Achieving the right lighting is absolutely crucial for a photographer, but the best continuous lighting kits can help even the most amateur photographers achieve a professional look.
Continuous lighting kits are historically the go-to lighting source for capturing still-life photography or product photography in the studio. Unlike strobe lighting or monolights, continuous lighting kits are always on, offering you a better idea in the moment of how your final photo will look (Source).
Setting up a continuous lighting kit is as simple as assembling the lighting stands and plugging them in. The old-school method of continuous lighting uses fluorescent or tungsten bulbs, delivering a warmer color tone but emitting more physical heat. Using these bulbs requires adjusting your white-balance to find your sweet spot (Source).
Many modern continuous lighting kits use LED bulbs, which are simple to set up and adjust based on your needs. Continuous lighting kits give you the precise control that strobe lighting can’t.
Because they’re easy to adjust, continuous lighting is perfect for amateur photographers or hobbyists who are looking to hone their craft. But they’re also popular among professionals who specialize in portraiture as well as commercial photography.
Prior to purchasing a continuous lighting kit, you’ll need to consider whether you want to use tungsten, fluorescent, or LED bulbs. You’ll also need to consider the weight and portability of the kit, as well as how many pieces it comes with.
Before your next big shoot, consider using one of these top-rated continuous lighting kits.
How Much Do Continuous Light Kits Cost?
Table of Contents
- 1 How Much Do Continuous Light Kits Cost?
- 2 Comparing The Best Photography Lighting Kits
- 3 1. LimoStudio 700W Photography Continuous Lighting Kit – Best Overall
- 4 2. LimoStudio Continuous lighting kit – Best for Beginners
- 5 3. CowboyStudio Photography Continuous Triple Lighting Kit – Most Lightweight
- 6 4. Neewer 600W 5500K Photo Studio Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit – Does Not Consume Lots of Power
- 7 5. ESDDI 20″X28″ Softbox Photography Lighting Kit 800W – Most Durable
- 8 Continuous Lighting Kits Are Ideal For Beginners
- 9 Important Things You Should Consider When Buying Continuous Lighting Kits
- 10 Ready To Buy The Best Continuous Lighting Kits?
You’ll find that the prices of the kits vary just as their quality does. They are available for purchase in the range between $100-700. However, you can spend less if you so choose on a lighting kit for photography.
Firstly, be selective when choosing the kind of bulb a kit has. The LED lighting is much more affordable as compared to other types of lighting, such as halogen, CFL, HMI, etc.
That’s because of LED’s higher luminous efficiency. It can be as high as 120 to 140 lumens per watt. CFL, on the other hand, will give you just 80 to 100 while HMI only offers 20 to 40.
Secondly, don’t buy a kit that won’t fulfill your objectives. By that we mean, say, you are purchasing it for product photography. But did you stop to think you can achieve your objective with just a light tent?
When buying, just ensure that the kit you select is affordable, durable and lightweight. Below are the best continuous lighting kits on the market.
Comparing The Best Photography Lighting Kits
|LimoStudio 700W Photography Continuous Lighting Kit|
|LimoStudio Continuous lighting kit|
|Neewer Photo Studio Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit|
|ESDDI 20"X28" Softbox Photography Lighting Kit 800W Continuous Lighting System Photo|
1. LimoStudio 700W Photography Continuous Lighting Kit – Best Overall
Additionally, its ultimate soft light stream ensures that the light is not too bright or too low. It also removes the shadow to makes shooting easy and flawless. Besides that, the kit also comes with two tall high-quality studio output umbrella flash strobe light stands.
The stand features 3 strong safety legs which make the light stable. The best thing about these stands is that they are easy to move and assemble. Besides that, this kit also comes with 2 photo light bulbs that provide balanced daylight and pure white light.
The light bulb is an energy saver since it features a compact fluorescent spiral bulb which saves up to 80% of energy.
2. LimoStudio Continuous lighting kit – Best for Beginners
The best thing about LimoStudio Continuous lighting kit is that it comes with two plastic sleeves for the umbrella and a carrying case. It also comes with 2 tall high output umbrella flash strobe light stands.
The umbrellas feature a quality nylon construction that enables them to diffuse the light from the constant light and any flashlight. The stands are made of quality alloy material that features 3 legs stands which are easy to use and move. Additionally, the kit also comes with a tall studio high-quality output accent light tabletop light stand.
It also comes with three digital full spectrum light bulb and 3 studio head photo lightings with a fluorescent light holder. The bulb is an energy saver and it can save power by up to 80% without affecting the quality of photos.
3. CowboyStudio Photography Continuous Triple Lighting Kit – Most Lightweight
The bulb provides bright light that makes the photos to appear natural even when you are shooting indoors. Apart from that, the light is clean and strong and does not allow flickers. Due to this, the photos taken have an attractive look. The light level is steady and does not create vibrations. This enables you to produce high-quality photos.
On top of that, the kit comes with three light sockets, a mini light stand, two 7-foot light stands and 3 daylight bulbs. It also comes with two white umbrellas which make the light perfect for shooting.
It also comes with a carrying case which enables you to carry the kit conveniently.
4. Neewer 600W 5500K Photo Studio Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit – Does Not Consume Lots of Power
The umbrellas are lightweight and easy to assemble to provide a neutral color temperature if you want to take professional photos. In addition, it comes with 3 daylight studio bulbs and a tabletop light stand.
