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10 best lighting kits for photography

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by David Em
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Compare the best lighting kits to find the perfect one for you to capture great photos with artificial light.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Photography studio with backdrop and lights.

1. Elinchrom D-Lite RX 4/4 Softbox To Go Kit

Elinchrom D-Lite kit for photography.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Elinchrom D-Lite RX 4 is an excellent and reliable light kit that costs less than $1,000.

Related: Understanding color in photography

It comes with two flash heads, tripods with carrying bags, Portalite softboxes, a deflector, Elinchrom Transmitter Plus, and a durable storage bag.

The multi-voltage 400Ws monolight is portable and versatile. It also offers five-stop power control in 1/10th step increments.

Overall, it’s one of the top kits for portrait photography because it’s easy to set up, packs into compact bags, and works well.

Buy the Elinchrom D-Lite Softbox Kit from B&H (opens in a new tab).

2. Broncolor Siros 800 L Battery-Powered 2-Light Outdoor Kit 2

Broncolor photography light kit.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Costing just under $5,000, Broncolo’s Siros 800 L 2-light kit is geared towards professional photographers.

Although you can use them anywhere, it’s designed to be used on the road. It’s battery-powered, so there’s no need to worry about cords or finding an outlet.

A full battery charge offers up to 440 flashes at full power. You can choose between fast and long flash durations.

In the kit, you’ll get the following items:

  • 2 800Ws flash heads.
  • A charger.
  • 2 Rechargeable Li-Ion batteries.
  • Silver and black umbrella.
  • Softbox.
  • Speed ring.
  • Sync cable.
  • Outdoor trolley backpack.

One of the best features is that it works quickly. In only 0.03 seconds, it’ll be ready for the next shot.

Buy the Broncolor Siros Lighting Kit from B&H (opens in a new tab).

3. Mount Dog Softbox Lighting Kit

Mountdog photography light kit.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

The light kit by Mount Dog has two 95W bulbs, a softbox, a light stand, and a carrying case.

You can set it up within minutes, and it’s lightweight, making it easy to move around.

It works well and provides a bright white light. It gives cooler tones, so you may need to make adjustments to the white balance.

Related: Understanding white balance in photography

Being less than $50, it’s the best budget-friendly light kit. It’s also a great entry-level option.

If you’re new to studio lighting and want to learn how to use artificial light, start with the Mount Dog lighting kit.

Buy the Mount Dog Softbox Lighting Kit from Amazon (opens in a new tab).

4. Neewer Bi-color 660 LED Video Light and Stand Kit

Neewer photography two-piece light kit.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Neewer’s light kit comes with two dimmable bi-color LED lights with four-way barn doors, a white diffuser, adjustable light stands, and a power adapter. It’s portable, lightweight, and sturdy.

The kit is less than $200, which is hard to beat when it comes to well-made LED lights.

Each light panel has 660 LEDs that output 3360 lumens. Half of the LEDs are balanced for daylight, while the other half is balanced for tungsten.

The ability to change the brightness and temperature of the light makes it an excellent choice.

Buy the Neewer Light Kit from Amazon (opens in a new tab).

5. Interfit Honey Badger 320Ws 2-Light Kit

Interfit photography light kit and carrying case.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Interfit’s light kit offers a compact form factor, which makes it a must-have kit for traveling.

It consists of two flash heads, softboxes, light stands, and a remote that all fit easily into the carrying bag.

The light has an impressive 7-stop power range, which is two more than traditional studio flash heads.

It’ll help you get the perfect exposure as the power can be adjusted from 320Ws to 5Ws in 1/10th of a stop increments.

It also has a quick recycling time. If you set it to full power, it’ll be ready in 1 second. The recycle time decreases with the power level.

Buy the Interfit Honey Badger 320Ws 2-Light Kit from B&H (opens in a new tab).

6. Aputure Light Storm LS C120D II LED Light Kit

Aputure photography light.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

As a redesign of the original C120D light, it’s even better. Aputure took all of the great features that it had before and implemented upgrades and improvements.

It has 25% more brightness than the original, DMX capability, 5500K color temperature, and the build quality is incredible while being lightweight.

The kit contains one Aputure Light Storm C123D II light head, universal Bowens mount, reflector, protection cover, power cable, connecting cable, controller box, and a VA-Remote RC1.

At a foot and a half away, it offers 135,000 lux with the Aputure Fresnel, which is optional. The accuracy of colors are spot-on and creates a natural look in photos and videos.

Buy the Aputure Light Storm LS C120D II Light Kit from B&H (opens in a new tab).

7. Fovitec 3-Point Classic Fluorescent Lighting Kit

Fovitec light kit and case.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Fovitec’s 3-point light kit allows you to create many lighting patterns. Being less than $200 and offering great light quality, it’s an excellent choice for continuous lighting.

The kit contains two 5-socket heads, softboxes, a single-socket head,11 45W fluorescent lamps, light stands, a boom stand, and a carrying case.

The lights also offer a 5500K color temperature, which is perfect for outdoor photos. It also has exceptional color accuracy.

Buy the Fovitec 3-Point Classic Fluorescent Lighting Kit from B&H (opens in a new tab).

8. Elinchrom ELC 500 Dual Studio Monolight Kit

Two Elinchrom heads and a case.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

The ELC 500 Dual Studio Monolight Kit by Elinchrom will give you powerful lighting.

It consists of two ELC 500 monolights with 90-degree wide-angle reflectors and a case that makes it easy to transport.

Each unit has a maximum 522-watt output, active cooling, TTL, and high-speed sync support.

The recycling time is fairly quick as it can take up to 1.1 seconds at 230 volts before it’s ready again.

The kit is built well, feels solid, and has great stability when connected to the stands.

Buy the Elinchrom ELC 500 Dual Studio Monolight Kit from B&H (opens in a new tab).

9. Linco Studio Light Kit

Linco lighting kit and backdrop.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Linco’s lighting kit has everything you need to set-up your photography studio.

It contains a backdrop with the support system, light heads, stands, umbrellas, softboxes, and a carrying bag.

If you’re new to artificial light and don’t want to spend thousands of dollars setting up a studio to practice, this is the best kit.

Buy the Linco Studio Light Kit from Amazon (opens in a new tab).

10. Emart Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit

Emart photography lighting kit.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

In the Emart lighting kit, you’ll get the following items:

  • Translucent umbrellas.
  • Black and silver reflector umbrellas.
  • Two carrying cases, one for the stands and one for the bulbs.
  • Light stands.
  • Adjustable light holder socket and bulb.

You may find that the light isn’t as bright, which can be beneficial for dramatic photos. Overall, it’s a great starter kit that’s easy to assemble and use.

Buy the Emart Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit from Amazon (opens in a new tab).

Frequently asked questions

What type of lights do professional photographers use?

The three main types of lighting that photographers use are LED, fluorescent, and tungsten bulbs.

Are LED lights good for photography?

Yes, LED lights work well for photography because the colors will look more realistic.

What’s the most flattering lighting for portraits?

Butterfly lighting is the most flattering lighting for portraits. The light is placed above and centered with the subject’s face. It creates a butterfly-shaped shadow under the nose.

Conclusion

If you’re shooting in a studio or outdoors where there isn’t enough light, you must use artificial light. Compare the best lighting kits to make a decision based on your skill level and needs.

More resources:

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

About David Em

David Em.

David Em is the founder of Portraits Refined. He’s a published portrait photographer dedicated to helping photographers develop skills, capture incredible photos, and build successful businesses.

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