|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.
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
|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