Photography

Best Photography Studio Umbrella Light Kits

Best Photography Studio Umbrella Light Kits

There is more to taking photographs than just having the best camera, lens, and editing software. Ask any photographer worth his paycheck, whether they photograph people or items or a combination of both, and they will tell you that it doesn’t matter how good your equipment is if your lighting setup is not good or non-existent your end result will be nowhere near the professional standard you are probably hoping for.

Someone once said that photography could be likened to painting using light and creativity. This is something that many budding photographers either don’t realize, know but neglect or make mistakes with, the softer light created by will enhance the quality of your shot to professional standards.

So what exactly is it you need? Studio shooting umbrella lights and don’t worry, this form of photo lighting is a budget item unlike some of the equipment required.

If you don’t have time to read the full post, here are the 3 most popular picks:

BEST VALUE
Neewer Umbrella & Softbox Continuous Lighting Kit

  • Everything You Need
  • An Amazon Choice
  • 250+ 5* Reviews
  • Background Drop Incl.

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Read our review
CHEAPEST
Emart 600W Umbrella Lighting Photography Kit

  • 4 Umbrellas
  • 3 Stands
  • Under $55
  • 450+ 5* Reviews

Check Amazon →
Read our review
AMAZONS CHOICE
LimoStudio Photography Daylight Umbrella Lighting

  • An Amazon Choice
  • 75+ 5* Reviews
  • 3 Stands
  • 3 photography umbrellas

Check Amazon →
Read our review

Every shoot is different, in both terms of the subject and backdrop. While some shoots may call for a simple splash of color, this is not nearly enough most of the time if you are looking for professonal results.

Whether you are looking for umbrella lights for filming, video, or a photoshoot, it is important that you make sure you have the right ones. You need to make use of light, harness it and control it and one great way you can do this is by investing in and making use of the accessories available such as diffusers.

By far the most commonly used accessories used when it comes to controlling lighting is a photographic umbrella, photography softboxes and if you’re working with smaller product photography then photo lightboxes such as the Foldio 3 portable photo light box.

But take a moment and a breath or two to relax. There is no rush to get everything immediately. We would certainly recommend that you don’t rush out and buy everything required in a mad spending spree. As is the case with anything that involves spending a bit of money, take your time and do your research before clicking to purchase items, and a light modifier light source such as a light umbrella is no different. So, whether you are covering wedding events or looking for studio lighting we are here to help.

Our Top Best Photography Umbrella Light Kits

It’s our goal to help you by highlighting the best studio umbrella lights available to buy online at the moment, and which is the right option for you. From lights for filming to reflective umbrellas for video, we are sure that there will be something on this list for you. 

We have been careful to select only the kits with high scoring reviews, high-quality components, and reasonable price tags to ensure you get a good selection of the best umbrella light kits on offer.

1. LimoStudio Daylight Continuous Studio Umbrella Lights

1. LimoStudio Daylight Continuous Umbrella Lighting Kit

Lamp Type Screw-in, standard bulb
Lamp Quantity 3
Bulb Type CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) Bulb
Bulb Quantity 3
Color Temperature 6000k (Learn more about light color temperature)
Brightness 1820L
Power 45W
Umbrella Quantity 2
Stand Quantity 3 (2 tall, 1 short)

LimoStudio has progressed to become one of the industry leaders in the world of advanced photo and video equipment and this set doesn’t disappoint. It is internationally recognized by a wide range of different photographers, both experts in their field and amateurs alike, as one of the best studio umbrella lights.

It’s the perfect all-inclusive kit that consists of Four high quality nylon photography umbrellas (2 x 33-inch White umbrellas and 2 x 33-inch  Black External/Silver Internal Reflective umbrellas). 3 x CFL bulbs and Three light stands, (Two at 86-inches and One 28-inch light stand).

The 3 Digital Full Spectrum Light Bulbs are 45W Photo CFL 6500K Daylight Balanced and these produce a good amount of light, but still remain cool to the touch along with being energy efficient. Which is excellent if you have a long day of taking pictures ahead and require a continuous light source.

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You can adjust the tilt of the lamps up and down, and the umbrellas themselves are a 33-inch White umbrella Reflector, a 33-inch Black Reflective and a 33-inch White Translucent Shoot Through umbrella producing a neutral color so will not add any unwanted coloring to your shots.

The stands are robust for studio use, while still being lightweight with the benefit of being able to adjust the height and easy to store away when you are done shooting for the day. This set also includes a handy holdall for the umbrellas as well as a separate one for the bulbs.

