In photography, there are many elements that influence the outcome of a photo, determining the quality and how professional it looks.
The camera, is of course, one of those elements, as having good equipment is always vital to ensure performance. Talent and skill is also a key element.
But something that is quite easy to achieve and can signify the difference between amateur-looking photos and professional quality, is the lighting. Good light is essential for good photography, which is why photographers will be a pain to make sure they get it just right.
However, the time for waking up before dawn to get the soft light, or waiting out until the golden hour at sunset, is long past.
You can shoot photos any time of day, thanks to the use of lighting kits and LED lights, used in almost every professional photoshoot, or to get high quality photos. They’re very common in studios, but what if you want to take pictures outside?
With more and more portable lights available, the future of photography is looking very bright. You can now get professional studio lighting, on the go!
The same amount of quality light, designed to be portable and easy to transport, so you can set it up in any location to create the best pictures!
In a hurry?
Best Portable Light for Photography – Comparison Table
Best Portable Light for Photography – Reviews
Best Portable Light for Photography – Buyers Guide
Making use of professional and high quality lighting at different locations, be it indoors or outdoors, has never been easier. With portable lights, you can shoot on the go, taking your light with you anywhere you go, without having to worry about the time of day.
More and more people are getting into photography, thanks to the accessibility of professional equipment that allows for good results, and portable lights are a very popular choice amongst people wanting to try out portrait photos, cosplay shoots, or create video content such as vlogging.
There are many options for different portable lights, and it can be tricky to know which one is the best fit for you. You need to take into account the type of photography you’re going to use it with, the type of locations you’ll shoot at, and the type of results you’re after.
If you’re not sure of these things, or you’re just starting out and are searching for your style, then it’s good to go for something that will cover all the basics to a good standard.
In this buyer’s guide, we’ve summarized the features you need to look out for, to ensure you choose the best product possible.
For a portable light, the main thing you need to look for is portability. Seems obvious right? Most portable lights can be attached onto the camera, so they are very manageable and you can pretty much forget about them and shoot as you usually would.
Quite often, these same lights can also be attached onto stands, so they double up as a double function and it gives you more of an option in regards to the kind of setup you want.
You need to check the type of adapter that the portable light has, and whether it is compatible with your camera. If not, there are plenty of adapters available, but it would probably be an added cost.
Another thing that factors into portability, is the weight of the light. It’s important for portable lights to be as lightweight as possible, without compromising their durability or structure.
You must ensure that the light you choose is comfortable to you. It should mount onto your camera in a way that it doesn’t get in the way at all. If you’re having to fiddle about or it tires your arm out a lot, then it might be a sign that you need a smaller, less heavy, light.
LED Lights and Brightness
The function of a light, no surprise here, is to light up the area you’re wanting to photograph in. So it really is vital for you to ensure the light you choose has the right amount of brightness and power that you’re after.
Most portable lights have an adjustable brightness, meaning you can dim down the output when needed, but not all lights have an increased amount of brightness with extra luminous LED panels. It depends on the type of lighting you want, but it’s good to check.
Some lights have bicolor LED lights, meaning half the LEDs are white while the other half are yellow, this gives more flexibility in the hue of the light.
You should also check whether the temperature can be adjusted, as this will be a professional feature to have. It’s also a plus if the product comes with one or two light filters, as it will massively increase the versatility of your photography.
When you’re out and about and shooting on the go, the last thing you want is a dead battery to cut your photography time short.
It’s the same with long days of photos planned out, it’s super frustrating to suddenly have your camera die on you, without having prepared a backup. It’s the same with lighting! You don’t want to be suddenly left in the dark, right?
Something we recommend you always look out for, is whether or not the portable light has a battery life indicator, a button with a flashing light of some sorts to let you know when the light is running out of charge. That way, you can be prepared and get those final shots you want to prioritize.
Depending on the type of light, it will have either a lithium battery that can be recharged, normal batteries that have to be replaced every now and then, or it will plug into the camera itself.
It’s down to personal preference and the type of usage you’re planning on giving it. However, lithium batteries tend to be one of the nicer options, as you can recharge it before your shoot and then you’re ready to go without having to worry about it.
Accessories and added features
Like with any other product, the more money you invest the more you’re likely to get. Portable lights can go up and up in price, reaching high-end levels in which the professional features have the photography almost take itself!
For more budget-friendly options, there is still hope. High quality is achievable with the right accessories and features.
One of the most useful accessories, that is always a plus, is a distance remote control, to play around with the settings without having to fiddle with the buttons on the light.
Another accessory that will come in extremely handy, is some sort of carrier or storage bag for the light. Since it’s a portable light, it won’t be permanently set up in a studio or room.
It will be constantly on the move or packed and ready to go, so having a bag that’s specifically made to fit that light will be great.
Not many portable lights will come with a stand included, but if they do, that’s another great addition, as it will give you even more versatile usage of your light.
As for any other accessories, they’re not necessary, but they’re good to keep an eye out just in case they can be added to your buy. If anything, you could ask whether or not the portable light you’re considering comes with a manual of user instructions.
But most lights are super easy and intuitive to use, so don’t stress if they don’t!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are LED lights good for photography?
LED Lights have quite a short distanced output of light, so they’re really well suited for close-up portraits or still photography. They work great for illuminating smaller areas of a set, or if you’re using a portable lighting method, such as one that attaches onto your camera.
They offer a high amount of adjustable brightness, and they can come with many differently sized panels, as well as being different colours for different photography results.
Overall, they’re a pretty standard method of lighting for photography, that works extremely well for small projects.
Is portable light effective under any natural lighting conditions?
The short answer to this question is yes. Portable light can be used during any time of the day, no matter whether the natural light is bright, dim, or even if it’s pitch dark.
The results will vary, but you can also adjust your portable light’s brightness to work with the surroundings. The function of a portable light is to support lightning and to enhance it in the way that you want it to be, so it will always become useful, one way or another.
Last Updated on 2021-03-20 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates