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Lighting is a vital component to getting that perfect shot. From florescent lighting to speed lighting, strobe lighting, continuous lighting, fog lights, and LED light, it’s easy to get lost in the seemingly endless number of kits to chose from. And whether you’re a novice or intermediate photographer, or a content creator looking to enhance your photos for social media, you might not have hundreds of dollars to spend on lighting kits.
To help you out, we put together a handful of the best budget-friendly kits on the web, along with customer reviews. For more camera gear, see our roundup of must-have accessories for filmmaking and photography.
Speed lighting is a good choice for indoor photography as it gives you an extra dose of lighting when there’s none around. Designed for Cannon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, and more, this kit from Neewer includes two NW561 flashes, two receivers, a transmitter, and a 2.4Ghz wireless trigger that works from up to 328′ away.
Writes user Jerry Casper, “I purchased this set to finally get my photo business a working flash upgrade. It works perfectly either as a flash add-on or as a slave flash that can be used to light the room. For the price, this is a must-have for any photographer who wants to boost their indoor photography.”
Fluorescent lighting tends to get a bad rap for being outdated and using more energy than LED options, but that doesn’t make it obsolete. This 3 Head Fluorescent Lighting Kit with Boom Arm Kit from Impact offers photographers and videographers a versatile set up for working in and out of the studio. The kit includes three, four-socket fluorescent fixtures (each with four 32W spiral bulbs), along with two 8′ and one 9.5′ air-cushioned stands. Also included: three 20” x 27.5″ softboxes to create soft, flattering light, and a 6.5′ Boom Arm with a tilt bracket.
Writes user Shane, “This is just the kit I needed to boost my setup and round out my lighting for a studio shoot. Boom set is sturdy, kit is all around high-quality, had it up and running and ready to shoot in 20 minutes. Great for learning lighting or taking your rig to the next level.”
The Mountdog Softbox Lighting Kit works for portrait photography, group shots, glam shots, and product photography. The kit is especially nifty if you have a home studio but not a lot of money to spend. It includes two 95W 5500k energy-saving light bulbs and a studio light stand tripod that adjusts between 27” and 80” depending on your shooting needs. The set also comes with a 20”x 28” reflector (made from fabric and nylon) that can work as a light diffuser, plus a lighting bag to carry everything. If you want to go up in price a bit, try the Glow EZ Lock Softbox Portrait Kit.
Writes user YJ, “This Mountdog softbox lighting kit is definitely worth it in value, and it even comes with an additional 95w 5500K light bulb. It provides soft+ bright light that’s perfect for taking pictures at my home studio.”
Lume Cube 2.0 Portable Lighting Kit is a multi-functional collection that’s good for more than just photography. The all-in-one kit features diffusion bulbs that are great for softening light and widening the beam angle — which is ideal for photographing people or blogging. The kit also has Honeycomb grids (for directing light), an RGBY color pack and four warming gels: two light warming gels, and two warms options for adjusting the color temperature of your Lume Cube 2.0. Two light diffusers are included to give your photos a softer look, and two snoots for a cylindrical lighting effect that comes in handy with product photography. The kit includes barn doors, which are great for manipulating light for portraits and macro photography, and two Lume Cube 2.0 with modification frames to mount accessories to the light.
Writes user Mark O., “I have just started dabbling in toy photography and saw these lights used by a fellow enthusiast. I decided to get a set for myself and boy are these little lights great. Although I just got them, I’m sure I will get a lot of use out of them.”
The Savage 500 Watt LED Studio Light Kit is one of the best reviewed kits in its league. It features two energy efficient, fan-cooled, tri-band technology 30W LED chip bulbs that are extremely durable according to user reviews. Each light provides 20,000 hours of lamp life and generates the equivalent of 250W incandescent light and 5500K daylight balanced light. This set includes two bulbs, two light sockets, two adjustable light stands, two white umbrellas, and a padded carrying case.
Writes one user, “I have had these lights for three years. I bought them for photography and videography but ended up using them as floodlights for when we were renovating a house and for a living room light when I am on video conference. In essence, I have had one of these lights multiple days a week for almost [three] years. I expected to have to buy a new lightbulb by now.”
“If you are renovating or just need a floodlight, I highly recommend these. We have used these in so many applications around the house. Not what we expected, but one of the most useful purchases we have made.”