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Best Photography Lighting Kits

Whether you do it as a business or as a hobby, photography is an art that often depends on lighting conditions.

The wrong lighting can either over or underexpose, or ruin the atmosphere of what could otherwise have been an incredible photograph. This is why many photographers, commercial or not, use lighting kits.

A photography lighting kit will include everything you need to take high-quality photographs, usually including bulbs, lighting stands, and umbrella reflectors, amongst other features.

If you’re a photographer looking for the best lighting kit to enhance your art, then look no further, because we’ve compiled a list of the best photography lighting kits on the market, along with a buyer’s guide to help you choose the perfect combination of equipment for your needs.

In a hurry? Check out our top choice:

LINCO Lincostore Photo Video Studio Light Kit AM169 - Including 3 Color Backdrops (Black/White/Green) Background Screen
  • 4 day-light CFL bulbs
  • Ergonomic light holders
  • White umbrella and black/silver umbrella softbox reflectors
  • 3 muslin backdrops included
  • Adjustable background stand support
  • Includes water-resistant carry bag

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Best Light Bulb For Photography – Comparison Table

Best Light Bulb For Photography – Reviews

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

Linco’s Photo and Video Studio Light Kit comprises a varied selection of photography lighting equipment, carefully chosen to help you take photographs of superior quality. 

4 CFL light bulbs are included with this kit. These bulbs provide a natural daylight effect for maximum clarity and color accuracy. 

The 4 Mini-Cirrus light holders are ergonomically designed, allowing for easy adjustment and grip. They also have a durable polyamide construction, with an equally durable double-layered socket. This socket has a universal E27 base for compatibility. 

This kit contains 2 reflector types. 2 32-inch white umbrella reflectors are included, along with 2 24 x 24-inch black and silver square umbrella softboxes.

The former reflector type serves to diffuse light evenly and produce a soft lighting effect. The latter diffuses and reflects light, functioning as both a softbox and reflector. 

To support the bulbs and reflectors, 4 77-inch zenith light stands are included. These stands are stable, durable, and lightweight, with 3-legged stages.

Linco also includes 3 different backdrops with this kit. All backdrops measure 10 x 5 feet and are made from durable muslin fabric. The colors provided are snow white, black, and chromakey green. These backdrops are ideal for those who wish to edit their photography. 

An adjustable zenith background stand support system is provided to hold up the backdrops. 

Additionally, Linco provides a water-resistant carry bag into which the whole lighting kit can be packed.

Pros
  • Includes 4 day-light bulbs
  • Ergonomic Mini-Cirrus light holders
  • White umbrella and black/silver umbrella softbox reflectors
  • 3 muslin color backdrops included
  • Adjustable background stand support
  • Water-resistant carry bag included
Cons
  • Includes CFL lightbulbs, which contain mercury  

LimoStudio, 700W Output Lighting Series, LMS103, Soft Continuous Lighting Kit for White and Black Umbrella Reflector with Accessory and Carry Bag
Our rating:

LimoStudio’s LMS103 Soft Lighting Umbrella Kit is ideal for professional photographers and hobbyists alike. 

There are 3 light bulbs included in this kit, all of which are 45-Watt CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs. These bulbs are both powerful and energy-saving, producing a natural daylight effect with a color temperature of 6500K. 

To complement the natural lighting provided by the bulbs, this kit also includes 2 33-inch white umbrella reflectors. These reflectors are made of high-quality nylon to ensure durability.

Meanwhile, the white color helps to distribute light evenly for a natural ambiance. 

2 premium aluminum alloy light stands are included, each of which can extend to a maximum height of 82.3 inches. The stands are lightweight for easy transportation, with a 3-leg structure for maximum stability. The industrial standard mounting stud ensures durability. 

This kit also contains 3 bulb sockets that feature on/off switches and a relatively long 9-foot power cord. 

LimoStudio has even included a carry case made of premium quality nylon so you can transport your photography lighting equipment with confidence and ease. 

Pros
  • Professional quality
  • Energy-saving CFL lightbulbs
  • Natural daylight effect
  • High-quality nylon 33-inch white umbrella reflectors
  • Stable premium aluminum 82.3-inch stands
  • Long 9-foot power cord
  • Includes carry case
Cons
  • CFL light bulbs are more dangerous than LED or other bulbs due to the potential for mercury leakage

MOUNTDOG Softbox Lighting Kit Photography Studio Light 2x50x70cm Professional Continuous Light System with E27 95W Bulbs 5500K Photo Equipment for Filming Model Portraits Advertising Shooting
Our rating:

MOUNTDOG’s Softbox Lighting Kit is a very popular choice for professional or hobbyist photographers looking for good quality lighting at an affordable price. 

This lighting kit includes 2 powerful 85-Watt, energy-saving lightbulbs. These bulbs have a lifespan of 10000 hours and a 5500K color temperature. The bulb socket is a universal E27 for maximum compatibility. 

