Rotolight AEOS 2 LED Review: A Colorful and Easy to Use Hybrid Light – PetaPixel
Rotolight, an award-winning LED lighting company based in the UK, has recently released the $1,399 AEOS 2, a circular LED that can be used as a constant video light as well as a strobe for still work and has zero recycle time. As an added bonus, the light features a series of built-in filters and gels that allow users to create nearly any look and mood imaginable and a mobile app for controlling and changing settings when the lights are in awkward and precarious positions.
According to the company, the AEOS 2 is a significant power upgrade from its predecessor that offers a versatile and lightweight lighting solution for both video and photo in the studio and on location with battery power. This version does continuous lighting for video and can also work as a strobe, with support for even high-speed sync with 16.7 million colors to play with.
Rotolight has said the UI for the menus has gotten a complete overhaul which makes it much more streamlined and easy to use (which I can confirm) including a full-color touch screen allowing users to make quick and easy adjustments instead of fiddling with the (still available) dials and buttons on the back of the light.
I think what impressed me the most when I laid eyes on the AEOS 2 for the first time was the insane amount of color (both hue and saturation levels), digital filters (2,500), special effects, and temperature options for creative lighting that it offers. This light even has a built-in fade option for brightening and reducing the light, a “lightning” mode, and a full strobe light effect complete with frequency and intensity adjustments. Honestly, it is probably faster to discuss the things the light cannot do.
While there are a lot of good LED lights on the market for photo and video at the “prosumer” level, there are only a few that are truly great, and the AEOS 2 is among that group. This system packs a plethora of advanced and professional features into an affordable and portable package.
As a note, the mobile app was not available for me to test and review during the time I had these lights, however, based on how easy and fast the menu was on the lights themselves, if the app works as advertised I can see it being a great addition to the workflow.
Design and Build Quality
The AEOS 2 LED has a solid and high-quality feel to its construction. At first blush, I got the impression it was something that I would see on a movie or TV set, and after using it for a while, I am doubling down on that. Within just a few seconds out of the box, I was able to navigate through the menus to find all the settings I wanted (and more) and was able to quickly find and adjust the color and brightness settings to get a good feel for the light. The touch screen is bright and responsive while the power and control buttons and knobs are durable and equally responsive.
The 3.1-pound (1.4kg) (or 4.4 pounds with the attached yoke) light itself feels quite durable. While I wouldn’t throw any piece of gear around carelessly, the AEOS 2 seems solid enough that it could withstand a few bumps and drops through its lifespan without ill effect. There is a set of aluminum “grab handles” on both sides of the rear of the light which make it easy …….