This is Part 2 and just a short follow up post to my first article on this subject. How To Choose The Best Studio Lighting Setup – Part 1 was posted about a month ago and it covered the basics of what you might need to consider for a studio lighting setup. In this 2nd post I am going to just briefly discuss a few of the brands of lighting to consider, some interesting lighting kits that are available online with good prices, while covering some of the options within a few different price ranges.


First off, I want to say that there are many different light brands and options out there, dozens perhaps, and it is impossible for me to cover them all in a condensed and worthwhile manner. So what I have decided to do here is focus mainly on the two top quality brands, the most popular brand in North America within the low and more affordable price range, and then talk a bit about the lighting brand that I use which is in the middle of the range of both quality and price.

Let’s start with the top 2 brands, Broncolor, which is a Swiss company and Pro Foto, which is a Swedish company. Both of these brands are really at the high end. Each has an extensive product line, makes fine quality products, and are at the top of their game. Normally big studios will choose to use one of these two brands. Pro Foto seems to be a bit more popular in North America and Broncolor has more of a presence in Europe and Asia, however both have a large international presence overall.

Since I recommended you go with a monolight setup in my first part of this post, I am only going to discuss monolight kits at this point. For Broncolor there is a very nice 800W/s 2-light kit which includes an umbrella, a lightbox, 2 stands, a transmitter, and a carrying case. The price of this kit is around $3,500. You can see the Broncolor Siros 800 S Wifi/rfs 2.1 Expert 2-light Kit here.


For Pro Foto, there is a nice kit containing two 500W/s heads, with umbrellas, stands, and a carrying case for around $2,000. This kit provides less power than the Broncolor kit, 500W/s versus 800W/s, but it is also more affordable and in many cases you may not need as much power being offered in the BronColor kit. You can order this Profoto 901052 D1 Studio Kit online here. If you want to have 3 lights, you can also purchase a 3rd one of these Pro Foto lights separately here.


In the low end price range the Paul C. Buff brand of lights is quite popular, especially in the United States where the company is based. They have two models, the Einstein E640, which is a 640W/s light that sells for around $500 per light head and is not sold in a kit and the AlienBees, which are around $360 each and is also a 640W/s head. Again, no kits are available on the AlienBees, but they are available in lower power capacities too if desired. They are all only available directly through the Paul C. Buff web site here I believe.




When it comes to photography equipment though, I have found that you get what you pay for. The Paul C. Buff equipment is great for home use and a lot of people really seem to like them, they also seem to offer good value for money, but they are more suited for the enthusiast than the working professional. And if I was going to be doing a lot of work with the lights on a regular basis, on location and traveling with them, then I probably wouldn’t go with the Paul C. Buff equipment and would look for something with a more rugged build.

In my opinion, the best balance and value for money is the Elinchrom brand and this is what I use exclusively. They are another Swiss based company and they offer the best mix of quality versus price. I have used Elinchrom for over 15 years and I have always had very few, if any problems with them. In fact, I have not even ever had to change a flash bulb in any of my Elinchrom monolight strobe heads so far. Touch wood.

There is a great Elinchrom 600 watt monolight kit here for around $2,450 and a lower cost Elinchrom 500 watt monolight kit here for aorund $1,400, both available on Amazon with free shipping. Or, if you just want to purchase the monolight strobe heads individually you can buy the Elinchrom 600 watt monolight heads here and you can buy the Elinchrom 500 watt monolight heads here, again with free shipping from Amazon.



Elinchrom also recently released a new, higher quality professional level line of monolights starting in the 500W/s power range. They are called the Elc Pro HD model. It comes in both 500W/s and 1,000W/s if you want more power. You can get a 2-head kit of the 500W/s strobes here for about $2,200 with free shipping. They also offer the 500W/s heads separately for around $1,050 each and you can order them here with free shipping.



I decided I will end the article here to avoid providing too much detail for the people that just want a basic understanding of lighting kits and prices. But if you have specific questions about equipment, light stands, light modifiers, attachments, accessories, and etc, then please feel free to post your questions and comments below and I will be happy to respond with details. You can also go back and read the first part of this article titled “How To Choose The Best Studio Lighting Setup – Part 1” by clicking here.