By Robin Owens 10 days ago, Photography Gear
Top-rated strobe lights for taking photos in the studio and outdoors.
Strobe lighting is easy to set up. It helps achieve the necessary amount of illumination in the studio. Another advantage of studio strobe lights is that they are designed to work efficiently between shots. In such a way, your photoshoot is bound to be more productive, with more time dedicated to taking images rather than waiting.
Nowadays, the cost of the models for beginners starts from $100, whereas the price of strobe lights for photography used by professionals starts from $1,000.
Powerful lighting equipment will help you take stunning photos. However, it might be a tedious task to select the right lighting gear that can satisfy all your needs and preferences. On this list of strobe lights for photography, you will find the most decent models selected according to such specifications as flash duration, color temperature, compatibility with accessories, type of mount, etc.
Dimensions: 8.7 x 5 x 9.7 inches | Weight: 5.86 pounds | Flash Duration: 1/1000s-1/10000s | Color Temperature: 5600±200k
This is the best strobe light for photography for the professionals who shoot both indoors and outdoors and need the gear that can deliver sufficient lighting in both cases. It is energy-efficient and comes with the TTL wireless control, ensuring smooth operation with low light cameras. Flashpoint XPLOR 600 is powered by a long-lasting battery. With a fully charged battery, it can produce 450 full-power flashes.
The recycle time is another strong point of this model. It ranges from 0.01 to 2.5 seconds. Other cool features that make Flashpoint XPLOR 600 one of the best strobe lights for photography are upgradable firmware, LED Modeling, LCD screen, integrated rapid Multiflash, and compatibility with a new camera system.
Dimensions: 10 x 7.5 x 3.9 inches | Weight: 4.63 pounds | Flash Duration: 1/2000-1/800S | Color Temperature: 5600±200k
This strobe light for photography has many features that appeal to buyers, with a portable design being on the top of the list. Those looking for gear with a small size and weight will definitely like this option. Another advantage is the TTL function, which ensures compatibility with such popular camera brands as Canon, Nikon, and Sony.
Being portable battery-powered photography lighting equipment, the Godox AD200 comes with an interchangeable flash head, so you can switch between a photo light bulb head and the Speedlight-styled Fresnel head with ease. There is also a 2.4G wireless control system, which produces an impressive number of full-power flashes during the entire photo session.
If you feel that your photography can benefit from additional flash lighting, but don’t want to mess up your working space, the Godox AD200 is an ideal choice.
Dimensions: 12.95 x 11.55 x 7.15 inches | Weight: 5.4 pounds | Flash Duration: 1/1000s-1/19000s | Color Temperature: 5500±150k
Westcott provides professional lighting solutions for photographers. The brand is known for a variety of excellent gear. The Westcott FJ400 is one of the best options for shooters nowadays. Westcott is famous for its light precision and the Westcott FJ400 probably delivers the most accurate color temperatures.
With 400W of operating power, the strobe produces continuous flashes for a burst mode of 20 FPS. This model is quite powerful and allows you to make the sequence of shots of a dog catching the bone. Keep in mind that the battery charge is enough for making 480 flashes.
Many photographers consider this model to be one of the best photography strobes as it features a built-in cooling system that prevents overheating. The fan stops working automatically helping you keep the strobe safe.
Dimensions: 12.52 x 10.43 x 7.91 inches | Weight: 10.95 pounds | Flash Duration: 1/2000s-1/800s | Color Temperature: 5600±200k
The MS200 Monolight from Godox is a professional strobe light that can be used as a 5600K daylight-balanced flash source. It takes it 0.1-1.8 seconds to recycle, while the duration of a flash is 1/2000 seconds. Another advantage of this model is that you can easily access all the buttons on the rear panel and use its high-accuracy LCD panel.
The MS200 has an in-built 32-channel radio system that allows you to control it wirelessly with the help of the Godox X1 trigger as well as XT16 or XPro, X2 transmitters. It remembers the current settings 3 seconds after they were adjusted. The original settings are restored after the restart.
Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 10 inches | Weight: 1 pounds | Flash Duration: 1/2000s to 1/800s | Color Temperature: 5600±200k
Godox has gained the reputation of a professional manufacturer of photography equipment. Its products are popular all over the globe. The Godox SK400II is another successful item in its line of the best strobe lights for photography.
