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Best Light Bulb For Photography

There is nothing worse than setting up a beautiful shot, only for it to be ruined by lighting, is there? 

Whether photography is a hobby or your full-time profession, we are all after those perfect shots, and lighting plays a massive role in achieving this. 

There are so many different lighting options, and an excellent place to start is with your lightbulbs.

Whether you will change your light fixtures and lamps or pop them in a softbox, you are sure to see a difference in photo quality straight away!

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But which ones to go for, you ask? What a good question! 

We have compiled a list of the best light bulbs for photography, along with a handy buyer’s guide to help you navigate the world of lightbulbs and an FAQ section to answer any queries! 

So sit back, relax, and get ready to find the lightbulbs of your dreams! 

In a hurry? Check out our top pick to grab your bulbs and go! 

Best Light Bulb For Photography – Comparison Table

Best Light Bulb For Photography – Reviews

Our Pick
LOHAS A21 LED Light Bulb, 150W-200W Incandescent Bulb Equivalent, 23W LED Bulb, 2500 Lumens, Daylight White 5000K, E26 Medium Screw Base, LED Lamp, Home Decor Lights, Not-Dimmable, (Pack of 4)
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LOHAS offers an excellent value multi-pack of 4 light bulbs that will provide you with excellent brightness for your photography! 

With a super-low wattage of just 23W, these are an excellent energy-efficient bulb to be using. 

These A21 shaped bulbs are an excellent replacement for 150-200 watt incandescent lights, saving 85% on electricity. Think of the savings on the energy bill! 

The daylight bulbs offer 5000K through a 240-degree beam angle to provide excellent brightness. They also have an updated version of the 2550 lumen lighting effect for comfortable ultra brightness. 

What’s particularly great about these bulbs is the 30,000 hours of average lifespan. No, really, you did read that right! Great for professional photographers after an excellent lifespan! 

The bulbs are easy to install fitted with a standard E26 base. This A21 shape LED can fit directly into standard E26 base fixtures. 

These bulbs are safe, too, with no lead, mercury, UV, or Ir. CE. These are an excellent choice for those after a more environmentally friendly and safe option. 

The bulbs offer no flicker as well and should not get too warm after being on, so you are safe from scalding your fingers! 

Customers were incredibly happy with how well they worked for their photography, although you may need to place a few in your softbox to get the desired level of brightness. 

Those looking to create shadows and low-light photography will find these a good option and make them a very versatile bulb to have in your home or photography studio. 

Pros
  • Great value multi-pack
  • Incredibly low wattage
  • 5000K color temperature
  • 30,000 hours lifespan
  • No lead or mercury
Cons
  • May need a few in your softbox to get the desired level of brightness.

EMART Full Spectrum Light Bulb, 2 x 105W 5500K CFL Daylight for Photography Photo Video Studio Lighting
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Emart offers a twin pack of compact fluorescent lamp (CRL) daylight bulbs fantastic for the home or studio lighting for photography. 

The bulbs are 105W and provide 5500K of daylight, so great for those after a nice bright light. 

Their accurate color rendering index (CRI) sits at 80-85, providing you with excellent quality colors when shooting your photographs.

These bulbs offer no noise or flicker when being used to provide you with great clean lighting. Great for photography or growing plants, thanks to its brightness! 

Emart’s bulbs fit any E26/E27 standard socket, with each bulb measuring 9inches in length and 3 inches in diameter. 

Some customers found that theirs ran larger at 10 inches, making them large to fit into lamps, but for those looking for bright photography lights, these are a great choice! 

The bulbs boast a massive 8,000 hours of lifetime, great for those professionals looking for some good quality bulbs!

They are decently priced, and their 105W is equal to 500W on an incandescent light bulb, making it far more efficient to run!

Pros
  • Decently priced
  • 8,000 hour lifetime
  • No noise or flicker
  • A twin pack of bulbs
  • 105W
Cons
  • Some customers found them too large (10 inches) for their lamps or softboxes.

Asencia AN-03416 75 Watt Equivalent, Dimmable, A19 Standard LED Light Bulb, 6-Pack, Daylight (5000K)
Our rating:

Asencia offers excellent value for money with this six-pack of LED light bulbs.

These bulbs are 75W, but are available in 60 or 100W as well, so you have plenty of choice with these! 

Running on 120V, these bulbs have a color temperature of 5000K to provide ample daylight for a room or photography setting. 

