A Beginner’s Guide to Best Lighting Equipment for Photography

Sep 06, 2019 - Chetan Menaria

A Beginner’s Guide to Best Lighting Equipment for Photography

Wondering Which Photography Lighting Equipment to Buy to Click Stunning Images? This Guide Helps You to Quickly Decide What to Buy.

Lights, lights, lights, and more lights. Photography is a whole of a lighting game. Whether you are working with natural light or the creation of optimum studio lighting setup. It is done to capture and fulfilling the artistic vision of the photographer.

But as it is always noticed that adequate lighting is not always available, every photographer must have the right photography and lighting equipment in hand to capture the perfect images.

It does not matter that you are a professional photographer or a hobbyist, understanding that lighting is an essential part of photography is crucial.

Earning the extra light can be an easy task, whether it be from a window, a simple lamp from your living room or from a professional photography lighting kit.

Where to Start?

There are many beginners who usually do not invest in photo lights. It is because they think that studio lighting kits are expensive, but the truth is that there are some of the cheap kits which can get easily fitted in anyone’s budget.

It can be confusing to select as to which is the best lighting equipment for you to potentially invest to initiate your business. In order to make it simple, just ask yourself as to what are your basic needs.

In the following article we will provide you with the full guide about various types of lighting equipment which you can purchase to capture the stunning product images.

1. Diffusers, Filters and Gels

rosco calcolor kit

The cost of light, whether be it a continuous lighting kit or a flashlight can add up quickly to the photography. Diffusers, filters and gels all are a kind of cheap studio lighting photography essentials. They allow making an alteration in the existing lights for various effects.

The items are versatile, flexible and inexpensive additions to the armoury of lighting equipment as they offer a much broader range of use. These items will allow you to get more out of every studio lighting equipment kit. Following are some of the recommended:

2. Continuous Lighting Kit

continuous lighting kit

The Continuous lighting kit is primarily useful in product and still life photography or video. A great advantage to this specific lighting is that you can easily visualize how your light will appear on your image before you start shooting, thus making it easier to adjust your studio lighting quickly.

It is a good option for beginners as it offers you to manipulate your light more in a manual manner. The continuous lighting kit is a cost-effective one as compared to other lighting kits.

This kit is mainly divided into 3 types termed as fluorescent, tungsten and LED. All of these kits fetch the best results, therefore the main decision to make is which one to use.

Fluorescent are easy to find for studio lighting and does not overheat, thus it is mostly used by studio photographers. LED is considered as a safer option to tungsten as it does not heat much.

Following are some of the best options for continuous lighting photography kit to capture the product images:

Take your continuous lighting by purchasing up the portable power kit. The major advantage of this is that you have much more control over how much the light source exudes in your environment.

3. Speedlight Lighting Kits

speedlight lighting kit

Portable Speedlight Lighting Kits are a kind of external flashes which can be used to disperse the light with umbrellas and softboxes. They are faster than normal flashes and can be a versatile one. They are best to use speedlights for still and product photos.

Speedlights are very lightweight and portable. Thereby it makes a good alternative for setting up a quick and ongoing studio.

Most importantly here are the two options of some speedlight flashes which you can buy:

  • Bolt Flash for Nikon - $169.95
  • Bolt Flash for Canon - $189.95

If you are in search of a total package deal then you should go for these two options which will prove more convenient for you. Both the following options come with everything you will need to set-up a versatile speedlight studio.

  • Canon Speedlight Portrait Kit - $1387.50
  • Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight Two Flash Wireless Portrait Kit - $1507.50

4. Reflector Kit

reflector kit for photography

Versatility has not seen more in anything as compared to reflector kit. They are compact, versatile and even more handy for both indoor and outdoor shoot.

At the time when positioning correctly in the studio, a reflector kit can easily turn one light into both the key light and, by reflecting the light behind the subject, the hair light as well.

Following are the recommended products for beginners:

5. Monolight Strobe Lighting

strobe lights

Monolight are termed as self-contained strobe units which include power sources, reflectors and stands. The key advantage of monolight strobe lighting is that you will not be in need of an extra power generator because all of that is contained in the head of the lamp.

Every strobe monolight should be 150+ watts so that they are powerful enough to light your subjects.

They are often used in model photography and product photography. Following are termed as some of the great strobe options:

Strobe Lighting vs Continuous Lighting

difference between strobe and continuous lights

If you are learning the studio-style lights, then the other hardest decision you have to make is whether you should use strobe lighting kit or continuous lighting kit?

A strobe light carries the traditional camera flash with the quick burst of light, whereas continuous lights are on all the time. As strobe lights are only gathering of light for a short burst, they pretend to be more powerful than continuous lights.

At the time of shooting portraits, strobe lighting will also make a profound difference in the subject’s eyes as it is obvious that the burst of light will not make the pupils larger, leaving more of the color of the iris in the image.

On the other hand, continuous lighting is less powerful and more affordable. It works best when you are shooting the videos rather than the still portraits.

For the photography beginners, continuous lights are considered as much more compatible. It is because this lighting allows seeing the lighting in real-time rather than just adjusting.

What About Light Strength and Wattage?

photography lighting strength and wattage

Speedlights, Strobe and Continuous Lighting, all of them tend to have different strengths. It means that they put out a different amount of light, measured in terms of watts for studio lights and in the distance the light can reach for speedlights.

But just how much light do you need your lights to actually put out? The answer depends largely on what you shoot.

The most powerful lights are the one which is used with the telephoto lens, capturing the large groups and lighting tasks like overpowering the sun.

Photographers often tasked with those shoots often pick lights with at least 600 watts per second, and for flash, some of the more pricier options.

Moreover it is not always better, powerful lighting is a hard light with harsh shadows. There are many of the photographers who prefer soft light and largely shoot with a light modifier in return the light turned down to just a fraction of its power — which means spending the extra cash on that souped-up light isn’t really necessary.


You can’t just go directly with this lighting equipment and compare it to studio lightings. But yes you can ensure that you can easily enhance the quality of your photos with this DIY guide to set up photography lighting.

There are various photographic needs which require different lighting kits. The suggested lighting equipment will let you have a small lighting armoury. You can merge them and get it modified in many ways and get creative to get the best lighting done for your photography.

There are endless possibilities. It might look that this set up is purely an LED wand, a speedlight with some of the accessories, even you are able to produce amazing results with just this and push forward your photography.