Nov 30, 2021
*Disclosure: We only recommend products we use (or would use) for our in-house video production. If you purchase something through the affiliate links in this post, Soundstripe may earn a small commission. Item prices were last checked in November 2021.
No matter how you configure your lighting equipment on set, we all want the same thing: To capture the best lighting quality in-frame without spending a ton of extra time solving common lighting problems.
Try as you might, it’s impossible to control every single lighting-related variable all the time. Harsh glares, mixed color temperatures, and other flukes are bound to happen whether you’re shooting in a small home office, large studio, or outdoor location. And while some YouTube starter kits include lighting gear, you might not have everything you need to get the perfect look on set.
Fortunately, you’ve picked up some tips, tricks, and gear along the way to get the perfect lighting during production so that your post-production self isn’t drowning in correctional work.
But maybe it’s time for a change going into the future.
If you’ve been saving up for a new softbox lighting kit and scouting out your options, we’ve created this guide to help shortcut your search.
Maybe you have years of experience, access to a production team, and a sizable budget. Or maybe you’re a solo content creator who needs to get the most bang for your buck.
Either way, there’s something for everyone in this list.
(Full disclosure: This blog post isn’t a sales pitch. It’s simply a list of 10 quality kits from great brands that our Creative Team at Soundstripe just happens to really like.)
Softboxes are a production staple for a reason. They soften (i.e., diffuse) harsh light sources, create a more even spread of light, and reduce spill — all valuable things you can capture with some motivated lighting.
A softbox lighting kit is a great addition to your three-point lighting setup or, if you’re dabbling in YouTube content creation, a more minimalistic two-point lighting setup.
When it comes to finding a good-quality kit, you’ll really want to consider three things:
In our search for the best kits, we found two high end (*cough* more expensive) softbox kits and six affordable kits (less than $200) that checked off all those boxes for our team.
So, without further ado, let’s get into the list.
Total cost value: $388
The Aputure Amaran P60C kit gives you full control over the color temperature via 46 different color gel presets. Another main perk is that it can be powered using AC power or batteries, so if you need to set up your lighting in a more off-grid location, you can do that pretty easily.
Also, by using the Sidus Link app, you can adjust the color temperature, saturation, built-in effects, and more with a few quick touches on your mobile device.
Total cost value: $724
This kit is the most expensive option in our list, but if you have the budget bandwidth, it’s a great pro-level option for filmmakers, videographers, and other creators that want a lighting source that meets all of the following criteria:
It’s also worth mentioning that the dome is easy to set up, uses a universal mount, and is built with high quality diffusion material. It’s worth the investment, even as an upgrade to your current gear.
Total cost value: $186.99
If you’re looking to make your first softbox lighting kit purchase — or you just want a comprehensive kit with a ton of bells and whistles — this Neewer kit is worth checking out.
The kit includes four light stands, two softboxes, a backdrop (and backdrop support system), two umbrella reflectors, and more. It’s compact and easily transportable, so it’s reliable no matter where (or what) you’re filming. Again, it’s sort of a perfect starting point with a lot of versatility.
Total cost value: $84.95
Maybe you don’t need as much gear as the Neewer kit provides, and you just want a couple good-quality softboxes. If that’s the case, then this Inkeltech softbox lighting kit might be a more practical option for you.
This kit features two light stands and softboxes, a remote control for easy color temperature changes, dimmable LED light bulbs, and a carrying case.
Total cost value: $69.99
The RALENO kit is another good way to go if you just need the basics in your softbox lighting kit and at a really affordable price point.
With this kit, you get two adjustable lighting stands, two softboxes, 5500K light bulbs, and a carrying case. This option is great for corporate advertisers, YouTubers, and solo content creators that want great softbox lighting without spending hundreds of dollars.
Total cost value: $189.95
The Fovitec softbox lighting kit is a top contender if you want to invest in a three-point lighting system and save money at the same time.
This kit includes three light stands, a boom arm (to give you that backlight effect), three softboxes, 11 fluorescent lamps, and more.
Total cost value: $139.98
If you want a softbox lighting kit that includes multiple pieces of equipment and is slightly more affordable than the Neewer kit, this Yesker kit might be right up your alley.
For less than $150, you get three muslin backdrops, a background stand, two softboxes, two umbrellas, four light stands, and a few other accessories. It’s a dependable option for professional shoots, product photography, etc.
Total cost value: $69.99
This HPUSN kit is the most minimalistic kit in our list, but maybe minimalistic is exactly what you need. If you already have a ton of light stands and gear stored away, the last thing you probably want is an assortment of new gear to add to your collection.
With this kit, you get two quality softboxes for a pretty low cost. That way, you can pair this equipment with the gear you already have without spending a lot of money on stuff you don’t need.
Total cost value: $80.99
This YICOE softbox lighting kit is comparable to the Inkeltech kit but for a slightly lower price point. The color temperature of the LED bulbs within the kit ranges from 2800K to 5700K and can be adjusted easily with the remote controls.
As you can see from the image above, this kit comes with two softboxes, two lightsands, two light bulbs, remote controls, and a carrying case. If you’re shooting YouTube videos, livestreams, or corporate ads, this could be a good starter kit.
Total cost value: $49.99
In the video below, YouTube creator Ben Johnson mentions this MOUNTDOG softbox lighting kit as the best value video light for YouTubers. And at the price point of $49.99, it’s the most affordable kit in our list.
If you want a minimalistic kit (but not as minimalistic as the HPUSN kit), this option gives you the essentials so that you can set up your lighting equipment easily and still get decent lighting quality.
These 10 softbox lighting kits run the gamut when it comes to cost, equipment included, and functionality — and for good reason.
No two creators have the same preferences, budgets, and existing lighting gear, so it’s natural that you’re looking for something different than someone else. And, as you can see from this guide, no two softbox lighting kits are the same either.
Hopefully this guide will be a helpful resource for you, whether you’re looking to make a new gear investment now or sometime in the near future.
For even more lighting tips and tricks, check out this blog post next.