Understanding lighting in photography or videography allows you to create more professional images. With studio lights, you can produce emotions and atmospheres to make your images stand out. And while natural light is a source of light, studio lights give you more control to create that perfect image. If you are looking for the right setup, this list of the best studio lights for photos and video is a great place to start.
Studio lights were the domain of professional photographers and videographers in the past, that is no longer the case. Small businesses in almost any industry now must create digital content for their website, social media, vlogs, and other channels. And studio lights make images and videos worth looking at. Best of all, studio lights are very affordable and with minimal investment, you can start creating professional-grade content.
Best Studio Lights for Photos and Video
- Top Pick: Elinchrom D-LITE RX ONE/ONE SOFTBOX
- Runner Up: Neewer Softbox Continuous Lighting Kit
- Best Value: GVM RGB LED Video Lighting Kit
Elinchrom D-LITE RX ONE/ONE SOFTBOX
Top Pick: Elinchrom is a Swiss company that has been making professional photography lighting equipment since 1962. This kit is designed for small environments and shallow depth of focus. It has an Intelligent pre-flash detector system so you can get the full use of D-Lite RX’s with speed lights.
The kit includes 2 D-Lite RX One 100Ws Flash Heads with built-in wireless EL-Skyport receivers, 90-260 VAC multi-voltage capability, and a 0.5 to 2.1-second recycling time. A 16-channel EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus for wireless triggering up to 656 feet. Portalite 26×26″ and 22″ Octa softboxes to soften the light’s output. And it includes 2 light stands, a 16′ sync cable, and a tube case for the lights.
The kit is 34.88 x 11.61 x 6.54 inches and it weighs 18.3 pounds.
GVM RGB LED Video Lighting Kit
Runner Up: This GVM LED lighting kit simulates 8 kinds of scene lights to capture different environments. It consists of 168 LED Beads and 84 RGB beads, and according to the company, it has a life of more than 100,000 hours.
The kit has three 10.6 x 10.3 x 1.6″ 800D-RGB Panels with CCT and RGB color control and Barndoors. This includes three 110-240 VAC adapters with power cords, three soft diffusers, and a 7′ light stand for each panel. Additionally, a case is included to carry the kit contents.
The kit is 9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches and weighs 23.6 pounds.
Neewer Softbox Continuous Lighting Kit
Best Value: Whether you are live streaming, shooting video, or taking product and portrait photography, this Neewer system is a great starter kit. The energy-saving compact 45W fluorescent spiral bulb saves energy up to 80% and delivers a color temperature of 6500K.
The kit includes (4) 79″/200cm Light Stand; (2) Single Head Light Holder; (4) 45W CFL Daylight Bulb; (2) 33″/84cm Umbrella; (2) 24″ x 24″/60×60 cm Softbox; (1) 1.8 x 2.8M/6 x 9 ft Musline Backdrop (Black, White and Green); (6) Backdrop Clamps; (1) 2.6M x 3M/8.5ft x 10ft Background Stand Support System; (1) Carry Bag for Background Support System, and (1) Carry bag for Continuous Lighting Kit.
The kit contains 12.6 x 12.6 x 35.83 inches and weighs 28.8 pounds.
MOUNTDOG Photography Studio Softbox Lighting Kit
As a continuous lighting system, this kit comes with a standard E27 socket and 3 x 95W CFL bulbs to produce soft lights. A 54″ long boom arm gives you a much wider range of positions to find the right lighting spot. There is also a softbox lighting angle that can be adjusted to 210° to achieve lighting effects at different angles.
The kit contains 3 x softbox; 3 x 95W bulb; 3 x light stand; 1 x boom arm stand;, 1 x sandbag, and 1 x carry bag.
The kit is 30.3 x 11.5 x 9.6 inches and weighs 15.22 pounds.
Dazzne LED Video Lighting Kit with Wireless Remote
With wireless capability, the Dazzne LED lighting kit lets you access brightness/color temperature settings and channel/group selection remotely. This includes accurate and timely control over dimming parameters. The LCD display in the back of the lights has a luminance of 3600lux at 0.5m and 1150lux at 1m to show clear brightness and color temperature readings.
