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Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

10 Best Continuous Lighting Kits | Reviews + Guide

best Continuous Lighting Kits

Looking to enter the world of professional photography? Or are you planning on upgrading your existing photo studio? 

Either way, you’ll need a continuous lighting kit for your assignments. Such kits are the best apparatus for creating the ideal lighting setup for your shoots. In fact, these can make your videos and still-life photos more lively and captivating. 

But choosing a good-quality continuous lighting kit can be difficult, considering that the market is flooded with hundreds of options. That’s why we thought of putting together this extensive guide to the most reliable and efficient lighting kits available right now.    

So, without further ado, let’s get going! 

Best Continuous Lighting Kits

Continuous Lighting Kit

1. LimoStudio

Sale
LimoStudio, 700W Output Lighting Series, LMS103, Soft...
  • ⭐Contents: [3 pcs] 45W CFL Bulb / [3 pcs] Bulb Socket / [2...
  • ⭐[1 pc] 29.8-inch Light Stand / [1 pc] Bulb Carry Bag / [1...

First off, let’s talk about this easy-to-use lighting kit from LimoStudio that serves as an ideal product for newbies in photography. Equipped with high-quality components like umbrella-shaped reflectors and Photo CBF bulbs, it spreads light efficiently to ensure you get multiple picture-perfect frames in one go. To know more about the model, read on. 

Why Did We Like It?

The highlight of this lighting kit is, of course, its translucent white umbrella reflectors, which are made of superior-quality nylon. It works wonderfully to diffuse, reflect, and spread a stream from a continuous light source, ensuring that the light falls evenly.

At the same time, the silver reflective umbrella works to bounce the light back onto the subject so that the range and output are maximized. This reflector system also does away with light spots and glares — common issues associated with flash photographs.  

Not to forget the three 45W CFL bulbs that work pretty efficiently to provide low to medium-intensity lighting for your projects. 

And to position these lights onto the subject and hold them in place, an accent stand and two strobe lights are provided in the kit. While the two 86-inch long stands form a stable foundation for the setup, the third and much smaller stand is ideal for pulling off macro shots elegantly.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

Those who plan on getting this lighting kit may need to purchase an extra set of lights with higher power output. This is especially essential for photographers who want to shoot with high-key effects or produce a hard lighting atmosphere using a single high-power light. 

That said, this system isn’t rigid, so you can incorporate a different light source in the setup if needed.

Pros
  • Facilitates even and broad light output
  • Prevents glare and light spots in photos
  • Accent stand efficiently lights macro shots
  • Suitable for low to medium light output
Cons
  • Extra lights needed for high-key visual effects

2. UBeesize LED Video Light Kit

Sale
UBeesize LED Video Light Kit, 2Pcs Dimmable Continuous...
  • 【Video Lighting Kit:】The small LED panel light is...
  • 【Diversification Shooting Effects:】LED desktop video...

These smaller LED panel lights stand out in design, but they are just as convenient to handle as our previous pick. The multi-purpose lights are built for use at different heights, so you can effortlessly utilize them for any small to medium-sized space. Notably, the kit includes two sets of lights along with five color filters. 

Why Did We Like It?

When it comes to a photography or videography project, positioning the lights at the correct shooting angle plays a crucial role. 

So, to ensure you always achieve the desired shooting angle for your projects, these lights are equipped with 180-degree adjustability. The trick is a ¼ universal ball head fitted at the back of both the lights.

Additionally, a convenient control panel incorporated into the light cable lets you regulate the brightness between 10 to 100%, as per the need. Both the power button and the up/down buttons are easy to operate and efficiently meet the requirements of any shooting occasion. 

We also liked the sturdy, retractable tripod stands, which have working heights between 23.62 and 57.68 inches. Based on the occasion, you can use them as selfie sticks with your smartphone or connect them with the lights at the desired height for shooting, makeup, or work.    

What Could’ve Been Better?

Finding the right adapter for this USB-powered light can be difficult as it might not be compatible with some standard adaptors at your home. Also, you must ensure that the adapter voltage is less than 5V to rule out any electrical hazards. But apart from that, these lights do their job quite well and make for a versatile option. 

Pros
  • Easily adjustable shooting angle
  • Efficient brightness adjustability
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • Versatile tripod stands
Cons
  • Not compatible with all adapters

3. Kshioe Umbrellas Softbox Continuous Lighting Kit

Sale
Kshioe 800W 5500K Umbrellas Softbox Continuous Lighting Kit...
  • ★ Package Includes:【1】 x 6.6ft*10ft/2*3m Background...
  • ★ Upgraded & Professional Backdrops & Support System:...

