We have spent plenty of hours scouting for the best continuous lighting kits and here is our final list of the best picks for for 2021.
A great beginner set. The setup is very easy and you store it in a carry bag. Ideal for a small photo studio or even shooting videos.
Our runner up is a small, functional and affordable option. It produces a harder or punchier light than white umbrellas.
Two big softboxes with 45W fluorescent lamps and sturdy stands are ideal for product and portrait photography.
A good budget option. The kit comes with a carrying case to pack everything inside when travelling.
Another low cost option. Easy to store and setup. Best for product photogrpahy.
If you want to setup a full studio on a budget, this kit is probably the right for you.
Another great option if you are looking for a full studio setup including a green, white, and black background.
With a boom arm and rotatable heads. Ideal for product and model photography. Also good for video shooting.
Another full studio starter set including a backdrop and a portable bag. Ideal for portrait and even YouTube videos.
The two light heads have 4 bulbs each creating a very bright pure white daylight. The set includes a white, black, and green background.
✔ Best Continuous Lighting for Photography in 2021
- LimoStudio LMS103
- LimoStudio AGG912-A
- StudioPRO 3200W Double Softbox
- Julius Studio Photography Continuous Lighting Kit
- HPUSN Softbox Lighting Kit
- HPUSN Softbox Lighting Kit
- Newer Professional Studio Photography Kit (Four Light Setup)
- Mountdog 1350W Photography Studio Softbox Lighting Kit
- ESDDI Softbox Photography Lighting Kit
- Andoer Photography Lighting Kit
1. LimoStudio LMS103
The third light stands on a 28” high studio light stand and is a quality high output one. This is your accent light. This light stand is small enough to be easily used to light your macro shots.
The set-up includes:
- a set of three fluorescent lights
- two shoot-through umbrellas and
- light holders
The umbrellas and the light bulbs fit inside convenient carry bags. These bags are provided free with the kit.
Related Article: LimoStudio Lights Review
The beauty of this set-up is that it is not a rigid system. If you need slightly higher power output, the 45w bulbs can be replaced with more powerful ones. There might be a need for this when you need to shoot images with a high-key effect or produce a hard lighting scenario with a single high powered light.
The final reason, for of which the LimoStudio LMS103 finds a place on this list of the best continuous lighting kit, is its price. The price that you pay to own this set-up? Just around $61.99
- ⭐Contents: [3 pcs] 45W CFL Bulb / [3 pcs] Bulb Socket / [2 pcs] 33-inch Umbrella Reflector / [2 pcs] 82.3-inch Light Stand
- ⭐[1 pc] 29.8-inch Light Stand / [1 pc] Bulb Carry Bag / [1 pc] Photo Equipment Carry Bag
- ⭐45W Photo CFL Bulb: 6000K / 1820 Lumen / E26, E27 Standard Screw Base / Max Energy Saving up to 80%
- ⭐33-inch Diameter White Umbrella Reflector: Made of Enhanced Nylon / Works well with Any Flash or Lighting Fixture
- 👇 Instruction Manual Download, under "Product information" 👇
2. LimoStudio AGG912-A
A variation of the kit that we just read about, the LimoStudio AGG912-A is a high-powered continuous studio lighting kit that has silver reflector umbrellas with a black top.
When you fire continuous light at them these umbrellas produce a slightly punchier light for sharper details. This lighting kit is ideally suitable for photographers who prefer a harder or punchier light than the soft light produced by shoot-through white umbrellas.
This lighting kit is ideally suitable for photographers who prefer a harder or punchier light than the soft light produced by shoot-through white umbrellas.
Related Post: A review of the StudioPRO 2500W Continuous Lighting Kit
The other elements in the kit include:
- two 86” light stands
- one 15” tabletop light stand
- a set of three 45w daylight balanced fluorescent light bulbs
- Three light holders and
- two 33” black/silver umbrellas
The whole thing fits inside a well-designed heavy-duty carrying case.
Priced slightly higher than the LMS103, the LimoStudio AGG912-A will set you back by $61.50 – quite a bargain!
