Aputure AL-M9 Amaran Pocket-Sized LED Light – Mini Review

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Okay – let me be clear – almost every photographer and/or video shooter who is reading this NEEDS at least (yes I said AT LEAST) one of these. The Aputure AL-M9 Amaran Pocket-Sized LED Light is the bomb!

You have seen these little LED lights before. Lots of people make them. There is one that is a cube – one that is a square – you get the idea.

They are all designed to do the same thing…I.e., provide a little kicker light when you need it. In some cases, you could use this as a main light if you’re close enough, but nearly every kind of photographer could benefit from having at least one of these in their bag – JUST IN CASE.

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It can serve as a catch light, a macro light, an accent light, a highlighter, a fill light, you name it. I can think of lots of uses for these lights so I have two of them.

Here are the specs:

  • Daylight-Balanced
  • 5500K ± 200K
  • 9-Step Brightness Adjustment
  • Integrated Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery
  • 1.75-Hour Runtime at Max Brightness
  • Diffusion, CTO, and CTB Filters Included
  • Carry Pouch
  • 1/4″-20 and Cold Shoe Adapter

In Everyday Use…

What I love about this light is that it is EXTREMELY portable, very light weight, but VERY powerful. In my opinion, its adjustable brightness level (nine steps) makes it very valuable in a variety of situations.

You charge it up using a supplied USB cable. In my tests I got about 12.5 hours out of one on the minimum setting and a solid 90 minutes at the brightest setting.

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It comes with a filter and a mount adapter that lets you mount the light to an accessory cold shoe, or you can remove the cold shoe foot and mount light to a 1/4″-20 accessory mounting point – say on a video cage. You can also just hand hold the light and maybe even do some light painting with it under the right circumstances.

It has a unique and very cool magnet system that lets you put gels or diffusers underneath the housing but over the light. It’s harder to describe than it should be but when you get the package you’ll figure it out. It’s very intuitive and it just works.

Can you spend more money to do the same job? Absolutely. But why would you?

You’ll see these little guys popping up in some of my behind the scenes videos (yes I am making some videos) so stay tuned.


I’ve tested the Godox, the Lumicube, and the Manfrotto on camera LED lights and I like this one better than any of the previous three. The $45 price is just right and I am so impressed with the quality of the unit.

Highly recommended.

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