Once you’ve got to grips with all aspects of your camera it’s likely you’ll want to start narrowing down your niche and investing in equipment to take your images to the next level, like one of these best photography lighting kits!
If you’re a portrait photographer, beginner or even just in studios frequently then a best photography lighting kit is essential for creating the right look and feel in your photos.
Designed specifically so that you can create or recreate different lighting angles and make sure your subject is well lit in the correct areas, getting hold of a lighting kit will not only make you look professional but picking the right one can entirely change your photo taking for the better.
- Elinchrom Lighting Kit D-LITE RX 4/4 SOFTBOX TO GO – Best essential photography lighting kit
- Flashpoint Xplor 300 Pro – Best portable photography light
- Neewer 2.6M x 3M/8.5ft x 10ft Background Support System and 800W 5500K Umbrellas Softbox Continuous Lighting Kit – Best overall photography lighting kit
- LimoStudio, 700W Output Lighting Series, LMS103, Soft Continuous Lighting Kit – Best soft lighting kit for portrait photography
- LINCO Lincostore Photo Video Studio Light Kit AM169 – Best professional photography lighting kit
- Neewer 2-Pack Dimmable 5600K USB LED Video Light – Best photography lighting kit for beginners
Most of the best photography lighting kits come with a few staple pieces of equipment such as softboxes, umbrellas and lamps.
So, whether or not you’re already using a mounted or external flash you can play around with lighting your photos more softly or harshly and creating more ambient or striking lighting in images.
Don’t forget to read Light and Shadow Photography: An Essential Guide for some ideas on how to use your new lights.
Come with me into the light!
1. Elinchrom Lighting Kit D-LITE RX 4/4 SOFTBOX TO GO – Best essential photography lighting kit
The Elinchrom D-LITE RX softbox is best if you’ve been searching for a no frills, essential lighting kits for using inside or in a photography studio.
It makes a great alternative to shelling out for a high-end flash. It also has a few excellent new features such as its in-built Skyport radio receiver remote, which pairs with an app on your phone, speed sync mode and improved control of flash power.
The photography lighting kit itself has two D-LITE RX 4 Monolights with 100W modelling lamps, portalite square and octa, a translucent deflector and the standard syncing cable, tripod set and carry bag.
The case is robustly designed making it a particularly ideal portable photography light for carrying to and from shoot locations.
On top of this, you’re getting variable f-stop steps and a pre-flash detector system.
Overall, the Elinchrom Lighting Kit D-LITE RX is a solid set of kit which also works with a huge variety of accessories and produces well-exposed photos when used correctly.
The only improvement that could be noted is that the photography lighting kit does not currently come with a reflector, however these are commonplace and can easily be bought if needed.
- Robust, lightweight and portable photography light
- Pairs with most accessories
- Produces sharp and well exposed images
- Relatively pricey
2. Flashpoint Xplor 300 Pro – Best portable photography light
The Flashpoint Pro is arguably one of the best pieces of photography kit you can get if you’re looking to expand your lighting repertoire.
One of the most useful features is its significant battery power which allows you to use it on shoots without worrying about constantly charging things.
The Flashpoint Pro is super powerful and will give your subject excellent exposure whether you’re shooting inside a studio or outside. It has automatic TTL exposure support which works with most professional cameras, or alternatively also has a manual mode.
The Flashpoint Xplor 300 Pro’s popularity comes down to its sturdy carrycase and small size – you can quickly add it to your backpack or small suitcase without any hassle making it a convenient and more powerful portable photography light than simply using your on-camera flash.
You will need to set The Flashpoint Pro up on a tripod, however this is a simple process, and the only other downside is its lack of weather-proofing, so it will only last you so long shooting outdoors in particularly wet or dusty conditions.
Achieving a maximum of 300W, and being able to pack it along with the mount, battery and charger into a backpack puts it up there as one of the most useful bits of lighting you can invest in.
- Small, light, easy to carry photography lighting kit (1. 3kg)
- Powerful at 300W
- Can be used via battery power
- Fairly pricey
- Menu can be confusing to operate
3. Neewer 2.6M x 3M/8.5ft x 10ft Background Support System and 800W 5500K Umbrellas Softbox Continuous Lighting Kit – Best overall photography lighting kit
The Neewer Support System lighting kit is quite the comprehensive package when it comes to lighting, coming with umbrellas and a softbox.
It has a very tall 79-inch light stand which is versatile for shooting different subjects, but the height surprisingly packs down quite small and is easy to collapse.
The full photography lighting kit package includes the light stand and holder, daylight bulb, white umbrella, softbox and two large backdrops.
There is almost nothing you won’t be able to use this lighting kit for, whether you’re shooting moody indoor portraits or in bright sunshine.
The umbrella in particular works extremely well to soften, diffuse or enhance shadows, plus the daylight bulb has a strong output of 200W.
The Neewer lighting kit has an E27 socket, meaning it can be used with other lights, fluorescent bulbs and a slave flash making it versatile and useful no matter what gear you’re already in possession of, not to mention it is far more affordable than many kits so it’s a good first choice for dipping your toes into lighting.