- [2 pcs] 33" Photography Studio Translucent Shoot Through Black, Silver Umbrella Photo Video Umbrella
- [3 pcs] Single Head Photo Lighting Fluorescent Light Holder / [1 pc] 28" Tall Studio Quality High Output Accent Light Table...
- [2 pcs] 86" Tall Air Cushion Spring Studio Quality High Output Umbrella Flash Strobe Light Stand
- [3 pcs] Digital Full Spectrum Light Bulb–45W Photo CFL 6500K, Daylight Balanced
- [1 pc] Heavy Duty Convenient Carry Case / [1 pc] Bulb carry bag
3. StudioPRO 3200W Double Softbox
You put two lights on either side of the subject’s face. Both the lights have equal power. The StudioPRO 3200 does give you that luxury to produce a lot of light at close quarters.
Each of the 24” x 36” soft-boxes accommodates a 7-head socket. Each of these sockets can accommodate a 45W spiral daylight balanced fluorescent bulb.
Together, the 14 bulbs produce enough light that is the equivalent of 3200 watts of incandescent output. Plus, these lights have less power consumption and emanate less heat when compared to incandescent lights.
The light stands reach a height of 7’6” when fully extended. At their shortest height, they are only 2’3”. Thus, these light stands are extremely versatile. They can be used for portraits, table-top product photography or anything in between.
The stands have been constructed out of die-cast aluminum. Keeping in mind the slippery marble floors of modern studios the legs are tipped with rubber.
Related Post: Review of the StudioPro 2500W Continuous Lighting Kit
With a price of $164.95, this is a good continuous two light set-up that can be used as the basis for portraits and products shoots.
- Contents: 2x 7-socket heads, 2x 24"x36" softboxes, 14x 45W lamps, 2x 7'6" light stands
- Great for Photo & Video: YouTube tutorials, Twitch livestreaming, studio portraits, headshots, & product photography
- Why This Kit?: 2 light kits allow you to create a variety of looks by using different positions & brightnesses
- Continuous lighting: Simple to learn & easy to master. Perfect for all skill levels.
- 45W Fluorescent Lamps: 90+ CRI color accuracy, 5500K daylight color temperature & energy efficient
You will only need to add a third light to add to this set-up to make the whole thing complete. The third light can be used as an accent light for portraitures. You can add another light to this whole mix, a background light, for those true-white high-key setups.
4. Julius Studio Photography Continuous Lighting Kit
The Julius Continuous Lighting Kit is a low cost continuous lighting setup comprising of two height adjustable light stands, two 85W photo bulbs 6500K, E27 sockets, 20″ x 28″ reflectors and cables. You also get a carrying case to pack everything inside when travelling.
The lights are daylight balanced. Ideally, for indoor portraits you need daylight balanced light source.
Made from strong aluminum the light stands are capable of withstanding some amount of abuse in the course of use. Adjustable angle allows the lights to be set up at an angle of 0 degrees all the way to 210 degrees.
The best thing about the Julius Studio Photography continuous lighting kit is definitely the pricing. At just below $60 this is one of the cheapest continuous lighting kits that around.
- Contents: [2 pcs] 20" x 28" Softbox / [2 pcs] 85W Photo Bulb / [2 pcs] 78" Light Stand / [1 pc] Carry Bag.
- Softbox with Bulb Socket: 20" x 28" / E26, E27 Standard Socket Base Size / 6 ft. Long Cable Cord. Ultimate soften light...
- Photo Lighting Bulb: 10.5" x 3.8" / Up to 80% Energy Saving Design / 6500 Kelvin / 85 Watt / Day Light Tone.
- Light Stand Tripod: 28.5" to 78" Height Adjustable / Standard 1.25" Screw Mounting on Top / Solid Locking System for Light...
- Heavy Duty Photo Equipment Carrying Case Bag: 32"(W) x 12"(H) x 10"(D) / All-in-One Bag and Move your Studio - Store Muslin...
