So you’re a pro photographer, or maybe a serious amateur, and you’re on the hunt for that certain lighting source. But it has to be the best one out there, for your needs and for your budget—and that can take a lot of looking.
To help you some with that, we’ve done the research on five categories of lighting “kits,” each of which might suit a different sort of shooter..
We’ve taken the kits and broken them down for you—beginning with the heart of any shooter’s lighting: the power lamp itself. We also mention accessories included with the kits, such as stands, light modifiers or remote capabilities.
- Best Portable Lighting Kit: Profoto 901056 D1
- Runner Up Best Portable Lighting Kit: Godox 3 Pack SK400II
- Best Portable Lighting Kit for the Money: GODOX MS300 600W Studio Strobe Kit
- Best Cheap Portable Lighting Kit: Neewer Vision 4 Photo Lighting Kit
- Best Portable Softbox Lighting Kit : Neewer 2-Pack 2.4G LED Softbox Lighting Kit
Best Portable Photography Lighting Kits
|Best Portable Lighting Kit
|Profoto 901056 D1
|Runner Up Best Portable Lighting Kit
|Godox 3 Pack SK400II
|Best Portable Lighting Kit for the Money
|GODOX MS300 600W Studio Strobe Kit
|Best Cheap Portable Lighting Kit
|Neewer Vision 4 Photo Lighting Kit
|Best Portable Softbox Lighting Kit
|Neewer 2-Pack 2.4G LED Softbox Lighting Kit
Best Portable Lighting Kit for the Money: GODOX MS300 Studio Strobe Kit
Capable of double-duty, in or out of the studio, the Godox MS300 monohead sports a respectable power punch of 300Ws. And with a weight of just 5.7 lb, this best portable lighting kit for the money will make sure you won’t arrive at your session sore and out of breath.
Even established photographers will appreciate the numerous perks of this little giant, including flash durations as snappy as 1/2000 of a second, a 0.1 – 1.8 second recycling time, and even a built-in 32-channel radio system for wireless function control.
Key Features of the Godox MS300 Studio Strobe Kit:
- Built-in XT-16 transmitter
- Power adjustable from 1/32 to 1/1 in 50 steps
- 300Ws x 2 with a recycle time of 0.1 – 1.8 seconds
For shooters who worship versatility and accuracy, the Godox MS300 offers adjustable power adjustment from 1/32 to 1/1 in an incredible 50 steps, while the 150W modeling brightness is adjustable from 5 to 100%.
Add in the two 60X90 cm Softboxes, an XT-16 transmitter, a 7” reflector, and even a handsome carry bag, and you’ve got yourself an outstanding photo package.
But we’re not done. Just one quick look at this versatile kit’s jaw-dropping price and you’ll understand just why the MS300 took best in category.
If you’ve been looking for the perfect blend of quality, quantity, ease of operation and yes—affordable price, you’ve found it with the Godox MS300 Studio Strobe Kit.
THE Best Portable Lighting Kit: Profoto 901056 D1 Studio Kit
Photographers will always find surprises on their out-of-studio shoots. But Profoto’s 901056 lighting kit takes some of the “un” from your uncontrolled environments.
Centered around two D1 Air monoblocs, you should never want for illumination. Not with these powerful, yet compact units.
And did we mention the D1’s zero to full recycle time of .95 seconds?
Key features of the Profoto D1 Studio Kit:
- 500W/s per unit
- Exposure consistency over a 7-stop range
- Super fast recycle time of up to 0.95 seconds
The D1 is a professional instrument, in the studio or at remote locations, and the price of glory isn’t small. But for those who place consistency, quality, and ease above a price tag–the Profoto 901056 is the best portable lighting kit for photography.
Additional features include color temperature and exposure consistency across a 7-stop power range, as well as built-in reflectors designed for use with other reflectors and light modifiers.
Accessories standard with the kit include two umbrellas with stands, a sync cord, and a studio kit case for storage and transport.