Next on our list is this lighting kit from Kshioe that can serve as a great backdrop lighting system for experienced photographers. The kit comes with a pair of softboxes and umbrella kits along with all essential accessories for creating a complete lighting setup. As such, photographers can get the project flexibility that they yearn for. 

Why Did We Like It?

To begin with, the advanced reflector system of this lighting kit helps create superior lighting effects to provide users with the ultimate photo quality. We were especially impressed with the two lighting softboxes made of professional-grade reflective fabric and a white nylon screen that help remove shadows and soften hard light. 

Moreover, you can adjust their lighting angle between 45 to 210° based on your shooting needs. As for the reflective umbrellas, you can use them to soften a portrait since they can weaken shadows and diffuse light for a dimmer lighting effect. 

Another feature worth noting is the availability of high-quality backdrop cloths made of pure polyester that can serve as the ideal non-reflective background for your shoots. As such, you can rule out the chances of tears or wrinkles due to regular use. And to help you put up these backdrops easily, the kit contains a sturdy background stand composed of aluminum alloy.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

Some customers pointed out that the package arrived crumpled and torn in a few places, which was probably due to the use of weak packaging material. This poses the risk of damage while the product is in transit, so make sure you check all the contents thoroughly after the kit is delivered. 

Pros
  • Creates superior lighting effects
  • Softens hard light
  • Soft and wrinkle-resistant backdrop cloth
  • Softboxes come with adjustable shooting angle
Cons
  • Weak packaging material

4. MOUNTDOG

【Upgrade LED】 MOUNTDOG Softbox Lighting Kit, Photography...
  • 【Updated LED bulbs】 MOUNTDOG Softbox Photography...
  • 【Three modes of adjustment】With white, warm,and cold...

Mountdog is a leading name in the world of photographic accessories, and this advanced lighting kit from the brand lives up to its reputation. Comprising two medium-sized softboxes, two LED bulbs, and quite a few other accessories, it can be the go-to continuous lighting solution for photographers of all proficiency levels. Read on to know about its features. 

Why Did We Like It?

The best part about this lighting kit is the use of two highly energy-efficient LED bulbs of 85W each. Note that each bulb comes with 30 advanced lamp beads that can help save 80% of the energy consumed by the average LED bulb on the market. 

At the same time, their ability to produce balanced white light that resembles natural light makes them perfect light sources for a standard photography room. You can also regulate the lighting with the remote controls buttons for adjusting the color temperature and brightness. 

Speaking of the softboxes provided in the kit, they are made using high-quality PET to offer good reflectivity in any closed environment. As such, the lighting effects produced with such an arrangement are ideal for multiple photographic needs, including still life or fashion photography, live shooting, and more.

And that’s not all; the softboxes have a locking knob that you can rotate by up to 210° to enable different shooting angles.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

A slight drawback of going for this lighting kit is that its tripod stands are less flexible than the other options we’ve reviewed till now. So, you might need more time to extend or retract the stand at any point in time. Also, the locking screws provided on the stand don’t lock firmly in one go. 

Pros
  • Energy-efficient bulbs
  • Offers good reflectivity
  • Produces uniform and balanced white light
  • Softboxes are easily rotatable
Cons
  • Less flexible tripod stands

5. YICOE Softbox Lighting Kit

YICOE Softbox Lighting Kit with 60 cm Reflector Professional...
  • 5-In-1 Reflector and 2 x 95w Bulbs: Our softbox lighting for...
  • 2 x Light Stand 200cm/80inch: Made of premium aluminum alloy...

Halfway through our list, here’s another high-performing and dependable kit that closely resembles our previous pick. The YICOE continuous lighting apparatus consists of all the essentials needed to set up a makeshift photo studio anywhere. And armed with such efficient tools, you’re always prepared to take dream shots with minimal effort and maximum accuracy. 

Why Did We Like It?

What we like the most about this kit is the lighting effects it produces, thanks to the availability of three different color modes apart from the regular white light. These include warm yellow, yellow, and warm white, which photographers can freely switch between to create a variety of looks for different shooting needs. 

And like the Mountdog A-0027, this kit includes two remote controls that are convenient additions that help regulate the color temperature and brightness. So, you won’t need to move close to the softbox to adjust the lights each time. 

Furthermore, the lighting kit offers two energy-efficient LED lights. This makes it another suitable pick for photographers looking to cut their electricity costs while clicking high-quality photos. 

Plus, the tripod stands included in the kit offer a stable and long-lasting performance owing to their solid aluminum alloy construction.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

In the case of some photoshoots, the brightness of the lights provided in the kit may not be enough to create the look that you desire. As such, you may need to replace the lights with brighter models. But other than that, we appreciate the intriguing lighting effects on offer as well as the convenience of using the kit. 

