Best Continuous Lights for Photography (Top 10 Picks in 2022)

There are so many ways to illuminate your subject in a studio, from flashes and strobes to continuous lights. Continuous lighting, however, offers several key advantages, so if you’re into lights that don’t flash, our list of the best continuous lights for photography is bound to help you out!

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1. Westcott Solix

Our Pick
Westcott Solix Bi-Color 1-Light Kit with Apollo Orb and Stand
Image from Amazon
A powerful, portable LED

If you’re looking for convenience, brightness, and a great build, this offering from Westcott is the way to go.

Pros
Small and portable
90 W output with color temperature adjustment of 3200 K to 5600 K
No lightbulbs to worry about
Cons
Expensive
Some complain that it’s still too bright at a dim setting

Westcott has a reputation as a premium lighting equipment manufacturer. While Westcott is known for its strobes, the company does offer a continuous lighting option. Enter the Westcott Solix, a portable continuous lighting option with a multitude of perks and features.

Westcott Solix Bi-Color 1-Light Kit with Apollo Orb and Stand
Image from Amazon

For starters, the compact size makes the Solix a breeze to transport. The Solix is small and compact but mighty for its size. With an output of 90 W and 3,100 lux of continuous flicker-free light, the only downside of this light is that it doesn’t do a great job of dimming down. It’s quite powerful and can compete with brighter continuous lighting products. 

As an LED, the Solix doesn’t utilize bulbs so you won’t need to worry about burn out. It plugs into a power supply, then off you go! The color temperature is completely adjustable and can range from 3200 K for tungsten to 5600 K for daylight.

Although the Solix is pricey, it offers so much that we think it’s worth the cost.

2. Nanlite PavoTube II

Also Great
Nanlite PavoTube II 30X 4 Foot Battery Powered RGBWW LED Pixel Tube
Image from Amazon
The best tube light

Tube lights have entered into the photography industry from the video industry, and they offer a slew of perks!

Pros
Ultra-powerful tube light that comes in a variety of sizes
Can produce light of any color
Portable and easy to carry
Powerful enough for photography
Cons
Very expensive
No wireless control

A video and cinema light that has crept into the photography world, the tube light has become a portable option for unique lighting arrangements. One of the most popular tube lights is the Nanlite PavoTube II, and it’s praised for a reason.

Nanlite PavoTube II 30X 4 Foot Battery Powered RGBWW LED Pixel Tube
Image from Amazon

For starters, tube lights have a significant advantage as a continuous light source: They’re incredibly thin and small, yet they’re still long enough to provide tremendous illumination. If you need to place the light close to the subject, it’ll be super easy to remove in post-processing. Tube lights are also easy to port around, especially with Nanlite’s included carrying case that is specially made for the PavoTube line of products. 

What makes the Nanlite PavoTubes particularly amazing is that you can change them into literally any color you want! With comfortable controls and dials, you can turn these tubes into any color in the spectrum. The brand new Version II can even divide the tube into different colors per section (the first version only allowed the tube to turn into a single color), so the possibilities for photography are vast. 

The output is incredibly bright so you’ll have plenty of camera-setting flexibility when shooting. These tubes work great as rim lights placed behind or to the side of your subject, and because they run on both battery and AC, you can set them up anywhere. 

3. Julius Studio Continuous Lighting Kit

Best Budget
JS JULIUS STUDIO Photography Continuous Equipment Softbox 800W Lighting Kit with E27...
Image from Amazon
Great for photographers on a budget

This kit is a wallet-friendly option that provides everything you need to get started with continuous studio lighting.

Pros
Very affordable
Daylight-balanced lights
Strong light stands that can take some abuse
Comes with everything you need
Cons
Cannot adjust color temperature
Light bulbs need to be replaced over time

The Julius Studio Continuous Lighting Kit is a low-cost continuous lighting setup comprised of two height-adjustable light stands, two 85 W bulbs, E27 sockets, reflectors, and cables. You also get a carrying case for travel.

JS JULIUS STUDIO Photography Continuous Equipment Softbox 800W Lighting Kit with E27...
Image from Amazon

The lights are daylight balanced, which makes skin tones look absolutely beautiful in the studio. Unless you want to do specific creative work, a daylight-balanced light source is ideal. It’s especially great for those learning studio lighting for the first time.

Made from strong aluminum, the light stands are capable of withstanding some abuse. And the lights can be set up at an angle of 0 degrees all the way to 210 degrees.

The best thing about this kit is that you get all of these items for under $100, an absolute steal!

