A Buyer's Guide: Choosing the Best Studio Lighting
A Buyer's Guide: Choosing the Best Studio Lighting
Posted January 19, 2022
Are you tired of taking photos or videos that don’t do your content justice? Then it might be time to upgrade your lighting. Lighting plays such a huge role in the creation of photos, videos and other content, which is why we want to explore studio lighting a bit more in depth. Like most things, choosing the best studio lighting for your content creation comes down to preference, experience and an entire host of other variables. But we hope to offer a few suggestions and help steer you to find the best studio lighting for you. Plus, we offer a lineup of the best studio lighting Case-Mate has to offer.
Why Do You Need Quality Studio Lighting?
Having good studio lighting is a must. Whether you are a content creator, photographer or selling products online, you need decent studio lighting to make your content, objects or subject matter look amazing. Unlike a regular desk lamp or overhead ceiling lights, studio lighting is designed to work with your camera and offer the best photo or video quality possible.
Studio lighting can also improve the resolution of your photos, capturing all the crisp, minuscule details that you wouldn’t otherwise. Additionally, it can help create a mood or aesthetic to your photos and videos that lends a signature look or simply illuminates a shot in a way that looks more professional.
Different Types of Studio Lighting
Okay, so having the proper studio lighting is crucial, but what kind of studio lighting is best? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not straightforward. Really, it comes down to a lot of factors, like how experienced you are with a camera, what you can afford and even how portable you need your lighting to be. So let’s dive into the different kinds of studio lighting to help you better understand the advantages of each:
- Continuous Lighting Kits
- Monolight Strobe Lighting Kits
- Light Box
- Ring Lights
- Mirror Lights
- Phone Lights
Continuous Lighting Kits
Continuous lighting kits are an excellent choice for beginner photographers and content creators. Unlike a strobe or flash, this type of studio lighting kit will keep lights on at the same light levels while taking photos. This makes it much easier to adjust lighting while taking shots, seeing the color temperature first-hand, adjusting the white balance, the lighting or the camera itself as needed. Continuous lighting is also ideal for video shoots, too.
The downside to continuous lighting is that it can make your studio very hot. With all those lights on, it can melt foods you are trying to style and makeup from a model’s face, too. At the very least, this lighting kit will make you break a sweat. So this is just something to keep in mind when working with continuous lighting kits.
Monolight Strobe Lighting
If you are looking for something more advanced, there are monolight strobe lighting kits. Monolights are a self-powered strobe light that comes with a light stand and a portable power source, which makes them perfect for content creators who might need to shoot out of the studio from time to time. Monolight strobe kits are also very one-directional and useful at lighting all kinds of subjects and environments.
The portable feature of monolight strobe lighting kits also makes them easy to fold down and pack away. However, transporting them still requires caution, as the monolight bulbs are quite fragile and prone to breaking. Monolight strobe kits are also more costly, hence why they are probably not the best lighting kit for beginners.
Speedlights are lightweight, portable stand-alone flash units. They can react much quicker than a standard camera flash and are best used with other studio lighting equipment like umbrellas and softboxes. Ideal for remote shoots, they can be connected to a radio-frequency trigger or controlled by optical transmission.
Speedlights are definitely for more experienced photographers who can better predict how a photo will turn out. However, if you are still learning how to manipulate a light source, then a continuous light kit might be a better option.
At the end of the day, you may not need a full lighting kit. A simple light box could be the answer. This studio lighting tool can be highly effective for specific uses. For example, a lightbox is perfect for those who need to capture shots of products for sale. This cube-like design, which features a few openings, allows a near 360-degree coverage that gives off a diffused glow via light source or flash, thanks to its silver reflective fabric. The openings will enable you to reach into the shot and adjust the angle of the product, too. Most light boxes can also be folded down for easy storage. When you need to photograph an item, simply pull it out, unfold and assemble it and prop everything up.
There are tons of light box styles available out there and you can’t go wrong with many of them. But here are some of the features you should look for. First, make sure your light box offers several shooting angles, allowing you to take frontal shots and top-down shots, too. Be sure it comes with a diffuser cloth. Colored fabric or PVC backdrops, like black, white and gray, also help add contrast to items and elevate product photos. However, you can get creative and make your own lightbox or a backdrop at the very least.
