Buyer’s Guide For The Best Lighting Kits For Photographers

7 min

There are so many lights. They’re all available at B&H. Even if you are an experienced professional photographer, the overwhelming number of lighting options available today can drive you crazy. It is overwhelming. It might make you wonder, “Where do I start?” Or, “How do I find great lighting kits?” This list of 14 recommended lighting kits–seven continuous and seven flashes–will help photographers do their job.

Flash Lighting

We will start with flash, a basic tool in photography. These strobes are also known as strobes and can be used to freeze motion. They come in almost any size. Multi-light setups are made easy by the many sync options and the fact that most of them have integrated radio receivers. There are many variables that can help you make a decision. These include battery life, AC or recharge time, accessories, and power.

Bolt VB-11 Bare Bulb Flash and Accessory Set

You will need something that can mount directly to your camera at the beginning of your lighting journey. The Bolt-VB-11 Bare Bulb Flash. It can have a similar appearance to traditional strobes, with 360deg coverage at 180Ws and high power at 180Ws.

Accessories to modify the light are a huge benefit, which is all included in the Flash & Accessory Kit. It can be set up on a light stand or slipped into your hot shoe depending on what you need. You want something simpler to get started? Bolt VD410 Manual Flash is a great way to learn more about speedlights.

Godox AD200Pro TTL Pocket Flash Kit

You need something portable like a speedlight. A bare-bulb design gives 360-degree coverage. Both are available with the Godox AD200ProTTL Pocket Flash Kit. The basic design of a speedlight is retained, but it lacks bounce functions. You can also swap the head between a rectangular speedlight and a bare bulb flash. It is affordable and of good quality. The 200Ws of power it produces should be sufficient.

Rechargeable Li-ion battery packs can provide 500 flashes per charge. The flash can also be controlled remotely via optional X Series TTL Transmitters thanks to the integrated X Wireless System Receiver. This also allows for high-speed sync via TTL. This is a great and versatile choice for lighting.

Profoto B10 Flash Duo Kit Off-Camera

Profoto’s latest release is the B10. The lightweight, compact light can be carried anywhere with a backpack and is available in a twolight kit. The B10 has a 250W rating and a 10-stop power range. Add in a 0.05-22 second recycle, freeze mode with a 1:50,000 T0.5 flash duration and AirTTL support, you have a flash that is truly impressive.

It also features LED modeling, with an adjustable color temperature and a CRI of up 96 for video. You will need any of Profoto’s OCF Light Shaping Tools or a Profoto Connect to wirelessly control the TTL.

Elinchrom is a reliable and more traditional lighting system. The DLite RX4/4 Softbox to Go Kit is a more conventional lighting kit than many people think. It consists of a few monolights and stands, as well as softboxes and softboxes. The strobes can be used with both the monolights and softboxes. Each head offers 400W of power.

These strobes can be used on standard AC power and can recycle in 0.35 to 1.6 seconds depending on the power. The D-Lite RX 4 also has an EL-Skyport receiver built in. This allows you to trigger the camera remotely–easily–via included EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus. The kit also includes stands, an oval softbox, and a square softbox. All you need.

Broncolor Siros L800Ws 2-Light Outdoor Set 2

You know that you’re getting a quality product when you hear the brand name. Broncolor is a well-known brand in lighting. We recommend the Siros L 800Ws Barry Powered Monolight which is included in the 2-Light outdoor kit 2. These strobes are some of the most powerful and have a rating 800Ws.

They also benefit from Enhanced Color Temperature Control which ensures consistent color over repeated shots. This is what Broncolor is famous for, and it is why its lights are so attractive to professionals.

If you require speed, there are modes that can forgo protections and provide shorter flash durations and faster recycle times, at a minimum of 1/18,000 seconds. Optional RES2.2 Transmitters allow BroncolorHS to sync at speeds up to 1/8000 seconds with supported systems. You can also control multiple lights using the bronControl App on your smartphone or tablet.

Broncolor Siros 2800Ws 2-Light Outdoor Kit Battery-Powered by Broncolor Siros

Dynalite’s Baja HTML6-600 Monolight 2-Lightkit is the best equipment for us all. The 600Ws output of this system is impressive and makes it more affordable than some of its rivals. These monolights are AC-powered, but the 300W modeling light and extra power should appeal to many studio photographers. It also comes with a wireless receiver, which can be used in conjunction with an optional transmitter to reach distances up to 590 feet. High Speed Sync is also available with Nikon and Canon cameras. Although it’s a classic monolight, it’s still a great one. It’s also quite affordable.

Profoto Pro-10 2400 Power Pack for AirTTL

Monolights and speedlights have revolutionized the way photographers use lighting kit for photography. They are more portable and easier to use. The Profoto Pro-102400 AirTTL power pack is the best. It is hard to beat it for performance. There are two outlets and a maximum of 2400Ws. The included Air receiver supports TTL.

