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Quick look: Huion L4S LED Light Pad

Quick look: Huion L4S LED Light Pad

My pile of old negatives seems to be growing. I guess it’s time to sort through them and convert the selected to digital images. I always used the excuse that I didn’t have a light table to edit through my negatives. I figured it was time to invest in a light table. It does seem a little old fashioned, who has a light table anymore? It’s photography from the past like enlargers, film, developer and darkrooms.

I shopped on the Web and found LED (light-emitting diode) technology at a reasonable price to solve my problem. At first, I thought l would be buying a traditional, bigger light box with a fluorescent light inside. They were still available, but I decided on trying the more updated style.

I bought the Huion L4S LED Light Pad and since I was buying online, I had to rely on the reviews, which were mostly positive. This light panel received mostly good comments, plus being priced under $45 on Amazon it certainly seemed like a fair price considering many of the conventional-style light boxes tended to be more expensive.

I was willing to take a chance. After opening the package, I was amazed at how thin it was at about 1/8 of an inch thick. Its packaging was simple: LED light Pad, USB power cable and instructions. I needed to supply a USB power source; I have plenty around the house. The USB power cord was a little short, but it’s a regular USB to mini plug, so it would be easy to find a longer one if you need it.

After plugging it and touching the power button, the panel lighted up across the 12-by-8-inch working surface. The light pad specifications are a brightness of 1,000 lux with a color temperature of 6,000-7,000k. The total dimensions are 14 1/4 by 12 1/8 inches. They have plenty more models available, which are brighter and larger.

One of the most noticeable differences between this LED light pad versus a more conventional light box is how evenly the light was dispersed across the screen. It was bright all over. Most light tables I have worked with over the years are brighter toward the middle and darker around the edges depending on the light source. The Huion L4S Light Pad also let me vary the brightness as I held down the button. While it’s a nice feature, I will use it mostly on the brightest setting.

First up were my negatives from a late ’60s, Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Grass Roots concert in Los Angeles. It was a long time ago and the exact details are a little tough to remember. This was back in the days when no one cared if you brought a camera to a concert. It’s amazing how image quality has improved from the days of push-processing Kodak Tri-X film, so much grain and very little shadow detail.

My use for the LED light pad will be to edit negatives, but most people will buy it for various art or tracing projects.

I found the brightness and size were perfect to edit and scan through piles of old negatives and it packs up easily to put back in the box for storage.

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Read more reviews and photography tips by Robert Lachman


1 Comment

  1. August 24, 2014, 9:02 am

    I think a light box might be a good use for my 1st gen. iPad. Just pull up a white screen. Very even illumination. Hmmm. Thanks for the iDea!

    Now I need to get off the dime and go through my old negs too.

    By: Renfield

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