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SIMA SL-20IR Review
The SL-20IR is a 36 infrared (IR) light emitting diode (LED) camcorder light which is used to illuminate dark areas so you can capture video on a camcorder. Infrared light is outside the spectrum which the human eye can see. So the light that the SL-20IR emits is invisible to you but not to your camcorder. The video footage that is captured is typically in a grayish green hue but anything in the scene that is emitting its own light, such as a colored light, will still be captured in it's normal color. Infrared lights are used by paranormal investigators to capture video footage of possible phenomena without diminishing their natural night vision (fully dilated pupil). Which would occur with the use of a conventional white light. The SL-20IR comes packaged with: 1 IR light, accessory bar, charger, and documentation. SIMA SL-20IR

The power source for the unit is a non-removable lithium ion battery pack contained within the enclosure. It's charged by plugging the charger into the back of the light and then plugging the other end of the charger into a wall outlet. A full charge takes approximately 3 hours and results in about 60 minutes of use. The light cannot be used while it's plugged in and charging. A green LED on the back of the unit indicates when it is fully charged. It has built in circuitry to prevent overcharging. The use of a non-removable lithium ion battery is one shortcoming on the SL-20IR given its long recharge time. Unlike some of the competitor's IR lights which use a removable battery pack that can be charged while a fresh battery is in use. During our tests the battery lost its charge very rapidly after about 45 minutes of use. It wasn't a gradual depletion but rather bright one minute then dark the next. After 60 minutes we could hardly see a hand directly in front of the camera lens.

The SL-20IR provides plenty of light with its 36 IR LEDS. The lighting performance surprised me by how well it lit up a large size room. During our tests we used a Sony DCR-HC26 MiniDV camcorder in Super NightShot mode. The SL-20IR brightly illuminated a large room with lightly colored walls. The beam distance was very bright up to ~5ft and began to dissipate to blackness after ~10ft. However, reflective objects further then 10ft helped with the illumination and were visible on the recorded footage as much as 20 feet away. The illumination is wide spread much like a flood light rather then a spot light. This greatly enhances the amount of visible area during playback and is a huge plus for this unit. SIMA SL-20IR
The package includes an accessory bar which attaches to the underside of a camcorder via the threaded tripod hole. This allows you to use the light with a camcorder that does not have a dedicated accessory shoe or when the camcorder's accessory shoe is being occupied by something else. The accessory bar is well made and very sturdy. I found myself using the accessory bar as a way to hold the camcorder during our test. The screw that mates with the tripod hole on the underside of the camcorder also has a threaded insert. This enables you to still mount the entire setup on a tripod even with the accessory bar attached.
The SL-20IR is a formidable competitor against other similarly priced IR camcorder lights. It includes all the necessary accessories right out of the box which are needed to start recording in darkness. The absence of a replaceable battery pack is a major shortcoming only further worsened by the inability to use the device while it's charging. But the impressive amount of IR light that this tiny package emits is well worth the price tag. It's recommended for short uses where allot of light is needed to make the footage useful. However, you will likely find yourself using it for about 40-50 minutes and then returning it to your equipment case in exchange for a light with replaceable batteries.
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