This kit contains 2 x LED light panel; 2 x foldable light stand; 2 x power cord; 1 carry bag; 1 wireless remote controller
The kit is 21.4 x 13.6 x 11.2 inches and weighs 17.91 pounds.
VILTROX LED Video Light kit
The soft bi-color LED light on the VILTROX system features a high CRI of 95. This creates accurate color rendering with an adjustable 3300 to 5600K color temperature with 20 to 100% dimming with a maximum brightness of 2500 lumens. The 2.4GHz wireless system lets you control 6 groups and 19 channels from up to 65.6 feet away.
The kit contains (2) Bi-color LED panel; (2) DC power adapter; (2) 26inches ~ 75inches tripods; (1) wireless remote; (2) hot-shoe adapter;(1) travel bag.
The kit is 33 x 13 x 5 inches and weighs 11.18 pounds.
LimoStudio Soft Continuous Lighting Kit
When it comes to affordability, the LimoStudio continuous lighting kit delivers. And it comes with sufficient tools to provide more than enough lighting for your photo and video shoots. The 45W bulbs have a color temperature of 6500K delivering a soft continuous lighting kit for the white and black umbrella reflectors
The kit contains 3 x 45W CFL bulbs with sockets; 2 x white/black/silver 33-inch umbrella reflectors; 2 x 82.3-inch light stands; a 29.8-inch light stand; 5 x Velcro cable ties; a bag to carry the bulbs, and another bag to carry photo equipment
The kit is 8 x 7.5 x 31.6 inches and weighs 10.05 pounds.
Studio Lighting Components
There are several different components that are part of a studio lighting system. At the same time, you can always add more pieces to achieve the lighting you desire.
- Light: There are three different light technologies fluorescent, LED, and tungsten. And you can choose these technologies as a continuous lighting source and a flash lighting source.
- Fluorescent lights are a good option because they don’t generate too much heat. Additionally, cameras have white balance settings that can compensate for the minor color differences in fluorescent light.
- Likewise, LED lights don’t generate heat either and they are a great energy-efficient source of continuous light
- Tungsten lighting is generally for outdoor use. They generate bright light along with high heat. However, this is not a problem when you are outdoors.
- Light stands: Lights can get heavy. Therefore, choose stands that are well made, maneuver easily, and have easily adjustable features.
- Filters: The filters you choose depend on what you want to capture in your images. From changing colors to creating a softer look, there are filters out there to make it possible.
- Power source: Depending on the type of light you purchase, power can be an issue. This is especially the case if you are working outdoors. Look for batteries that can support your lighting needs to complete your shoots.
- Wired and wireless systems: With a wired system the signals from the camera to the lights is sent through cables for all the lights at the same time. A wireless system uses infrared, WiFi, and Bluetooth technology to send the signal from the camera to the lights.
You position softboxes between a light source and the subject with constant light or strobe lights. You can then spread the light evenly. As a result, you get minimal hotspots and even coverage with soft-edged shadows. The one drawback with softboxes is they take up a lot of space because they are large. Additionally, the setup and breakdown can get more complex than other lighting options.
Umbrellas are another form of modifier that comes in two form factors, shoot-through and reflected. With shoot-through umbrellas, you basically get an easier and more convenient softbox alternative. And the goal is to diffuse light, which it does effectively. However, it is not as effective as a softbox doing this job.
On the other hand, reflected umbrellas are used to aim the light away from the subject and bounce it back towards them. The benefit of umbrellas is they are easy to set up, break down, and they are compact, which makes them portable.
Continuous light is a great way to start your journey in studio lighting. It is cheaper, it allows you to control shadows, and you can to take your time to set your camera settings. The downside of continuous light is the heat they generate.
Just like the flash in your camera, flash lighting is a burst of high-intensity light. Its ability to freeze the action results in a sharp image. You can attach them to your camera or on mounts away from the camera. The issue with flash lighting is you cannot tell the kind of shadows it will create ahead of time.
Why You Need Studio Lighting
You might think the photos and videos you take are good enough for your small business. However, as more people go online to find the products and services they want, they will start noticing the good images from the bad images. And this will play a great role in the decision-making process by the consumer. If your images and videos have a professional quality, they are well lit and well placed, it gives the viewer more incentive to look at the rest of your site.
The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get decent or even the best studio lights for photos and videos. As you can see in this list, there are affordable solutions.
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