5. HPUSN Softbox Lighting Kit
The HPUSN Softbox Lighting Kit is a decent studio photography continuous lighting kit. It comprises of 2 85W CFL bulbs which are daylight balanced at 5500 degrees Kelvin. The light plugs into E27 sockets. 2 reflectors are provided each measuring 50 x 70cm.
Honestly these lights are best suited for product photography. The smallness of the size of the provided reflector means you will have to place the light very close to the subject in order to produce soft light. Portrait photos are best shot in soft light and one of the considerations is to use a large light source. The HPUSN is a relatively smaller light source. In that sense even the Julius Studio photography lighting kit that we discussed above is also offers a small set of reflectors.
Related Post: Getting Started in Off-Camera Lighting with Softboxes
You could still shoot portrait but the lights have to be close to the subject. Speaking of which the softboxes are rotatable and adjustable. You can turn them up to 210 degrees for maximum creative freedom. And of course the light stands are collapsible. You can change the height from 66cm all the way to 200cm depending on the shoot.
These lights are daylight balanced at 5500 degrees kelvin. Works great for indoor shoots or when used outdoors for filling in shadows.
The reflectors are made out of sturdy PET material. The two 85W CFP bulbs produce approximately the same output as 800W incandescent lights would produce. In essence the lights save around 80% energy.
- 【High Quality Material】The softbox is made of high-quality PET and maintains good reflective performance in a relatively...
- 【Energy Efficient Bulbs】 With a standard E27 socket, 2 x 85W CFL bulbs supplied are equal to the 800W incandescent bulb...
- 【210°Rotatable Head & Adjustable Stand】The studio softbox has an independent locking knob, which can be rotated 210° to...
- 【Suitable for Various Photography】HPUSN softbox is ideal for use in studios. Whether it's portrait shooting, fashion...
- 【24-Month Guarantee】Once you purchase HPUSN softbox, if you have any problem about the product, you could contact our...
6. HPUSN Softbox Lighting Kit
If you are looking for a bit more options than just a two light setup, but in a budget, then this is probably it. This HPUSN softbox lighting kit comes with not just the standard two light softbox kit. It also packs in a set of two soft umbrellas. And to power these extra set of light modifiers the package comes with a set of 4 85W CFL bulbs. All of a sudden you have a professional lighting kit in your disposal. You can now transform a corner of your home into a professional portrait studio.
You might be are wondering how could you possibly call a studio a professional one if you don’t have a background system? Don’t worry. The HPUSN also comes with an 8.5ft x 10ft background support system. And to top it all there are three free backgrounds (green, black and white) provided in the package. This gives you a ready set of items to start a professional studio setup in no time.
We prefer CLF bulbs in home studio setups. For two main reasons. First they emit less heat and that is always a good thing when working with a model (or a pet). Secondly, CLF bulbs produce same amount of light despite consuming a lot less energy. The bulbs are daylight balanced at 5500 degrees Kelvin.
The advantage of a four light setup means you can experiment with a lot more lighting combinations. But there is one problem and that is the power of these lights cannot be controlled the same way as a speedlight. You will have to use diffusers etc. to cut down on the amount of light.
At 28″ x 20″ the softboxes are only slightly larger than some of the other lights that we have listed here. But the 33″ umbrellas makes up for that.
- Softbox and Umbrella: The softbox is made of high-quality PET and maintains good reflective performance in a relatively...
- Energy Efficient Bulbs: The softbox is with a standard E27 socket and there are also two independent E27 socket for umbrella,...
- 210° Rotatable Head & Adjustable Stand: With an independent lock, the softbox and umbrella can be rotated 210° to provide...
- Background Support System: The background stand can extend from 2.1ft to 8.5ft in height and from 5ft to 10ft in width. 3...
- Complete Kit and Guarantee: The package includes two 20”x28” softboxes, two 33 inches umbrella, four 85W CFL bulbs, two...
7. Newer Professional Studio Photography Kit (Four Light Setup)
There are two variations of this studio photography kit. We have picked the less expensive of the two, the Newer Professional Studio Photography Kit.
