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  • Stephen Knight

Flashlight Review: Ulanzi LM07

Updated: Apr 4

There have been some interesting developments in portable continuous lighting products for photography and videography in the last few years - notably more powerful LED panel lights and more portable COB video lights. One unexpected product release was the Ulanzi LM07, a bi-color, zoomable, high CRI flashlight, with three different CCT options of 2000K very warm white, 5500k neutral white, and 8000k very cool white. Let's take a closer look!


Disclaimer


My request for a review sample was declined, so I bought one myself. The things I do for my readers. The below product link is an affiliate link.


Ulanzi LM07 Photography Flashlight
Ulanzi LM07 Photography Flashlight

Design and Construction


The Ulanzi LM07 is a compact zoomable flashlight designed for photography and videography. At the time of the writing, the price was in the budget flashlight category at just US$23

The specifications are:

  • Material: Aluminum Alloy.

  • Weight: 174g (without diffusion dome).

  • Dimensions: 32mm x 128.2mm (without diffusion dome).

  • CRI: > 90.

  • Power (Max): 5W.

  • Battery Capacity: 2000mAh.

  • Charging Port: Type-C (5V/1A).

  • Charging Time: 150 minutes.

  • Diffusion Dome: 46.6 x 40.16mm, 14g ± 2g.


The light arrived in a branded package, with the light itself, diffuser, lanyard, USB-A to USB-C cable, and instructions. The battery capacity is 2000mAh, which is rather dissapointing for a flashlight of this size. I would expect at the miminim, 3000mAh in a an 18650 class light. The battery is not removeable, which is unusual for a flashlight. To prolong the battery life, users should avoid having the battery fully charged or empty for long periods of time. The battery is charged via the USB-C port on the base of the light. Charging time was approximately 150 minutes, which is OK.


The LM07 is claimed to be waterproof, but no IP rating has been stated. There is a USB-C port silicone cover, and it was tested to be splashproof. I would be reluctant to tail stand this light in shallow water, which is a requirement for my urbex photos.


The LM07 includes a 1/4"-20 thread for directly mounting to a tripod - this is a fantastic addition. A diffuser is included, more about that later in the review.


Can the LM07 be used for light painting photography? With 3 CCTs, and a soft edge zoom beam, it is potentially useful for the nearfield illumination side of light painting photography. For creating light trails, it is compatible with Light Painting Brushes and Light Painting Paradise connectors. However the loose zoom mechinism, backlit switches/buttons, and sub-optimal user interface means that the light isn't a great choice for creating light trails.


Ulanzi LM07 Packaging
Ulanzi LM07 Packaging

Ulanzi LM07 Accessories
Ulanzi LM07 Accessories

The Ulanzi LM07 is a zoomable flashlight.
The Ulanzi LM07 is a zoomable flashlight.

Ulanzi LM07 USB port, lanyard holes, and tripod thread.
Ulanzi LM07 USB port, lanyard holes, and tripod thread.

User Interface


The Ulanzi LM07 has a rather "RGB Critter like" set of 3 illuminated side switches/buttons. These are labelled for brightness, correlated colour temperature (CCT), and on/off. The user interface (UI) is as follows:

  • On/off switch - hold for on/off, single click to toggle between constant on, and strobe. Last mode memory for both constant and strobe.

  • Kelvin switch - single click to cycle 8000K > 5500K > 2000K > .

  • Brightness switch - single click to cycle 25% > 50% > 75% > . Hold (from on) to access 100% mode. Last mode memory.

  • The switch backlight is only on when the light is on. The colour of switch backlight changes depending on battery power, and charging status.

Whilst the UI is fairly easy to learn, there are a few things I don't like:

  • I would prefer single click for on/off (as per 95% of flashlights).

  • 100% mode should be in the main mode cycle.

  • The lowest 25% mode is too bright for use with astro-photography or low level landscape lighting.

  • There is no momentary functionality.

  • The user interface could have been designed to use one switch (like the Convoy S21F).