The 2 adjustable light stands featured in this kit can be lengthened to 80 inches, or shortened to a minimum height of 27 inches, offering lots of flexibility in terms of lighting angles.

The stands are made of a strong aluminum alloy and have 3-leg stages for stability. The single-action locks enable easy and secure adjustment. 

The lamp holder is capable of 210° rotation, which allows the photographer full control over the precise angle of the lighting. 

Possibly the best components of this photography lighting kit are the softbox light reflectors, which measure 20 x 28 inches. These reflectors are made of particulate silver film fabric and white nylon.

Combined, these fabrics soften harsher lighting and reduce the presence of shadows for natural-looking, professional results. 

Along with the equipment included in this kit, you will receive a carry case for easy transportation. 

Pros
  • 85-Watt, energy-saving bulbs
  • Stable, adjustable, and durable 3-leg aluminum alloy stands
  • 210° rotating lamp holder head
  • Softening and shadow-eliminating reflectors
  • Includes carry case
Cons
  • Uses CFL lights, which have a higher radiation risk

EMART 600W Photography Photo Video Portrait Studio Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit
Our rating:

Emart’s 600W Continuous Lighting Kit provides professional-quality lighting for photographers and videographers alike. 

3 CFL lightbulbs are included in this kit, each rated at 45 Watts with a color temperature of 5500K. 3 light holding sockets are also included, all of which are adjustable for angle control. 

This kit also contains both white and black umbrella reflectors. The 2 white reflectors capture an accurate range of colors and complement natural and neutral tones, while the 2 black reflectors help to eliminate unwanted glare. 

You will receive 3 light stands with the purchase of this kit. 2 of these stands have a maximum height of 83 inches, while the third is 33 inches tall at full height. This allows for variation in lighting angles.

Moreover, these stands are compatible with a wide variety of reflectors, so they can be used with other pieces of equipment if you wish. The stands also have 3-legged stages for stability. 

Along with this photography lighting kit are included not 1, but 2 premium quality nylon carry cases. The square-shaped case is for transporting the bulbs themselves, while the long, rectangular case will carry the rest of the kit. 

Pros
  • 3 lightbulbs included
  • Adjustable light holding sockets
  • Includes both white and black umbrella reflectors
  • Varying stand heights for lighting flexibility
  • 2 carry cases included
Cons
  • The CFL lightbulbs included pose a higher risk than other types of bulbs  

Neewer Photography Bi-color Dimmable LED Softbox Lighting Kit:20x27 inches Studio Softbox, 45W Dimmable LED Light Head with 2 Color Temperature and Light Stand for Photo Studio Portrait,Video Shooting
Our rating:

Neewer’s Bi-Color Dimmable LED Softbox Lighting Kit might just revolutionize the way you take your photographs.

The 45-Watt LED lightbulbs included with the kit are dimmable from 100% to 1% and even have 2 color temperatures: 2700K and 5500K.

The bulbs can be controlled through the light head, which features adjustable knobs and a built-in cooling fan for safety and bulb longevity. The lamp holder can be adjusted by 180° for added flexibility and control.

Neewer provides 2 softboxes with this kit, measuring 20 x 27 inches each with included white diffusers for even light quality.

2 adjustable light stands are featured in this kit. These stands can be adjusted between 36.2 and 78.7 inches. The 3-legged stage design with a locking mechanism helps to keep the stands stable while in use.

A carrying bag is also included for portability. The bag is sufficiently large to carry the entire kit, so you never have to worry about transporting your kit wherever you need to go.

Pros
  • LED lightbulbs are dimmable with 2 color temperatures
  • Adjustable, fan-cooled light head
  • Adjustable light stands with locking mechanisms
  • Carry bag included
Cons
  • Some reports of product breakages

Best Photography Lighting Kits – Buyers Guide

Finding your perfect photography lighting kit can be a tricky process.

What suits one photographer may not work for another, depending on variable factors such as photography style or location. 

This buyer’s guide will take you through everything you should think about prior to purchasing a photography lighting kit, to make sure it meets all your requirements. 

Light Bulbs 

Since the primary function of a photography lighting kit is, of course, to provide light, it makes sense to consider the types of lightbulbs included as a priority. 

Light bulbs need to be approached from a few different perspectives for a complete evaluation. 

First, it’s important to be aware of how much light your bulbs will put out. The power of the bulbs included in photography lighting kits will be stated in Watts.

As a general rule, the more powerful the bulb, the higher the Wattage. You’ll need to have an idea of roughly how much lighting your photo shoots will require, so you can decide on your preferred Wattage and number of bulbs. 

Photography light bulbs also come in different color temperatures. The higher the number with these temperature ratings (in Kelvin), the cooler the color is. Around 5000 or 6000K is a neutral rating, while lower numbers signify a warmer color, and higher numbers indicate cooler tones.

If you want more control over the lighting produced by your bulbs, you may wish to opt for adjustable light bulbs that can be dimmed or brightened, or even adjusted in terms of color temperature.

You may also have noticed a pattern in the product reviews above regarding the use of CFL lightbulbs. 