It has a max power of 400Ws and a quick recycle period. The 150W modeling lamp doesn’t require daunting fine-tuning and can be set from 5% to 100%. This model is distinguished with a compact design and turned out to be a perfect addition to the e-commerce kit. You can also use it for lifestyle and portrait photo sessions.
Thanks to a built-in fan, it won’t get overheated and eventually, break down. This strobe can be used during outdoor shooting and will help implement all your product photography ideas.
Dimensions: 4.7 x 3 x 3 inches | Weight: 1.2 pounds | Flash Duration: 1/2000s to 1/800s | Color Temperature: 5800±200k
The XPLOR 100 PRO is a compact and lightweight model that is easy to carry around to different shooting locations. This off-camera strobe has 100Ws of output power. It meets the requirements and expectations of every photographer. The flash also offers a great variety of light shapers that allow photographers to implement their creative shooting ideas.
This model has a compact and easy-to-carry body that resembles the shape of a can. The studio light is battery-powered and is quite lightweight, which allows photographers to take it to any shooting location without trouble.
Another advantage of the XPLOR 100 PRO is that it is easy to attach to the magnetic AK-R1 accessories kit. The flash attached to the S2 bracket is compatible with a great variety of Bowen-mount modifiers.
Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 9.28 pounds | Flash Duration: 1/2000-1/800 | Color Temperature: 5600±200k
This 600W moonlight strobe provides you with better overall control over color and temperature. By setting the flash to a percentage of the power you want the strobe to produce, you can achieve more accurate results. To manage the strobe remotely, you need to buy a separate transmitter.
The flash has stable output characteristics: exact color temperature of 5600K, pulse duration from 1/800 to 1/2000s, and power with a deviation of not more than 2%.
The Godox DP600III monoblock has an in-built Godox 2.4G X receiver, thanks to which the flash can synchronize over the radio channel with a frequency of 2.4GHz. After acquiring one of the Xpro, X1, XT32, or XT16 radio synchronizers, you can adjust the power of the pulse and modeling light, select the operation modes of the pilot light and turn on and off the sound signal that the flash is ready to function.
Dimensions: 4.7 x 3 x 3 inches | Weight: 3.34 pounds | Flash Duration: 1/2000-1/800 | Color Temperature: 5800±200k
The AD100Pro has several advantages of the models from the Godox AD series. It is compatible with Godox wireless System X 2.4GHz. This model features portable and lightweight construction making it easier to conduct photoshoots in different locations. The new 100Ws strobe meets the demands of photographers for an off-camera strobe at this power level.
The magnetic flash head has a round shape. It produces a natural circular flash spread. Besides, this model can be used with a great variety of accessories and light shapers for creating original light effects and artistic shots. The AD100Pro features the built-in Godox System X 2.4G and works with the popular camera brands by connecting with X1, X2, or Xpro trigger. Many shooters consider this model to be one of the best strobe lights for photography as it comes with a great variety of light shapers allowing professionals to implement creative shooting ideas.
Dimensions: 19.8 x 11.5 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 7.45 pounds | Flash Duration: 1/1000s - 1/10000s | Color Temperature: 5600±200k
The output of this flash equals 300 W and that is enough for most lighting scenarios. Of course, professional photographers who frequently work in changeable conditions may want something more powerful, but amateurs can start with Neewer Vision 4. This model produces 700 flashes without recharging, which may be enough for the entire photo session. The recycle time ranges from 0.04 to 2.5 seconds, which is a great speed considering the price.
Thanks to a space-saving design and small weight (just 4lbs.), you can bring this flash with you to the spot in a regular backpack. The manufacturer took care of its durability and Neewer Vision 4 can withstand several occasional bumps without getting damaged.
The shooting process is extremely convenient thanks to the availability of a built-in receiver for remote control and synchronization with virtually any camera. Besides, there is a hot shoe. The only drawback to keep in mind is the lack of TTL functionality. Thus, you need to master all manual settings as quickly as possible.