  • The switch/button backlight cannot be turned off when the light is on to hide the light (e.g. when light painting).

  • The switch/buttons are flush with the surface, and very difficult to find in the dark.



The Ulanzi LM07 has three side switches.
The Ulanzi LM07 has three backlit side switches/buttons.

Beam, Output, and Runtime


The Ulanzi LM07 is unique in that it has three seperate LEDs, with very warm white 2000K, neutral/daylight white 5500K, and very cool white 8000K. These are placed in a triangular pattern beneath an aspheric zoom lens. The zoom range is between 30 degrees and 70 degrees, and the beam is hard edged. Due to the offset nature of the LEDs and aspheric lens, the beam is not flat/even. There is a warmer CCT and more green tint as you get closer to the edge of the beam. Zoom lights allow for more fine control of the beam than conventional flashlights. However, they do have many compromises compared to fixed lens flashlights, notably inferior heat handling, inferior waterproofing, and loss of lumens within the optics when zoomed.


The Ulanzi LM07 has three LEDs with different CCTs.
The Ulanzi LM07 has three LEDs with different CCTs.


The Ulanzi LM07 has three CCTs - 2000K, 5500K, and 8000K.



Ulanzi LM07 beam shots at 5500K - Flood, Zoom, Flood (profile), Zoom (profile).


It is great that Ulanzi included a diffuser. Unfortunately the supplied diffuser is rather unusual. There is an uneven spread of light, with considerable CCT shift between forward and rear projected light. The Kaidomain D37 diffuser is a much better compatible diffuser, which produces smooth omnidirectional light like a light bulb.


Ulanzi LM07 diffuser (left), Kaidomain D37 diffuser (right).


Whilst it is great to see a flashlight with multiple CCT options, I would prefer finely adjustable CTT (as per LED panel lights), or more CCT steps, as 2000K and 8000K are pretty extreme CCTs. Having no 3200K tungsten option is a strange omission in a light aimed at phpotographers and videographers. 2000K, 32000K, and 5600K may have been better CCT options. Due to the offset nature of the LEDs, it is clear that finely adjustable CCT would result in poor CCT mixing, and another optical design would be required - maybe a small bi-color COB LED would be a better choice?


Runtime was tested at 5500K CCT:

  • 100% mode runtime was 57 minutes.

  • 75% mode runtime was a more respectable 102 minutes.

  • Brightness remained within 15% of the initial brightness on 100% mode. This is better than most flashlights which rapidly step-down in brightness.

When there are plenty of 18650 batteries available with >3000mAh, I can't understand why Ulanzi chose a 2000mAh battery?


CCT, colour rendering index (CRI), and tint (DUV) were tested with an Opple Light Meter Pro 3, at the flood end of the zoom, with the centre of the beam aimed at the light meter.

  • 2000K, 100% - CCT 1887K, CRI 100 Ra, Tint +0.0043 DUV.

  • 5500K 100% - CCT 6504K, CRI 99.5 Ra, Tint -0.0074 DUV.

  • 8000K 100% - CCT 11624K, CRI 96.5 Ra, Tint -0.0175 DUV.

  • 2000K 25% - CCT 1947K, CRI 100 Ra, Tint +0.0044 DUV.

  • 5500K 25% - CCT 6391K, CRI 99.8 Ra, Tint -0.0043 DUV.

  • 8000K 25% - CCT 12110K, CRI 96.4 Ra, Tint -0.0185 DUV.

The CRI is impressively high for a flashlight, and thus the light renders colours well when illuminating objects. At 5500K and 8000K, the CCT measures cooler than expected, and DUV lower than expected (more magenta). As you move towards the edge of the beam, the CTT is warmer, and the DUV more +ve (more green).


Finally, the tests you really want to know, how bright is this light? I tested both illuminance and lumens, with comparisons against other pocketable photography lights. Illuminance is the preferred photometric for comparing lights for photography and videography, as it measures the brightness of an illuminated object at a specified distance.


Illuminance:

  • Ulanzi LM07 2000K, 100%, zoomed - 1661 lux/1m.

