The 4 Best Studio Light Kits for Photographers in 2023

Don't have time to research individual lighting components? These kits are smart time and cost effective alternatives.

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Which lighting kit you purchase will depend on what you intend to shoot: portraits, products, still life, macro images of insects, or even green screen video that allows you to get really creative and add different backgrounds when you’re editing the footage on your PC.

Here is our compact list of the best lighting kits that will allow you to capture stunning photos and video.

Best Overall

Weifeng Premium Portrait Photography Studio Lighting Kit

Weifeng Premium Portrait Photography Studio Lighting Kit


What We Like
  • Solid quality for the price

  • Includes backdrop setup

  • Portable full setup

What We Don't Like
  • Quality isn't as high as other options

If you’re looking for a more complete kit than the barebones kit, the Premium Photography Studio Lighting Kit from Weifeng comes with a lot more useful studio equipment than many of its competitors. 

It includes four adjustable lighting stands with two white and two black umbrellas, four 45W light bulbs, and an 8-by-10-foot backdrop frame with three backdrops (black, white, and green).

If you don’t have any equipment yet, or if you’re a professional photographer looking for a lightweight and flexible travel kit, this is a great option. The whole thing weighs only 26 pounds and is quick to set up and break down.

The only downside is that the lights in this kit aren’t quite as high quality as those in more expensive kits.

Best for product photography

OrangeMonkey Foldio3

OrangeMonkey Foldio3.


What we like
  • Foldable and compact for travel and storage

  • Makes it easy to capture professional product shots

  • Perfect for home businesses

What we don't like
  • The size limits what can be photographed

If you’re selling products from your home or small business online, the Foldio3 from OrangeMonkie takes much of the challenge and steep learning curve out of product photography by offering an all-in-one solution that includes everything you need.

The Foldio3 uses a magnetic clip system so that it can be assembled or taken down in mere seconds, and it stows into a highly compact and portable package for travel or storage in locations where space is at a premium. 

Non-reflective black and white backdrops are included, which are made of plastic and are easy to clean. Its built-in multi-light system is designed to minimize harsh shadows on your subject. The one downside is that you are limited by the size of the enclosure to the products you can photograph, since the largest version is only 25 inches wide.

Even if you can’t afford to invest in a fancy camera, the Foldio3 allows you to capture professional looking images just with your phone.

Best for versatility

Lume Cube 2.0 Pro Lighting Kit

Lume Cube 2.0 Professional Lighting Kit.


What we like
  • Compact and portable

  • Rugged and waterproof

  • Battery powered

What we don't like
  • A bit pricey

  • Not effective in bright conditions

If you’re unsure of exactly what you need from a lighting kit, then the Lume Cube 2.0 Pro Lighting Kit is a great option. These diminutive little lights produce a surprising amount of light despite their tiny size, and have a wealth of talents hidden inside their unassuming exteriors.

The Cube 2.0 is designed to be paired with just about any camera, from a high end pro-mirrorless camera to your smartphone, or even strapped to your drone.

The lights themselves are dimmable, and can be used both as continuous lights or as flashes for still photography, and can be controlled via Bluetooth connection. The kit includes a bunch of modifiers to let you alter the characteristics of the light.

The only downsides are that the kit is somewhat expensive, and the lights, though remarkably bright, aren't very useful in sunlit conditions. 

For photographers and videographers on the go who need to shoot in a variety of scenarios, however, the Lume Cube 2.0 Pro Lighting Kit is easily one of the most versatile on the market.

Best Value

StudioFX 2400W Softbox Lighting Kit with Backdrop

StudioFX 2400 Watt Softbox Continuous Photo Lighting Kit


What We Like
  • Full setup

  • Includes overhead boom

  • Bright

What We Don't Like
  • Softboxes are on the small side

If you’re setting up a complete indoor studio space but don’t want it to take up too much room, this kit from StudioFX is compact and has just about everything you need right in the bag.

It includes two seven-foot stands with four-socket heads, one overhead boom with a single-socket head, an adjustable backdrop stand, and three backdrops (black, white, and green). 

The pair of four-socket heads come with 45W bulbs and puts out a good amount of light, but some of the included softboxes are on the small side at 16 x 24 inches each. The overhead softbox is larger at 20 x 28 inches.

The two vertical stands are adjustable up to seven feet and the boom arm is adjustable to nearly six feet.

This isn’t the largest kit on the market, but that’s actually an advantage if you’re working in a smaller space. For the money, this kit provides excellent value. 

Final Verdict

You really can’t go wrong with the Weifeng Studio Lighting Kit regardless of what subject you intend to photograph. With it you can start off with professional grade lights, stands, and backdrops at an affordable price point, but with gear that won’t gather dust as you upgrade and expand your home studio.

  • Who needs a light kit?

    Anyone from beginner hobbyists to professional photographers can benefit from a quality lighting kit. Proper lighting can dramatically improve any image from product to glamor shots, and a great lighting kit is the best shortcut to quickly and easily establishing the conditions you need.

  • How many watts do I need for my studio/shooting space?

    Your needs will vary greatly depending on factors like ISO, exposure, and other modifiers, but generally 2000W of combined light will be sufficient for continuous shooting in a smaller studio, while a larger space may require up to double (or more) that wattage.

  • Do I need a softbox?

    A softbox reduces the appearance of harsh, jarring shadows by diffusing light in an even way that pleases the eye. While they're not a prerequisite, they can definitely lend your photos a professional air of quality that traditional light doesn't impart.

What to Look for in a Studio Light Kit

Flash vs. constant lighting - An important choice to make when choosing a lighting kit is whether you want a momentary light for individual images, or a light that constantly illuminates your subject. 

For beginners, a constant light is going to be much easier to use as you don’t have to worry about syncing your camera with the flash and can compose your shot more easily. However, a typical flash produces brighter light than a constant light, particularly in entry level gear.

Portability - Lighting kits vary wildly in size from about the size of a laptop computer to ones that fill enormous duffle bags when folded down. You should also consider how difficult the kit is to take down and reassemble. If you need to take your lighting with you to different locations, then size when stowed, weight, and ease of assembly are vital factors.

Light control - Many lighting kits come with built in controls to adjust the color and brightness of the light. For beginners, such controls may not be strictly necessary, but as you learn and progress they will become more helpful.

About Our Trusted Experts

Andy Zahn is a professional photographer who captures everything from product photos to landscapes and wildlife images. Andy utilizes studio lights both for photos, and in video production.

Emmeline Kaser is a former editor for Lifewire’s product round-ups and reviews. She is an experienced product researcher specializing in consumer tech.

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