The 7 Best Photo Light Boxes of 2021

Get ideal lighting for your product photography

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The best photo lightboxes can give you exactly what you need to plus up your product photography game. Good lighting is one of the most crucial elements to taking a great photograph. That's definitely the case when dealing with products. Whether you're snapping a photo for Etsy or eBay, or trying to step up your professional game, a great photo box can make a major difference.

Lightboxes not only soften the light being cast on an object, but they often provide the right background as well. Colored backgrounds can really make a product pop, but a good photo box will offer both solutions in one. Some lightboxes are portable while others are meant to be set up in a studio and not moved much. Your setup of course will determine which is best for you.

Other things to look for in a soft light box include built-in lighting, multiple backdrops, and most importantly interior space. After all, if your product won't fit inside your lightbox it's not going to do much good. Similarly, a lightbox that's too large can be unwieldy to move around or manage. Our experts have looked at many lightboxes, and we have our picks below.

The Rundown
The Fositan photo box is our favorite lightbox on the list and it's also the largest.
This is a great price for a complete set of everything you need to step up your photography game.
Best for Colored Backdrops:
JHS-TECH Portable Lightbox at Amazon
If you're shooting smaller items, and you like a little variety, this is a great option for you.
Basically, it includes everything you need except the camera.
Best for Portability and Extras:
ORANGEMONKIE Foldio3 at Amazon
Along with the lightbox, you get a bluetooth connected turntable and app that allows you to shoot an item in 360 degrees and puts it together for you.
If your subjects are typically pretty small, the Puluz mini photo studio box is a great pickup.
Best for Pro Results:
MyStudio MS20PRO-LED at Amazon
If you have a professional studio setup and can afford the space to dedicate to a photo box, you will struggle to find a better lightbox than the MyStudio MS20Pro.

Best Overall: Fositan Photo Box

What we like
  • Included carrying case

  • Dimmable lighting

  • Four colored backdrops

What we don't like
  • Long assembly time

  • Almost too big

The Foistan photo box is our favorite lightbox on the list and it's also the largest. Measuring just under three feet on a side, this box is large enough for any kind of shooting you might have to do. It's large enough to fit a chair or a medium-sized dog. If you're a jewelry maker, you'll want something smaller, but otherwise, this box can handle basically anything.

The photo box comes with a case for easy transportation, but it does take a while to set up and takedown, so budget your time appropriately. The box has integrated, step-less, dimmable lighting, which is a nice bonus, along with the four colored backdrops that ensure you can get exactly the shot you're looking for. There's a lot to like here.

Dimensions: 90 x 90 x 90 cm | Weight: 17 pounds | Color temperature: 5,500 +/- 200K | Wattage: Not specified

Best Budget: LimoStudio 16" x 16" Table Top Photo Photography Studio

What We Like
  • Good price

  • Portable

  • Complete package

What We Don't Like
  • Backdrops are wrinkly

  • Dim lights

One of the best budget options you can get is the Limostudio Tabletop photography Studio Kit. It's not the least expensive option on the list, but it comes with everything you need for photography. You get a lightbox, backdrops, lights, and a phone tripod and holder, and that all packs away into a neat carrying case. Considering how small this breaks down, the 16-inch cube is a good size.

Some reports indicate the background fabric can get easily wrinkled which is not awesome, so you may need to iron it prior to use. The included spotlights are not the brightest either but you can use them to supplement the lighting wherever you are. Use them for emphasis or to fill in gaps. But overall this is a great price for a complete set of everything you need to step up your photography game.

Dimensions: 17.5 x 3.7 x 17.75 inches | Weight: 4.09 pounds | Color Temperature: Not specified | Wattage: 75W

Best for Colored Backdrops: JHS-TECH Mini Photo Studio Box

Mini Photo Studio Box
What We Like
  • Lighting powered by USB

  • Very portable

What We Don't Like
  • Small

While a lot of product photography takes place against white backgrounds for the clean look it provides, some photos need a little bit of pop to make them stand out. Colored backgrounds are a great way to make a photo stand out and this particular kit has six different colors to choose from. You can use white, red, blue, green, lime green, or black.