If you’re the sort of shooter who demands the very best, the Profoto 901056 D1 Studio Kit is the only route for you. With its uncompromising power and utility, your session just got a whole lot easier.
Runner up Best Portable Lighting Kit: Godox 3 Pack SK400II
It’s hard to imagine, really, a lighting system of greater real value than this impressive 3-pack from Godox. Especially for the price.
How much would you pay for three monoheads of 400Ws each with built-in radio control?
Tell me more, you say. Then what if they were power-variable from 1/16 to full in 40 steps?. And the 150W modeling lights were adjustable as well?
And could the lamps recycle at 0.4 to 3 seconds?
Well, the Godox 3-Pack SK400II Studio Flash Kit gives you these and other features. But it doesn’t stop there.
Key Features of the Gordox SK400II Studio Kit:
- Built-in 2.4 GHz wireless X system
- Fast recycle from 0.4 to 3 seconds
- Stands, umbrellas, softbox, rolling case included
- Three 400Ws monoheads with 40 power settings
- 150W modeling light with percentage mode – 5 to 100%
Also in the kit are three portable lamp stands, one 23.6” x 35.4” softbox, two 40” umbrellas, one standard reflector, an XT16 wireless trigger, and finally—a hard, rolling kit case for storage and transport.
In short, for a more-than-reasonable price tag, Godox has forged a set of lighting tools which, in the hands of a competent shooter, can handle almost any situation. The SK400II just might be the answer to your photographer dreams.
Best Cheap Portable Lighting Kit: The Neewer Vision 4
When considering the Neewer Vision 4 lighting Kit, “cheap” is not to be taken as a derogatory label. Let’s just call it “bare bones” for the kit’s inclusion of a single well-engineered Vision 4 battery-powered monohead.
Sometimes a shooter has to travel light—really light—and even fast. So mount your lamp onto your stand (be sure to bring one), equipped with either a Bowens mount softbox or translucent umbrella (included) and get to work.
Key Features of the Neewer Portable Lighting Kit:
- 2.4GHz flash trigger system
- Softbox and translucent umbrella included
- Up to 700 full power flashes with a single charge
You’ll enjoy the included 2.4GHz wireless remote and trigger and even love the 700 full power flashes packed inside a single Li-on battery.
And forget about the horrors of motion-blur. With its really short flash durations (1/1000 to 1/10000 seconds), your Vision 4 will freeze the very fastest blinks and movements.
So here’s the good news: If you’re a photographer who needs quality equipment, but has to watch his bank account, the Neewer Vision 4 Flash Kit can get you where you want to go.
Best Portable Softbox Lighting Kit: Neewer 2-Pack 2.4G LED
Strobe lighting is a great way to make pictures, and it’s been around for years. But it’s not the only game in town. Especially if you’re into video.
The Neewer 2-Pack Softbox Lighting Kit provides a dimmable LED continuous light solution, which can open new horizons. It’s the perfect combo tool for use with portrait/product work at the studio, your home, or even outdoors (Li-ion batteries not included).
Yes, the price is hard to beat, and Neewer loads you up for bear.
Key Features of the Neewer 2-Pack 2.4GHz LED Softbox Lighting Kit
- A 2.4GHz remote control
- Two softboxes with aluminum alloy stands
- Two 48W dimmable LED lights with color filters
The kit includes not only two lighting heads with softboxes and 74 inch aluminum alloy stands, but it simplifies your shooting with a 2.4GHz remote. Need more? Then how about the red, green and blue filters for video use, plus a proper carry bag?
If you’re into continuous lighting for all or some of your photo needs—but you don’t want to break the bank—the Neewer 2-Pack 2.4G just might be the kit for you.
There you have it, photogs: a wrap on the best portable lighting kits headed into 2021.
Have you noticed—equipment seems lighter and more efficient by the day. And no matter what you might run into out there, these well-made little powerhouses are here to see you through.
So, depending on your situation, check out one or more of these kits. They’re sure to brighten up your attitude.