The Hobolite Micro—Perfection in a Pint-Sized Package 

September 26, 2023

By Theano Nikitas

Form and function are perfectly matched with Hobolite’s latest release, the Hobolite Micro. This diminutive, bi-color, battery-powered LED light takes some of its cues from the company’s larger, more powerful siblings but doesn’t skimp on features. Yet it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand—or anywhere other lights are too bulky to fit, a special bonus for filmmakers working on tight sets, as well as home-based vloggers and still photographers. It’s only 8W, but with the wide range of accessories and a bit of imagination, there are any number of applications for this little light.  

I tested the Creator Kit ($270), which comes with the light, a barn door, Fresnel lens, frosted dome, six color filters, a charging dock with two additional batteries (for a total of three), USB-C cable and a power adapter, all contained neatly in an attractive carrying case. Hobolite gets extra points for providing the case perfect storage/carry system, especially for those of us who tend to misplace small items on a regular basis. 

© Hobolite

Design and Operation 

Despite its Lilliputian size (the light weighs 0.52 pounds and measures 1.97 x 2.71 x 3.03 inches), the Hobolite Micro is well built and feels sturdy in the hand. Thanks to its aircraft-grade aluminum construction, the unit remains lightweight without sacrificing build quality. 

In addition to its compact body, it was the Micro’s vintage design with its faux leather panels that made me fall a little bit in love at first sight. Beyond Micro’s cool aesthetics, operation is simple and highly intuitive.  

Dual knobs on the rear panel, just above the USB-C charging port, control power, light temperature and brightness. Once the light is powered on by depressing one knob, the dial can be rotated throughout its 2700 – 6500 K settings. A press-and-click action on the same control moves through the range in five steps with an increase of about 10K for each. A set-up menu is also available with on/off control over the fan, for example; special effects can also be accessed on the device. An LCD panel keeps track of the settings, as well as battery life, and is clearly visible even in low light. 

Given that the Micro is perfect for tucking light away in less accessible spaces, it’s no surprise that Hobolite has designed a companion app (iOS and Android) for full remote control of single or multiple lights. Brightness and color temperature are adjustable via sliders. The light(s) and the fan can be powered on and off (or put into sleep mode) and the app facilitates firmware updates. Cinematographers get an extra bonus with a handful of lighting effect simulations such as flash, flame, lightning and explosions. Unlike some Bluetooth camera apps I’ve tested over the years, the Hobolite app is, by far, the most stable I’ve worked with. It connected with my iPhone quickly and without fail every time. 

I’m also a big fan of the Micro’s magnetic, snap-on modifiers. Not only are they convenient but the variety of accessories bundled with the Creator Kit are very useful. The bundle includes colored filters, a diffusion dome, Fresnel lens and even barn doors. The magnets are strong enough that filters can be stacked atop one another (or on the barn doors) without fear of any of them coming loose.  

The light is equipped with a V-Mount as well as ¼” 20 screw mount. Hobolite has several accessories that utilize the V-Mount including a ballhead tripod adapter ($70) and a cold shot adapter ($70).  Check out the Hobolite site for more accessories. 

© Hobolite


The Hobolite Micro is very responsive to setting changes whether directly using its dials or the app sliders. Perhaps the slowest part of its operation is holding down the power button for a couple of seconds and then having to rotate the dial to get it up and running. But aside from that, the light—whether you’re increasing/decreasing brightness or changing color temperature–works smoothly and efficiently. 

A fully charged single battery lasts for about 50 minutes at fully power but unless you’re shooting video, it’s probably rare that you’ll leave the light running for that long at full power. Drop brightness down to about 75% for an operating time of about 1.2 hours. Not great but it’s easy to keep the two extra batteries charged in the charging dock/power bank and swap them out as needed if you want to keep the Micro’s footprint very small. If, for example, you need extremely long-term power, Hobolite has a 95 Wh V-Mount battery ($250) that will keep the light powered for up to 11 hours. 

A built-in fan keeps the light cool and is whisper quiet. This shouldn’t be an issue when recording video unless you’re recording sound with a camera within a couple of inches of the light when brightness is dialed up. Even then, ambient sounds will overpower the low-level hum of the fan. 

Hobolite promises a CRI of 96, which is at the higher end for many LED lights. While we haven’t tested the accuracy of those numbers, the light emanating from the Micro was consistently pleasing and colors in final images were accurate. 

© Hobolite


While 8W may not be powerful enough for some (or many) of your projects, there are plenty of applications for which this light source is perfect. The obvious is for vlogging or virtual meetings. It’s also ideal for overhead lighting when filming or sharing a demo. But perhaps its main strength for still photographers and videographers is being able to be positioned, hidden and operated from spaces where other lights won’t fit. This little light is also ideal for backlighting small objects, as a hair light and whenever you want or need to add a splash of light or accent of color. 

Most of my time has been spent (by necessity) photographing products to accompany other reviews but I have any number of ideas to try out that are inspired by this capable little light. And if the Hobolite Micro itself doesn’t spur your creativity on its own, check out Hobolite’s website and Instagram account @hobolite to see how other photographers are making this company’s excellent lights work for them. 

Hobolite Micro Creator Kit: $270 

Hobolite Micro Standard Kit: $160 

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