Pros
  • Creates versatile lighting effects
  • Easy-to-use remote controls
  • Energy-efficient lighting
  • Stable and long-lasting tripod stands
Cons
  • Additional lighting might be required at times

6. SH Continuous Lighting System

SH 2.6M x 3M/8.5ft x 10ft Photography Lighting Backdrops...
  • 【2】33"/84cm Umbrella:The translucent white umbrella can...
  • 【2】20"x27"/50x70cm Softbox:Ultimate soften light stream...

If you’re specifically looking to get rid of too much lighting in overexposed shots, this lighting system from SH is an option to look out for. It consists of an assortment of essential apparatus for creating the perfect shooting setup and is also relatively cost-effective. Moreover, the components are equally suitable for professional photographers and beginners.   

Why Did We Like It?

Right off the bat, we noticed that the reflective umbrellas in this kit are among the most efficient we’ve come across. These can help you broaden, diffuse, or soften the light output just the way you want to achieve a balanced lighting effect. Needless to say, the resultant photos will be devoid of any shadows, creating a bright and clear image. 

What adds to the effectiveness of the lighting is the pair of reflectors — a silver and a golden one. While the former helps brighten the white light, the latter changes the color of the light by warming it up using an orange tone. As such, you can effortlessly obtain different lighting effects for your photos anytime. 

Not to forget the sturdy and long-lasting background setup consisting of a solid background stand and three attractive and durable muslin backdrop cloths.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

The only downside of this kit is that the backdrop clamps aren’t sturdy enough, so they might weaken with regular use and may even break during assembly. So, it will be best to buy some additional backdrop clamps separately if you’re planning to go for this option. 

Pros
  • Helps broaden, diffuse, and soften the light
  • Removes all shadows
  • Can brighten the light
  • Can create a warmer tone
Cons
  • Backdrop clamps not sturdy enough

7. VICIALL Softbox Lighting Kit

VICIALL HPUSN Softbox Lighting Kit 2x76x76cm Photography...
  • The kit included: (2)30"X30"/76x76cm Softbox; (2)85W 5500K...
  • 2 Softbox: The hexagonal softbox has smooth light and a wide...
 

Another advanced solution for photographers dealing in still life photography and indoor portraits is this one from VICIALL. Additionally, it can be useful for specializations such as advertising, technical photography, and photographic art. And you’ll be glad to know that it’s in stark contrast to the standard softbox lighting kits on the market.  

Why Did We Like It?

Right off the bat, the hexagonal softbox is what differentiates this kit from most other options out there. Such a shape translates to a larger light-emitting surface while also offering softer light and more vivid color. Plus, no shadow edges are formed on the rear part, ensuring the subject looks softer and more visually appealing. 

As for the other softbox, it comes in a partially curved shape that creates a condensing effect, with the light looking more textured than the average softboxes. And both these reflectors come with a rotatable independent knob fixed at their back that can be altered by 210°. 

We also appreciate the ease of use and sturdiness of the adjustable stands included in the kit, as they can provide the strength needed for extensive photoshoots. Plus, the ¼-inch threaded tip of the stands uses a single-action lock to enable easy and precise height adjustment.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

Although this lighting kit can provide you with top-quality images and a variety of visual effects by virtue of the softboxes, it doesn’t have a brightness adjustability feature. Thus, whenever you aim for a different brightness level, you’ll have to achieve it using a different light source or position the softboxes differently for the purpose. 

Pros
  • Offers softer light
  • Creates a more vivid color
  • Makes the light more textured
  • Easy height-adjustability of the stands
Cons
  • Doesn’t include brightness adjustability

8. Skytex Continuous Lighting Kit

Sale
Softbox Lighting Kit, skytex Continuous Photography Lighting...
  • The kit included: 2pcs 20" x 28"/50cm x 70cm Softbox + 2pcs...
  • 135W Energy Efficient Bulbs: Total output equivalent to...

Our next pick is this softbox lighting kit from Skytex that offers an energy-efficient and consistent performance on the whole. It’s yet another handy option for people who are relatively new to photography. Though you get lesser accessories in the kit compared to other options, it’s quite well-equipped to help you click top-notch shots. 

Why Did We Like It?

First of all, you’ll enjoy working with the CFL bulbs provided in the kit as they can offer excellent all-round performance for your photoshoots. While they’re bright enough to offer the clarity you’ll need for your photos, they can save 80% of the energy consumed by a regular incandescent bulb. 

