Aputure’s Amaran 100x is a video and photography COB LED lamp that delivers 2470 lux at 2700K and 3400 lux at 6500K and a 1m distance without the Hyper Reflector and has a colour temperature range of 2700-6500K. It’s the colour temperature customisable sibling of the Amaran 100d with the same form factor and the same affordable price. I tested the lamp under several circumstances.
I first tested the Amaran 100x’s colour temperature going through the luminance settings from 10% to 100% in 20% increments. What I found was a relatively accurate COB LED light at 2700K with a variation across the luminous levels of about 5%. This percentage also varied across colour temperature. For example, at 6500K, the light has a colour temperature that is 15% warmer than advertised. Still, for a light that allows for fully variable colour temperature settings, these figures are not bad at all.
Furthermore, the 100x has a CRI and TLCI of 95+, a cQS of 92, an SSI (Tungsten) of 86 and an SSI (D56) of 74. The lower SSI (D56) figure shows that the light has considerable peaks and troughs throughout its spectrum, while the SSI (Tungsten) value represents a good colour rendering. Note, however, that SSI values always relate to a particular type of camera and that your camera may deliver better or worse colour rendering with the same light source.
Finally, the Amaran 100x has a CQS of 92. CQS (Color Quality Scale) is a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reproduce colours of illuminated objects — a colour rendering index. It’s been developed around 2010 by researchers at NIST to overcome some of the issues inherent in the widely used CIE Ra.
Like the CRI, the CQS is a test samples method that compares the appearance of a set of reflective samples when illuminated by the test lamp to their appearance under a reference illuminant. The CQS uses a larger set of high chroma samples and combines the colour differences with a root-mean-square. In contrast with the CRI, CQS does not penalise light sources that cause increases in the chroma of object colours, but does penalise sources with smaller rendered colour gamut areas (Source: https://www.nist.gov/publications/color-quality-scale).
The CQS value of the 100x is nothing to sneeze at; the CQS of the Aputure LS600D Pro is higher than 94 only.
With the Hyper Reflector, the output of the lamp dramatically increases as is the case with the 100d. The two lamps are therefore more or less the same, with the 100d the more powerful one, but the 100x the most flexible one. In practical terms, the 100x has many advantages. As with the 100d, you don’t hear its built-in fan not even after prolonged periods of time running the light at full output.
The other specs of the Amaran 100x are identical to those of the 100d, i.e. power options, accessories, etc.
The Amaran 100x is a LED fixture that is powerful enough to be used in average sized rooms with a ceiling no higher than 3m. As its sibling, the 100d it has a nicely strong output with the Hyper Reflector installed. If you have two of those, you have yourself a nice setup for semi-professional videography, film making and photography that doesn’t break the bank.
Both the 100d and 100x come with a Bowens mount and Aputure has a nice set of accessories specially tuned for these fixtures that also won’t break the bank.
Retail price of the Amaran 100x is around 300 EUR. (249 USD)