Zhiyun Molus B500 COB Video Light review: Zhiyun's most powerful light yet

The Zhiyun Molus B500 is a powerful studio key light that you can control remotely

Zhiyun Molus B500 light in a studio next to a man
(Image: © George Cairns / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Zhiyun Molus B500 on top of the Molus B-series in relation to power and intensity, so it may be too bright for a small studio set-up. Fortunately, there are three lower-powered (and therefore cheaper) siblings in the Molus B range to suit different studio environments. The Molus B500 should appeal to filmmakers who need to add a range of animated lighting effects to their subjects such as Paparazzi, or the flicker of a TV screen. Its compatibility with the free ZY Vega app enables you to control it from a distance via a smartphone, making it attractive to solo videographers.


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    Change settings in increments

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    Remote control via app

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    Wide CT range

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    Powerful 76400 Lux output


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    Some fan noise (up close)

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The Molus B500 is part of the Zhiyun Molus B range of studio lights which also includes the B100, the B200, and the B300. When given a choice of model to review we went for the B500 as it was the biggest and brightest COB (Chip-on-board) LED in the range, and thanks to its 500W of power it is capable of an eye-blinding 76400 LUX when you attach the supplied reflector to it! A light of this size, weight, and output is designed for studio work, so I tested it in a studio environment - see my supporting video in the Performance section. Indeed it may be too powerful for some photographers and videographer’s needs so it’s worth researching the less powerful versions in the Molus B range before making a purchasing decision.

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Output (5500K at 1m with reflector) 76400 Lux
Colour temperature range2700K - 6500K
Animated preset effectsFirework, Explosion, Lightning, SOS, Welding, TV, Bad Bulb, Flashlight, Candle, CCT Loop, CCT Flash, CCT Pulse, Paparazzi
Lamp size (with bracket)245 x 190 x 159 mm
Weight 2.8 kg
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FeaturesIt boasts a wide range of colour temperatures but lacks the coloured gel output produced by RGB LEDs.★★★☆☆
DesignAdvances in DynaVort cooling technology enable it to be smaller but as powerful as similarly specced LEDs.★★★★☆
Performance500W power gives you more brightness than you’ll probably need!★★★★★
ValueIt’s the most expensive LED in the Molus B range but also the most powerful.★★★★☆
Zhiyun Molus G200

Zhiyun Molus G200
If you need a cheaper studio-based LED that still packs a punch then consider the older Molus G200. At 300W of power, it’s weaker than the 500W-powered Molus B500 but you may not need a 500W LED in a smaller studio. The Molus G200 is almost half the price of the newer Molus B500. Unlike the built-in dials on the B500, the G200 has a bulky control box that you need to hang from the light stand, though you can control the G200 via a smartphone app as you can with the Molus B500. 

Zhiyun Molus X60

Zhiyun Molus X60
If you need an LED that’s much cheaper, lighter, and more portable check out our review of the battery-powered Molus X60 and its sibling the Molus X60 RGB. Both 60W LEDs have two control dials like the Molus B500, though the X60 RGB can produce a much wider range of creative colors (and animated lighting effects) than the Molus X60 or the Molus B500. The X60 LEDs are the perfect accessories for adding key and fill lighting to portraits on location.

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George Cairns

George has been freelancing as a photo fixing and creative tutorial writer since 2002, working for award winning titles such as Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N-Photo and Practical Photoshop. He's expert in communicating the ins and outs of Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as producing video production tutorials on Final Cut Pro and iMovie for magazines such as iCreate and Mac Format. He also produces regular and exclusive Photoshop CC tutorials for his YouTube channel.