Moreover, you can use them to take photos of higher color temperatures without being concerned about dim light or glare. We also liked the extra-long 8.5-foot cable in the two light kit, that’s 25% longer than standard cables coming with other kits. Such a cable provides you with a greater movement range that’s ideal for photoshoots.   

Plus, we found the tripod stands to be quite sturdy and easily extendable, thanks to the easy-to-operate lock screw on their tip. And last but not least, you can install all the apparatus effortlessly to set up your “mini photo studio” within minutes  

What Could’ve Been Better?

We were a bit disappointed to find that the material of the softboxes was thinner than that of other options on our list. This makes them more prone to wear and tear due to regular use, so you’ll have to be more careful while handling them. 

Pros
  • Energy-efficient lights
  • Provides clarity to your photos
  • Does away with glare or dim light
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Thinner material of softboxes

9. HPUSN Softbox Photography Lighting Kit

Sale
HPUSN Softbox Photography Lighting Kit 30"X30" Professional...
  • High Quality Material: Made of collapsible nylon cover and...
  • 210°Rotatable Head & Adjustable Stand: The studio softbox...

This HPUSN softbox lighting kit incorporates advanced lighting accessories and utilizes superior materials to provide standard lighting for different photography scenes. Thus, you can apply this kit for a variety of shooting needs including video shooting and live stream. You even get access to a lifetime warranty by opting for this kit. 

Why Did We Like It?

We’d like to start by discussing the softboxes as we found them to be the most efficient components in the kit. Composed of high-quality nylon reflector material, these facilitate superior reflection to provide enough brightness for your photos. 

Plus, the independent locking knob at the back of each softbox is rotatable by 210° to position the reflectors at different angles as per the need. You also get two white diffusers made of premium PET material that can help soften flash lights and cast even lighting on the subject. 

Speaking of the tripod stands, they come with a three-section column design and can easily extend or shrink to the desired height for any photoshoot. While their frame is lightweight to enable greater ease of use, the top has a ¼ screw for easier height adjustment.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

In some cases, the CFL bulbs included in the kit may arrive damaged or might not offer the desired lighting quality. That’s why you’ll need to check the bulbs carefully after they arrive and report to the brand soon if you notice any such issues. 

Pros
  • Facilitates superior reflection
  • Diffusers help cast even lighting
  • Adjustable shooting angle
  • Tripod stands are easy to use
Cons
  • CFL bulbs may not be of the desired quality

10. ShowMaven Continuous Lighting Studio Kit

ShowMaven 45W Dimmable LED Light with Double Color...
  • PACKAGE INCLUDES: 3pcs 20x28 Inches Photo Studio Softbox...
  • BI-COLOR DIMMABLE LED LIGHT HEAD: Lighting kit uses dual...

Before we end our list, here’s another advanced professional-grade lighting setup that can help you create your own dream photo studio. Equipped with powerful features, it provides maximized beam spread at a reasonable cost and is easy to operate as well. To learn more about all that it offers, move on to the next few sections. 

Why Did We Like It?

The most noteworthy aspect of this lighting kit is the availability of three softboxes that work to maximize the light spread for any photoshoot. 

These consist of high-quality reflectors and diffusers that soften the light stream naturally and remove all shadows for the perfect shot. What does the trick is the use of 5070 nylon cloth that promotes smooth light flow to provide the soft light that’s crucial for any professional-grade photograph. 

Added to this, the 45W LED bulbs in the kit provide adequate brightness and good color rendering while also offering an energy-efficient performance. 

These come with two color temperatures, viz. 2700K and 5500k that help produce white light and warm light respectively. Plus, you can adjust the brightness of the lights between 1% to 100% by turning the knobs at their back.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

Several customers pointed out that the stands provided in the kit weren’t sturdy enough and came with weak locking screws that were difficult to fix. As such, these stands might not be able to provide a very long-lasting performance unlike some other options on our list. 

Pros
  • Softens light naturally
  • Removes shadows
  • Lights provide good color rendering
  • Adjustable brightness
Cons
  • Softbox stands not sturdy enough

best Continuous Lighting Kits for photography

Continuous Lighting Kit Buying Guide

Started brainstorming on which continuous lighting kit will be the best for your needs? Hang on — it will be much easier to choose an option if you consider some key factors that determine their performance. Otherwise, you might land up with an inappropriate option, which would, in turn, waste both your money and effort. 

That’s why we’ve compiled this buyer’s guide describing the most important factors in this regard. This will definitely help you make a well-informed decision. 

1. Color Options

The light bulbs provided in any kit are either available in different color options or in a single color based on the brand you’re opting for. 

