One of the first things you learn about photography is the importance of good lighting. This is especially true when shoting indoors.
If you regularly take photos of yourself, your home, or perhaps items for a business, you will need some very good lighting.
One of the best ways of improving lighting is with a softbox light. This is, as the name suggests, a light that sits inside a material made from a soft material.
Softbox lights will provide a much softer and more even light than will be provided in a room. This isn’t the same as just shining a lamp on something.
A softbox casts a gentle and natural-looking glow.
So, if you want to be able to take photographs in soft, natural lighting all year round and at any time of day, a softbox is for you.
But, as with any kind of technical equipment, there are a lot of accessories that you will also need. So a softbox lighting kit is your best option.
To help you find your perfect glow, we’ve put together this list of the best softbox lighting kits available.
Read on for some great, easy to use kits, as well as some tips and advice for the buying process.
Need to get that shoot done ASAP and don’t have time to browse? No problem, here’s our top pick for the best softbox lighting kit.
Best Softbox Lighting Kit – Comparison Table
Best Softbox Lighting Kit – Reviews
Best Softbox Lighting Kit – Buyers Guide
What You Need in a Softbox Lighting Kit
When it comes to photography equipment, there are quite a few accessories to consider when it comes to softbox lighting.
But don’t get overwhelmed, you don’t need to buy absolutely everything that is suggested to you.
The most basic essentials you need with a softbox lighting kit:
- 2 x Bulbs
- 2 x Softboxes
- 1 x Stand
- 1 x Carry Bag
There are more technical options available. But, if you’re just beginning to use softboxes in your photography, you don’t really need more than this.
Square vs Rectangular
As you will have noticed on this list, softboxes come as square or rectangular. But how will they differ and which is the best shape for your work?
There isn’t a huge difference between square and rectangular softboxes. They are designed to mimic sunlight coming in through a window.
This is the reason for the overall square or rectangular shape of softboxes. But the main difference is how the light will be cast.
It’s not very complicated but a rectangular softbox will cast a longer and taller light. A square softbox will cast a more even light.
So your decision should depend on the kind of photos you want to take.
If you want to produce dramatic and artistic photos that will play with the lighting and shadows more, then a rectangular softbox is a great idea.
But if you want more direct and even lighting, then a square softbox is the best choice for you.
Colored Lights and Dimming
Most softbox lighting kits are pretty simple. But there are some that have multiple lights of different colors and some with the ability to dim.
This is great if you will be recording yourself for videos or taking photos of yourself. It will allow you to alter the lighting depending on how the real daylight outside is.
If you’re sitting in a room filming when the sun suddenly goes behind the cloud, even with a standard bright softbox, this will be noticeable.
But with a dimmer, you will be able to make the lights brighter or darker as needed.
Dimmers are also usually controlled with a remote. This is not always the case but remote controls are very useful. Especially if you are filming or photographing yourself.
You don’t want to have to keep getting up to alter the lights yourself.
As well as dimming, some softbox lighting kits come with different colored bulbs. These aren’t very different colors as most are variations on white or orange.
These are really useful as they will allow you to choose either a bright light or a warmer light. This means you can alter the lighting depending on the natural lighting in the room.
But also the skin tone, hair color, and other factors of you or whoever you are shooting.
Why you Should Buy a Softbox Light
Softbox lighting is one of the most popular lighting options for photographers. In fact, many photographers consider them to be essential.
A softbox is a way of using a direct light source but softening it. A softbox will also make the light appear bigger.
This is why small bulbs (in comparison to the size of the box) are used. The box projects the light over an area. Then the filter and diffuser soften the light.
This gives you more control over your light source. If you use a bare bulb, or even the sun, your light source is direct and limited.
A softbox spreads out the light and is adjustable. Being able to adjust your softbox is essential. Otherwise, there is little point to it. Make sure to find a softbox light that will allow you to rotate the head at least 210°.
The stand should also be adjustable. You will need to be able to adjust the height of the softbox.
Some lights will allow you to set the height at only certain stages whereas others will allow you to set it at any height. Try to find one that gives you the most freedom.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is softbox lighting used for?
Softbox lighting can be used for a range of photography and filming. They will provide natural light for you to shoot under.
They are designed to mimic daylight coming in through a window. So they allow you to shoot in daylight at any time of the day or night.
You can use a softbox to brighten up the shoot and provide a direct light when shooting products.
Or you can use them to play with the casting of light and shadows on more artistic shoots.
Whatever your style, if you want to make the most of your photos or videos and need better lighting, a softbox is a great option.
What’s better, softbox or ring light?
If you have done some research into lighting, ring lights and softboxes are probably the kinds that you have come across the most.
But ring lights and softboxes provide very different effects. A softbox, as the name suggests, provides a soft glow of light.
Although the brightness is usually adjustable, a softbox will highlight the shadows more.
A ring light, on the other hand, will cast a much brighter light. They are also, usually, adjustable. But ring lights will lighten the entire space.
A softbox can be used for close-up shots or wider shots. Whereas a ring light is best suited for close-up portraits or for photographing physical items.
If you are shooting products for a business and want something bright and eye-catching, then a ring light is your best option.
But, if you want to take flattering and artistic shots of people, then a softbox is your best choice. They will be better suited to different skin tones and hair colors.
They won’t cast as bright or intense a light. So it will be better to play with the effects more.
Where should softbox lights be placed?
This depends on what you’re photographing. The main difference depends on whether you’re photographing an item or a person.
It also depends on the kind of aesthetic you want to go for.
Generally speaking, the more direct the light, the brighter the photograph. But the beauty of a softbox is that it allows you to play about with shadows.
A good softbox will allow you to rotate and alter the box. This means that you can aim the light away from the sitter’s face in order to cast a shadow or alter the effects of the light.
The best thing to do is to mess around and have a go. Practice makes perfect.
This is very true in photography as practice will allow you to find what works and (just as importantly) what doesn’t work.
So, before trying to do a big shoot, try photographing lots of different items and people. Aim the light in different directions to try things out.
You will be able to work out how it all works. Plus, you will be able to find your own style. Rather than thinking about what you’re “supposed to” be doing.
Last Updated on 2020-12-07 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates