The 4 Best Softbox Lighting Kits of 2021

Because let's face it: Good lighting is everything

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The Rundown
There's a lot of equipment for the money and it's ideal for new studio-based photographers.
Runner-Up, Best for Starting Out:
StudioFX Lighting Kit at Amazon
This kit is the perfect way to improve your studio shots without spending a fortune.
Best Battery-Operated:
Neewer LED Lighting Kit at Amazon
Because of their small size and weight, the softboxes can be mounted directly onto DSLR and video cameras.
A kit for those who don't have much to spend on a lighting solution, but want to improve their studio photography at low cost.
in this article

Best for Starting Out: Fovitec StudioPRO Softbox Lighting Kit

Fovitec StudioPRO Softbox Lighting Kit

Looking for a kit that has everything you need to get started with softbox photography, at a price that won't break the bank? This Fovitec StudioPRO kit fits the bill nicely. It's available in one, two, or three-light variants, but we'd recommend the latter for maximum versatility.

In that box, you'll receive three light stands that adjust all the way up to 90 inches, three 20- x 28-inch softboxes, and three lamp heads, two with five bulb sockets and one with one socket.

The kit ships with 11 45W compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs, with the intention of using five in both of the floor-standing lights, and one in the lamp head that's attached to the boom. You can buy and add more if needed, however.

There's also an adjustable boom stand with a counterbalancing sandbag, and a large carry bag with a hand strap for easier lifting. Each of the lamp heads has three switches on the back for controlling power to the light sockets.

That's a lot of equipment for the money and is ideal for new studio-based photographers looking to take their shots to the next level.

Runner-Up, Best for Starting Out: StudioFX 2400W Large Softbox Lighting Kit

If you're just starting to get more serious about your photography and need a good, basic softbox lighting kit, the StudioFX 2400 is ideal.

Comprised of three large (28 x 20-inch) softbox enclosures, an overhead boom mount, three stands, 11 fluorescent bulbs, and a carry bag to store everything in, this kit is the perfect way to improve your studio shots without spending a fortune.

Each stand is fully adjustable up to 7 feet high, and the boom mount attaches to any of them. The length of the boom can also be changed, ranging from 31 to 71 inches depending on your needs.

Both of the floor-mounted enclosures hold five 45W 5500K (daylight) compact fluorescent lamps, each of which can be controlled via a switch at the back for highly configurable dimming. The boom-mounted softbox holds a single 85W CFL.

As with many inexpensive kits, the stands can be a little flimsy when fully extended, and there's no sandbag included to counterbalance the boom. That's the only minor criticism, however, of what is a flexible, great-value way of getting started with softbox photography.

Best Battery-Operated: Neewer 2x160 LED Dimmable Lighting Kit

Not every good photo opportunity comes within 6 feet of a wall socket, and extension cables will only get you so far. Because the lights in this Neewer softbox are LED-based, they use a fraction of the power of traditional CFLs (compact fluorescent lights). That means it's possible to run them from a rechargeable battery, and that's exactly what these ones do.

Both of the 5.9 x 6.7-inch lamps hold 160 LEDs, with the removable softbox sitting over top. The stands adjust up to 6 feet high.

Because of their small size and weight and the use of a standard hot shoe mount, however, the softboxes can also be mounted directly onto DSLR and video cameras.

Each light uses a common Sony rechargeable battery pack, and you can also run them from normal AA batteries in a pinch. You'll get roughly an hour out of each battery, so it may be worth buying spares if you're planning an extended shoot.

Best Budget: Neewer 700W 24-inch Softbox Lighting Kit

For those who really don't have much to spend on a softbox lighting solution, and just want to improve their studio photography at low cost, this Neewer 700W kit fits the bill perfectly.

This dual-light system comes in a range of different kits, with square, rectangular, and octagonal lamp options, and an LED variant.

There's also a three-lamp kit version that includes an overhead boom, but it's the square and octagonal lamp kits that are the best budget choice. Octagonal lights (octoboxes) are ideally suited for shooting human subjects, while the square models are for more general-purpose photography.

Whichever version you go for, you'll end up with a pair of softbox enclosures and two 85W 5500K CFL bulbs, two stands adjustable from 44 to 88 inches, and a large carry bag.

The enclosures can be angled in almost any direction for precise lighting control, and use standard E27 fittings so you can easily swap in other bulbs (with different color temperatures, for instance, or a slave flash unit.)

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