Now, it’s important to note that CFL bulbs have a lot of really great features that make them ideal for studio photography. They last a long time, put out a good amount of light, and cost less to operate than other types of bulbs. They also produce less heat, which means they aren’t so much of a fire hazard. 

For all these reasons, CFL bulbs are especially ideal for commercial photography, when bulbs are likely to be used for many hours at a time. 

However, CFL bulbs do have one disadvantage. Because they contain a small amount (usually about 4 mg) of mercury, these bulbs come with a risk of radiation.

Whilst this is not something you need to worry about while the bulbs are actually in use, it can present a problem if the bulb is broken. 

Although the risk is very minimal as long as the broken bulb is immediately and thoroughly cleared up before being safely disposed of in a sealed bag, many customers understandably might be wary of these bulbs. 

As you can see, CFL light bulbs do feature in most of the lighting kits on our list of products. This is because they do not cost much more than incandescent bulbs, but are much more energy-efficient and produce the clear, fluorescent lighting that many photographers favor.

Therefore, they are the most common choice for inclusion in photography lighting kits. 

As we’ve mentioned, CFL bulbs present a very minimal risk of radiation or mercury poisoning when used and disposed of carefully.

However, if you do not feel comfortable using bulbs that contain mercury, don’t despair – we have also reviewed an LED softbox lighting kit that may suit your needs.

Alternatively, many of these bulbs use universal sockets, so you can easily replace them for an affordable price whilst still benefiting from the high quality of the rest of the lighting kit. 

Lighting Heads 

The heads to which your bulbs will be attached also merit careful consideration before purchase. 

Ideally, you will want the lighting heads to be adjustable so that you can control the lighting angle more easily. This adjustability should be as ergonomic as possible for ease-of-use. 

If you’re worried about your bulbs overheating, some lighting heads include a fan cooling system to extend bulb longevity and reduce fire risks. 

Light Modifiers 

Light modifiers come in different shapes, sizes, materials, and colors, all of which will have an impact on your photography lighting. 

The most common types of modifiers are umbrella reflectors and softboxes. Typically, umbrellas are more effective at diffusing light, while softboxes provide more focused lighting. 

Color is a significant factor that should be considered when purchasing a photography lighting kit. Umbrellas tend to either be white or black with a reflective inner surface, which may be white or metallic.

White umbrellas (also known as shoot-through umbrellas) diffuse light for a soft and natural effect, while black umbrellas absorb light, eliminating excess glare. A black umbrella with a metallic interior will produce harsher light than a white interior. 

Softbox and umbrella designs can be combined – for example, umbrella softboxes are available as part of certain lighting kits. 

The style of reflector that suits you best will depend on the style of your photography as well as the natural lighting conditions you need to work with. 

Lighting Stands 

The bulbs and umbrella reflectors of a photography lighting kit are vitally important components in and of themselves, but they rely on lighting stands for positioning and angling. 

In lighting stands for photography, the three most important factors are durability, stability, and adjustability. 

Of course, you want your stands to last you a long time and be resistant to the light impacts that are likely to occur during transport or set-up. For this reason, you should choose a lighting kit with stands made from a durable material.

The most popular choice is an aluminum alloy since this material is both strong and lightweight. 

In terms of stability, you’ll want your light stands to have a wide enough base and a low enough center of gravity to remain stable while you work.

You certainly don’t want your light toppling over in the middle of a shoot. To ensure stability, your best bet is a stand with a 3-legged stage. The triangular structure of the stage will provide even support all around the stand. 

Finally, you will probably want your light stands to be adjustable. Depending on the pre-existing light conditions wherever you are shooting, and the subject of your photo shoot, you may need to adjust the angle of the lighting, which will involve either lengthening or shortening the stand. 

This can usually be done either using a mounting stud or various forms of locking mechanisms. If you don’t feel enthused by the idea of using tools and hardware each time you need to adjust your stand, locks may be the best choice for you. 

Backdrops 

Some photography lighting kits include backdrops. A backdrop isn’t a feature that all photographers will need, but it can be a very useful addition for some. 

If you do simple portrait photography, it might help you to have a plain backdrop to work with. Similarly, if you plan to edit the backgrounds into your photographs, a ‘green screen’ style backdrop will probably be high on your list of priorities. 

If you do choose a photography lighting kit with backdrops included, it’s important to ensure that a support system is also included to hold up the backdrop. 

Portability 

Because there are so many components included in a photography lighting kit, portability can sometimes be an issue. If you need to transport your kit to and from your studio or take it to location shoots, it’s important to have a practical method of doing so. 

Thankfully, most photography lighting kits include carrying bags. You may receive a single carry bag that is large enough to contain the whole kit, or two bags, in which case the smaller will be for bulbs only, and the larger for the rest of the equipment. 

We recommend having a separate bag for your bulbs, especially if they are CFL bulbs, to minimize the risk of breakages. 

Ideally, these bags should be made of water-resistant, durable material. 

Last Updated on 2021-12-02 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates

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