Both the systems come with four light modifiers. Two softboxes and two umbrellas. All the four lights are mounted on a 7 feet (200cm) light stand. Two single light holders are provided with the kit and a set of 4 45W CFL daylight balanced (5500 degrees kelvin) lights are provided. These lights produce the same quantity of light as a 200W regular incandescent light bulb.
The two umbrellas are 33″ in diameter and the two softboxes are 24″ x 24″. Indeed these are smaller than some of the other softboxes that we have listed here. But the fact that you have four lights means you can fill in the shadows with the extra lights. Or use them in any other combinations as you may please.
A set of three muslin backdrops are also provided. Just like the HPUSN softbox Lighting Kit discussed above. With that you also get a background support system, stands and standard A-clamps.
And to carry everything along you get two carry bags. One for the background system and the other for the lighting kits.
- The kit includes:(4)79"(7 Feet)/200cm Light Stand+(2)Single Head Light Holder+(4)45W CFL Daylight Bulb +(2)33"/84cm...
- (4)79"(7 Feet)/200cm Light Stand:Solid safety 3 legs stages,capable for stable,heavy duty work.And use quick single action...
- (2)The 33"/84cm white translucent umbrella can soften,broaden and diffuse the light output of any tungsten or studio flash...
- (2)24"X24"/60x60cm Softbox:Softbox diffuses the light and gives you perfect even lighting when you need for the best shots...
- (1)1.8 x 2.8M/6 x 9 ft Musline Backdrop(Black,White and Green)+(6)Backdrop Clamps+(1)2.6M x 3M/8.5ft x 10ft Background...
8. Mountdog 1350W Photography Studio Softbox Lighting Kit
A boom arm holding a key light precisely at the right spot gives a lot more flexibility in terms of creative options. But the problem with these boom arms is that they often fall in the category of professional quality lighting accessories and are therefore premium priced. But there are a few manufacturers like Mountdog who make reasonable quality boom arms and incorporate them into their studio lighting kits and pricing them reasonably.
The Mountdog 1350W Photography Studio Softbox Lighting Kit comprises of 4 135W CFL bulbs. They produce light equivalent to 1350W of normal incandescent bulbs. That means a savings of 80% energy. The lights are daylight balanced at 5500 degrees Kelvin.
The softboxes have rotatable heads. Which means you have the option to turn them and point them exactly the direction you want them to be. They can be rotated up to a maximum of 210 degrees. Plus there is an independent lock button which allows the light head to be locked into position.
The main USP of the kit is the boom arm. The 54″ comes with a holder arm grip plus a sand bag. The sand bag contraption allows the boom arm to be setup at the precise position you want it to be. This gives an incredible amount of creative freedom. The ability to mount a light wherever you want and more importantly the ability to use it in various different ways.
The light stands reach a maximum working height of 78.75″. The minimum working height is only 26″.
- 【3 LIGHT 95W BULBS】Photography lighting comes with a standard E27 socket, 3 x 95W CFL bulbs supplied are equal to the...
- 【Boom Arm Reflector Holder Kit】54" Long Boom Arm+ Holder Arm Grip+Sand Bag: give you much wider range of choices of...
- 【210° Rotatable Head】Softbox lighting angle can be 210°adjusted to achieve perfect lighting effect at different angles,...
- 【Adjustable Light Stand】Well-built with aluminum alloy; lightweight and durable; the studio lights stand is adjustable,...
- 【Package Content 】3 x SoftBox, 3 x 95W Bulb, 3 x Light Stand, 1 x Boom Arm Stand, 1 x Sand Bag, 1 x Carry Bag.
9. ESDDI Softbox Photography Lighting Kit
A relatively simpler contraption compared to some of the more complicated units we have listed here. The ESDDI Softbox kit is a two light kit. Complete with lights, holders and light stands.
The light heads can be adjusted up to an angle of 210 degrees. That’s at par with almost all of the other lighting heads we have listed here.
The light stands can be extended to a maximum height of 80″ or stopped down all the way to 27″. These stands are made out of aluminium and are both sturdy as well as lightweight.
