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Four basics about continuous light for food photography

Continuous light for food photography is getting more and more attractive for food photographers since they would like to share the wonderful moment online. The more you practice your food photography lighting, the more creative you can capture the pictures anytime and anywhere. But do you know what continuous light is? How is it different? Why should you use it? And how to use it? This article will give you answers.

COLBOR CL60 LED continuous light offers lighting for food photography.

What is continuous light in photography?

Continuous video light, commonly referred to as “hot” light, provides a constant supply of light. One of its benefits is that it allows you to accurately observe the way that it illuminates your subject before pressing the shutter. It can be applied to many occasions such as video interviews, product shooting, filmmaking, food photography, and so on.

It is increasingly popular to use LED constant light for photography. Unilke other types of continuous light fixtures, LEDs are energy-efficient and eco-friendly. It also produces less heat, making subjects and photographers feel comfortable even in small studios after long-time shooting.

Food photography lighting setup

This is a basic setup of food photography lighting equipment from which you may begin to improve your light manipulation skills dependent on the mood and story you want to convey.

Take advantage of three-point lighting

Three-point lighting is the basic setup to produce a soft mood in your food shooting. It can help you naturally combine natural and artificial light in an easier way. It is also a popular setup for product photography lighting. Its common niche is:

  • Sidelight is the light source next to your scene. Almost all food photography settings could benefit from it.
  • Diffuser is usually positioned between the source and your subject. It should be set closer to the window than to your subject because it will “diffuse” the light to make it softer.
  • Reflector is placed opposite the light source to “reflect” some light back onto your subject and scene and “fill” your shadows.

Shoot in a simple and natural background

The finest background is often simple and uncluttered since it does not detract from your subject. It is quite simpler to use a black background or not have a background at all when it comes to shooting with a continuous one.

Apply the single light source

The purpose here is to make your continuous lighting the only source of illumination for your camera. If you don't, ambient lighting may add varied illumination quality and directions to the image, and you will frequently get an undesirable color temperature that is in the mix.

Add with a softbox

A softbox for food photography may be square, rectangular or octagonal in shape. When it comes to food photography, it, also as a modifier, provides soft and diffused light and minimizes harsh shadows.

Three reasons to use the setup

Since it has many advantages, and if you are on the fence about trying continuous lighting for photography, I would definitely recommend it.

Check the direction and quality before shooting

Continuous lights, as I mentioned above, allow you to observe the direction and quality of illumination before shooting or recording food. Therefore, you may put up your device, like COB light, examine how it affects your subject, make adjustments, and more—until you achieve the desired result. It's difficult to emphasize how useful this is for more seasoned photographers, particularly for novices.

Shoot in more venues

Additionally, it provides a useful workaround for shooting in locations that forbid the use of flash or strobe photography. Even though both of them are forbidden, you should always confirm if the continuous one is permitted or not. In doing so, you can get the shots you want.

Get a more natural photo

Besides, continuous lighting for food photography is far less distracting than strobe photography. You may set up your devices in advance and leave them on for the entire photo shoot if you are capturing a delicate subject. Then you will get a fantastic picture, and don’t even worry about disrupting your subjects.

Differences between continuous light and strobe light for food photographyContinuous light vs strobe light for food photography

Speaking of food photography, there are two sources that photographers commonly use—continuous and strobe light.

Most photographers would choose to shoot with the continuous one that produces a softer mood. The best continuous light for food photography, like COLBOR CL60, is a good gadget to use for food shooting.

The strobe allows you to use a slower shutter speed without worrying about the subject becoming blurry.

Actually, the modifiers that you employ for the various sorts of light are the main reason why the photographs seem different. Let’s take a look at their differences.

Continuous light vs strobe light

Continuous light

Strobe light

Light source

Always on

Rapid burst at once

Shoot effect

Get what you shoot

Need shoot to preview


Still or video photography

Freeze movement


White balance friendly

More natural for soft mood

Help with shadows and noise

More lighter for cool mood


Too bright for eyes

Needs remote shooting


Burn more energy but produce less power—capture more lights

Powerful and effective—capture harsh shadows



More expensive

This is due to the fact that a photographer’s taste for light is purely subjective. While some like the softer mood of the continuous one, other photographers prefer the harsher shadows that are created by the strobe.


As you’ve learned from this article, you’re prepared to shoot with continuous light for food photography.

You understand what they are, why they are excellent, and how to apply them to get remarkable outcomes.

So grab your buddy. Then start shooting!