The light stands are very strong since they are made of aluminum alloy. You can even use them for heavy-duty tasks. Apart from that, the kit also comes with a single umbrella carry case and three single headlight holders. The headlight holders enable you to attach the bulb to a light stand.
The light is in form of spiral light bulb which means that the kit will not consume a lot of power, irrespective of the time taken to shoot. The light provides a similar match to natural daylight. This makes the photo shoots to appear natural and appearing.
5. ESDDI 20″X28″ Softbox Photography Lighting Kit 800W – Most Durable
The best thing about the kit is that it is long-lasting and has a lifespan of 8000 hours. It is very versatile and you can use it for technical, scientific and photo art photography. Moreover, it features 2 tall high output umbrella flash strobe light stands which provides excellent lighting for videos.
It also comes with a 210 degrees adjustable lamp holder which adapts to different shooting requirements. This enables it to provide a suitable light from different angles. It is very easy to set up and you can use it for video, ideal portrait and studio photography.
It uses soft light bulbs which are able to save energy up to 80%. You can use it as a scene shooting and portrait lighting kit.
Continuous Lighting Kits Are Ideal For Beginners
There are various reasons why continuous lighting is considered a good choice for beginners. Since they are mostly used with stiill photos or video, it is easy to visualize how the light will appear in your image.
Knowing that you can make quick adjustments before you even begin shooting is quite helpful. Continuous lighting photography is also useful in manipulating your light manually.
Such kits are also cost-efficient when compared to other types of photography kits. Additionally, these kits are most ideal for photographers who want to shoot videos.
Lighting kits are the most essential gear when it comes to photography and videography. If you a professional photographer or videographer you probably need quality DSLR shoulder rigs. It will help you do several things more effectively, such as shooting at various angles and while in motion.
However, whether you are a beginner or a professional photographer, continuous lighting kits will be a great addition to your studio.
Important Things You Should Consider When Buying Continuous Lighting Kits
When searching for continuous lighting kits, you will come across so many products out there. If you are not keen, you might end up with a low quality product. The following factors should help you to determine a quality product.
Color Rendering Index [CRI]
When purchasing continuous lighting kits, it is good to have an understanding of the CRI. This is the ability of light to display accurate colors and skin tones. A kit with a high number of CRI is the best. A good kit should have a CRI of at least 90.
Continuous lightings are of three types. There are the Tungsten Lights, LED lights and fluorescent lights. Tungsten lights are also referred to as hot lights because they produce heat and are used to create warm light for portraits.
Fluorescent lights are cooler than Tungsten lights and the best thing about them is that they match daylight in the CRI rating. They remove the shadow when taking photos of a person who is leaning against a wall. They are ideal for shooting where you cannot position your subject far from the background.
LED lights are also cool but they are more compact as compared to Tungsten and fluorescent lights.
The most common type of light stands is the tripod stand. These stands are lightweight and most of them are made of aluminum. If you would like to take photo shots outside your studio, these ones are the best.
However, they are not long-lasting. C-stands are the best if you are searching for a durable light stand but they are a bit bulky which means that they cannot be used outside.
You will find that continuous lighting kits come with different components. Before buying, you need to consider the type of shooting you intend to do. This will guide you on the best features you should look for to ensure that you would have everything you would require to take quality photos.
Some kits are more expensive than others. When buying, you should consider the material used to produce these kits. You will find that most of the expensive lighting kits are made of quality materials which enables them to last longer than the cheaper models.
They also come with additional features that make your work easier when shooting. Irrespective of price, ensure that the product you have chosen is a quality product.
The two types of modifiers are the umbrellas and collapsible reflectors. Collapsible reflectors are easy to fold and you can use them to diffuse or reflect light to an object. They can also absorb light from a subject and are very effective in filling shadows which might have been caused by the main light source.
Umbrellas are available in silver, gold and white colors. White umbrellas help to diffuse light from the source. You can also use them to spread light. However, it is not easy to control light when using these umbrellas since it spills everywhere.
Gold or silver umbrellas are easy to control since light bounces from the inside part of the umbrella and reflect back.
Ready To Buy The Best Continuous Lighting Kits?
Irrespective of whether you own a professional studio or a small one, having the best studio lighting kits is necessary. The best thing about these kits is that they are very easy to use and are affordable. They come with different features and you may not be able to determine the best.
However, if you need the best budget lighting kit for video, you can consider CowboyStudio Photography Continuous Triple Lighting Kit. This kit is lightweight and just like the high-end models, it enables you to shoot high-quality photos.
If you are searching for the most durable product, you should consider ESDDI Softbox Photography Lighting Kit. It has a lifespan of 8000 hours but if you are searching for the best, you will never regret buying LimoStudio 700W Photography Continuous Lighting Kit.
If you are searching for the most versatile, Neewer Photo Studio Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit might be what you need. You can use that kit for all different types of photoshoots. If you are a beginner, start with the LimoStudio Continuous lighting kit.
It is very easy to use and the stands are very sturdy. We hope that this guide will help you identify the best continuous lighting kit for your studio.
If you are using Nikon D3200 either for photography or videography, you need to invest in the best lenses as it has a direct connection with the quality of images.