The 8 Best LED Light Kits to Buy in 2018

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For many years, photography and video lighting kits used tungsten or fluorescent bulbs due to their increased color accuracy and longevity. They come with noticeable disadvantages as well, however, with power consumption, heat output, and weight being particularly problematic.

Over the last decade, LED technology has improved rapidly and the lights have become increasingly popular as a result. It's now possible to buy inexpensive lights if you're just starting out, high-end variants for professional use, and just about anything in between. Spotting an opportunity, many manufacturers have also started bundling related accessories like stands, filters, batteries, and carry bags into a kit.

Purchasing a kit is a great opportunity to save a significant amount of money as opposed to buying everything separately. Whether you've got $200 or $2000 to spend on a lighting solution, and whether you're working in a studio, on location, or traveling between the two, we've found the best lighting kits for photography and video available now.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Neewer 2-Pack Dimmable Bi-color 660 LED Light Kit

If you're after maximum lighting versatility and value with minimum outlay, it's hard to overlook this Neewer kit. As well as the pair of bi-color lights that let you easily adjust both brightness and color temperature levels, the kit includes four barn door attachments for each light, a pair of stands, two white filters, power cables, and four batteries with individual chargers for shooting almost anywhere. A couple of carry bags complete the set.

Color temperature and brightness settings are easily controlled via the large knobs on the back of the lights, while the angle of the light itself is easily adjusted and set via locking knobs on the side. Each stand is adjustable from 3' to 6.5' high and is made from corrosion-resistant metal to extend its life in outdoor settings. As well as helping focus and spread the light, the barn door attachments fold across the front of the light to protect the delicate LEDs in transit.

Best Budget: Neewer 3X CN-160 Dimmable LED Light Kit

Neewer 3x CN-160 Dimmable LED Light Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

If you're after noticeably better lighting for your photography projects but aren't looking to break the bank, Neewer's LED Kit has everything you need to get started. Including three dimmable lights with attachable filters and lightboxes, stands that expand out to six feet, three batteries, a charger, and a 30" x 10" x 10" bag to carry it all in, the collection delivers exceptional bang for your buck.

With an effective distance of up to twenty feet, a maximum power of 9.6 watts, and a color temperature of 5600K, the lights are ideal for portrait or interview illumination. Each can be attached directly to most cameras using the included hot shoe adapter or mounted on one of the aluminum stands. However they're mounted, the angle is adjustable via a simple screw wheel. Each light typically lasts up to ninety minutes on a single 2600mAh battery. An indicator on the back shows the remaining charge level.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: GVM 2-Pack Bi-Color LED Light Kit

When you know you'll be using your lighting kit near a power outlet, GVM's LED Light Kit is a great option. The bi-color lights give you wide adjustment of the color temperature, from a warm 2300K to a cool white 6800K, and anything in between. Light intensity and color temperature are both adjustable via simple dials on the back of each light, with details shown on an LCD display.

The kit ships with a pair of 480-LED lights, attachable light diffusers, two power adapters, and a carry bag. Should you need to use the lights aware from a power outlet, compatible batteries and chargers can be bought separately.

As with most inexpensive kits, the stands can be a little flimsy when fully extended, but you can easily use the lights with other, sturdier stands if you need to. The GVM kit also comes with a limited one-year warranty.

Best for Studio Work: Ikan ID508 3-Point LED Studio Light Kit

For professional-grade studio work, reliable high-quality lighting is essential. The Ikan ID508 Studio Light Kit costs significantly more than the budget versions listed above, but you get far more for your money as a result.

This three-light kit ships with power supplies and sturdy stands, plus six Sony "L" series batteries with separate chargers. There's also a diffusion filter and CTO (orange) filter for each light, and a bag to store and transport everything, with a total weight of around 32 pounds.

The LED lights themselves are extremely bright while still generating minimal heat, making them ideal for lengthy shoots. The four reflective barn doors also fold flat across the front of the light for extra protection in transit.

Being able to quickly switch from daylight (5600K) to tungsten color temperature via the CTO filter makes for easier color matching and less post-production work. Each light is fully dimmable, and there's a digital battery indicator on the back.

Best for Soft Lighting: Ikan LB10 3-Point Soft Panel LED Light Kit

While you've always got the option of adding a diffuser to soften the output of any photographic lamps, it's also possible to buy LEDs specifically designed for the purpose. This high-end Ikan kit contains three Lyra bi-color LED lamps with integrated diffusers, plus stands, power supplies, AB and V-mount Pro plates for a wider choice of batteries (none are included), and a pair of bags — one for the stands, one for the lights themselves.

The large rotary dial on the back of each light lets you dim the output of each unit, or adjust the color temperature anywhere between 3200K and 5600K. You can also change the settings with the bundled remote control, letting you stay in front of the camera rather than walking backward and forward to the lights all the time.

With a bright, flicker-free output across the color temperature range, wide 110-degree lighting angle, and barn doors with removable intensifiers, this is the ideal lighting kit for interviews and portrait work.

Best Remote Control on a Budget: VILTROX VL-200 LED Kit

Many of the more-expensive LED lighting kits ship with remote controls that let you adjust brightness and color temperature from a distance, but it's rare to find them on cheaper kits like this Voltrox VL-200. Working at distances up to 65 feet, the remote has multiple channels and groups for easier control and reduced interference.

The three included bi-color lights are dimmable between 20- to 100-percent brightness, while the color temperature can be adjusted anywhere from 3300K to 5600K. Power cables and adapters are included, and while the lights can run on rechargeable batteries as well, you'll need to buy your own separately.

An LCD display on the back shows color temperature, battery charge level, and brightness settings, and the bundled hot shoe adapters let you attach any of the lights to a camera, separate tripod, or the included stand. Speaking of the stands, the ones in this kit extend unusually high, over seven feet, while folding down to a little over two feet for easy transportation in the included carry case.

Best for Tabletop Use: Emart Tabletop Photography LED Lighting Kit

If you're after a simple tabletop lighting setup for shooting small items, you don't need to spend a large amount of money to get a good result. This Emart LED kit is a great example, letting you noticeably improve the quality of your images for under fifty dollars.

The pair of 15W LED lamps come with sturdy adjustable stands that sit anywhere between 12.8" and 18" and plug into a standard 110v power socket. Three filters — white, orange, and blue — let you change the default daylight color temperature as needed.

The lights are small enough to fit inside almost any lighting tent, inexpensively opening up the range of shooting possibilities. Lightweight yet sturdy, there's no problem transporting the lights from place to place as need. A travel bag isn't included in the kit, but if you keep the packaging it comes in, that works almost as well.

Best for Affordable Color Accuracy: Aputure Amaran HR672KIT

Getting accurate colors from your lighting rig can be a challenge unless you're buying very high-end gear, but Aputure's Amaran HR672 kit boasts a color-rendering index (CRI) score of 95+ without breaking the bank.

That color accuracy isn't the only thing on offer with this kit, though. The light output of each of the three 672-LED lamps is about the same as a traditional 400W incandescent bulb while being roughly the size of an iPad and little more than an inch thick.

The lights can be powered by either a standard wall cable or the six included batteries (two per light), which charge in the back of the unit. Diffusion and CTO filters for each lamp are also provided.

The metal stands extend to 6.5', remaining stable even at full height, while the wireless remotes let you adjust the brightness levels from over 300 feet away. Multiple channels and groups make for easier control of several different lights at once.

Our Process

Our writers spent 12 hours researching the most popular LED light kits on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 18 different light kits overall, screened options from 11 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 90 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.