Best Photography Lighting Kit

Are you still wondering why your pictures are dwindling at amateur level? 

Are you trying to reach more clients??

Do you want to be seen as a professional in the photography field? 

Then lighten up! 

Lighting plays a key role in the production of good quality photography. Whether you are a professional photographer, amateur or just enjoy taking pictures for your social media, lighting is a vital part of how your images will turn out. 

Making sure that you have the appropriate lighting for your images will always keep them looking fresh, professional and of the highest quality.

You could have the highest value, most expensive and top of the range camera equipment…but if your lighting is off, then the image is simply no good. Photography lighting kits can help you minimize your exposure to bad pictures, and focus on top quality pictures. 

There is such a huge range of lighting products available on the market, that it’s hard to ensure you’re picking the right one to develop your photography. We’ve compiled a list of the best photography lighting kits available. So without further ado, let us enlighten you.

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Let there be light

At last, you’ve come to your senses and seen the light; and you want to take your pictures to the next level. The best photography lighting kit should make your life easier and your images better.

The Neewer Lighting Kit fits this criteria perfectly. This is the perfect addition to any photographer’s set up. It has everything you need to create powerful, illuminated and professional-grade images.

The Neewer Lighting Kit includes 4 light stands, 2 light holders, 4 Daylight light bulbs, 2 umbrellas, 2 softboxes, 3 backdrops to try out and 2 carry bags to take the whole kit wherever you need to.

What more could you need?

This is a high-quality and professional-grade kit that would even impress Annie Leibovitz.

Best Photography Lighting Kit – Comparison Table

Best Photography Lighting Kit – Reviews

Our Pick
Neewer 2.6M x 3M/8.5ft x 10ft Background Support System and 800W 5500K Umbrellas Softbox Continuous Lighting Kit for Photo Studio Product,Portrait and Video Shoot Photography
Our rating:

For a lighting kit that has all the best high-quality equipment, is easy to use and assemble, and promises professional results; go for the Neewer Photography Lighting Kit.

This kit comes with 2 umbrellas and 2 softboxes to cater to all of your lighting requirements. Neewer’s kit comes equipped with powerful CFL light bulbs equal to 800W, that give outstanding results. 

This kit includes: 4 light stands, 2 single head light holders, 4 45W CFL Daylight bulbs, 2 white umbrellas, 2 soft boxes, 3 backdrops, a support system and 2 carry bags to take your kit wherever you go.

This is a professional-grade kit that is both durable and portable that will definitely make your images stand out.

Pros
  • Creates beautiful balanced lighting
  • High-quality equipment
  • Durable Stands
  • 2 softboxes & 2 umbrellas
  • 3 backdrops (white, black and green) & support stand
  • Easy to assemble
  • Portable
  • Comes with 2 carry bags
Cons
  • Lightbulbs could be brighter
  • Backdrops need to be steamed/ironed before use

HPUSN Softbox Lighting Kit Professional Studio Photography Equipment Continuous Lighting with 85W 5400K E27 Socket and 2 Reflectors 50 x 70 cm and 2 Bulbs for Portrait Product Fashion Photography
Our rating:

Another popular option is the HPUSN Softbox Lighting Kit. This kit is perfect for beginners looking to buy their first photography lighting kit that will enhance images and give you great control over your lighting.

The HPUSN Softbox Lighting Kit would even be a perfect addition to a professional photographer’s catalog of equipment as it is fully portable and great for product photography. 

This HPUSN softbox kit contains high quality materials that maintain performance and control at all times. The softbox can be rotated 210 degrees to adapt to every angle, with powerful 800W bulbs that can produce both soft and bright light! 

This lighting kit is a popular choice as it is extremely versatile. For example, the kit comes with fully adjustable brightness, aluminum rotating heads, softbox flexibility and is easy to assemble. It even comes with its own carry bag to take to different locations. 

Unfortunately, this product lacks the power to be utilized for outdoor shots. But don’t shoot the messenger, this lighting kit comes with a 2 year guarantee if you are not happy with it!

