The 7 Best Studio Light Kits for Photographers to Buy in 2017

Here's how to light up your photos like a pro

Fovitec StudioPRO
Courtesy of Amazon.com

When it comes to capturing the perfect studio photograph, there are a few must-have items on your shopping list. Outside of the camera, perhaps the most important accessory is the lighting kit that will allow you the best light to capture the most natural-looking photo. And while there are different advantages and features to each lighting kit, one thing they all have is common is their ability to considerably improve your photography. No matter your demands, these top lighting kits are must-haves for photographers.

Celebrated for its solid build quality, versatility and powerful lighting, the Fovitec StudioPRO softbox lighting kit is an outstanding option. Included are two stands, three softboxes, two five-socket heads, one one-socket head, one boom stand with standbag, 11 45-watt light bulbs and one transportation bag. Essentially, the StudioPRO is full of everything you need to create the perfectly lit studio. The entire package weighs 26.1 pounds, which makes for easy transportation from studio to studio. Ideally, the Fovitec is best used for portraits, art and product photography since the medium-sized softbox and two lights are arguably the bare minimum for a professional-grade setup. The five-socket head is a powerful source of artificial light and with another softbox added to it (plus the 5-inch boom arm), the result is a great lighting setup for portrait photography.

The LimoStudio lighting kit is great for beginners looking to take nearly flawless portrait photography. Included are two tripod stands that can stand tall at 86 inches, so they're adjustable for nearly any lighting condition you might require. This kit also includes two lights, two stands and two light holders. At 10.4 pounds with the integrated travel bag, it’s also highly portable. Setup takes just four steps, so the 85-watt pure white light bulbs will help make scenes look more natural and vivid in just minutes.

If it’s a three-point kit you need, LimoStudio’s 600-watt simple kit is just what you’re looking for and it’s available at a very budget-friendly price. This continuous lighting kit offers dual 86-inch tall shoot-through translucent umbrellas, a set of three fluorescent lights, plus a light holder (28-inches tall) that acts as an accent light (which comes in handy for any macro shots). Easily tucked away in the included storage bag, the 10.1-pound LimoStudio 600W adds 45-watt bulbs that can be replaced with more powerful options for even better lighting no matter what kind of shooting scenario you encounter. Unlike it’s more expensive sibling, the 600W limits the amount of hardware that can be used to focus the light, but, for the price, this studio kit gets the job done with room to spare.

The Neewer 600W Photo Studio is a fantastic choice for photographers who want to splurge a little on lighting without jumping into professional equipment pricing. The Neewer kit has everything you need for a great studio setup, including a two 300-watt strobe flash, two 75-inch light stands, two 20 x 28-inches softboxes, one RT-16 flash trigger and one bag to carry everything. Working as the main light, the C-300 strobe offers a range of adjustments to help find the appropriate lighting for each project from proportion lighting to full. The light stands are constructed out of aluminum alloy for standing up to a demanding workload, while the softbox helps diffuse the light for finding the best possible shot. It weighs 21.7 pounds.

Geared specifically toward beginners, the three-piece StudioFX 2400 lighting kit includes three main softbox units, three light stands and three light heads. The softboxes can fit a total of five bulbs, each with their own separate on/off controls, making them perfect for portraits, product shots and even video shooting. The lights are designed to work great with DLSR cameras (compatible with Nikon, Sony, Canon Olympus and more) no matter the level of expertise of the photographer. If there’s any downside (and you may not call it a downside), it’s that the StudioFX weighs 29 pounds, making it slightly less portable than some of the competition. If you can overlook the weight, this 10-bulb set with its overhead boom adds all the professional performance you need while still being beginner friendly.

Designed specifically for product shots, the MyStudio VS53 tabletop studio lightbox kit measures 53 x 96 inches. The white background is lightweight, durable and ensures there’s almost no reflection. The included 5000k continuous fluorescent lighting system adds four 48-inch daylight bulbs for creating a soft and even lighting area over the entire surface. To help provide the best possible photo solution, the light fixtures can swivel into three separate angles for the highest possible lighting flexibility. The included clips allow for the attachment of any preferred background paper. So long as there’s a 5 x 7-foot table available to accommodate the required space for the 40-pound MyStudio, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better solution for dedicated product photography that turns out professional results every time.

Created for professionals who focus heavily on video production, the Cowboystudio four-piece lighting kit includes three daylight bulbs, dual seven-foot stands and a lone mini light stand. Added to the mix are three light sockets that include two white umbrellas to help create the perfect lighting environment for shooting. The stands are constructed of aluminum alloy for a strong and sturdy build that will last for years to come. Weighing 12.95 pounds, the Cowboystudio remains portable with a padded carrying case to help transport the entire studio set with you on your travels. Whether you’re shooting for YouTube or Facebook, the 45-watt 5500k daylight bulbs help create a soft glow that highlights you or your subjects.

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