Photography Lighting Equipment 101 | The Best Guide for Beginners

Updated on April 23, 2022 in Photography by

Photography Lighting Equipment 101 | The Best Guide for Beginners

Wondering Which Photography Lighting Equipment to Buy to Click Stunning Images?

This DIY to Photography Lighting Equipment Guide Will Help 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 an optimum studio lighting setup. It is done to capture and fulfill 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 lighting equipment in hand to capture the perfect images. And, that’s why using photography lighting equipment becomes a necessity

It does not matter if you are a professional photographer or a hobbyist, understanding lighting and using the correct photography lighting equipment is an essential part of photography is crucial.

Earning 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. In this blog, We are discussing the best photography lighting equipment.

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Where to Start?

To set up a photo studio at home, beginners are required to invest in product photography lighting equipment. But there are many beginners who usually do not invest in photo lights because they think that studio lighting kits are expensive. Instead, the truth is that there are some cheap kits that can get easily fitted into anyone’s budget.

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

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

Best Product Photography Lighting Kits & Equipment for Beginners

1. Diffusers, Filters & Gels

rosco calcolor kit
Rosco Calcolor kit for photography lighting

The cost of light, whether be it continuous lighting equipment or a flashlight can add up quickly to the photography. Diffusers, filters, and gels all are 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 armory 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:

  • Rosco Roscolux Swatch Book – $1.50
  • Lee Filters Master Location Pack for Color Correcting, Light Shaping, and Color Effects – $40.50

2. Continuous Lighting Kit

continuous lighting kit
Continuous Lighting Kit

In product photography lighting equipment, 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 equipment is a cost-effective one as compared to other photography lighting equipment kits. It is very useful in product photography lighting.

This kit is mainly divided into 3 types termed as fluorescent, tungsten, and LED. All of these photography lighting 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 a safer option than tungsten as it does not heat much.

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

  • Smith Victor Imagemaker Fluorescent Tent Kit – $105.95
  • Flashpoint 2 Light Fluorescent Kit – $99.99
  • Neewer 700W Softbox with E27 Socket Light Lighting Kit – $69.99
  • Bescor LED 95DK2 Light Kit – $149.95
  • Interfit F5 Two-Head Fluorescent Lighting Kit – $133.99

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
Speedlight Lighting Kit for Photography

Portable Speedlight Lighting Kits are a kind of external flash that can be used to disperse the light with umbrellas and softboxes. They are faster than normal flashes and can be versatile. They are one of the best product photography lighting equipment to shoot 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
reflector kit for photography

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

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 photography lighting equipment for beginners:

  • Glow Portable 5 in 1 42-inch Reflector Kit – $34.95
  • ExpoImaging Rogue 32-inch Collapsible 2-in-1 Reflector – $29.95
  • Westcott Photo Basics 40-inch 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector – $39.90

5. Monolight Strobe Lighting

strobe lights
Strobe lights – photography lighting equipment

Monolight is termed self-contained strobe units which include power sources, reflectors, and stands, and deserves to be a part of your product photography lighting equipment. The key advantage of moonlight 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. This type of product photography lighting equipment is often used in model photography and product photography.

Following are termed as some of the great strobe options:

  • Westcott Strobelite Monolight – $149.90
  • Novatron M150 2 Monolight Kit – $585.99
  • Bowens Gemini 400Rx 2 Head Kit – $899

Strobe Lighting vs Continuous Lighting

difference between strobe and continuous lights
strobe vs continuous lighting

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

Among all the product photography lighting equipment, strobe light carries the traditional camera flash with a 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 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
photography light strength and wattage

Under the photography lighting equipment category, Speedlights, strobe, and continuous lighting, all tending 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 pricier options.

Moreover, it is not always better, powerful lighting is a hard light with harsh shadows. There are many 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.

Bonus read: Which are the best digital camera brands?

Conclusion

You can’t just go directly with this product’s photography 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 photography lighting guide to set up studios.

There are various photographic needs that require different photography lighting kits. The suggested lighting equipment will let you have a small lighting armory. You can merge them and get them 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 setup 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.

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