Pros
  • Aluminum stands with rotating heads
  • Adjustable brightness
  • 2 energy efficient CFL bulbs (800W)
  • 210 degree rotating
  • Ideal for indoor shoots
  • Carry bag included
Cons
  • Not great for outdoor shoots
  • No umbrellas

Linco Lincostore Photo Video Studio Light Kit AM169 - Including 3 Color Backdrops (Black/White/Green) Background Screen
Our rating:

If you are looking for a great starter kit that has everything you need and can be used for both studio and outdoor shots, then look no further. The Linco Photography Light Kit can help you create professional still and video photography with its all-in-one lighting kit. 

The kit boasts all the amenities for fluorescent photography and comes with 4 light holders, 4 light stands and 4 lightbulbs that provide 400W of power.

You can even test your skills with 2 softboxes and 2 umbrella reflectors! Linco includes 3 different backdrops (white, black and green) and a support. 

Even better, it is super lightweight and easily portable with its own carry bag.

Pros
  • Great starter kit
  • Has 2 umbrella reflectors and 2 softboxes
  • 3 Backdrops
  • Lightweight design
  • Comes with carry bag
  • Good for location/outdoor shots
Cons
  • Not as high quality
  • Much less powerful bulbs
  • Backdrops need ironing

LimoStudio, LMS103, Soft Lighting Umbrella Kit, Day Light Color, 700 Watt Output Lighting with Tripod Stands and Carry Bag
Our rating:

The Limostudio Umbrella Kit is the best simple beginners kit. Stepping into the world of photography can be daunting as there are so many options. The Limostudio kit is designed to help you get your foot into the door with high-quality shots.

This kit includes 2 umbrella reflectors, 2 light stands, 2 energy efficient 200W light bulbs and a portable carry bag! 

The umbrella kit provides a natural soft lighting for studio shots, and can help amateurs practice their skill with a great first kit to set up. It could even be added to a professional photographer’s gear for some variation in their techniques. 

This kit is perfect for spreading out light evenly, and creating soft blending shadows. If you want to practise your light manipulation and refine your techniques, then the Limostudio Umbrella Kit is a great place to start.

Pros
  • Easily assembled
  • Comes with carry bag- portable
  • Includes 2 umbrella reflectors
  • Great for beginners
  • Includes 2 200W light bulbs
  • Can be used outdoors
Cons
  • Light bulbs are not powerful
  • Low quality materials
  • No softboxes

MOUNTDOG Photography Studio Softbox Lighting Kit Continuous Lighting System Photo with 3pcs E27 95W Bulbs Arm Holder Photo Video Soft Box Lighting Set for YouTube Filming Portrait Shooting
Our rating:

If umbrellas are not your thing, try the MountDog Photography Studio Softbox Lighting Kit. This impressive kit is great for illuminating your studio and producing shots to a professional level. 

This kit is great for product photography, model shooting and video photography. The soft lighting highlights your subjects greatly while creating a flattering and natural look.

The MountDog Studio Softbox kit includes 3 softboxes with 210 degree rotating heads, 1 boom for adaptability, adjustable aluminum stands, 3 lightbulbs and a carry case!

Pros
  • Comes with 3 softboxes
  • Includes a boom to reach every angle
  • Adjustable light stands
  • 210 degree rotating heads
  • Softboxes are foldable and easy portable
  • 1 year warranty
  • Carry case
Cons
  • Low quality materials
  • Low strength lightbulbs
  • No umbrellas

Best Photography Lighting Kit – Buyers Guide

What is a lighting kit?

A lighting kit should consist of any tools that can help you create shadow, illuminate and highlight your subjects in the most flattering and interesting way. 

There are so many different options for a lighting kit, and they each come with different components. It is beneficial to first understand what tools and equipment you need for your photography.

Lighting kits can come equipped with tungsten lights, umbrellas, softboxes, strobe lights, and many other assorted accessories. 

Different lighting options will give you completely different results, so it is important to note what style of photography you are going to use it for. 

A good lighting kit will usually have two types of lighting equipment; a source of lighting and a lighting modifier. This is usually a type of light, and a dampener like an umbrella or a softbox. 

How to find the best photography lighting kit for you

This obviously depends on your level of expertise in the photography sector. If you are an experienced, professional photographer, you may benefit from a lighting kit that provides adjustable lighting so that you can create really detailed shots with varying exposure. 

It is important to remember that whether you take photographs as a job or just a passion, a high quality lighting kit will improve your images massively. Not only will they be perfectly illuminated, but your images will also be sharper, enhanced, clear and high-quality.

