an hour. Even when the brightness was maxed out, the light never got that hot.
Controlling the light through the app and LCD panel
The app was easy to install and use. However, I chose to change the light from the unit itself since I was working very near to the light anyway. The four buttons — Mode, Function, Up, Down — work fine. Many people will prefer using the app since the functionality is a bit more inspiring and user-friendly. I do wish the labels for the four buttons were written in white. Writing them in dark blue makes zero sense to me.
About the bend
For larger objects, having one panel that bends is of limited usefulness. You have to move the bendable panel close to a small subject to really gain any benefit from the shape of the bend. However, if you have several bendable panels linked together, the “wraparound” light and overall usefulness of the bending increases greatly.
Of course, the high quality of the light offers the ability to use the light for numerous other applications regardless. And having a rather tall panel offers numerous lighting abilities that a smaller shorter light may not be able to achieve. It’s still a good light for vlogging, key lighting, and general use.
Other features worth mentioning
The light offers GM adjustment to counteract color shift from green to magenta for greater color accuracy.
Sirui Dragon Series Bendable RGB Panel Light B25R — Fun
I usually don’t have a separate review section entitled “fun.” But it bears mentioning. From the time I took it out of the package, I found that it was fun to use. Bending the light for product photography was not only useful, it was fun.
So was creating YouTube videos while having the light panel cycle through RGB colors or other effects. I also began experimenting with shaping the light around objects in other ways too, as I felt creative when using the light. It was good for rim lighting as well as lighting from below.
We shouldn’t overlook a product that is fun to use and inspires creativity.
The package we reviewed comes with one LED light, an AC power adapter, and a warranty card. No battery was included.
I used a Pentax K-1 with a 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens for all photos.