  • Ulanzi LM07 5500K 100% zoomed - 2462 lux/1m.

  • Ulanzi LM07 8000K 100% zoomed - 1908 lux/1m.

  • Ulanzi LM07 2000K, 100%, flood - 316 lux/1m.

  • Ulanzi LM07 5500K 100% flood - 431 lux/1m.

  • Ulanzi LM07 8000K 100% flood - 378 lux/1m.

  • Ulanzi LM07 2000K, 100%, diffuser - 44 lux/1m.

  • Ulanzi LM07 5500K 100% diffuser - 59 lux/1m.

  • Ulanzi LM07 8000K 100% diffuser - 67 lux/1m.

  • Aputure MC Pro 5600K 100% - 535 lux/1m.

  • Zhiyun M40 Panel 5600K 50% - 1148 lux/1m.

  • Weeylite RB9 5600K 100% - 319 lux/1m.

  • Convoy S21F 5700k 3/4 mode @10mins - 1109 lux/1m.

  • FireflyLite NOV-MU V2.0 4500K 5/7 mode @10mins - 490 lux/1m.

My illuminance measurements may overestimate by approximately 25%. All of these lights have been tested with the same equipment. At full flood, the Ulanzi LM07's illuminance is reasonably comparable to typical pocket LED panel lights such as the Weeylite RB09. It is thus useable as a fill light, though could be used as a key light at high ISOs. It is outclassed by the Aputure MC Pro, and Zhiyun M40 panels. It is also outclassed by the bi-color Convoy S21F flashlight which has a diffuse 60 degree beam. At full zoom, the illuminance is increased by approx. x5, and this light could be useable as a spotlight, but will only illuminate a model head to toe at >6m.


Lumens:

  • Ulanzi LM07 5500K 100% zoomed - 196 lumens.

  • Ulanzi LM07 5500K 100% flood - 345 lumens.

  • Convoy S21F 5700k 3/4 mode @10mins - 637 lumens.

  • FireflyLite NOV-MU V2.0 4500K 5/7 mode @10mins - 980 lumens.

As lumens measure total luminous flux, and don't take into account beam profile, then it isn't generally a useful measurement for photography purposes. The LM07's sustained lumens are far less than class leading flashlights in this size class such as the Acebeam E70 and Convoy S21D/F, but this isn't surprising as the LM07 is a zoom light, which have thermal design limitations. The light runs hot on 100% mode, but within safe levels.


Left - Flood 5500K. Right - Diffuser 2000K. Both f/8, 1sec, ISO400.


Conclusion


Positives:

  • Low cost.

  • Unique product - high CRI zoom lights, and budget flashlights with 2000K CCT are a rarity.

  • Maximum brightness is sustained for most of runtime.

  • Useable brightness as a fill light, and key light at high ISOs.

  • Integrated tripod thread.

  • Weatherproof.


Negatives:

  • CCT and tint shift between centre and edge of beam.

  • 2000K, 3200K, and 5600K would be more useful CCT steps.

  • Lower illuminance than class leading pocket LED panel lights and flashlights.

  • Battery capacity and runtimes could be improved.

  • User interface could be improved.

  • Switch/button backlights cannot be turned off when in use.

  • Switch/buttons are difficult to find in the dark.

  • Included diffuser could be improved.


Ulanzi need to be given credit for developing a innovative and unique product - a compact photography flashlight with zoom, adjustable CCT (including the lovely warm 2000K), high CRI, tripod thread, and diffuser, all for just US$23. This light has potential for niche use cases including use as a portable portrait and wedding photography spotlight, nearfield light painting illumination, and a warm ambient light. For most "on the fly" photography and video light use cases, I would still recommend a RGBWW LED panel light as they are far more versatile.


There are a lot of things that if improved would make the light more compelling, such as higher capacity battery/longer runtimes, improved CCT steps, user interface, and diffuser. There is a lot of potential in flashlight format photography lights, especially if used with bi-color or RGBWW COB LEDs.




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