Review: F.J. Westcott Spiderlite TD6

There is no easier lighting setup to use than the Westcott Spiderlite TD5's. While these lights are great, everyone that uses them says the same thing. "I wish they were brighter." In other words we all wish they output a little more light. Westcott has answered our wishes with the new Spiderlite TD6's. Instead of 5 daylight balanced fluorescent bulbs you not get to use 6. This means 1200W of output instead of 900W of output on the TD5s and that makes all the difference in the world. In fact for everything but their giant softbox, a 6 foot shallow rectangle softbox <-this softbox is amazing though, I can now shoot at 200 ISO as opposed to 400 ISO.

It's more than just an extra bulb

They also made some additional and welcomed improvements. The switches on the back and now more high quality and professional looking. They also added a much needed cord switch to turn the entire unit on/off without having to climb up on a ladder when you have the lights mounted high. Speaking of the cord it's longer too. Basically the TD6 is improves over the TD5 in just about every way possible.


The Bottom Line

Although I love my strobes, I'm still amazed by the results I get with the continuous lighting the Spiderlites. Life will only be better with the enhancements on the TD6's. They don't get hot and are great to use in workshops/classes where you will have multiple shooters. If you're doing product photography they rock for that too! Thanks Westcott!

You can get a single Spiderlite TD6 here for about $420. My recommendation is that if you have Spiderlites already, then perhaps one TD6 to replace your main TD5. Otherwise, I would recommend this kit if you're starting out. I use a setup like this one for most of the portrait work I do!

11 Replies to “Review: F.J. Westcott Spiderlite TD6”

    1. I use fluorescent. I believe the difference is the color temperature of the light. The fluorescents are daylight balanced 5500 degrees Kelvin vs. the Halogens at 2800 degrees Kelvin.

      1. Terry, you are my #1 go to guy for Photo, Apple and Tech! I agree with you get what you pay for, but the price is sooo far apart that Im second guessing myself. Thanks for all you do, I really enjoy subscribing to your sites.

        1. Joe, and what you are getting does not include bulbs with that setup. Looks like it will be closer to $300 with bulbs. And will it be as bright? I don’t know, but please post back with a review if you end up going that route.

          1. Interesting. After all it does seem bizarre to spend $420 on a set of light fixtures. BTW, they apparently sell a kit with bulbs (albeit less energy) for $200.

  1. Even with the TD6, continuous light is no where near a strobe substitute. I was forced to shoot at ISO800 f/4 1/80 during Photoshop World in their two TD6 setups.

    Perhaps Westcott will release a higher wattage bulb with their next setup, because I don’t want to have a TD12 just to get that extra f/stop.

  2. Hi Terry, thanks for the writeup! What shutter speeds/aperture are you getting at is200 with just two td-6s? Looks like your back light box on that first image is a strobe?

    1. Hi Josh, most of what I shot was f/5.6 1/80 ISO 200-400.
      the 1st shot was shot with a tD6 and a 6 foot soft box behind the model.

Comments are closed.