Overall, if you are looking for inexpensive photo reflective umbrellas, this LimoStudio studio kit is an ideal addition to any studio setup, whether it’s in a studio, spare room at home or in the garage, this one is perfect.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to setup
  • Easy to adjust
  • Carry cases for umbrellas and bulbs

Cons

  • Lights could be brighter, but at this price, you could easily replace them

 

2. Neewer Continuous Studio Umbrella Lights Kit

2. Neewer Continuous Umbrella Lighting Kit

Lamp Type Screw-in, standard bulb
Lamp Quantity 2
Bulb Type CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) Bulb
Bulb Quantity 4
Color Temperature 5500k (Learn more about light color temperature)
Brightness 1820L
Power 45W
Umbrella Quantity 2
Softbox Quantity 2
Stand Quantity 4

Next on our list for the best studio umbrella lights is this fantastic and comprehensive continuous umbrella and softbox lighting set. Neewer is a brand known for supplying great quality photographic equipment at reasonable prices.

The first thing you have probably noticed is that this option has a higher price point than the other options. However, this kit comes with a whole lot more equipment and definitely gives you more bang for your buck. It consists of a Background Support System along with the Black, White and Green backgrounds, a must for studio portrait shoots.

The Four stands to support Two 33-inch white translucent umbrellas- for the diffusion of light and Two 24-inch square softboxes that diffuses the light and gives you perfect even light source and lighting soft skin tones. Two Single Head Light Holders and Four 45w Daylight Bulbs, all with standard screw-in fittings.

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So all in all, a much more comprehensive photographic lighting setup. The backdrop system is incredibly handy for the studio and not designed for outdoor use, it is sturdy enough while also being lightweight.

Everything is fully adjustable, as are the lamp holders and having the choice of three different muslin backgrounds to choose from gives you a lot of variety to play with when experimenting to get those killer shots you are trying to achieve.

The light stands are also lightweight but robust, as is all of the equipment in this umbrella kit solid and of high quality,

Should you feel that the softboxes are not producing adequate light, experiment with their placement in relation to the subjects you are shooting, practice makes perfect and you won’t get it right the first time. The umbrellas and softboxes both offer good quality of light, without any unwanted tints.

If you have a bigger budget to play around with and you are more than just a budding weekend photographer, we suggest that this set is a great investment.

Pros

  • Comes with good quality backgrounds and background support
  • Features 2 softboxes and 2 umbrellas
  • All Stands are Lightweight and robust
  • Carry case for Background Stand and Umbrellas

Cons

  • The combination of the softboxes and lamps may not provide enough light, but this can be easily rectified
  • Higher Price point

3. Emart 600W Studio Photography Photo/Video Portrait Umbrella Kit

3. Emart 600W Studio Photography Portrait Photo Umbrella Kit

Lamp Type Screw-in, standard bulb
Lamp Quantity 3
Bulb Type CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) Bulb
Bulb Quantity 3
Color Temperature 5500k (Learn more about light color temperature)
Brightness 1820L
Power 45W
Umbrella Quantity 4 (2 x black/silver reflector, 2 x transparent white, soft)
Stand Quantity 3

The third on our list comes from the extremely popular and reputable Los Angeles-based EMART. The company was formed in 2014 by a collective of tech experts with an obsessive desire to find the best equipment and set up the perfect scenarios for the best shots and videos.

Thanks to their backgrounds, each of the core members behind EMART understands just how fast-moving the industry can be and that it doesn’t really matter how good the cameras, lenses, and editing software are if the conditions, particularly lighting, is not right you just won’t get the results.

This umbrella light kit is a particularly good example of them delivering on their promises as a company. It comes with Four umbrellas, Two 33-inch Black with silver reflective material and Two 33- inch Translucent White Soft Umbrellas.

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The set includes Three 45W 5500K Full Spectrum Energy Saving CFL Continuous Bulbs for constant light, along with Three light Holding Sockets with standard screw-in fittings, easy to replace if needed. The three stands are a shorter 33-inch light stand and two taller 86-inch stands.

The silver reflective umbrella in this kit is used to diffuse and spread light and make a softer light, while also providing a much cooler light temperature. Check out these cool hacks for the diffusion of harsh light.

This is an incredibly affordable umbrella light kit that comes with handy storage and transport carry bags for all the equipment.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Two types of umbrellas, giving you more versatility
  • Three stands, two tall, one short
  • Handy Carry Cases

Cons

  • No background support system, but not really surprising for the price.

4. LINCO Photography & Videography Continuous Umbrella Lighting Kit

4. LINCO Photography & Videography Continuous Umbrella Lighting Kit

Lamp Type Screw-in, standard bulb
Lamp Quantity 3
Bulb Type CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) Bulb
Bulb Quantity 3
Color Temperature 5500k (Learn more about light color temperature)
Power 45W
Umbrella Quantity 2
Stand Quantity 3

Although the umbrellas in this kit are white and transparent they are best used as reflectors of your light source rather than shoot-through umbrellas.

The thing you need to remember is that some subjects will look better with a less intense hard light. There is a huge benefit to softening the light during a shoot with a reflective umbrella to diffuse the light, as this will save you time in the post-processing stage as you will not have to spend so much time in your photo editing software to get the professional finish.

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All of the light sources in this option are continuous and AC-powered and therefore there is a constant light with no flickering. Much like the other options on this list, they are easy to transport and store away when they are not in use as included is a heavy-duty carry case for umbrellas and bulbs.

