The 4 Best Photo Light Boxes of 2021

Here's how to set up the ideal lighting scenario

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The Rundown
"At nine cubic inches, this lightbox is ideal for shooting images of jewelry or toys and it collapses down to fit into a bag or backpack."
"The Fovitec StudioPRO offers an all-in-one lightbox kit that has everything you need to get started while not breaking the bank."
Best for Portability and Extras:
ORANGEMONKIE Foldio3 at Amazon
"The crowdfunded Foldio3 has a unique design that allows it to fold down to just an inch high while expanding out to a full-size 25" lightbox."
Best for Pro Results:
MyStudio MS20PRO-LED at Amazon
"For shooting small to mid-size items, the MS20PRO-LED is an ideal upgrade, with a pair of ultra-bright color-corrected lights."

If you're regularly photographing small to medium-sized products, there's no better way to get consistent photos than with one of the best lightboxes. These inexpensive tools are a fantastic way to provide soft, diffuse lighting to your subject, preventing dark spots and harsh shadows. Besides the overall size of the lightbox, which dictates the size of the items you can shoot, there are a couple of factors to bear in mind.

Unless you have a dedicated photo studio or space, you'll want to consider the portability of a specific lightbox, and how easy it is to set up or break down. Also, certain lightboxes come packaged with a variety of accessories, such as supplementary fill and backlights, as well as different colored backgrounds.

Best Budget: JHS-TECH Mini Photo Studio Box

Mini Photo Studio Box
What We Like
  • USB powered lighting

  • Easy to transport

What We Don't Like
  • Only 9 cubic inches of shooting space

If you know you'll only need to be taking shots of small items, and don't have a large budget to spend, the JHS-TECH portable lightbox is a great place to start. At nine cubic inches, it's ideal for shooting images of jewelry or toys, and it collapses down to fit into a bag or backpack for easy transport. Open at the front, you can choose to shoot from straight on or take top-down shots via a large hole in the roof of the box that's covered when not in use.

The strip of LED lights at the front and back of the box are reasonably bright and can be controlled individually if necessary. They're powered via a USB cable, which can be plugged into a computer, wall socket, or portable battery pack.

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

Fovitech Light Box
What We Like
  • Reasonable price

  • Included LED lamps

What We Don't Like
  • No carrying case for lamps

  • Might not be suitable for larger items

Looking for an all-in-one lightbox kit that has everything you need to get started at a reasonable price? It's hard to go past the Fovitec StudioPRO. As well as the lightbox itself, the wide range of accessories in the box includes four colored backdrops, two height-adjustable lamps with 45W fluorescent bulbs, and small black and white reflective tabletops with magnetic legs for placing products on if necessary.

The dual lamp setup lets you light items from any angle (you can add extra lights if you need them, of course), and, being wall-powered, are both brighter and more flexible than the USB-powered strip lights you find on other models.

Ideal for shooting small to medium-sized items, the lightbox pops up into shape and can be set up in a matter of seconds. When you're done, the lightbox and all other accessories except the lamps pack away into a compact carry case.

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

What We Like
  • Easy set up

  • App allows for 360-degree photography

What We Don't Like
  • Feels a bit flimsy compared to larger models

Need a highly-portable lightbox for shooting product shots on the go? The crowdfunded Foldio3 is ideal as its unique design allows it to fold down to just an inch high while expanding out to a full-size 25" lightbox for taking photos of even relatively-large items.

Assembly and disassembly only take a few seconds as magnets speed up the process. Attaching one of the two backdrops is equally quick, rolling up from the bottom to attach at the top.

Three LED light strips are built into the Foldio3, and if you need extra light or a customized location, the optional Halo Bar attaches to one of the side or bottom magnets. A control unit lets you dim the lights together or separately.

If you're planning on taking 360-degree photos, pick up the Foldio360 as well. This turntable sits inside the lightbox and connects to a phone or camera over Bluetooth. Rotating and shooting photos automatically, it then combines them into a 360-degree photo in the accompanying app.

Best for Pro Results: MyStudio MS20PRO-LED Tabletop Lightbox

MyStudio MS20J Tabletop Photo Studio
What We Like
  • Seamless curved background

  • Provides flexibility in shooting angles

What We Don't Like
  • Hard plastic isn't collapsible

If you're a professional product photographer or have aspirations to become one, it's worth spending a bit more on the MyStudio range. The company sells a few different variations of its lightbox kits, ranging in size up to 53", but for shooting small to mid-size items, the MS20PRO-LED is ideal.

This "Pro" version of the MS20 replaces the basic fluorescent lamps with a pair of ultra-bright color-corrected LED lights, yielding far better results. There are also two pairs of bounce/fill cards with their own stands, to help manage shadows and provide illumination exactly where you want it.

Made from hard plastic rather than fabric, the 20” x 20” x 12” cylindrical background ensures no wrinkles or seams showing up in your shots, and provides greater shooting angles and less time editing afterward as a result. The kit also ships with black and white acrylic pads for getting professional-looking reflections under whatever you're shooting.

Final Verdict

The Havox photo studio provides unparalleled color accuracy and a variety of sizes and shooting options, making it our top choice for anyone needing reliable, consistent lighting in their photography.


How does a light box 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 to eliminate unwanted shadows by bouncing the light into areas you can't reach. 

Do I need a lighting kit to get the most out of my light box?
Not necessarily, having a lighting kit is certainly a plus, but will really only benefit you the most when trying to photograph larger objects. A light box is really meant to either amplify or adequately diffuse the flash from your phone or DSLR camera. In some cases, you may even be able to simply use a soft white LED bulb, just don't use fluorescents.  

I don't have a DSLR camera, should I buy a light box?
You'll arguably get more from a photo light box 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.

What to look for in the Best Photo Light Boxes:

Size - A lightbox utilizes 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.

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.

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.

About our Trusted Experts:

David Dean has worked in corporate IT for 15 years in a variety of support and managerial roles in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and other major publications.

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