Types of Studio Lighting

Karl illuminates the world of studio lighting, covering the many different types of light, how they work, and when to use them.

Highlighting the key differences between different systems, he explains the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as the type of work they are best suited for.

This class will give you a deeper understanding of studio lighting – one that will help you to improve your photography.

In this class:

  • Different types of studio light
  • The fundamentals of working with lights: power sources, power settings, and triggering lights
  • Adjustments and attachments
  • Pack systems vs monoblock systems vs lithium systems
  • Best lighting systems for studio and location work

If you enjoy this class, check out Lighting Modifiers and Their Effects and Precision Lighting: Modifiers and Techniques.

You may also enjoy playing with our amazingΒ Lighting Comparison Visualiser tool.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.

Comments

  1. How limiting is a 400WS strobe versus 800WS? Obviously it’s stop of difference in light, but practically speaking, when would you run out of power with 400WS stobes? Buying a pair of 400WS strobes instead of 800WS leaves more money from the budget for better/bigger/more modifiers.

    1. Hi Andrew, you answered your own question. It’s one stop difference which is the same as going from f11 to f8 or increasing your ISO from 100 to 200. How limiting would that be for you in 80% of shooting situations? Probably not at all. There’s just the occasional situation where the light might have bigger modifier (sucks up more light) that is further away than usual and you wish you had an extra stop so that you could keep your current aperture and not increase your ISO.

  2. Hey Karl,

    is it possible to combine a flashlight with a continuous light ? the reason for such a question is my limited budget at this time. At the time i have 2 continuous lights and i am planning to buy 2 flashlights. the Main areas of application is the Product Photography.

    i hope i could give you enough information.
    looking forward to receive a response from you.

    Best regards
    Selim

    1. Hi Selim, yes this is perfectly possible as long as the colour temperature (Kelvin) of the lights is the same and that the continuous lights have a good full spectrum (as explained in the ‘introduction to light’ in this section). If using continuous light then you need to make sure you are also shooting in a darkened room so that you don’t get light pollution into the shot from other light sources. Watch this video for further info – https://karltayloreducation.com/class/how-to-use-continuous-led-lighting-for-packshot-photography/

    1. Hi Nikz, I’m afraid I can never recommend or not recommend anything that I’ve never heard of or physically tested myself. I do get this question a lot, for example a lot of people have been begging me for information on the new Sony A1, it looks great on paper but I’ve never picked one up so I can’t give an opinion I’m afraid.

  3. Question: When building your “studio light arsenal”, Do you have to stay with a single brand in order to have the “trigger” to work with them or is there a trigger that could work with all brands?

    Thanks

    1. Hi, No you can mix brands no problem and I have done so many times in the past. The trigger for a brand will fire that brand but slave cells on other lights will pick up the light and fire simultaneously or you can buy independent triggers or cables. Cheers Karl.

  4. Hello Karl,

    I’ve been a leisure photographer for about 10 years and just now I started using Studio Lighting. My first session was a small engagement party. The photos came out nice but they do look a bit peachy or yellow for some reason. I had selected FLASH in the camera settings while I was shooting.

  5. My first paid tutorial and it’s worth the investment after spending 3 hours learning. Quick question, are these light stands available for buy alone?

  6. derrick_connell

    I’m enjoying this – and I love your approach.

    I was worried you would “assume” some knowledge and brush over things, but your clear, simple and comprehensive modules are brilliant. I had some knowledge of flash / continuous and I own three GODOX AD200’s but I had missed some aspects of the lighting.

    I am getting more excited about learning some of the more advanced techniques as your coaching style is perfect for me.

  7. Really liking the classes.

    Mind if I ask what light stands are you using?

    I am for one considering purchasing some used Broncolor equipment (torn between the unilite and the pulso g, thinking if the focusing / zoom function of the pulso g is a deal breaker) do you have thoughts on this? Also I wanted to understand if say a 1600w/s Power Pack can power say a 3200 w/s Lamphead just trying to understand the nuances. Thanks.

  8. Hello, Dumb Newbie question here.

    It seems I have continuos lighting – 2x Esddi soft boxes. It says they are 85w bulbs each but it adds up to 400w. I don’t understand that?

    I’m trying to understand it as if I brought 2 x 400w strobe lights, it would be twice the price but surely it’s a lot brighter? or there would be no point getting them? I feel I’m getting lost in Watts!

    I also have 2 x Neewer continuos LED’s which are dimmable but can also change from 5600k to 3200k. I’ve had some great effects using the warmer lighting.

    If a strobe light is stuck at 5500 how do you get other temperatures of light. Do you use filters or do you have to by other strobes?

    Basically I’m wondering if I should buy some strobes, so I can practice what’s on the tutorial or would it make any difference?

  9. Thank you so much! Interesting class. You are doing that I lose the scare to these equipment. I am amateur photographer but it’s my first time that I’m so glad paying a subscription. I’m learning a lot. Definitely I’m in the right place. Thank you!

    1. Hi, there are many types of lighting systems and brands, the principles I’ve explained are similar for all. The more expensive units have faster flash durations, greater durability and usually a better choice of modifiers. Although the broncolor modifiers have adapters to fit other brands.

  10. Hi Karl,

    Really learning alot from your videos so thank you.
    Quick one for a beginner looking to get into using strobes.
    What would you recommend, to buy 1 light to start learning(to see what you can and cant do with just one) or a couple for flexibility?

  11. Hi sir, I am beginner and want to buy studio light kit or setup on budget. i have canon 600d camera. Can you recommend any brand for studio light?

    1. Hi Jatin, no I’m afraid we can’t recommend any particular budget brand. Our favourite brand and the one I use is Broncolor but if this is out of your budget there are plenty of others to chose from such as Elinchrom, Bowens, Godox.

  12. A question about the Siros-L units from Broncolor:

    I have two of these. Sometimes, they flash at maximum power regardless of the setting. For example, it might be set to 3.5 but will flash at 10.0. Usually it happens once and then reverts to whatever the setting is but sometimes it happens twice in a row, or will flash at 10., then 3.5 (if that is the setting) for many flashes, then 10 again, then back to 3.5. Have you ever seen this happen? Do you know what is going on and if there is a way to prevent it?

    Best regards,

    AP

    1. Hi AP,
      Your question is months old and you probably already know the answer by know, but in case someone else has the issue and is reading the questions ;
      The reason for the high power flash after you drop the setting is because the capacitor is already charged at the higher level. So for example, you have the power at 8.5, the capacitor will charge up ready to fire a 8.5 burst. When you drop the setting, the capacitor is still holder the 8.5 charge, so the first shot, will be at 8.5, then the capacitor only charges to the new value.
      The trick is to remember this, and when dropping power, hit the test button once, to discharge the capacitor. This is normal behaviour – you will notice in Karl’s videos, when he or an assistant drops power, the flash always fires immediately afterwards.
      Hope this helps.

      1. Hi John, this is correct for many flash systems. With some like the Scoro pack it will drop the power for you but it takes longer than just hitting the test button and dumping the power.

  13. Hi sir, I am beginner and want to buy studio light kit or setup on budget. i have canon 600d camera. Can you recommend any brand for studio light?

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