Best Led Lights for Photography

If you want to get professional photos, you need to buy the best LED lights for photography to set lighting and composition right. Continuous LED lights will make your portrait, product or landscape photos better, they will become clear and the colors - pop.

5 Best LED Lights for Photography

Before buying LED lights, read more about their characteristics and where it’s better to use them. Here are my short reviews of five modern LED lights kits for photographers that I recommend.

1. NanGuang Flexible LED Light Panel CNST288C/2

nanguang flexible led light panel cnst288c/2
Pros+
  • Filterless construction makes color temperature altering fast and easy
  • Space-saving
  • One-year guaranty
  • Perfect design for storing in small places
Cons-
  • Haven’t’ been found
 

You don’t have to buy an external soft box, because this led panel photo light itself will give your photos soft illumination without harsh light. Rotate the rear color knob to customize the light from 3200K to 5600K.

When you use these panel LED lights for portraits, you can install them near each other in a 60x60cm set, which is supported by a tubular frame and Velcro attachment straps, or there also is a 120x30 cm frame in case you want to take full-length photos.

The panels weight only a few hundred grams, but when they are installed in the frame, their weight growth up to almost two kilograms, although it is still respectable, taking into account the big surface area.

2. Neewer 14″ LED Ring Light

newer 14’’ led ring light
Pros+
  • Shoe adapter that fits most DSLRs
  • The soft tube for free light rotation
  • High-quality, plastic Color Filters
  • Stable color temperature
  • Eco-friendly
Cons-
  • Lacks instruction manual
 

Buy these led lights if you need portrait photos very close to true color. Highly recommended for YouTube bloggers.

Neewer 14” LED ring perfectly fits small cameras and iPhones. This ring light is powered by a battery and is regulated by the on/off button. The plug in wire is quite short. Switch it on and adjust brightness.

The kit contains diffusion filters, camera adapter, iPhone adapter, a lightweight, but tall stand, the remote control and carry bag. Although this light kit is small, you will find all you need there.

This set doesn't take up much space and it breaks down easily.

3. SAMTIAN 160 LED Video Light Kit

samtian 160 led video light kit
Pros+
  • 8 levels of light dimming
  • 3200/5500K color temperature
  • Long battery life
Cons-
  • Too small carry bag
 

With two white and orange filters and brightness dimming from 10% to 100%, you may simply adjust the brightness and color temperature to get the desired studio lighting environment.

This is a low price LED photography lighting kit. It comes with 2 little LED light panels, 2 short stands, and batteries. That is quite a good set for less than $100! The light panels are 6x4 inches big, with a 1-inch housing and lights stands.

Thanks to its little size, you can install one light on a camera with the supplied hot shoe mount. These light panels are also lightweight, even with the fixed batteries and it is one more advantage as they are easy to mount on big cameras.

The light panels are simple to change, and they come with a diffusing filter that makes the light softer.

4. ikan iLED312-V2 2-Point Bi-Color Flood Light Kit

ikan iled312-v2 2-point bi-color flood light kit
Pros+
  • Adjustable color temperature
  • Integrated dimmer
  • 60-degree beam angle
  • Comes with adapters, batteries and charges
  • You can remove diffusion gel filter
Cons-
  • Quite expensive
  • Cuts much light because of the grid
 

This LED lights for photography set includes 2 8.25x4.5x1.7-inch Bi-Color panels which enable you to set the color balance from 3200 to 5500K in order to fit the surrounding conditions of your studio photo shoot.

The panels are AC/DC which means you may use the included power adapters to plug them in a wall outlet. The kit contains 4 batteries, a charger, and a shoe mount for on-camera usage, which ensures absolute mobility.

Moreover, this panel lights come with 4-way barn doors that allow you to regulate the 60° beam spread, and a kit case help store and carry all this stuff.

5. Rotolight AEOS

rotolight aeos
Pros+
  • Very soft light
  • For beauty selfies
  • Convenient to transport
  • Additional filters
Cons-
  • Expensive additional battery
 

This light kit is created for studio shooting, although it also has a pair of strong metal handles in case you have an assistant who can help you out and hold it. There is also a 1.4 kg and 30cm diameter for more convenient shooting.

The maximal power capacity is literally “eye-watering” 5750 lux at 3ft, and the color temperature of the light source varies from a warm 3150K to a daylight-balanced 6300K.

The main advantage of this LED photography lighting kit is its top quality and, in addition, a high color rendering index which is more than 96. On a rear display, you can easily read such characteristics as a current light intensity and temperature, both adjusted by control dials.

