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The best LED light kits provide brilliant, clear, and adjustable light suitable for any number of shooting settings/conditions. With the growing popularity of HDR photography and other improvements in photo and camera tech, proper lighting is more crucial than ever, and a LED light kit is the perfect starting point for illuminating your subjects in a way that enhances your work.
Our top pick, the Neewer 660 LED Light Kit at Amazon, is a perfect example. It features a pair of bi-color lights that are highly adjustable both in terms of brightness and color temp, and a ton of extras, including stands, batteries, and filters. It's the best LED light kit currently available, and pairs well with any of the best DSLR cameras from our list.
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.
The GVM 2-Pack LED Video Lighting Kit consists of a pair of bi-color lights with app control. The color temprature ranges between 2300k-6800k, while brightness can vary between 10 to 100 percent. It's enough granular control for most people, but particularly suitable for beginners to the professional photography scene.
The kit has 480 bi-color LED bulbs that are rated for 70,000 hours of usage. The lights can hit 15,000 lux at 20 inches and 5,500 lux at 40 inches. Using the app or the included remote control you can adjust both the color temperature and brightness.
If you need to pack the GVM lights for the road, you'll be pleased to know they can take both AC/DC power for wireless operating using either the AC adapter or a Sony NP F550 np-f970 battery (requires separate purchase). The stand itself is durable, made from aluminum alloy shell.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Neweer's 660 LED Light Kit (view on Amazon) is an awesome choice whether you're a fresh faced amateur or a veteran photog, and provides the flexibility and power for the vast majority of shooting scenarios. If you're shooting exclusively in a studio, however, consider Ikan's ID508-V2 Kit (view on Amazon), perfect for any static shooting location. For a nice budget option, we like the GVM 2-Pack LED Video Lighting Kit (view on Amazon)it's affordable, has solid specs, and app control.
David Dean is an expert in photography with more than nine years of tech journalism experience. He has a BA in History and Political Science from the University of Canterbury, and his work has appeared in outlets like the New York Times and Chicago Tribune.