The box itself is very light and portable, but it's only 9 x 9 x 9 inches (LWD) so there's not a lot of room inside the box. As long as what you're shooting is fairly small you should be in good shape. You can shoot from the front or from the top-down which is a nice bonus. The two sets of lights are powered by USB, so you can use a wall adapter or a portable battery, meaning you can use this basically anywhere. If you're shooting smaller items, and you like a little variety, this is a great option for you.

Dimensions: 22 x 23 x 24 inches | Weight: 350 grams | Color Temperature: 6000 to 6500K | Wattage: 7.5W

Best All-in-One Kit: StudioPRO Fovitec Photography Portable Studio Table Top Lighting Tent

Fovitech Light Box
What We Like
  • Even light

  • Table stand included

What We Don't Like
  • Unstable light stands

  • No carrying case

If you're looking for a full-fledged kit of lightbox photography, the Fovitec Lightbox Kit is very well named. In this kit, you get two light stands, two 45W bulbs, two small tables for holding the subject, four colored backdrops, and of course the lightbox itself. Basically, it includes everything you need except the camera.

The light inside the box is soft and even throughout. The lamps are designed to shine through the sides of the box to evenly disperse the light. There are also two tables - one white and one black with magnetic legs for swapping between them. We'd like to see a carrying case included to haul all this stuff around and to keep it all together. Also, the light stands tip over a little too easily for our taste. But as long as you're careful, or you toss some gaffer's tape in your bag, you'll be in good shape.

Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 12 inches | Weight: 8 pounds | Color Temperature: 5500 to 5600K | Wattage: 300W

Best for Portability and Extras: ORANGEMONKIE Foldio3 Foldable Photo Studio Box

Foldio3
What We Like
  • Magnetic design

  • Turntable included

  • Lets you take 360 degree photos

What We Don't Like
  • Flimsy

  • Power cord is short

The Foldio 3, as its name implies, is the third generation in the Foldio family. It gets its name from the fact that it folds down flat and reassembles magnetically. The lightbox has lighting preinstalled into the walls and there's an extra halo light you can attach magnetically to the walls if you need more light.

This lightbox comes with one particularly nifty item. Along with the lightbox, you get a Bluetooth-connected turntable and app that allows you to shoot an item in 360 degrees and puts it together for you. The Bluetooth connects to your camera and takes photos at precise angles as it turns the turntable. The lightbox itself is made out of plastic, similar to corrugated cardboard. It's important to keep the Foldio safe when not in use. Also, the power cord is short, so it's important to make sure you're working close to an extension cord or outlet.

Dimensions: 25 x 25 x 22 inches | Weight: 7.28 pounds | Color Temperature: 5700K | Wattage: Not specified

The Foldio3 scores serious points for design innovation, as the magnetic assembly makes it super easy to set up—it’s also one of the few lightboxes to have 360-degree photo capabilities.” — Katie Dundas, Tech Writer

Best Compact: PULUZ Mini Photo Studio Box

What We Like
  • Small and compact

  • Great price

  • Multi-angle shooting

What We Don't Like
  • Power cord is short

  • Delicate

Sometimes you don't need a huge photo box. If your subjects are typically pretty small, the Puluz mini photo studio box is a great pickup. This is a completely foldable lightbox that sits on a table and folds down to less than one inch thick. It also comes with five different background colors including orange, red, green, blue, and black. You can't beat it for what it does.

The box itself is made of thin plastic and held together with velcro, so we're not talking about a rock-solid build quality here There's an included light that has an admittedly short cord so remember to keep an extension cord in your gear bag. But overall, as long as your items are not too large, this is a great inexpensive option that will help you capture amazing product photos.

Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 7.7 ounces | Color Temperature: Not specified | Wattage: 3.5W

Best for Pro Results: MyStudio MS20PRO-LED Tabletop Lightbox

MyStudio MS20J Tabletop Photo Studio
What We Like
  • Curved background

  • Shoot from any angle

  • Very bright lights included

What We Don't Like
  • Not portable

  • Very pricey

If you have a professional studio setup and can afford the space to dedicate to a photo box, you will struggle to find a better lightbox than the MyStudio MS20Pro. This is a pre-formed lightbox that is 20 x 20 x 12 inches (LWD) and it's made of white seamless acrylic and gives you a very smooth transition in the background. The result is a great backdrop for product photography. You can shoot products from any angle and it will look like it belongs on the pages of a catalog.

Various sizes are available, but we recommend the MS20Pro for mid-sized items, but the box sizes go up to a whopping 53 inches if you need to shoot something larger. But this product does not break down, nor does it travel easily. It comes with two lights that can output 2,700 lumens. The set also includes black and white bounce cards and two acrylic panels for reflections. Overall, this is easily the best photo box you can buy, but its price and lack of portability mean that it's really only for professionals.

Dimensions: 30 x 28 x 18 inches | Weight: 7 pounds | Color Temperature: 500K | Wattage: Not specified

Final Verdict

Overall we love the Fositan studio lightbox (View on Amazon). It has great size and lighting built-in, and the price is a great value for its size. It collapses down as well into a convenient carrying case for shooting on the go. Otherwise, if you want something a little more portable or compact, you can't go wrong with the LimoStudio set (view on Amazon). We especially love the carrying case on that product since it carries everything you need.

About Our Trusted Experts 

Katie Dundas is a freelance writer and journalist who has been covering tech for several years. She’s also an avid photographer and a digital camera expert.

FAQ
  • How does a lightbox work?

    A photo lightbox uses either light-reflective or absorbing surfaces to surround your subject in smooth, even lighting which provides a better sense of depth and dimension. This also helps eliminate unwanted shadows by bouncing the light into areas you can't reach.

  • Do you need a separate lighting kit to get the most out of your lightbox?

    Not necessarily. Having a lighting kit is certainly a plus, but will benefit you the most only when trying to photograph larger objects. A lightbox is really meant to either amplify or adequately diffuse the flash from your phone or DSLR camera. It also contains its own light source, which helps you get even lighting in your photo, free from unwanted shadows.

  • If you don't have a DSLR camera, should you buy a lightbox?

    You'll arguably get more from a photo lightbox if your camera isn't a DSLR camera. The benefit will likely be more noticeable if your camera falls below the professional level. But yes, if you need to take some better photos of individual products without a DSLR camera, a lightbox can help immensely.

"Casual photographers can benefit from using a lightbox by easily creating a clean, portable, and easily controlled lighting environment in any situation. This makes the outcome of product photography more consistent, allowing for less photo editing." — Nathan Berry, Lensrentals Lighting Supervisor

What to Look For in the Best Photo Light Boxes


Size

A lightbox uses a closed environment to effectively diffuse light over your subject. Therefore, a larger subject will necessitate a larger lightbox. If you're shooting jewelry, an 18-inch box should suffice, whereas someone shooting desktop computers might need a 48-inch box.

Accessories

If you need a little more flexibility in your lighting setup, some lightboxes come packaged with a variety of accessories to let you fine-tune your lighting environments, such as different backdrops or supplementary lighting.

"Besides just the included options, a photographer should consider all their creative needs when purchasing and setting up a lightbox. If the goal is to provide consistency, using a tripod for the camera is especially important for video, and can make shooting still photos much more simple. If external lights, such as strobes are being used, having stands will help for perfect light positioning." — Nathan Berry, Lensrentals Lighting Supervisor

Portability

Much of this will have to do with the size of the lightbox you choose and whether you have a dedicated space for photography, but having a lightbox that makes it easier to set up and break down will give you greater flexibility in where you can stage your photos.

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