4. Viciall Hpusn Softbox Lighting Kit

VICIALL HPUSN Softbox Lighting Kit 2x76x76cm Photography Continuous Lighting System...
Image from Amazon
Great for product photography

This continuous lighting kit is on the smaller side, so it’s perfect for shooting products.

Pros
Includes everything you need to set up a studio
Great price
Energy-saving bulbs
Cons
The lights are small
The bulbs will eventually need to be replaced

The Viciall Hpusn Softbox Lighting Kit is next on our list. This budget kit includes two 85 W CFL bulbs (which are daylight-balanced at 5400 K), two octagon-shaped softboxes, stands, and a carrying case. 

VICIALL HPUSN Softbox Lighting Kit 2x76x76cm Photography Continuous Lighting System...
Image from Amazon

The softboxes are on the smaller side, so they’re great for shooting products but not ideal for portrait photography. Fortunately, the softboxes are rotatable and adjustable; you can turn them up to 210 degrees for maximum creative freedom. And the light stands are collapsible. You can set the height at 26 in (66 cm), 79 in (200 cm), or anywhere in between!

The two 85 W CFP bulbs produce approximately the same output as 800 W incandescent lights. Therefore, these lights save a lot of energy!

5. GVM RGB LED Lighting Kit

GVM RGB LED Video Lighting Kit, 800D Studio Video Lights with APP Control, Video...
Image from Amazon
A great three-panel kit

LED lights offer a lot of advantages over traditional daylight bulbs, and this three-light LED kit is great for all sorts of photographers.

Pros
Built-in barn doors for direction control
Color temperature is fully controllable
Solidly built for heat dispersion
Can be controlled wirelessly
Cons
On the pricey side

LEDs are very much the future and feature a lot of advantages over traditional light bulbs. The GVM RGB LED Lighting Kit is one such example; it includes three LED light panels, three stands, three diffuser panels, three AC plugs, and a convenient carrying case. The lights have built-in barn doors to help control the output direction, and the barn doors can be folded over to protect the LED panel in transport.

GVM RGB LED Video Lighting Kit, 800D Studio Video Lights with APP Control, Video...
Image from Amazon

The GVM panels offer an adjustable color temperature range of 3200 K to 5600 K, similar to the Solix listed above. The lights can be controlled through a mobile app so you don’t have to run from light to light while shooting. As an added bonus, one light can be set as the Master light and the rest set as Slave lights, which allows you to control all three lights by adjusting only the Master light!

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These lights are also pretty durable and are composed of materials that help keep the lights from getting too hot and burning out.

6. Neewer LED Photography Lighting Kit

Neewer 2/3 Packs of Advanced 2.4G 480 LED Video Light Photography Lighting Kit
Image from Amazon
Budget LED panels

If you don’t want to pay for the GVM panels featured above, why not check out this budget option?

Pros
Similar perks to the GVM panels
Great price!
Comes with a wireless remote
Cons
No mobile app for control
Dimmer than other models

The GVM LED lights may be a bit pricey, but the Neewer LED Photography Lighting Kit is much more reasonable. Neewer is known for creating consumer-friendly versions of useful camera equipment, and Neewer’s version of the LED panel kit includes pretty much all of the same things as the GVM kit but saves you around $100.

Neewer 2/3 Packs of Advanced 2.4G 480 LED Video Light Photography Lighting Kit
Image from Amazon

You can adjust the temperature and brightness of these lights right on the panels. Although there is no mobile app for control, the kit does come with a wireless remote. These lights are less powerful than the GVM versions, but they still provide enough illumination to make the kit a worthwhile buy. 

7. Neewer CB60 60 W LED Spotlight

Neewer CB60 60W LED Video Light,Continuous LED Lighting with 5600K Daylight,CRI...
Image from Amazon
Shine a spotlight on your subject

Spotlights do come with some advantages, and this is a great consumer-friendly model to play with.

Pros
Easy to use and set up, even for beginners
Good price
Built-in fan to cool off the system
Comes with a wireless remote and a Bowens mount
Cons
Dim

Spotlights are an interesting continuous lighting choice as they create a pretty specific look. They’re favored by some photographers because they’re easy to use with accessories and they’re highly portable. The Neewer CB60 60 W is a decent spotlight that offers great value!

Neewer CB60 60W LED Video Light,Continuous LED Lighting with 5600K Daylight,CRI...
Image from Amazon

Although the Neewer CB60 60 W is dimmer than some of the other lights on our list, it still provides more than enough light for most studio shoots. Brightness can be adjusted on the light itself or via an included wireless remote.

This spotlight has a built-in fan to keep the light cool, and it sits at a very stable daylight setting. It also has a Bowens mount so you can attach diffuser accessories! 

