Buyer's Guide: 10 Home Studio Lighting Kits
- Street price: $1,800.00 (US) / £2,689.12 (UK) / €1,375 (EU) Check Price / Buy Now
|The Spiderlite TD6 continuous lighting system houses a total of six fluorescent lamps in each head, delivering an industry-leading level of lighting power.|
This high-end compact fluorescent lighting system lays claim to being the most powerful on the market, with the kit comprising two heads, each of which features no less than six individual 50W daylight-balanced fluorescent lamps. When combined, the two-light setup racks up over 2,400W of power!
The Spiderlite TD6 heads feature an all-metal construction, making them ideal for withstanding the rigors of daily professional usage, while the ability to switch off pairs of lamps at a time affords greater control over the light output, without affecting color temperature. Little added touches like a cord-mounted switch for operating the lights when the controls on the back of the head are mounted up too high to reach, plus support for tungsten lamps if you prefer (up to a total 1200W maximum), reveal Westcott’s attention to detail when developing this kit with the professional in mind.
Also inside the smart-looking wheeled carry-case are two 10ft metal stands with tilter brackets, plus Westcott’s revered 36 x 48 inch Shallow softbox, which - as the name suggests - sports a narrow profile that makes it ideal for producing even lighting when working in tight spaces. There’s also a 12 x 36 inch Stripbank that serves as an ideal hair light in portraiture for instance, while the included 40-degree grid helps to control the contrast and amount of spill. Continuous lighting can’t compete with a strobe when it comes to capturing movement, but the level of power and control provided by this pro-level kit is ideal for photographing static subjects like still life compositions, food and products as well as portraiture.
|This pro-level lighting kit features plenty of high-end features and technology, offering the ultimate
in power, speed and control.
When it comes to professional-level studio work, the priority is for a kit that’s reliable, consistent, powerful and fast; all attributes for which prestigious manufacturer Profoto is renowned. As mentioned at the start of this round-up, when it comes to build quality and features, you tend to get what you pay for. And the pumped-up price tag of this pro lighting kit buys you two D1 Air 250Ws strobe heads (500 and 1,000Ws versions are also available) with built-in reflectors, two D1 umbrellas, a pair of air-dampened metal light stands and a Profoto Air remote. A robust padded carry-case is included for storing all of this kit.
The D1 Air flash heads feature digital controls, plus digital internal flash output control circuitry, promising the highest level of consistency in terms of color temperature and power with each discharge. You can adjust the head's seven-stop power range in 1/10 stop EV increments. Add a short flash duration of 1/3700 - 1/1400 sec. and fast recycling time of just 0.2-0.65 sec. and you can see the appeal of this high-end kit. Each head benefits from a modeling light that can be turned on/off, set to be proportionally to the flash output, or set for customized output. The heads also have automatic power-dumping and multi-voltage operation, plus a temperature-regulated fan cooling system, as you’d rightly expect at this price point.
The other big attraction of the D1 Air kit is that the heads integrate Profoto Air technology, allowing for wireless remote control over their output and triggering using the bundled transmitter. With 7 channels and 6 groups to select from, professionals working in proximity to one another can avoid interference from other flash setups. The system offers an impressive radio sync range of up to 300m (1,000ft). You can take this wireless functionality even further by investing in an optional Profoto Air remote - or for the ultimate in flexibility - plug an optional Profoto Air USB transceiver into your Mac / PC and use the Profoto Studio Software to take complete wireless remote control over your entire studio setup from your computer. Pro level features, at a pro level price.