If you are like me, you're always on the lookout for new and exciting products. Those products don’t always have to be big ticket items, but they still bring something to the table.
These are products that I want to put into my workflow or daily environment to meet some basic criteria. A few of the questions I like to ask include: Is the product relatively easy to set up and use? Is the product going to make me more efficient? Will the product function as advertised? Do I think that the product is a good value and will be worth the investment?
The Brightline ZELo Desktop Studio Light answers those questions pretty well. The Brightline ZELo Desktop Studio Light was very easy to set up. Unpacking it was a breeze and the assembly process included attaching the light to the heavy and stable base with five set screws.
I do wish that the base was more at an offset, because the base was big depending on the size of your workspace. My workspace is pretty small but overall not a dealbreaker for a regular sized desk. Next I plugged the ZELo in and that was it for the physical set up.
As far as the base and light is concerned, I would pick a spot on your desk or tabletop that you are comfortable with. This took me a few tries as I wanted to maximize the number of tasks I could do with the ZELo because I didn’t want to keep moving it around a lot. After I set it up, it was time to move on to the next step in the process.
I downloaded the control functions on my phone. The controls were easy to navigate and I had no problem changing settings to match up with things like ambient daylight. I just used the manual settings, since that is what I am more used to.
Putting the Brighline ZELo to the Test
The ZELo was very easy to assemble and set up on my workspace. Of course with any product, the next challenge would be to see if the ZELo was actually more efficient. I can say after a few weeks of using the ZELO as usually the only light source for everything on my desktop, the answer is a solid yes. After my initial run throughs, I found I really didn’t need to add any additional lighting unless I was doing table top and wanted to add some extra pop or sparkle to the product. I made it hard on purpose, lighting some smaller objects and a few items which would provide some challenge.
The second part of my ZELo challenge was to make my appearance on a ZOOM or Team Meetings not look quite so bad. This is because as much as I like working with cameras, I don’t really care to be on camera. Working with the settings, I found that I was more than able to “dial in” the desired look. Check out these specifications and product features:
- Variable Color Temperature (2700 to 6500 degrees)
- Build and Store Presets
- Built In Timing Function
- Voice Activated Controls (through Alexa and Google Assistant)
- Manual Controls on the Unit
- Telescopic Arm Clears most laptop heights
Answering the Brightline ZELo Questions
Earlier I listed a set of criteria that I look at when evaluating products and to some extent, services as well. The first answer is an easy one. The Brightline ZELo Desktop Studio Light was easy to set up and operate hands down. I did like the manual slider controls on the front of the unit. Check that off the list!
The second criteria was all about efficiency. Again, the Brightline ZELo answered with high marks. Once I set it up, the ZELo increased my efficiency by allowing me to not have to reset my workspace every time I wanted to do something. I was able to transition from shooting small table top items to lighting myself for Zooms by merely pivoting the light. Saving time was what made the process most efficient.
Next, the Brightline ZELo performed as advertised. It provided a flattering light source that improved how my image looked. I felt as though I could make a better overall first good impression with this product. Also, based on my test shots, the Brightline ZELo not only do a nice job of lighting, but brought a nice look to my subjects.
So is the Brightline ZELo Desktop Studio Light worth it? I think for most professionals that want to look better or that need to do more than one thing with limits on time, space, and budget, the answer would be yes. Is it the end all be all of the lighting world? No, but is one option in an ever expanding desktop lighting space.
The Bottom Line
You need to think about what you are trying to do with looking good and getting things done, then you should look into the Brightline ZELo.
As I said, normally I like to spend a lot more time lighting, but if I was showing a prototype or just some products shots this would be just fine. Broadcasting? I am going to a studio and doing a more traditional lighting set up.
About Mark Foley
Mark J. Foley, MBA BA is an award-winning producer and director and the Technology Editor for ProductionHUB.com. He is on a mission to provide the best in new equipment reviews, along with exclusive analysis and interviews with the best, the brightest and most creative minds in the entertainment and production business. Have a suggestion for a review? Email Mark at email@example.com.