While those coming in multiple colors provide greater versatility, a single color limits the scope of experimentation to some extent. So, it’s always best to go for a lighting kit that lets you select the best light source for different photographs as per the need. 

2. Type Of Photos

Make sure you have in mind the type of photography that you’ll be using this kit for. After all, it’s crucial to choose the apparatus that will suit the style of photos you wish to capture. Note that while kits coming with low-powered light bulbs and smaller softboxes might not be suitable for portrait photography, they might work wonderfully for product shoots.  

3. Ease Of Use 

While professional photographers are likely to be experienced in using continuous lighting kits, beginners may be less familiar with their functionality. As such, it’s important for the less experienced photographers to choose a kit that’s comparatively simpler to use. This implies it must be easy to assemble and disassemble each time. 

To ascertain the ease of use for a particular kit, you can check the customer reviews to know what previous customers are saying in this regard. You should also check for the availability of an instruction manual for assembly. 

4. The Contents 

Know that the contents of the kits will differ based on the brand you’re choosing. That said, a continuous lighting kit typically comprises light stands, softboxes and/or silver reflector umbrellas, bulbs, clamps, and a carrying bag. 

Ensure that you check whether the kit is equipped with all the essentials that you’ll require. Notably, some might consist of fewer items, and others might come with more components than you need. Choosing a kit comprising multiple components will ensure you get all that you need to start capturing photos hassle-free. 

Continuous Lighting Kit FAQ

  • How are strobe and continuous lighting different ?

    Though there aren’t major differences between the two, strobe lighting is more powerful when it’s used the right way. That said, professionals as well as enthusiasts of photography apply both kinds of lighting in their projects based on the required lighting strength.

    Anna Vaughn

    Anna Vaughn

    Immense painting experience recommends Anna. She shaped The Little Painters, a small local painting workshop for children that invites the little ones to explore painting through simple and creative means in a safe, loving and extremely colorful environment. In her home panting studio she plays with all paint mediums but watercolor is her expertise.

  • For which type of shoots is continuous lighting applied ?

    In case you’re shooting in low-light conditions or in a studio, you might decide on using continuous lights. These lights provide enough power in such situations and can be useful for ascertaining how your lights illuminate the scene in real-time.

    Anna Vaughn

    Anna Vaughn

    Immense painting experience recommends Anna. She shaped The Little Painters, a small local painting workshop for children that invites the little ones to explore painting through simple and creative means in a safe, loving and extremely colorful environment. In her home panting studio she plays with all paint mediums but watercolor is her expertise.

  • What is the ideal size of softboxes required for a standard portrait photoshoot ?

    Note that a softbox should be approximately the same size as the subject. This implies a half-shot or head-shot may require softboxes of around 18 to 24 inches, while full-body shots could need more than two 48-inch tall softboxes.

    Anna Vaughn

    Anna Vaughn

    Immense painting experience recommends Anna. She shaped The Little Painters, a small local painting workshop for children that invites the little ones to explore painting through simple and creative means in a safe, loving and extremely colorful environment. In her home panting studio she plays with all paint mediums but watercolor is her expertise.

  • Where should softboxes be placed ?

    You’ll need to position the softboxes far enough from the subject to ensure it’s evenly lit. In case it’s placed too close, the subject may not be illuminated adequately. So, you should ascertain that the light isn’t dropping off at the extreme points of the subject.

    Anna Vaughn

    Anna Vaughn

    Immense painting experience recommends Anna. She shaped The Little Painters, a small local painting workshop for children that invites the little ones to explore painting through simple and creative means in a safe, loving and extremely colorful environment. In her home panting studio she plays with all paint mediums but watercolor is her expertise.

  • Continuous Lighting Kit

    Continuous Lighting Kit Verdict 

    On that note, we’ve reached the end of our guide. 

    Hopefully, you enjoyed reading our reviews just as we enjoyed testing and reviewing the different lighting kits. It’s now time for you to bring home a suitable option to start capturing stunning photos and experimenting with different lighting effects. So, go ahead and take your pick! 

    But before we bring down the curtains, here’s a quick recap of our favorites from the list. We feel the LimoStudio is the best choice if you’re looking to capture portrait shots with the ultimate accuracy. On the other hand, those seeking a more versatile lighting kit and are also faced with a tight budget can consider the UBeesize LED Video Light Kit

    That’s about it for today. But we’ll be back soon with more review-based guides, so stay tuned. 

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    Anna Vaughn

    Anna Vaughn

    Immense painting experience recommends Anna. She shaped The Little Painters, a small local painting workshop for children that invites the little ones to explore painting through simple and creative means in a safe, loving and extremely colorful environment. In her home panting studio she plays with all paint mediums but watercolor is her expertise.

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