Reviews |YC ONION ENERGY TUBE PRO (PIXEL VERSION)

YC ONION ENERGY TUBE PRO (PIXEL VERSION) Review

Review

Our Verdict

Tube lights like the all-new YC Onion Energy Tube Pro are great for creating soft, easy-to-control illumination. The stick-like design makes them incredibly versatile, so it’s easy to either hand-hold and direct the light as needed or fix the YC Onion Energy Tube Pro to a more traditional lighting stand. As with more traditional forms of lighting, you can further the Energy Tube Pro usefulness by adding modifiers, such as the grid that’s came with our review sample. While tube lights have been around for years, LED technology has taken this lighting form factor in a new direction, with full RGB and lighting effects.

The YC Onion Energy Tube Pro (Pixel Version) is a standout example of what this technology can enable. The light resembles many other tubes or stick lights, but there is a slight difference. Firstly the price at just under $250 for the 60cm and $400 for the 120cm version, which makes them on par with the NanLite Pavotube II 15X RGBWW LED Tube or ZHIYUN Fiveray F100, although the power of illumination for the white light is far lower than huge 100W of the F100.

Features and build quality are pretty evenly matched with the competition. Still, with the integration of full app control and direct DMX connectivity, these features just give the YC Onion Energy Tube Pro the edge regarding versatility.

Using the direct controls app, the YC Onion Energy Tube Pro is straightforward, and the standard temperature-controlled light is relatively powerful and distributes an even spread. However, the real fun comes with the RGB, Pixel and effects that enable you to add atmosphere to video shoots, lighting effects to product and portrait photography and plenty of flexibility and options over your lighting.

Definitely a product for the new year purchase list.

For

  • Compact
  • Decent illumination spread
  • Superb control options

Against

  • Relatively expensive

What is the YC Onion Energy Tube Pro?

Lighting with a difference is the best way to describe the YC Onion Energy Tube Pro. The tube form is nothing new, and there are plenty of other lights out there with the full-colour pixel ability alongside white temperature-controlled light. However, the Energy Tube Pro manages to bring everything together very neatly with greater control options than most of the competition.

What you get is a 60 or 120cm tube light; I’m looking at the 60-cm version in this review, with the option to attach a handle and selection of light modifiers which clamp very securely in place.

There are three major features of the YC Onion Energy Tube Pro, the first being the bright illumination which at 20W isn’t the brightest but is still considerable when in use. The illumination comes in the form of either the temperature-controlled white light from 3200K to 6200K to match most lighting situations. As well as the temperature control you also get full RGB enabling you to switch through a multitude of colours or switch to rainbow illumination which is great for special lighting effects and light painting.

YC ONION ENERGY TUBE PRO review

Next is the special effects lighting modes of which there are quite a few that enable you to create special lighting for different scenes and are incredibly useful for video creation. Those effects include Flash Modes., RGB modes and CCT Modes, a few examples of these are Flash Red and Blue, RGB Cycle and Lightning.

Finally, the feature that really makes this light stand out is the connectivity. The YC Onion Energy Tube Pro offers more than the simple direct-on device control and enables you to connect to the YC Onion Colorist App. This App is fully featured offering plenty of control over the light and how it works, the App is incredibly comprehensive enabling easy control over the illumination. As well as the App you also have the option to plug the YC Onion Energy Tube Pro into a DMX board and control the light as part of a larger lighting rig.

Click here to purcashe the YC Onion Energy Tube Pro

Specification

  • RGB : Full colour, 36,000 in HSI
  • Display screen: LCD
  • App control: Yes
  • Sync control: Yes to other YC Onion lights
  • DMX control: Yes with DMX 512 protocol
  • Brightness: 60cm 20W, 120cm 40W
  • Weight: 60cm 676g, 120cm 1200g

Performance

Getting started with the YC Onion Energy Tube Pro is straight forward with the small handle needing to be attached to the light before you can mount it to a lighting stand. The handle features a simple clamp design so you can move it up or down the body of the light to get the right position if you’re going to use the light freehand. If mounting to a lighting rig then the handle also features the small 1/4-inch threads.

This is one of the only annoying things about the light, which is the fact that there is no 1/4-inch thread featured on the body or base of the light. This would have been handy for all sorts of reasons and is a common feature on most other tube lights that I have looked at over the years.

What further exasperates this annoyance is that the design of the handle means that handles 1/4-inch thread is a good inch or more up the body of the light. This means that with the design of many tripods is actually a little difficult to mount the light in the exact way that you want. There’s also no option for a 3/8-inch thread.

Once you do surtout the mounting issue, which is to be honest isn’t a massive issue you can then get into the fun of lighting.

Used as a temperature controlled light and the 20W of illumination that the light kicks out seems to be far greater and the control through the on device dial and buttons is easy and precise. However, adjusting the temperature marked my first venture into using the app and the experience was instantly impressive.

A quick tap and the light switched to daylight, and tap and I had tungsten then the intensity can easily be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the slider. Really the use of the app for standard lighting control couldn’t have been simpler.

YC ONION ENERGY TUBE PRO review

Switching to look at the full RGB and again you can control the colour through the small LCD screen and dial, but getting the exact colour you want can be tricky, which is a common issue with this style of light. However, with the app just tap the colour you want and the light changes, slide up or down the intensity and the effect is instant.

The same ease of control is applied when using the lighting effects and pixel effects of the light, really the app makes using and controlling the pixel light incredibly easy and an ideal solution for close-up product photography.

Unfortunately I don’t have access to a DMX board at present but will update the review when I do.

In use the YC Onion Energy Tube Pro is incredibly versatile, the illumination is good although not up to the ZHIYUN F100, but it is still incredibly powerful. What really gives it the edge is that control.

 

Final thoughts

Over the years I’ve looked at and used quite a few stick lights for various projects as well as straight reviews. While most stick lights have done a job it’s only recently that they have started to become really exciting and a creative tool within their own rights. The YC Onion Energy Tube Pro is a perfect example of how the technology has evolved and while a single light has a lot of potential you can see how YC Onion as a company has come to develop the Energy Tube Pro.

As a solo unit it offers plenty of flexibility, there’s the standard bright temperature controlled light but also the full RGB spectrum both of which can be easily controlled through the App. However, in use you get the feeling that with one you’re only just touching on the full potential of the unit, and with two, three or more this stick light will go from simple fun illumination into something extremely powerful.

The 60cm that I’ve looked at in this review is extremely convenient and will easily slot and strap into a side pocket of a backpack and in use to help add a little additional illumination in all sorts of situations from macro to portraits it’s been extremely useful.

The most fun that I’ve had with the light so far is with light painting, the rotating multi coloured illumination makes a fast and visually impressive tool to create light waves of striking silhouettes.

As a product I’ve been really impressed with the overall build quality and features, my only niggle is with the need to add the handle in order to get the 1/4-inch thread and even when added the position of it makes mounting to some tripods a little tricky and it also restricts to some extent the positioning of the light.

However, once mounted the control you get through the app and the different lighting effects make it a joy to use. Of all the lights that I have used I am very tempted in getting three of the larger 120cm units as the build quality, syncing and connectivity options all offer a very powerful lighting solution.

YC ONION ENERGY TUBE PRO review

At present for stills and video the YC Onion Energy Tube Pro is one of the best and most versatile lighting solutions out there.

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