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LED lights for still photography: Why, what and how to use

LED lighting has advanced significantly in recent years, with more accurate color, the capability to alter the light, vary color temperature, and practical levels of brightness; besides that, with a 'what you see is what you get' feature, it has become quite popular. And using LED lights for still photography is becoming a common choice. In this article, we will focus on the following topics. Read on and get more information about still life photography.

  1. Five reasons why LED lighting is used.
  2. What COLBOR LED lights can you use?
  3. How to set up properly lighting for different types of still photography?

COLBOR CL220 LED video light for still photography has a grip and a light base for mounting.

Why is it good to use LED video lights for still photography?

There are five reasons that make LED stand out from traditional light options.

LEDs are available in various colors and intensities

Instead of changing your camera settings and film processing, you may select the LED illumination that best suits your needs. LED photography lights are available in daylight or bi-color. While your eyes cannot always tell the difference, your camera can. By using the proper LED illumination, you may capture colors that seem much more as they do in real life, saving you time in post-processing. Many LED lights are dimmable and may be brightened or dimmed using a remote control, providing you greater control over the brightness.

RGB-capable LED lights inspire users to experiment with novel light painting projects and fascinating portrait lighting without the trouble of acquiring and swapping out supplementary gel accessories.

LEDs enable you to observe lighting while composing shooting

Only when you take your shot do flashes produce a powerful blast of light. With LED lights for still life photography, you can see how much light is required when building the scene and adjust as needed. This way, instead of a lot of trial and error, you may obtain an understanding of what you need straight immediately.

LED lighting doesn’t produce much heat

LED lights for still photography make models and photographers feel more at ease during the shooting process. Besides that, LED has more advantages over hotter traditional bulbs. A conventional light cannot be placed in a tight space; however, an LED light can. Without burning, gels can be attached to them. Additionally, running cool eliminates or drastically reduces the need for a cool-down period after a shoot, allowing you to utilize your time more effectively.

LEDs allow you to transition from photography to videography seamlessly

It's normal to need to shoot both still photos and video footage on a set. By using LED lights for still photography, you can quickly achieve both without having to set up additional equipment. It offers continuous illumination that is required for video production.

LED lights consume less electricity and have long lifespan

80% of the energy used by LED lights is converted into light; this is a significant improvement over the 20% efficiency of traditional tungsten. LEDs also have a long lifespan. Since you may go years before replacing them, you are creating far less trash for the environment. The lifespan is above 25,000 hours, so you don’t have to replace it regularly.

Table: Which LED light can I use for still life photography at COLBOR?

Since there are so many benefits to use LED lights for still photography, it will be a good choice to invest in one. COLBOR has introduced several LED studio lights to the market. They are different in power outputs and color temperatures, with various features to fit specific applications.

LED photography light










Color temperature

2700K-6500K(±200); RGB



2700K-6500K(±200), G/R Compensation

Beam Angle

≈∠120°; Reflector ≈∠15°

≈∠120°; Reflector ≈∠55°

≈∠120°; Reflector ≈∠15°

≈∠120°; Reflector ≈∠15°


22655Lux (at 3.28ft / 1m 5600K, With Standard Reflector)

14546Lux (at 3.28ft / 1m 5600K, With Standard Reflector)

105000Lux (at 3.28ft / 1m 5600K, With Standard Reflector)

128000Lux (at 3.28ft / 1m 5600K, With Standard Reflector)

Output power





How to set up LED light for still photography?

In still life photography, lighting is crucial since it allows you to have control over the scene and evoke a certain mood. It's different to use a soft light that illuminates evenly vs a harsh light that casts harsh shadows.

Lighting options also include both low-key and high-key, which is common in still photography. High-key lighting creates a clean, ethereal appearance, whereas low-key lighting creates a gloomy, dismal atmosphere.

Another crucial factor is the placement of the light, which frequently depends on the composition and design of the objects. For instance, backlighting is quite advantageous for glass.

Besides some general lighting techniques, different setups are needed for specific types of still photography, such as product, food, and fashion photography. You can check the following articles to get detailed setup ideas.