Slickforce Softlight

Ignore my messy backdrop… This is the Slickforce light standing at 8.25 inches, with only 1 center pole attached.

About a month and a half ago slickforce graciously sent me this mini soft light. And I finally have gotten the chance to try it out and review it. 

I’m always looking for new small scale lighting options, so I jumped at the chance to try out this light. 

All detached parts

This light, at full height, stands at 11.5 inches. When attached directly to the base, or using just 1 of the center poles, it can be adjusted to stand at 5.5 or 8.25 inches as well. However, the light cannot be tilted up or down, and is instead made for straight on even light diffusion rather than a more creative lighting technique. The face and diffusion does pop off if you need it to, and I imagine the LED light inside could be replaced.

The light works as expected. And because it takes batteries, rather than having to be plugged in, is very portable. 

There’s no denying that this is an adorable mini model of a full scale studio light. Coming from a photo background, and being obsessed with minis, this of course grabs my attention right away.

The slickforce (left) next to a standard table top studio light (right)

My main complaint is that it’s very top heavy. I’ll admit, all my small table top studio lights fall face down plenty, but this one, with its thin, lightweight, plastic pole and base can really hardly stand up on its own. I got around this by wedging the battery pack between the base sections or simply taping the light down. But I think a redesign with a heavier metal base would be well worth it. 

I usually shoot in a table top soft box meant for simple at home product photography. A nice thing about this particular light is that it’s diffused as part of the design which gets rid of the need for a soft box. 

Testing it out:

My image set up – the slickforce at its lowest height, behind a piece of textured transparency film (to add a haze to the final image)

No tabletop studio necessary here as the Slickforce light really did make for nice even lighting. It was a tad brighter than I wanted for this scale of figure, but could have been moved farther away from the scene if necessary, or diffused more so with paper or fabric.

Overall, for $15 the Slickforce Softlight is a good buy. I already have lights I’m pretty happy with, but if you’re just starting out this is a great brand to consider. If you’re wanting a mini studio in which you show the lights in your images these are a no brainer.

Learn more and purchase your own here:

So what do you think of the Slickforce softlight? What lights do you use when taking photos indoors?

6 thoughts on “Slickforce Softlight

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  1. Jennifer, I was not aware there were actually small / miniature photo lights. I use some discarded Fischertechnik lamps, led bike lights … and a standard desk lamp if the scene is supposed to be sunny. Plus you know I love scaling my light sources down. Currently I am all caught up with building H0 scale ceiling lights; just finished shooting a scene in a garage, with some neon lights in the picture. Will share soon… Great post though, with some tips I will have to remember. Thanks!

    1. Really anything small works. I’ve really liked working with smaller scale studio lights but they’re far from necessary. With my Headlights series I’ve been mostly using electric HO scale car headlights and HO scale street lamps to light the scenes which has been pretty cool.

      The lights I do have though are these:

      Your neon light pictures sound awesome. I look forward to seeing them.

  2. I honestly can’t tell if this is meant to be a toy/prop, or if it’s intended to be used as an actual photographic light source. Educational tool, maybe?

    How bright is it? What kind of exposures are you getting? What’s the battery life like? Is there an AC option? This looks like it has some potential to be a useful tool, with a little DIYing.

    I use a brace of IKEA Jansjo LED lights in the studio, fitted with a variety of snoots.

    My main light is a 100 watt daylight bulb in a small reflector on a boom. Before that, in a swing-arm desk lamp.

    1. From what I gather it was made as an education tool for full scale studio lighting and is now being marketed to toy photographers. It’s an interesting option, but makes for a cuter prop than light as it isn’t very adjustable.

      I’ll have to report back on battery life as I haven’t used it much yet, but since it operates just one micro LED I imagine it will be pretty good.

      I under expose on purpose, but on the above shot I was at iso 100, f2.8, 1.6 sec.

      That Ikea light looks great. Mine pictured above are these: I used to have ones with halogen, instead of LED bulbs, but they got crazy hot and burnt anything they came into contact with. The blue cast of the LED took some getting used to, but I’m really loving them.

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