What's great about these bulbs is that they have an incredible lifespan of 15,000 hours! Asencia says that the bulb will last for over 13 years, based on 3 hours of use a day. Now that is one long-life bulb! 

This LED light bulb is also dimmable, providing you have the appropriate dimmer switch set up. 

The multi-pack and low wattage make these a fantastic economical option compared to incandescent bulbs. 

These bulbs are A19 and will fit the standard fittings for these. They also come with a 3-year warranty, great for peace of mind for you all. 

Customers praised the packaging of these bulbs, all arriving safely and well protected. Great compared to those broken deliveries we have all received over the years!

Pros
  • Great value for money
  • 5000K color temperature
  • Available in different wattages
  • 15,000-hour lifespan!
  • Dimmable light bulb
Cons
  • Need appropriate fittings for dimmer setting

LimoStudio [4pack] 45 Watt, 6500K Fluorescent CFL Daylight Balanced Light Bulb for Photography Photo Video Studio Lighting, AGG874
Our rating:

You get excellent value for your money here with this four-pack of fluorescent lights from LimoStudio! 

These bulbs are a low wattage at just 45W. They are designed to be equal to 200W of an incandescent bulb. It's a far more economical option to go for and still get that super bright light! 

And this light is exactly that, super bright! It's a daylight bulb with a color temperature of 6500K, hotter than the sun! Combined with its color rendering index of 80, this bulb will provide all the light you need for your photographs. 

These bulbs fit a standard E26/E27 base and are 3.5 inches in diameter and 8 inches in length. 

This bulb comes with a whopping 8,000 hours of average lifespan, providing you with plenty of use out of it! 

Designed to work well with product photography, natural portraits, and photo studio lighting to provide natural and realistic light for all your photography needs. 

Some customers found that the lights gave off a blue-ish tinge when taking portraits, so you may need to adjust your settings on your camera, as you usually would with fluorescent lighting (more on that in our buyer’s guide!). 

Overall, customers were happy with the high level of brightness, and the long-life provided, great for those looking for a bright light for daily use, especially photographers. 

Pros
  • Great multi-pack value
  • 6,500K, super bright!
  • Low watt for efficiency
  • 8,000 hour lifetime
  • Designed for professional photography studios
Cons
  • Some customers found the light a little blue-ish 

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Those after a good quality LED light can stop their search now! Bonlux offers a 40W LED light that, compared to a CFL bulb, will save up to 80% energy! 

The light bulb comprises 132 pieces of super bright 5730 SMD LED lights to provide a 360-degree beam angle. 

The bulb is made with 5500K to provide a marvelous bright light for photography studios! 

Running on 120V, this bulb provides great quality daylight color and a downlight light direction. 

The base is a medium screw and fits with most bulb fixtures, handy for all your light bulb needs!

These studio light bulbs can last up to 5-10 times longer than competing CFL and incandescent bulbs, providing excellent value for money.  

Some customers found that the bulbs did not last as long as expected, but with such a fantastic lifespan and price, it's a small price to pay for excellent lighting!  

Customers were pleased with the brightness of the bulb and the excellent customer service. They are incredibly easy to contact and happy to issue replacements should you have any issues. 

Pros
  • Great for photography studios
  • Low watt for efficiency
  • 5500K
  • 2-year warranty
  • Designed to last 5-10 times longer than CFL or incandescent bulbs
Cons
  • Some customers found the bulb did not last as long as expected.
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Best Light Bulb For Photography – Buyers Guide

Not sure where to start or what’s best for you?

Read our buyer’s guide to help narrow that choice down for you! 

Types

When looking at lightbulbs, it’s important to consider the different light available types to make the right choice for you and your photographs.

There are three main types of lightbulbs: incandescent, fluorescent, and LED, so let’s take a closer look at each to help you find the best one for you. 

Incandescent

Incandescent lights were extremely popular in the days of film. They are still used in the movie industry, but many countries outside the US have banned these styles of lights!

They have been banned due to the high amount of energy they waste.

These lightbulbs are still available to buy in the US.  They come in a range of different wattages and prices, with some of the higher watts costing anywhere from $4,000! 

Generally, the 300-500 watt bulbs are relatively inexpensive, making them a budget-friendly option. 

The bulbs are a bright and clean light, and because of this, you only need one in your softbox compared to 4 or 5 LED’s to get the same level of brightness. 

