Creating your own lighting during shoots and not relying on natural lighting or your camera flash allows you to take full control of the mood in your photos. Good lighting is crucial for creating the perfect ambiance. There are plenty of ways to do this, be it the strategic angling of a lighting umbrella or a cleverly constructed softbox. Chances are that you’ve wondered about adding a strobe light to your studio setup, and we’re here to help you decide.
Strobe lighting provides brief bursts of light with consistent duration and power. They are easy to use, consistently deliver the same output when adjusted correctly, and enhance the quality of your photos.
Adding a strobe light to your studio setup is like adding a giant camera flash but it’s not attached to your camera. To help you explore the world of studio strobes, we’ve compiled our pick of the best below.
1. Neewer Vision 4 (Overall Winner)
Neewer is one of the most popular brands of lighting equipment. The company is dedicated to bringing new photographic equipment by closely monitoring experiences and suggestions from their customers.
Their Vision 4 strobe light is a popular choice among many photographers, and it’s not only because of the reasonable price. What makes Neweer’s Vision 4 so useful is the fact it is battery-powered and portable.
The German-engineered 300W flash is capable of meeting all demands whether you’re shooting fast-moving objects or taking photos in different lighting environments. It’s worth noting that large capacity lithium battery allows the Neewer Vision 4 to provide 700 full-power flashes and a fast recycle time.
The full adjustment of the strobe is achieved through six easy steps. Although Neweer’s strobe light is sturdy, affordable, and easy to use, it’s also worth mentioning that the trigger can feel unsteady and the battery sometimes doesn’t click as easily as it should.
Godox is a professional photography equipment manufacturer whose products are available worldwide. Their SK400II has a maximum power of 400Ws and a short recycle time. The 150W modeling lamp is easily adjustable from five percent to 100 percent.
Godox’s studio strobe is compact and ideal for e-commerce product shooting, portrait, and lifestyle photography. Additionally, in a small and medium studio shooting environment, this product can work as a highlight, background light, or hair light.
The built-in fan provides protection against overheating and extends flash life. Unlike Neewer’s strobe light, this item can’t be used outdoors. The Godox SK400II is very bright, inexpensive, and durable; however, it can only go up to 1/16, and the light could be very bright and overexpose the subject. These minor issues are easily fixed by placing strobe light further from the subject or adding a defuser.
If you were to look for studio strobe lights online, you would notice that many products are made by Neewer. With a wide range of photography-related equipment on the market, Neewer has become one of the most sought-after brands. In other words, it comes as no surprise that Neewer’s studio lights have basically swamped the market.
The Neewer Photo Studio Strobe Flash Light and Softbox Lighting Kit includes two 300W 5600K strobe flashes with modeling lamps, two 6.5-foot light stands, two softboxes, one RT-16 wireless trigger, and one bag. Considering the abundance of this kit, it is quite a convenient thing to own.
This strobe light has a fast recharging time of 0.3 to 1.8 seconds, and the synchronization distance is ten meters. Moreover, the flash duration is 1/2000s, and the light intensity is strong enough to allow you to take great images.
The light stands are capable of stable and heavy-duty work while the softbox makes the whole kit ideal for fashion photography and portraits as well as products that are medium to large in size.
Professional photographers who are looking for a studio strobe light at a reasonable price may benefit from Neewer’s N-250W strobe. The flash energy of 250Ws means the light intensity is strong enough for clear and vivid images. Moreover, the 75W modeling lamp adjusts in three power levels such as prop, full, and off. When not using the flash, it can work as a fill light.
Neewer’s strobe light is made of aluminum alloy and is durable and firm. The beauty of this strobe light is that you can mount it on the stand or hold in hand, and it’s easy to set up due to the fact it’s 180° rotatable. All in all, for the price, Neewer’s studio strobe light does the job pretty well.
Godox’s series of studio strobe lights are very versatile and quite affordable. This particular item is easy to use, meaning it’s especially useful for beginners who are still learning and gaining experience with photography equipment. The flash output is 300Ws while the flash power control is eight steps. The modeling lamp is 75W while the recharging time is quite fast (0.5 to two seconds).
The good thing about the Godox Smart studio strobe light is that it can work with any trigger model as long as you can plug a standard sync cable to it. The Smart strobe light attaches to a softbox, and you only need a standard friction adapter, meaning you don’t have to purchase a specialized adapter for this purpose.
Benefits of this strobe light are numerous including the fact it’s small, relatively lightweight, has a quick recycle time at high power, and enough power to take it to events or light a small studio.
That being said, it is worth mentioning that the modeling lamp has quite a weak output according to some customers. Additionally, the stand mount is made of plastic and not very sturdy. Overall, the Godox Smart 300SDI strobe light works well for the money and puts out a lot of light, which is always a good thing.
6. LimoStudio AGG1756V2 (Budget Winner)
Options are endless for photographers who are on the budget but still want to add studio strobe lights to their equipment. This is particularly the case with beginners who want to start with something cheap and simple before they work their way up to more advanced equipment.
LimoStudio’s strobe light is one of the most affordable on the market. This moonlight flash has AC 110-130V/60Hz voltage and comes with a test button and power output dial.
The LimoStudio 200W strobe can function as main, back, or focus light due to the fact this studio light has an easily adjustable shooting angle. The recharge time is quite fast (0.2-1.5 seconds), and it can turn on automatically in the dark. LimoStudio’s strobe light has a flash tube life of up to 8000 hours.
Choosing Studio Strobe Lights
Strobe lights come handy as they give you the much-needed lighting to shoot objects, people, and other subjects. Some strobe lights can be taken outside, which is also convenient. When looking for the best studio strobe lights, you should consider several factors such as the price, strength, ease of use, installation (is it mounted, handheld, or both), and quality of the trigger.
Make sure you get the studio strobe light that answers your needs and preferences. The good thing is that lighting options are numerous and prices vary, meaning you can easily find the best item for your budget.