Flash duration can be as low as 1/80,000. This pack is a beast if you want the very best. It has a recycle time of only 0.02-0.7 seconds and flash durations as short as 1/80,000(!) Given the pro-nature of the Pro-10, there are no pre-built kits. You can build your own kit by adding some ProHead plus Flash Heads.

Many photographers spend a lot of time with video these days. All the flashes and lights we have just discussed can’t work with both video and motion. You need continuous lighting. Although some strobes have LEDs that can be used as video sources (the Profoto B10 Plus is one example), it will be difficult to match dedicated tools like the ones below.

Luxli, a relative newcomer, has been doing amazing lately. One of its most recent innovations is the Viola2 5 On-Camera RGBAWLED Light. It is small and lightweight, with outstanding color control. The standard white temperature range is 3000-10000K. The fixture’s RGBAW nature allows for complete color tuning. This includes the ability to set 150 digital filters and 10 special effects.

This makes it ideal for portable, on-camera lighting. It eliminates the need to carry additional accessories. Another option is the kit, which includes a softbox as well as a diffusion filter. It’s also part of the Orchestra series and can be controlled using a mobile app from your smartphone. This allows you to work in sync all the other members of your band.

Litepanels Astra 3X Bicolor LED Panel

Litepanels was among the first to market when LEDs were introduced to cinematic and photographic lighting. The Astra bi-Color LED Panel was the original 1 x 1′ panel. Litepanels used a variety of high-quality LEDs to create a fixture that was light, strong, and soft. This is a great benefit when it comes to lighting for photography. You can even use them on the move with batteries, and they are almost silent. This shape is timeless, but Litepanels also has many Astra TravelerLED Panel Kits.

Lowel TotaLED LED Daylight 1-Light Kit

Lowel was a household name for its hot lights over the decades. The company has now released a new version of its most-loved light. This reimagining is the TotaLED LED Daylight Light, but it retains many of its original features. It has a similar output to a 750W Tungsten bulb, a beam angle that is 65deg, which can be increased to 100deg by the included diffuser, barn doors, etc.

This one is different because it has a native 5600K color temperature and cool operation. You don’t need to wear gloves when using LEDs. It can also run on both AC and batteries. There are three-light and two-light options available.

The Aputure light storm LS C120D II LED light kit goes beyond the panel. It uses a chip-onboard (COB LED) to create a single-point light source that is similar to traditional tungsten fixtures using a single bulb. The LS C120D II has a powerful output of 1000W and consumes only 180W. There are no multiple shadows.

The LS C120D II also features DMX control and a redesigned handbrake locking yoke. It can accept all Bowens Smount accessories natively, even Aputure’s Light Dome I. Photographers who are on the move will love the flexibility to use either V-mount or Gold mount batteries. It can be purchased by itself or in 2-light and 3-light kits.

Light & Motion Stella Kit for Wedding Photographers

The Light & Motion Stella Wedding Photographer Kit is my personal favorite. They are one of the few lights that is completely waterproof, which is why I love them so much. They do mean waterproof. Stella Pro 5000, Stella 2000 are ready for diving. They have ratings that allow them to be used down to 328 feet underwater. Light & Motion lights are tough enough to withstand even the craziest ideas.

They are both battery-powered and have a COB LED that produces a high level of CRI. This makes them an excellent choice for photographers who work on location. These lights are compact and lightweight. The Stella 500 can also accept a Profoto Adapter, which allows you to attach more traditional modifiers.

Westcott Flex Bicolor LED Mat Cine Set

You can use LEDs in ways that you would never have imagined. The Westcott Flex Bicolor LED Mat Cine Set is one such example. The panel is completely customizable and can be cut to any size you need. Why would you need a flexible light? I’d counter by saying, “Why would you want flexible lighting?” You can use it on a stand like standard panels.

However, it can also be used in very specific ways when needed. It is light enough to tape to a wall and thin enough not to get in the way of the shot. It can be tucked into a bag and folded up in a certain way to direct the light. This is just the beginning. I’m sure many more creative photographers will come up with even more ways to use it.

Kino Flo 4Bank 4’ Gaffer 2-Light Kit

While LEDs dominate, we should not forget about HMI, tungsten, and fluorescent lighting. One, in particular, I would like to highlight: the Kino Flo4Bank 4′ Gaffer 2-Lightkit. Kino Flo is the best-known name in fluorescent lighting. Their soft, flicker-free output has been a hallmark of the company’s long history. The 4Bank can produce a large soft, daylight-balanced fixture using True Mix Fluorescent Lamps.

This produces a soft, bright, and soft 1000W light but with only a fraction of the draw. You can locate the separate ballast in a convenient location. The flexible barn doors on the fixtures allow you to easily control the light. This kit includes everything you need, except for the lamps.

We love lights, but this is just a tiny selection of them that is available at B&H. If you have any questions or would like to share your favorites lights, please visit the comments section below.

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