A photography lighting kit will help you deeply focus on your subjects, but can also assist you with modifying your images.

As most lighting kits have lights that remain on, when you are setting up your image you can already see how the image will turn out. In this way, you can move, alter and fix your subject before you take the photo and save so much time reshooting and editing. 

For a photographer that has beginner skills or takes pictures as a hobby, a photography kit with continuous lighting would be a great addition to your set up. This way you can tweak or alter your set up before you shoot and ensure great pictures every time. 

A lighting kit with a softbox may be easier to use as they last longer, have stronger light and do not make dark reflections in your images. Continuous lighting may not have as powerful bulbs as strobe lighting as strobes create a quick, strong flash to fully illuminate the object. 

A more practised or professional photographer would benefit from a higher quality lighting kit with all of the equipment you need for a great shoot.

It may be easier to invest in a kit with both softboxes and umbrellas so you can focus on creating the best shot for whatever your clients need.

A lighting kit for a professional photographer should have portability and carry bags so that you can take it on location shoots and still create fantastic outdoor shots. 

If you are a professional photographer in the field, or just starting out, you should purchase a few backdrops for your images. This way you can practise making family portraits, product photography, or even using video with a chroma key (green-screen). 

You may benefit from a kit with LED lighting; they are efficient, bright and long-lasting, but will not hold up next to a powerful strobe. So, you should consider whether you need studio professional lighting, or just some helpful equipment to take your images to the next level. 

How to use a photography lighting kit properly

If you really want to create sharp, bright and high-grade images, you need to learn how to manipulate light to your advantage.

It all comes down to what end result you desire. Flash and strobe lighting will give you that clean-cut fully lit result, whereas softboxes and umbrellas dampen and soften the lighting, whilst still illuminating key features. 

Like any skill, practise makes perfect. You should always try to learn new techniques and incorporate different styles of photography to ensure that ‘perfect image’ that you are looking for.

Try using a softbox first and if you do not like the outcome, switch to an umbrella, or move the stand to create more dimension and shadow in your images.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the best lighting kit for beginners?

If you are just starting out on your photography journey, it can be overwhelming to consider which lighting kit is right for you. The best lighting kit for beginners will be easy to use, easy to set up and easy to reassemble into a carry bag. 

That being said, it needs to do the trick, too. If you are an amateur photographer, or like taking pictures as a hobby then we advise that you first practise in an easily controlled environment like a studio.

This way you can sharpen your studio techniques with model photography, product photography and portraits to really understand the best ways to utilize lighting. 

If this is the case, then we recommend a simple kit with umbrella reflectors, or softboxes. You can use these to create quality and well-lit images that look natural and clear. 

Are LED lights good for photography?

The majority of LED lighting is best used in video photography, but they can be utilised to highlight your still photography too.

LED lights can be more expensive than tungsten or other bulbs but this balances out as they tend to last a lot longer and keep at a much cooler temperature. This saves you from burning your hands trying to change them all of the time.  

On the other hand, LED lights are not as bright or as powerful as traditional fluorescent or tungsten lights. They are also very hard to modify, which is difficult in professional photography where you may need to chop and change your lighting choices.

What lighting kit is best for outdoor photography?

If you need a lighting kit that will withstand outdoor photography, it is most advisable to purchase a portable kit. 

You also need lighting that will compete with the sun and natural lighting, or a kit that features umbrella reflectors for maximum light.

What is better, softbox or umbrella lighting?

Using an umbrella for your photo shoots is a popular method to utilize lighting. They are usually on the cheaper side, but still create great shots and really work for illuminating facial features. 

However, they do not have the same level of control as a softbox, which can fully illuminate the subject without any light contamination in your images. Softboxes can provide you with a lot more lighting control.

Umbrellas can create shadows and reflections upon your subjects, whereas softboxes can be rotated to remove any reflections. However, in close-up portrait shots, the softbox shape will reflect in the eyes but an umbrella may not.

So, it really depends on the type of images you wish to create. 

Generally, both are easy to use and are very portable, however for outdoor shoots you should consider the strength of the wind.

Umbrellas are flimsier and will swing and blow with the wind, which makes it more difficult to get precise lighting for your images.

A softbox is much sturdier and will last longer, but often have weaker bulbs.

Last Updated on 2020-11-28 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates

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