However, they get very hot due to the high wattage, so you need to be careful when using them. Incandescent bulbs do not last very long. Some of the larger 100w bulbs will give roughly 20 hours of light. 

You will have noticed that there aren’t any of these light bulbs listed in our recommended products, and this is because although they are still available, they aren’t as easy to access, especially ones bright enough for photography these days. 

Considering how inefficient energy-wise they are, you are better opting for fluorescent or LED lights. 

Fluorescent

Fluorescent light bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. 

Fluorescent lights used to be known for a cool, greenish light (I know, I get horror movie vibes too!), but now you can find ones balanced for daylight use in the home or a photo studio. 

They offer a bright light that can be diffused easily to provide a lower contrast. It is often worth adjusting the white balance settings with fluorescent light bulbs, either creating a custom setting or using the fluorescent white balance setting. 

Be sure to adjust this as the color temperature varies depending on whether the bulb is daylight-balanced or not.  

LED

LED bulbs are quickly becoming a firm favorite with photographers, and it’s no wonder why! They are affordable compared to other bulbs and last a long time, providing excellent money value. 

Unlike incandescent bulbs, they don’t get hot when used, so that you can handle these better. They also use very little energy, making them very efficient. 

The bulbs provide a bright and clean light great for taking photographs. However, they are not as bright as other bulbs, so you may need to use 4 in a softbox to get the desired amount of light. 

You can also purchase LED lights in panel-style or battery-operated portable LED lights that can be an option depending on your needs. As we are talking all things bulbs here, we won’t go into too much detail on those! 

For those of you who may want to know more about LED lights, be sure to check out our article on the best-LED lights for photography here:  

Longevity?

When making any purchase, whether it’s for your hobby or career, it’s worth considering how long it will last. 

Bulbs, by their very nature, will, of course, need to be replaced at some point. When it needs to be replaced will depend on a few factors. 

The lifetime should be listed on the product description to give you a good indicator of how long the bulb will last. This will depend on your usage as well. For example, if the light is on daily, 100 hours of use will be flown through! 

How much?

The price of lightbulbs can vary depending on the brand and what type of lighting you are after. The price can vary depending on the wattage as well, with higher watt bulbs usually costing a lot more. 

It’s important to set a clear budget before you begin your search and stick to the budget as best as possible.  

When setting a budget, it’s worth considering how often you will be taking photos and how often the bulbs may need replacing. For example, if you are going to use these every day for work, it’s probably worth looking at more efficient and economical bulbs such as LED bulbs. 

Consider as well what you want from your bulbs when setting a budget. Do you want brightness as a priority and are willing to pay extra for it? These little factors should help you set a clear budget with ease. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Feeling a little unsure?

Check out our FAQ section to put those concerns to bed! 

What are photography lightbulbs?

Photography lightbulbs are bulbs that are designed to produce better quality light for your photographs. 

The bulbs aren’t always listed as photography bulbs and can be used in household fixtures and fittings, or greenhouses, due to the higher amount of light they provide. 

Generally speaking, these bulbs will provide bright light to enhance your photographs, whether you are taking general snaps around the house or using them in a studio setting. 

What’s the difference between daylight and regular bulbs?

Daylight bulbs mimic the natural daylight that you would experience outside or trickle in through your windows. 

It is done through color temperature, measured in kelvins (K). Daylight bulbs start with a higher color temperature of 4600K and range up to 6500K. With the sun’s color temperature sitting at 5600K, you can purchase bulbs hotter than the sun!

These are brighter than ordinary bulbs and can add brightness to a room or enhance your picture quality. 

Those after bright bulbs for photography should consider daylight bulbs as these will deliver natural light to your photographs that we are always after! 

What is CRI?

CRI, or color rendering index, measures the light with how it affects a color’s appearance. This can also depend on the ‘temperature’ of the light. 

A higher CRI will provide the most accurate color portrayal not only in your home but in photographs too. 

Lower CRI will make colors appear unnatural, which is not ideal when you are taking photographs. You may have noticed this before, how in lower light settings, colors appear different than they do in the daylight.

This color change is due to CRI. 

Measured from 0-100, at the bottom of the scale are your warm white lights, moving to cool white, and daylight. You may have noticed the CRI number on the bulbs we have selected. 

Generally, 80-85 was listed, providing a high-quality daylight color, which you will want to take the best photographs. 

Last Updated on 2021-03-20 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates

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