Lighting for photography is crucial for taking high-quality photos. Proper lighting can help accentuate the subject of the image with clarity and sharpness. Good lighting for photography lets you bring your creativity to the forefront and create whatever photographic mood your heart desires.
There are many photographers’ lighting options available, whether in the studio or in the field, and the good news is that photography lighting doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are our top picks for cheap photography lights:
- Best Overall Photography Lighting: LimoStudio Photography Photo Portrait Studio 660W Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit
- Best On-Camera Photography Lighting: VILTROX L116T RA CRI95 Super Slim LED Light Panel
- Best Softbox Photography Lighting Kit: MOUNTDOG 1350W Photography Softbox Lighting Kit
- Best Lighting for Smaller Studios: RALENO Softbox 20”x28” Photography Lighting Professional Photo Equipment
- Most Portable and Practical Lighting Equipment: ESDDI 20”x28” Softbox Photography Lighting Kit
- Most Versatile Photography Light: Neewer 250W 5600K Photo Studio Strobe Flash Light
- Best Ring Photography Light: QIAYA Selfie Light Ring
- Best 3-Point Photography Lighting: Fovitec 3-Point Fluorescent Lighting Kit
- Best for Overall Budget: Neewer On Camera Dimmable 176 LED Lighting Pane
If you’re on a tight budget, you’ve come to the right place. Scroll down to see the best cheap photography lights for under $200.
1. LimoStudio Photography Photo Portrait Studio 660W Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit (Overall Winner)
The LimoStudio 660W Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit consists of three 45W CFL bulbs, three bulb sockets, two 33-inch umbrella reflectors, and two 86-inch light stands.
The white umbrella reflector is made of high-quality nylon and works well to diffuse the light from any flash or continuous light. These lighting umbrellas reflect and spread light evenly for high-quality images.
LimoStudio’s lighting kit is one of the best cheap photography lights to consider if you’re looking for quality equipment at a reasonable price.
For some users, lights mounted on the camera are more convenient, especially if they’re on the go and can’t carry lighting kits with them. The VILTROX L116T RA light panel promises to make it easy to capture stunning photos with perfect lighting in a convenient and lightweight manner.
Weighing only 260g, VILTROX’s light panel packs easily with the rest of your photography gear. Its compact size is accompanied by an affordable price. Users can adjust the brightness and color temperature.
The VILTROX LED light panel can be mounted on a DSLR, DV camcorder, and tripod. The light is powerful, considering the compact size of the device. The good thing is that it’s not necessary to plug into the camera battery and it won’t drain it.
MOUNTDOG’s cheap photography lights could be the solution for photographers who are looking for quality, but affordable equipment. The kit includes a two-pack of 20×28” softboxes to soften light streams and remove shadows for a perfect shooting experience.
The softbox lighting angle is adjustable by a 270° lamp holder, and it’s easy to adapt them to various shooting needs. Setting up is very easy. The kit contains three 135W bulbs and two 27”-80” adjustable light stands made of aluminum alloy that is foldable, durable, and easy to carry wherever necessary. MOUNTDOG provides a three-month warranty with their lighting kit, but users can replace the bulb anytime in one year.
RALENO photography lighting equipment is suitable for smaller studios and other areas where you are taking photos. While it’s not a type of kit you can take outdoors, it’s a viable option to consider. In addition to the convenient price, the equipment comes with a 30-day money-back warranty meaning if you are not satisfied with the quality and results, you can get your money back.
This cheap photography lights kit features a softbox with an E27 socket, an 85W light bulb, a 78” flexible light stand, and a carry bag. This photography lighting kit from RALENO has ON/OFF light switch, and it’s quite simple to set it up. The lights have a nice, true, and even color meaning users can capture stunning images that require no color-correcting during post-processing. This kit is lightweight and stored easily.
Here’s yet another cheap photography lights kit that you can get for a reasonable price. The ESDDI photography lighting kit features two softboxes that soften light streams and remove shadows for perfect photos.
The kit also contains two bulbs for continuous uniform light and adjustable lamp holder. Bearing in mind that photography is all about portable and practical equipment, ESDDI made sure their lighting kit is easy and quick to set up and disassemble whenever necessary.
It’s worth mentioning that the photography lighting kit from ESDDI comes with a 180-day warranty. The advantages of this photography light are numerous, including durability, various features, and the fact that it is ideal for portrait and scene shooting.
ESDDI lights are praised for their affordable price and tripod that reaches 80″. A slight disadvantage is that the tripods are fairly lightweight meaning they could be facing stability issues.
Neewer is a big name in the photography lighting industry, and their studio strobe light is worth taking into consideration. It fits into the budget-friendly category, but at the same time, it’s a reasonable choice for quality photos. This light is suitable for studios, particularly smaller and medium-sized spaces, and it emits instant bright flashlights for special photo effects.
The Neewer strobe light can be mounted on a light stand, but it is not included in the package. Of course, you can hold it in your hand too. It’s worth mentioning that apart from strobe lights, you can also use Neewer’s product as the key or continuous light in your indoor studio.
The body is made from an aluminum alloy, which is both convenient and durable. Neewer’s strobe light comes with 75W modeling bulb, and it can work as a main light, backlight or hair light, and it forms different kinds of layout lighting. The light intensity is adjustable, which gives users a wide range of flash brightness, and it’s multi-purpose as the Neewer strobe light works not only as a flash but a filler too. That’s why it’s useful in any shoot session.
If you’re looking for cheap photography lights to step up your selfie game or YouTube tutorials, then QIAYA’s light ring is a suitable choice. Basically, this is a selfie-light but without the stand or clamp. This clip-on ring light is suitable for vloggers who want a convenient photography light that they can use without too much hassle.
The built-in clip allows users to attach the ring to a smartphone. Not only is it one of the most affordable products, but this ring light also comes with three levels of brightness, thus allowing you to choose the ideal mode for a certain scenario. QIAYA’s ring light has a rechargeable battery — just plug in the USB cable to charge it.
Professional photographers who are looking for cheap photography light that won’t let them down may want to consider Fovitec equipment. Fovitec’s 3-Point Fluorescent Lighting Kit is more expensive than the above-mentioned items, but you shouldn’t rule it out. Solid build quality, powerful lights, portability, and versatility are some of the many advantages this kit has to offer.
What makes the Fovitec lighting kit stand out is the fact the lights have different brightnesses, which is particularly useful for users who are looking for a way to make less lighting adjustments. Additionally, the Fovitec lighting kit creates depth and highlights subjects to outline and separate shapes from backgrounds.
9. Neewer On Camera Dimmable 176 LED Lighting Panel (Budget Winner)
The Neewer On Camera Dimmable 176 LED Lighting Panel is practical for users who prioritize portability and convenience. Some photographers don’t like setting up softboxes, and in that case, this is a nice alternative. With a low price tag, Neewer’s on-camera light seems like an attractive choice for many as the light doesn’t lack in quality.
The Neewer studio panel light emits continuous white light at 5600K, and it can be mounted on most DSLR cameras or tripod stands. This LED panel comes with transparent and orange filters to soften the light source and enhance skin tone in photography. That’s why this piece of equipment is ideal for shooting portraits. According to the brand, the Neewer LED light panel has a lifespan of 50,000 hours.
Bottom Line on Cheap Photography Lights
When it comes to best cheap photography lights for under $200, there is a lot to choose from. Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer or maybe a blogger or vlogger, you can find ideal lighting for your needs without spending a fortune.
Take some time to consider your needs. If you’re looking for easy setup, then mountable panel lights are a good choice. For people who want a more professional feel, then softbox lighting is an ideal option.