Push them to get AEOS’s additional features such as High-Speed Sync flash mode and specific effects that will help you imitate flickering fire and emergency vehicle lighting.

Why Do You Need LED Light?

Without the appropriate lighting your photography may become blurred, with all kinds of noise, when the auto focus doesn’t work accurately.

On the one hand, LED photo light is created for those, who like to have absolute control over the shooting process, and know how to arrange the light correctly and how to use the special equipment to get the desired result.

On the other hand, if it is easier for you to get used to the current conditions, rather than create your own, it will be more difficult for you to use LED lights.

What Is LED Light?

color temperature scale

LED light usually has the color temperature of 5400-5600K, which corresponds to the daylight and doesn’t require any additional correcting filters.

LED panels often have dimers, which allow regulating the light power fluently, without changing color characteristics. The combinations of warm and cold LED lights enable you to tune color temperature accurately.

Low power consumption makes LED photo light the foreground choice for the outdoor shooting, when you need to use batteries and there is no 200V system.

Which Kind of LED Lights to Use?

LED panels work duration simplifies their setting and enables you to evaluate the picture you will get, regardless if it is just a photo or a video. Although LED lights are not the most powerful light sources, the possibility to set them near the objects, both in a studio and outdoors, makes them quite universal.

Thanks to their small dimensions, you may use LED lights for photography outdoors to take images of different genres.

led lights for product photography

PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY. Taking clean product photos is not hard as it seems to be. LED light panels will help you to simplify your work. With their help, you will be able to see how the light directly influences the scene and that makes the shooting process easier, especially after many tries to use strobe flashes and random power levels.

led lights for makeup artistry

MAKEUP PHOTOGRAPHY. Have you ever been interested in how some photographers and videographers receive practically shadowless light effect, and the pictures still remain vivid and vibrant?

They use a ring light. The ring light is a sort of hula hoop of the light, in the middle of which you set your lens or a phone. Although producing no shadows, the ring light is not flat.

Your equipment or even eyes are in the middle of the light source. Hence, the light source encircles the optical line of sight. In this way, the light evenly falls on the object.

led lights for portrait photography

PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY. The Sun and the ambient light you get in an evenly-lit room are one of the best kinds of light for good portraits. Although, it frequently happens that natural light is not enough for a high-quality photo without harsh shadows.

That’s why photographers complement or substitute the natural light with an artificial one. One of the advantages of LED photographic lighting is that it is portable. The lighting ratio matters a lot for some kinds of portraits. Moreover, using artificial light, you may not worry about the external conditions influencing the scene and stay concentrated on the object.

led lights for nature photography

NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY. If you are a nature photographer, in most cases, you are very dependent on the natural light. Imagine that you have your portable sun which you can place wherever you want. That sounds good, doesn’t it?

Actually, it is possible, if you use LED lights for photography, which is ignored by many shooters when they work outside. Use the small LED to introduce the fill light which will help to balance exposure and light your object.

Fill light is important when the key object is darker in comparison with its environment or if you want to focus more attention on it.

LED Light Types

What LED light kits to buy if your shoot landscapes, portraits or product photos? Read more about the most frequently used types of LED lighting that photographers use nowadays.

Ring Lights

how to set up led lights stand

You can improve your selfies, macro pictures, and portraits with the help of ring lights and flashes. These lights let you make the objects in the photo more beautiful and well-lit.

There are different kinds of ring lights – big that come with the stands, and small ones, that can be attached to your phone.

Regardless of your needs, all the LED lights for photography have one thing in common – they light nearby objects, as a rule, an individual person or a medium-sized object.

Bulbs

There are a few reasons why LED photography light bulbs are so popular among photographers. First of all, they are cheap and handy photo gear. Such bulbs almost don’t heat up and are eco-friendlier.

Secondly, they need less power and may be operated with a battery. You only need to find the standard AA batteries, which are rather widespread.

Panels

led lights panels for photography

At first, LED panels were popular just among videographers, but recently photographers also began to use them in their work. LED panels are good sources of constant light, are affordable, easy to carry and install.

There is a wide choice of LED lights panels for video and photo shooting, ranging in sizes and configurations. Among them, you can find battery-operated panels with a different set of power and also bi-color panels with more creative light balancing control.

Light Kits

best led lights for photography in one kit

LED technologies have been rapidly developing, and, respectively, they become more popular. You can buy cheap LED lights for photography if you are just starting your career or you may choose some high price accessories if you are a professional.

Having seen the opportunities, a lot of developers began producing additional equipment – stands, batteries, filters and carry bags. Buying an LED photography lighting kit is more cost-effective than purchasing everything separately.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more