While natural lighting produces the best photos of all, you cannot always have the option of shooting during the daytime. It is the responsibility of the photographer to bring out the best in all his photos – whether they are portraits or commercial food photography. One of the best companions of a photographer, besides a high-end digital camera with the latest features, is lighting.
If you know how to light up a background in your photo or direct lighting in your studio in a way that it illuminates your model, you are already a professional with unmatched potential. However, the simple studio lights or LED lamps cannot provide you with the ability to control and direct lighting on your subjects/ objects. For this purpose, investing in quality strobe lights is the best option to enhance your photography.
What Are Strobe Lights?
Strobe lights are the photography lights that illuminate the room or a particular area when you are taking your photos. They are able to produce short bursts of light that you have full control upon. They come with battery packs as well as a power cord. They have a long-lasting battery life that is ideal if you work round the clock.
With strobe lights accompanying you in your studio, you will be able to capture photos just the way you want – while controlling the intensity and duration of lights. These lights are best used with umbrellas, diffusers, or other lighting modifiers that help soften the lights.
Things to Consider When Buying Strobe Lights for Your Studio
Photography tools, such as strobe lighting, are not cheap. They are mostly towards the high-end and require big chunks of your investment. So, we thought of listing down some quintessential points to guide you on your search for best strobe lights. Make a checklist of these points and remember to consider them all before you finalize any deal:
Price should always be a consideration because we aren’t billionaires having a few thousand always at hand to spend without considering anything. While opting photography as a profession must have made you learn that this profession requires expensive equipment, strobe lights are no exceptions.
However, what you should do is to come up with a budget – what you can spare and invest and how much your future photography projects will be returning you. Not that a budget will help you find inexpensive strobe lights, but it will at least give you an idea about how much you should be spending.
If all you want to do is product photography, then you don’t need to invest in an expensive strobe light. You can opt for a light box for photography – it will help provide a good spread of lighting on your object and turn out your photos to be simply amazing!
2. Power of The Lights
Strobe lights come with various power controls – implying that you can easily control the intensity and duration of lights in your photography. With a high-intensity strobe light, it is possible to utilize lenses with a small aperture to capture the depth of field to the maximum.
On the other hand, if you have a smaller space or studio, then you can skip this point and focus on the other factors. This is because you don’t need to opt for the most powerful strobe light out there for just a small studio.
3. Battery or AC power
Strobe lights come with both the options – battery and AC power. Decide and choose according to your need. If you work for long hours and move about your studio for capturing various angles and backgrounds, then the battery-powered strobe lights are more suitable for you. Otherwise, AC-powered strobe lights are the best option to go for as you don’t have to worry about charging them or running out of battery.
Strobe lights are generally used with light modifiers. So, before buying strobe lights of a certain brand, make sure to know whether they are compatible with others or not. This will save you from getting the wrong brand of strobe lights if you already have light modifiers of another brand.
Professional photography that gives out amazing results and unmatched quality is dependent on various photography accessories. Therefore, it is essential that all of your equipment works well with each other and is compatible with your camera.
5. The Color Temperature of The Light
Strobe lights come in different color temperatures – ranging from warm to cold. Attending to minute details hugely pays off in bringing out the best photography results. Get the ones in which you can control the color temperature to bring out the best in your photos.
Moreover, these lights also come with controls that allow you to manage the duration between flashes.
Now that you are well-informed about the factors you need to consider before buying strobe lights for taking your photography up a notch, let’s go through some of the best strobe lights that are also recommended by professional photographers:
Our Top Picks
Working on AC power as well as battery, AGG1756V2 by LimoStudio is the most pocket-friendly strobe light on our list. It has a standard bulb shape and comes with a wireless trigger (sold separately) and light indicator. This strobe light is the best option for beginners – as it does not cost much but performs as competently as the pricier ones.
You can use it as a front, back, or focus light. Plus, its shooting angle can be adjusted according to your requirements. Another best thing about this strobe light is that it turns on automatically in the dark, thanks to its Salve sensor.
Accompanied by an LCD that provides better controls, the Flashpoint XPLOR 600Pro is the best for all the photographers. It has a very fast recycle time (only 0.01-0.9 seconds) – implying that the duration between shooting lights for photos is less. This strobe light is the best for working on big projects requiring loads of work and little time.