8. Emart Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit

EMART Umbrella Photography Lighting Kit with 700W CFL 5500K Bulbs ,Soft Light...
Image from Amazon
A great umbrella kit

Umbrellas are common photography studio equipment, and this kit gives you everything you need to get started!

Pros
Includes a lot of gear
Two stand sizes
Bulbs can be upgraded
Great price
Cons
Bulbs will need to be replaced

We can’t write a continuous lighting article without mentioning at least one umbrella kit! Although LED kits tend to be the more popular option today, the Emart Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit is a great option. 

EMART Umbrella Photography Lighting Kit with 700W CFL 5500K Bulbs ,Soft Light...
Image from Amazon

This kit includes three 45 W continuous light bulbs at a daylight temperature of 5500 K (made to be energy efficient with an average lifespan of about 8,000 hours!), three light stands (two 83” stands and one 33” stand), two umbrellas (white and black), and a specialized carrying case for the entire kit. The white umbrella diffuses the light while the black one controls the direction. 

This kit is great for beginners just getting interested in studio lighting. The three lights let you try so many setup combinations, and the beauty of this kit is that it’s not a rigid system. If you need a slightly higher power output, the 45 W bulbs can be replaced with more powerful bulbs (up to 100 W). There might be a need for this if you want to shoot images with a high-key effect or if you try to create a hard lighting scenario with a single high-powered light.

9. Godox TL120 RGB Tube Light

Godox TL120 RGB Tube Light,CRI 96 TLCI 98,Color Temper 2700K~6500K,100% Brightness...
Image from Amazon
A budget alternative to the Nanlite

Want to play with tubes but don’t want to spend a fortune? The Godox is a great low-risk starting point.

Pros
Great price for the features
Can be changed into any color
Is able to be wirelessly controlled
Cons
Not as powerful as the PavoTubes
Tube can only be one color at a time

The Godox TL120 RGB Tube Light is a pretty decent budget alternative to the Nanlite PavoTubes we recommended above; it provides a similar result for a fraction of the cost. Granted, you do get what you pay for – the Godox equivalent lacks many of the features of the more expensive Nanlite – but the TL120 does get the job done.

Godox TL120 RGB Tube Light,CRI 96 TLCI 98,Color Temper 2700K~6500K,100% Brightness...
Image from Amazon

The Godox TL120 RGB Tube Light can be turned into almost any color you can imagine, but the brightness output is not as powerful as the Nanlite. However, the Godox light is often just bright enough for most camera kits, so you’ll likely be okay (especially if you have a low-light savvy mirrorless camera).

A major advantage to the Godox TL120 is the ability to control the light output with a smartphone app. This makes quick color adjustments easy and convenient! 

10. Westcott 18” Bi-Color LED Ring Light

Westcott 18-inch Bi-Color LED Ring Light Kit with Batteries and Stand
Image from Amazon
Great for professional beauty shoots

If you’re a serious photographer looking to do fashion shoots, this ring light is an excellent buy.

Pros
A very powerful, professional-grade ring light
Color temperature can be fully controlled
Built-in mount for cell phones, DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and action cameras
Cons
Expensive for a ring light

We couldn’t avoid including the Westcott 18” Bi-Color LED Ring Light on our list of the best continuous lights! This ring light features similar perks to the Westcott Solix, such as color temperature adjustment from tungsten all the way to daylight.

Westcott 18-inch Bi-Color LED Ring Light Kit with Batteries and Stand
Image from Amazon

The Westcott Ring Light also features flicker-free use, and it even has built-in mounts for mobile devices, digital cameras, and action cameras. This ring light is ideal for beauty photography, and it’ll help minimize facial shadows and add a nifty catchlight to the eyes. If you’re interested in portraiture, it’s certainly worth a look.

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Illuminate Your Subject with These Continuous Lights

All of the lights on this list can achieve outstanding results, but which is right for you?

If you’re looking for the absolute best of the best, it’s hard to go wrong with the Westcott Solix! And for rim or gel lighting, the Nanlite PavoTube II is a big favorite, both for its reasonable cost and its lighting output. 

Finally, those on a budget looking for a great starter setup will love the Julius Studio Continuous Lighting Kit, which provides most of what is needed at a great price.


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1 thought on “Best Continuous Lights for Photography (Top 10 Picks in 2022)”

  1. I want to do a project visiting various indoor locations and envisage having one light that I want to bounce off the wall to light the rooms. It would need to be the most powerful constant light source available today as so much of the light would be absorbed by the wall before it bounces back to light whatever aspect of the room, sometimes almost all the room, I choose to shoot. It would also need to be color temperature adjustable to get the mix with daylight. I will be shooting on an ipad pro otherwise I would use off camera flash.

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