Two lights are provided in the kit. Each of the lights are 85W. Together the lights produce the equivalent of 800W of continuous lighting. The lights mount on to 2 E27 sockets. The reflectors work to soften the throw of the lights essentially making them more suitable for portrait photography. The 27” softboxes (70cm on the largest side) are just about ok for that purposes. Though personally, I prefer a larger softbox. That allows me to setup the lights a bit further away and shoot with a 85mm (or a 70-200mm) lens and capture the facial features in the right proportion.
- 【2 Softbox】: 2pcs 20 x 28inch MountDog softbox ultimately soften light stream and remove shadow to make perfect shooting;...
- 【Energy Efficient Bulbs】: 2 x 95W Energy saving compact fluorescent spiral bulb, in total to save energy up to 80% and...
- 【210° Rotatable Head & Adjustable Light Stand】: Angle can be 210°adjustable lamp holder, which can suit for different...
- 【Suitable for Various Photography】: It is ideal for general photography including portraits, group shots, glamour and...
- 【High Quality Material】: Softbox light reflector made of professional particulate silver film reflective fabric with...
10. Andoer Photography Lighting Kit
One of the striking features of the Andoer Photography Lighting Kit is that two of the light heads can accommodate 4 bulbs.
The light stands are made of aluminium. It is sturdy and capable of handling a lot of abuse in the course of usage.
A total of 9 bulbs have been provided. Each of these 9 135W bulbs are daylight balanced (5500 degrees Kelvin). These E27 bulbs will produce the equivalent amount of light as a 6000W of normal incandescent bulbs. Plus, they are extremely energy conserving which means they save you money.
The kit includes 2 softboxes of dimensions 50 x 70cm. These are the ones that have 4-in-1 bulb sockets. These can work as your key light and fill light. The third stand has a single E27 socket. This can work as your rim light or even a background light depending on how you want to setup things.
The kit includes 3 pieces of background. White, Black and Green. An aluminium stand of 200cm ensures that you have that much extra option in your hand to set the height of your lights according to your needs.
- 【Lighting Kit includes】 (3) Cotton Backdrops + (9) 135W Light Bulbs + (2) Softbox with E27 4in1 + (1) Softbox with E27...
- 【6000W Energy Saving Light Bulbs】9Pcs 135W Super Bright Pure White Light Daylight Bulbs, CRI 80+. 5500K fluorescent...
- 【Upgraded Background Cloth】3pcs 5.25ft x 10ft Background (Black,White and Green). Backdrop is made of upgraded quality...
- 【Softbox with E27 Bulb Holder】2Pcs 50x70cm Softbox with 4in1 Bulbs Socket, 1pcs 50x50cm Softbox with E27 Single Socket,...
- 【Light Stands Kit & Cantilever Stick】3Pcs max.200cm aluminum alloy light stands retracted in 3 sections, which is...
Advantages of Continuous Lights in Photography
Continuous lighting has many advantages over flashes and strobes. By continuous light, I am referring to continuous external lights.
This light is stable and can easily be modified using a plethora of modifiers.
There are reasons why a majority of photographers love shooting in natural light. For one thing, it is continuous. Plus, it is free, and of course, produces excellent results.
However, when it comes to constancy, natural light isn’t the first choice. What if you can combine the best of both worlds? The best continuous lighting kit happens to be the ones that do this. They provide perfect daylight balanced lights continuously.
Watch this interesting Youtube video on the advantages of studio lights equipment and how to set it up:
For professional results and a constant output, pros prefer artificial lights. The convenience of shooting with continuous lighting without the associated hassles is a significant advantage for pro photographers.
Professional Lighting Setup Tips
For a professional lighting setup, you need at least three lights. These are your key light, fill light and accent light or hair light. The third light is sometimes used as a background light.
Alternatively, you can fire two lights from the front with equal power and use the third one to blow out the background for a high-key effect. In any situation, a three light setup gives you a lot more room to experiment and is our first set-up in this discussion to find the best continuous lighting kit.
Read more about how to set-up lights in our artificial lights tutorials series.
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