If you’re a photographer on the go, this simple yet brilliant design idea from the folks at Impact will make certain aspects of your workflow a lot easier!
Impact Link air-cushioned light stands
- Comes in multiple sizes – 12′, 9′, 7.9′ and 7′
- The larger stands (12′ and 9′) have an excellent load bearing capacity (22lbs)
- The “Link” design is innovative making storage and transport a breeze
- Kickstands fold down to a relatively small, rectangular footprint – impressive, especially for the 12-inch model
- Price points seem very reasonable for what you get
- Build quality seems very high, only time will tell, but first impressions are robust
- The 12′ and 9′ stands have a similar folded footprint and can be linked for storage and transport
- The weight capacity of the smaller stands is relatively low, although probably workable, I’m just surprised they differ so much
- The smallest stand – the 7′ – cannot “link” to the larger stands, it can only be linked to similarly sized stands. I don’t have the 7.9′ model so I can’t verify if it can be paired with the other stands.
Impact Link Air Cushion Light Stands — Technical Specifications
- Stand type: 1 x general purpose stand
- Maximum working height: 144″ / 3.7m, 108.1′ / 2.7m, 94.9″ / 2.4m, 89.9″ / 2.1m
- Minimum working height: 49.2″ / 1.2m, 47.4″ / 2.1m, 40.6″ / 1m, 29.9″ / 0.8m
- Payload 22 lb / 10 kg (12′ and 9′), 8.8 lbs / 4 kg (7.9 and 7′)
- Closed Length42″ / 106.7cm, 40.6″ / 103.1cm, 34.9″ / 88.6cm, 27.4″ / 69.6cm
- Stand/column top mount 5/8″ receiver with 3/8”-16 male screw
Impact Link Air Cushion Light Stands — Photographers on the go, rejoice!
It never ceases to amaze me how companies are able to innovate old products and make them look like new again. Take something mundane and commercialized as a simple light standard. As professionals, we rarely require these devices to do much more than carry a reasonable weight and have decent build quality with buttons, connectors, and extensions that can withstand the rigors of the working professional. Of course, we also want simple ergonomics, meaning these devices are easy to use, set up, take down, travel with and store. Simple, right? Not so fast.
I have bought a variety of light stands from different manufacturers over the years with mixed results. Connecting button mechanisms between the extension rods break, crack, come loose, etc. In addition, the plastic or rubber caps on the bottom of the stand fall off or wear out. Most arm and leg rests are hollow, which means that when a cap pops out, the metal tubes can actually be somewhat sharp and potentially dangerous. Not to mention the damage they can do to your car when they bounce around.
In short, innovation with build quality and design are welcome and Impact’s new Link Air Cushioned light stands address some of these issues with traditional light stands.
Impact Link Air Cushioned Light Stand — Ergonomics
Innovative design – in a light stand?
Yes, you read that right. Innovation in a light stand. When the Impacts first arrived I was a bit confused by the “link” design and what its purpose was. As a photography product reviewer, I often try to incorporate these products into my daily routine as a professional photographer. Be it headshots, portraits, families, etc. New gear like light stands are always welcome, especially when they have neat details like The Link Air Cushion from Impact for easy storage and transport.
Impact Link Air Cushion Light Stand — In the field
I need my light stands to do a few things, and do them well. They must be able to hold a Profoto head — usually a B1X or a B10XPlus. In the case of all of Impact’s new Link Air Cushion Stands, the minimum weight the stands can support is 3.8kg. (that is for the 7.9′ and the 7′). A weight that the Profoto and almost any modifier I apply to it will fall well below. The larger Link Air Cushion stands (the 9′ and 12′) can hold up to 22 lbs. Nice!
I also need them for quick set up, break down and storage. The sturdy “T-handles” make setting up the stand-up quick and efficient. The tightening knob on the Link that extends the base is large and grippy and easy to loosen and tighten. It is also made of metal, as are the connectors that hold the extension tubes together.
When the shoot is over, the stand can be folded into a flat rectangular shape that takes up less space, but more importantly, the new link design allows multiple stands to be “linked” together for easier storage and transport. If you’re a photographer on the go, these new standards are a great companion. I can wear several at once. They are also lightweight and easy to carry to, from and during a job.
Impact Link Air Suspended Light Stands — Build Quality
Speaking for myself, I am very careful with my gear. When I’m not in the studio I’m running from job to job and don’t always have time to repack everything. This means I literally throw my stuff in the trunk or in the back of the pickup truck and race to the next job. The bottom line is that my gear is beat up and rugged build quality is essential to me. I’m happy to say that Impact’s Link stands seem to have very solid build quality. The ability to quickly “link” them together allows me to store them in a more stable piece rather than scattered around the trunk.
One downside is that the smallest stand, the 7′ version, is unable to “link” to the larger stands – it’s understandable, but I wonder if there was a way to link them together.
Now the build quality will have to stand the test of time, but my first impression is that the stands are solid. I will probably follow up in a few months to give some longer term results with the stands. For now, I appreciate the innovative design that photographers like me are sure to love!