GL60 Plus vs Z15 – heliguy™
- In-depth comparison between CZI GL60 Plus and Wingsland Z15 drone spotlights, with sample footage and images;
- Heliguy™ tests these drone projectors at different altitudes;
- Watch the video to observe the tracking capabilities of the projectors;
- Both payloads – ideal for search and rescue, law enforcement and inspection – are compatible with the DJI M300 RTK and M200 Series V2.
The CZI GL60 Plus and Wingsland Z15 are two powerful drone spotlights, providing an efficient light source to enhance mission success during night operations or in low light environments.
For example, check out the capabilities of the GL60 Plus, as demonstrated by Sussex Police.
And watch how the Z15 can perform, as shown by the Southport Lifeboat crew.
It’s impressive. But which of these third-party payloads is the best?
To find out, we put the GL60 Plus and Z15 to the test, integrating them with the DJI M300 RTK and testing their capabilities at different heights. Both projectors can also be used with the DJI M200 Series V2.
GL60 Plus vs. Z15: Test Results
So the key question – how bright are the projectors?
The image below, captured at 30 meters, clearly shows the difference between them.
Notice how the GL60 Plus is visibly brighter than the Z15, providing a more intense column of light over the subject area.
It must be said, however, that the two projectors illuminate their target correctly: after all, notice the contrast between the dark and lit areas.
The difference in brightness is further demonstrated in the video below. From an altitude of 30m, we locked the searchlights on a moving target 30m away to evaluate two aspects of each payload: their illumination and tracking capabilities.
So what have we learned? From an illumination perspective, both payloads provided enough illumination to identify the target. However, the GL60 Plus visibly floods the subject area with significantly more light.
The results match the projector specifications, with the GL60 Plus having superior power attributes. Please note that the GL60 Plus has two power modes: PSDK combined with OSDK, or just PSDK alone. We used the most powerful – PSDK + OSDK – in our field tests for maximum illumination.
The improved capabilities of the GL60 Plus are perhaps expected given that it carries a higher price tag: costs nearly £1,000 more than the Z15.
|total power||PSDK 17V + OSDK 24V: 128W
PSDK 17V: 68W
|Power LED||PSDK 17V + OSDK 24V: 120W
PSDK 17V: 60W
|Lighting (light output)||PSDK 17V + OSDK 24V: 13,400 lumens
PSDK 17V: 8000 lumens
|Field of view||15°||15°|
Besides the lighting, the video also shows how the payloads are able to track and follow a moving target. This additional video provides another example of the GL60 Plus tracking a subject – and also used in conjunction with the H20T’s thermal sensor: Another useful application during night missions.
The tracking capabilities of the GL60 Plus and Z15 are achieved by synchronizing with a secondary payload like the H20T, allowing the light to travel in unison with the camera.
This is illustrated below, using the GL60 Plus as an example.
Using the GL60 Plus or Z15 in conjunction with the H20T, for example, means the projector can be used to illuminate an area and make it bright enough for the visual camera to capture images.
This video tutorial explains how to couple two payloads together. It uses the Z15 as an example projector, but it’s a similar process with the GL60 Plus. For similar content, register for heliguy™ M300 RTK Virtual Transfer Course.
The tests listed above show the projectors at 30m height. So how do they perform at increased altitude?
To find out, we had them fly over the same area at 30m, as well as at 60m and 120m. And here are the results.
…and finally 120m.
The results show that both floodlights do an admirable job of illuminating the target area, even at 120m. For the record, both have an effective range of up to 150m, depending on the product specs.
Interestingly, the GL60 Plus seems to deliver a very intense column of light with more defined edges, while the Z15 apparently has a bit wider spread, albeit at a lower intensity.
This matches the product specification, with the Z15 capable of illuminating an area of 323m² from 50 meters, while the GL60 Plus illuminates 136m² at the same altitude.
When it comes to intensity, the GL60 Plus really packs a punch – especially when using the PSDK and OSDK setup. In fact, the image below shows just how bright it can be, whitening the view from the top of this tree from 30m.
However, we were able to mitigate this by manually lowering the exposure, which lessened the impact, as seen in the image.
This is further demonstrated by this image, captured at 25m (below, left). To get the details of the brightness, we had to lower the exposure. But the fact that the exposure had to be reduced shows just how brilliant – and effective – the GL60 Plus can be, as illustrated in the image captured at 110m (below, right).
The GL60 Plus can also be turned off via the remote control display to reduce its brightness.
And as mentioned before, we tested the GL60 Plus at its maximum illumination, using PSDK 17V + OSDK 24V to achieve 128W of total power and 120W of LED power.
This higher power is achieved by plugging the projector into the OSDK port on the top of the M300 RTK, as shown in the image below. The cable connects to the SkyPort gimbal connector underneath via USB Type-C. Despite its position, the dimensions of the cable ensure that it does not interfere with the props.
Connecting to the OSDK port provides additional power/lighting, but removes the drone’s IP rating. The light also works without the OSDK port/cable connection. We haven’t tested this, but the specs show it still has decent power using this method.
And this image from Sussex Police – as posted earlier in this blog – shows the performance of the GL60 Plus without the cable.
GL60 Plus vs Z15 – Design
As these images show, the GL60 Plus and Z15 are quite similar in appearance, with four lighting columns.
Look closely though, and the composition of these columns is different, with the GL60 Plus having four lenses in each column, compared to the Z15’s single bulb design for each column.
The GL60 Plus is also a slightly larger and heavier payload, as shown in this spec chart:
|Dimensions||126 x 131 x 167mm||100x110x150mm|
|Compatibility||M300 RTK and Matrice 200 Series V2 via DJI SkyPort V2.0||M300 RTK and Matrice 200 Series V2 via DJI SkyPort|
Both are compatible with the DJI M300 RTK and M200 Series V2, and integrate via DJI SkyPort (the GL60 Plus uses DJI SkyPort V2.0). The GL60 Plus and Z15 are controlled via DJI Pilot.
Please note that when using the GL60 Plus with the H20T, it is important to mount the projector first, followed by the H20T once the GL60 Plus is recognized in DJI Pilot. Heliguy™ can provide detailed instructions on this workflow if needed.
GL60 Plus vs Z15 – Summary
Drone searchlights are useful for a range of applications, such as law enforcement, search and rescue, and inspection.
Our field tests show that the GL60 Plus and Z15 provide efficient light sources and can illuminate a target area over 100m above sea level, which is ideal for quickly covering larger swaths of ground.
The GL60 Plus provides more light than the Z15 – in fact, it vastly outperformed the Z15 in this department. Admittedly, the GL60 Plus is an extremely bright floodlight, particularly effective in illuminating ground crews.
Although not as bright, the Z15 still holds its own and is a more economical option than the GL60 Plus.
Contact Heliguy™ to discuss either of these two payloads, which are available for purchase or rental.