- Affordable, making this a great photography lighting kit for beginners
- Versatile and produces bright, clear images when used correctly
- Easy to collapse the stand and transport the kit
- 200W bulbs – not as bright as rival kits
- Not as durable as more expensive kits
4. LimoStudio, 700W Output Lighting Series, LMS103, Soft Continuous Lighting Kit – Best lighting kit for portrait photography
The LimoStudio Soft Lighting Kit does exactly what it says on the tin when it comes to producing your best beautifully soft photography images.
The LimoStudio Soft Lighting Kit is ideal for almost all portraits, giving skin a soft glow that doesn’t require retouching, which is mainly down to the large umbrella which gives a broad diffusion of light.
The silver lining also allows for maximum light efficiency without any extra bleeding out. Usefully, it has an 11ft power cable allowing you to set up anywhere, even if you don’t have a socket close by.
The LimoStudio Soft Lighting Kit also has multiple umbrella reflectors (both black and white), a light stand, a few good bulbs and carry bags.
Although it works best on people, you can use it without trouble for shooting anything from food to animals or commercial products.
Although there is a lot of equipment in this LimoStudio Soft Continuous Lighting Kit, it is a surprisingly portable photography light if somewhat heavy, and comes with two useful cases – one for the umbrellas and accessories and one for the stand.
For the price the lighting kit is an absolute steal. While it might not be of the highest quality out there if you’re a seasoned professional, its one of the best photography lighting kits for beginners or people just getting started in studio photography.
- Very affordable
- Produce excellent soft lighting while maintaining brightness
- Can be bulky to carry despite coming with cases
- Price reflects quality long-term and isn’t suitable for high-end professionals
5. LINCO Lincostore Photo Video Studio Light Kit AM169 – Best professional photography lighting kit
The LINCO Studio Light Kit is one of those kits that’ll ensure you won’t have to buy another one for a long while.
LINCO’s Studio Light Kit includes two umbrella reflectors (both white and silver), 3 backdrops, a light holder, stand and bulb, plus backdrop holders and a support system.
All of this comes in a useful carry bag making it an easy portable photography light to transport anywhere you need to go.
The LINCO kit offers a huge 400W of power output making it a powerful addition to any shoot, both outdoor and indoor.
LINCO has really tried to improve on other generic brands with this kit by making it more compact, far easier to use and adjust and much more durable, with reinforced backing so it really can last forever.
The softbox and umbrellas do their job diffusing light perfectly, so this LINCO studio lighting kit is geared towards portrait and product photographers, however it could be used for most subjects.
LINCO says that this set is perfect for any level of photographer, whether you’re an amateur or professional and this is entirely accurate, as it not only has everything you need, but is simple to use and has a water-resistant carry case to boot.
- Lighting kit includes umbrellas, softbox, accessories – everything you need
- Lightweight and portable photography light, comes with carry case
- Case is weather resistant not waterproof so can’t be kept outside long
- Reports of some technical difficulties and instability when using with lots of heavy equipment
6. Neewer 2-Pack Dimmable 5600K USB LED Video Light – Best photography lighting kit for beginners
The Neewer 2 Pack of dimmable video lights is less suited to high-end photography and of far more use for video livestreams, vlogs and occasionally smaller-scale product photography.
Each of the powerful panels gives off 1000 lumens of light, but as mentioned it’s entirely customisable which is ideal if you’re not looking for that super-bright output.
Usefully, both panels plug directly into USB sockets so they can be used via a socket or your laptop.
The Neewer 2-Pack Dimmable 5600K USB LED Video Light kit comes with red, yellow and blue filters to diffuse the light and give a more unique, coloured light if that’s the type of shot you’re trying to create.
Although these are generally considered ‘tabletop’ lights, as they have short tripods, with the extension accessory they go up to around 116cm. Therefore, they are not suitable for professional portraiture but are one of the best photography lighting kits for beginners and not a bad portable photography light when stabilised on a higher surface.
The shorter main tripod, however, is excellent for close up product photography, macro shots or video If you’re particularly focused on any kind of videography or are a product photography looking for something high quality and easy to plug-in and go then this will be a worthwhile purchase.
- Simple to set up & easy to use (one of the best photography lighting kits for beginners)
- USB chargeable
- Very affordable
- Works well for videos and has coloured filter options
- Not for use in high-end professional photography
- Price reflects they are not necessarily durable or as high quality as more expensive kits.
Choosing just one of the best photography lighting kits can be a long and confusing process simply because of the sheer number out there, which cater to every kind of photography and kit.
On top of this, prices can vary widely meaning it’s important to decide whether you want to make a serious investment to level up your images or if you just want a kit that will let you test out playing around with light for the first time.
Two of the best photography lighting kits for beginners are the Neewer 2-Pack, due to it being able to be used for both video and straightforward product photos, or the Neewer Support System and Lighting Kit which is still a beginner, but far more comprehensive set up.
If you’re already familiar with the inner workings of lighting kits, then the Elinchrom or Flashpoint kits are an obvious choice, both providing high-quality diffusion, exposure and being extremely lightweight and portable photography lights allowing them to easily be added into your existing kit.
Finally, the LINCO and LimoStudio kits are both solid choices however they have a few more downsides than the others, particularly being more bulky and more complex to understand when setting up, so these photography lighting kits are reserved for people who have a good grounding in lighting but also the time to get to grips with them, rather than complete beginners.
Don’t let bad lighting get in the way of your photography!
DISCLOSURE: I may earn a small commission from some of the links above. For the benefit of the doubt, please assume all links might be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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