Dimensions: 18.7 x 11 x 8.6 inches | Weight: 10.2 pounds | Flash Duration: 1/2000-1/800 | Color Temperature: 5600±200k
The Godox QSII series speedy flash is better than the first-generation strobe in many aspects. It has an exquisite design and a great variety of functions. This model is probably one of the best photography strobes for wedding, portrait and fashion photoshoots.
It has a Bowens mount, which allows you to use it with the vast majority of light shaping accessories available on the market today (softboxes, reflectors, tubes, etc.) Besides, it has a built-in Godox 2.4G X wireless sync system.
The preflash skip function enables synchronization with cameras with TTL flash. It ensures the stability of the flash power and color temperature of the light (the deviation from the set power is no more than 2%).
Dimensions: 7.9 x 8.5 x 5.3 inches | Weight: 3.29 pounds | Flash Duration: 1/1000s - 1/10000s | Color Temperature: 5600±200k
Godox SL-60W is an ideal Bowen mount strobe light for photographers, who mainly work in studios. It is fitted with an embedded heatsink and fan, so you can be sure your lighting setup will never get banged up because of overheating. This becomes extremely important if a shooting process lasts long.
The 70W LED beads are protected by a solid cover and stand out with terrific color rendering capabilities. You can control light dimming in the 8-100% range. Another highlight of the model is the stable high lighting it provides.
Godox SL-60W can become a reliable assistant both when recording videos or taking wedding or newborn photos. Many experts especially appreciate its continuous lighting effect with no flash that can cause eye discomfort.
Flashpoint XPLOR 600OUR CHOICE
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Godox AD200 200WsDURABLE
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It is easy to get lost in all available options, especially if you don’t know what features to pay attention to. Here is the list of the most important aspects which will serve as a guide while you are selecting the best strobes for photography.
Flash duration. If you need to capture a fast-moving object, while shooting with a strobe light, I highly recommend considering the item with a fast flash duration. This can be at a 0.5 value of 1/2,000th second or higher. The slower model will be useless when shooting dynamic photos.
Color temperature. The best strobe lights for photography have a color temperature ranging between 4800k and 5200k. To provide even greater consistency, many modern DSLRs allow adjusting the expected color temperature.
Budget. Your budget greatly affects the rank of strobes and the photography equipment that you can afford. While thinking about the sum you can spend on the studio lighting kit, mind that it shouldn’t be lower than the average price.
The price of the decent strobe is $300, and the more sophisticated models cost even more. We recommend not saving money on purchasing a good flash as it is likely to pay off in the long run. If you are on a tight budget, consider buying DIY photo lighting.
Power. If you work in a spacious studio, you need to buy a strobe light with high power intensity, so that you can stick to smaller lens apertures and get the depth of field. Product lighting techniques are greatly dependent on the proper DOF, so if you regularly take images of products, keep this in mind. If you own a small studio or photograph there, the power of the strobe light is of less importance.
Compatibility. Some manufacturers design strobe lights that can be only paired with the accessories of their brand. This limits the variety of light modifiers you can add to your arsenal, so make sure to buy a versatile model.
Type of mount. Check whether a strobe light has holes, cords, and mounts for all sorts of accessories you are going to complement it with.
They are designed to produce a brief burst of light. The strobe light emits brighter illumination and is more powerful than the traditional flash. Besides, its burst of light is much shorter. The strong sides of strobe lights are their reliability and fast recycle time.
It is advisable to direct the strobe light forward. The distance from the studio light to the housing should be equal to the distance from the lens to the subject. For instance, in underwater photography, such a position allows creating a "dark zone" between the camera and the lens.
The majority of studio lights are from 300 watts up to 800 watts and even more. Your task is to choose a strobe that offers total control over the wattage output to manage the amount of the required power.
Most photographers are satisfied with four strobe lights, including a key light (for illuminating the subject), a fill light (for adding a bit of fill to get rid of the unwanted shadows), a hair light, and a background light.
Photographers prefer strobe lights because they produce more illumination, have quicker recycle time and have built-in modeling light for training. However, speedlights are more versatile, have a more compact design, and can produce almost the same effects.
As the strobe lighting is more practical, it is often chosen by the photographers. The advantage of continuous lighting is that it lets a shooter see the result before taking a shot. However, it is not so energy-efficient and is prone to overheating. It might be uncomfortable for a model to pose in front of it.