Compact light boxes are great studio lighting tools for those who use a camera. But if you are looking for an affordable way to illuminate products, you can take snapshots just using your phone camera, too. Some phone cameras are just as powerful!
Speaking of powerful phone cameras, ring lights are a must-have piece of studio lighting gear. This is especially true if you are a content creator who shares videos with followers. Unlike a light box that sits on a desk and is designed for product photos, a halo ring light can attach directly to your camera, giving you the best on-the-go studio lighting for selfies and more. Although, you can also find desktop ring lights, too!
Case-Mate offers both LuMee camera ring lights and desktop ring lights. We even carry phone cases with built-in halos that work seamlessly with your phone, lighting up instantly without the need to attach an extra clip-on halo or secure your device. Each ring light also comes with both manual touch and remote-controlled options, meaning you can capture yourself doing activities away from the camera.
The 10-inch ring light is perfect for solo content creators, demonstrating makeup tutorials, taking selfies or vlogging “face-to-face” with your followers. While many ring lights are designed with a clip to hold your phone up as you hit record for live streaming and more, the larger 18-inch ring light can hold up to three devices. This allows you to capture shots from various angles or to video you and your friends so you share across everyone’s social media.
Each ring light also features warm, cool and natural tone light modes, multiple LED color modes and a high brightness mode that is also dimmable.
Clip-On Ring Light
Sometimes, the best studio lighting is the one that you can fit in your pocket for spontaneous moments. Case-Mate’s clip-on ring light is perfect for those kinds of moments. Compact and portable to the max, the LuMee Studio Clip-On Ring Light brings professionalism to your camera in a matter of seconds. Simply secure it to the front, back or side of your device – Apple or Android, phone or tablet – and you’re ready to create some stellar content or images.
The LED ring light offers three brightness levels, too. Adjust to your liking no matter what environment you’re in so you can always look amazing. This fantastic device also comes with a high-capacity fast-charging cable.
Mirror lights are another versatile studio lighting tool you can keep on hand, especially if you perform makeup or hair tutorials through a vlogging platform. And Case-Mate’s LuMee Studio LED Vanity Mirror Lights are just the thing, transforming any everyday mirror into a glamorous vanity space that gives you that glow and sheen that you need. Attach each of these 10 LED bulbs around a mirror (or where you plan to place a camera) and adjust the brightness setting to one of 10 dimmable options or a warm, cool and natural color mode. These mirror lights also come with a 6.5 foot USB-A cable that can give it power as needed.
LuMee Halo Phone Cases
If you like our super-portable LuMee Studio Clip-On Ring Light, then be sure to check out our LuMee Halo phone cases. With a built-in ring light for your phone, the LuMee Halo phone case means you will never lose track of your clip-on light or need to fish it out of the bottom of your purse. When you need it, it’s instantly there. Plus, our signature Halo lighting creates a brilliant light on the front and back of the phone case, making you the focus of stellar selfies and more.
With a variable dimmer, all you have to do is press and hold down the light button to auto-adjust the brightness levels. Even better? Although LuMee phone cases do need to be charged externally, they don't have to be plugged in to light up. And each LuMee Halo phone case features a beautiful and stylish design that makes you feel as fashionable as ever.
Find the Best Studio Lighting for Your Content Creation
We hope this list has given you some ideas for how to put together the perfect studio lighting setup or on-the-go toolkit. Whether you want to go all-out and invest in a continuous lighting kit or a moonlight strobe lighting kit or simply pick up one of Case-Mate’s amazing portable ring lights is entirely up to you. In fact, you might love the idea of a full lighting kit but also prefer something compact for your travels. That works, too!
Whatever you decide, explore all of Case-Mate’s studio lighting products. Explore our spectacular ring lights and adhesive mirror lights for an at-home studio space. And take a look at our clip-on studio lights and LuMee phone cases, too. We offer a wide range of studio lighting options for all kinds of content creators, photographers, vloggers or just someone looking to enhance their selfies and Zoom chats with clients, colleagues and friends.
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