It offers a stable color output that maintains consistency in your shoots. Also, TTL and mobile imaging help you capture long-distance shots with clarity and true colors. Moreover, the super-fast and reliable battery of this strobe light can be charged within 2 hours and be up and ready for more photos.
It is equipped with a 2.4 GHz wireless system that has a range of 100 meters, which means you can use it wirelessly via a remote or your camera. It is compatible with several TTL systems, including Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Panasonic.
The package includes Flashpoint XPLOR 600Pro TTL Monolight, a Rechargeable Lithium Battery, a Flashtube Lithium Battery Charger, a Cord Reflector, Cap Compartment Case, and an instructions manual.
Godox AD200 Pro is equipped with a powerful lithium battery that lasts more than any other models. With its unbelievable recycle time (0.01 to 2.1 seconds) you can have the liberty of doing work at your own pace. One of the best features of Godox strobe light is that it is compatible with almost all the top brands in the photography equipment industry – including Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Canon.
Moreover, this strobe light comes with the most simplified and uncomplicated controls that make your work tons easier. The package also contains a complimentary Pergear Flash Bag.
This strobe light by Godox can also be used as portable strobe lighting. It is compatible with Sony, Nikon, and Canon. It comes with a heavy-duty 8700mAh lithium battery that is fitted into it – which is one of the greatest features of this strobe lighting. The battery provides up to 500 full-power flashes once fully charged. You can carry it outdoors for a photoshoot and never worry about its portability or charging.
It has high-speed sync which works wonders for portraits and fixing backgrounds in bright natural lights. Setting up this amazing strobe light in your studio is no complicated task as well – it can easily be set up and lets you shoot your ideas.
Godox AD600BM Strobe Light also comes with a complimentary standard reflector.
The Neewer Vision5 400W monolight offers TTL support and is compatible with Canon cameras only (specifically 450D/700D/750D/7D/5D2/5D3/6D/7D2/1D3/1D4/5D4/5DS/1DX/700D/70). It has a high-power lithium-ion battery that allows you about 500 strobe lighting bursts before you would need to recharge it.
This strobe light gives you a wide range of controls so that you can direct the lighting on your subjects just the way you prefer. With this commendable strobe light by Neewer offering a high-speed sync mode, you can click photos with shutter speeds as high as 1/8,000 second. It offers recycling time as low as 0.1 to 2.8 seconds.
It is backed by a 1-year warranty and lifetime email support. If you have a Sony camera and want the same strobe light for it, then you can opt for its Sony-compatible Version.
This is one of the best strobe lights on our list. It offers excellent output stability along with a 150W modeling lamp. Within the LCD panel, you can view all the settings and controls in one place and also the output. It comes with Bowens mount, which makes it an ideal fit with almost any studio light shapers.
A built-in cooling fan in the Godox SK400II studio strobe flashlight helps maintain its temperature while you work to complete your work. It prevents any overheating and is an excellent investment for taking your studio photography to the next level.
It also features a built-in Godox 2.4G wireless X system that allows you to sync this monolight with your camera to make a one-preflash firing system. It is equipped with Heimann flash tube that offers high temperature and high-pressure resistance. There won’t be any deformation burst with this flashlight, which means you can take photos in your studio with accurate color temperature.
One of the most affordable strobe lights, the Neewer 250W 5600K photo studio strobe light is the best for shooting vivid images. It has a 75W modeling lamp that you can adjust according to your requirements. It offers three options of power levels, including prop, full, and off.
Its body is made of aluminum alloy and is a very sound investment to enhance the quality of your studio photography. You can set it up in minutes. Moreover, it is 180 degrees rotatable and provides a sync distance of up to 10 meters.
You can use it as a front light, backlight, hair light, or main light. If you are not using it as a flash, it can be used as a fill light.
Photography is an art, and you need to master it if you are enthusiastic about it. Just like any other medium of art, you need to have certain tools and pieces of equipment to level up your game. Strobe lights bring out the best in your photos. They let you direct the light exactly where you want it in your photos. Strobe lights help bring all the focus on your object. They are the most needed and worthy investment you can make for your photography profession or passion, especially if you own a studio.