Considering the very modest price tag and the reputation of Linco as a brand in the industry, it is amazing that a kit like this could be available for such a low price point.

Don’t let that put you off, we have picked out these based on their merits, and if your budget will only stretch to a set like this, you will still have a good setup to start taking much better, more professional shots.

Pros

  • Incredibly low priced, the cheapest on our list
  • Lightweight construction
  • With Four umbrellas there is plenty of versatility with this kit
  • Heavy-Duty Carry cases

Cons

  • Some people have commented that the light output could be better

5. Emart Photography Gold/Black Umbrella Light Kit Review

5. Emart Photography Gold Black Umbrella Light Kit Review

Lamp Type Screw-in, standard bulb
Lamp Quantity 3
Bulb Type CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) Bulb
Bulb Quantity 3
Color Temperature 5500k (Learn more about light color temperature)
Power 45W
Umbrella Quantity 6 (2 x Standard, 2 x gold, 2 x silver)
Stand Quantity 3 (2 x tall, 1 x small)

Compared to the other EMART option on this list, this one is a little more expensive but of all the sets we have covered, you are getting the most umbrellas.

There is a total of Six, consisting of 2 of each color (gold, white and silver) which helps this set stand out from the rest because it offers the widest amount of flexibility and versatility.

Included in this set are the reflective umbrella lights, with the standard setup of three Photo Light Bulbs that are energy-saving CFL (although, the bulbs in this set have a higher wattage than others) and three lamp holders. The three stands comprise of two 83-inch and one 33-inch.

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Why so many reflective umbrellas? The different color of each umbrella helps to produce different effects when you are diffusing the light source.

If you are trying to achieve a warm and cozy feel in your images, you would be best using the gold-colored umbrellas. However, if you want a more subtle and slight warmth in an image, you would use a white reflective and gold umbrella collectively in your umbrella light kit.

When it comes to the silver umbrellas, Using two silver umbrellas at the same time will result in a very cool temperature image so play around with different combinations to get just the lighting arrangement you need and want from your light source.

If you are looking for an umbrella light kit that will help you take a diverse range of professional quality pictures, but won’t break the bank, this set from EMART may be a wise investment.

Pros

  • Very affordable considering the quality and what you get in this kit
  • More umbrellas than the other options, giving you the maximum amount of versatility
  • Adjustable stands for further flexibility and versatility

Cons

  • Some customers have commented that the bulbs are not really powerful enough and that the build quality is not top-notch

Before you rush to make a purchase read on for a quick summary of the different types and designs and what might be the one for you, just to be sure that you get it right.

Different Types of Studio Umbrellas

The two most commonly used photographic studio umbrellas are the shoot-through umbrellas and reflector umbrellas. Check out this huge guide that compares the difference between all types of lighting umbrellas.

Which one is the Best Photography Umbrella for you?

When you shine a light against a shoot-through umbrella this produces a softer and broader light.  It places the light incredibly close to your subject because the umbrella shaft is pointed in the other direction.

This type of umbrella offers a lot of versatility to your shoots. They are able to spread your light source’s output by as much as 180 degrees, meaning they can be placed very close to one individual subject or pulled back when you are shooting a group of subjects.

As these umbrellas have been designed for spreading light and not maximizing it, most photographers use 2 or 3 in order to ensure the light is powerful enough when shooting a larger product or group.

When you use a reflector umbrella, you would normally point the light source in the opposite direction to where the subject is and towards the umbrella in order to reflect the light back onto the subject, this method is known as bouncing the light.

Reflectors are used to direct and maximize light. When you use these kinds of umbrellas you can move the light source much further away from your subject than you can when using shoot-through umbrellas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are umbrella lights used for in photography?

Umbrella lights are used in photography as a diffuser for a softer and more even light. This soft even light will avoid any hard and harsh shadows and enhance the subject of the shot being taken.

Which way do umbrella lights face?

Photography umbrella lights face towards the umbrella which in turn faces the subject of the shoot, but, can be placed at different angles to ensure that the light is distributed evenly. When placed correctly they act as a diffuser to stop any harsh shadows to create a softer light and give soft even lighting.

What’s the difference between softbox and umbrella lighting?

The main difference between softbox and umbrella lighting is the area the light covers and the amount of control that you have over it.

A reflective umbrella will give you a broader area of light that goes everywhere for all-over fill light to help avoid any hard shadows, whereas a softbox is a more directional light modifier where the light is shone through a diffusion panel, similar to shoot-through umbrellas, and that gives a more natural through the window type lighting.

Umbrella Lights Photography Kit Review Summary

Overall we hope we have helped you see that in order to produce the best quality and most professional photographs possible from your studio shoots, you need to not only have a good quality camera, lens, and editing software but also high-quality photography umbrella light kit or lighting. And whilst it doesn’t have to be the best studio umbrella lights set up on the market, a range of light options will improve your photography skills tenfold by investing in the right camera umbrella lights.

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