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Studio lighting equipment explained and recommended

Whether you're an enthusiast or a pro, recognizing the importance of light in achieving great results in studio photography and videography is essential. Adding extra light can be simple whether it comes from a window, a household lamp, or studio lighting equipment. Sometimes, opting for the latter is necessary due to the convenience and the precise control it offers over your lighting conditions. In this article, we will explore types of light sources and modifiers to include in the equipment list, recommend some popular picks at COLBOR, and offer tips for setting up proper studio lighting. 

COLBOR offers video studio lighting equipment for creating dance videos and videos alike.

Types of light sources in studio lighting equipment

Compared to natural light, artificial light is the preferred light source in studios. It is not limited by the time of day, weather, and place, gives you more control over the studio lighting, and comes with various features to satisfy your needs for content creation. Continuous light, strobe, and flash are three common types of artificial light sources that you can include in your studio lighting equipment list.

Continuous lights: Ideal in photography and video studio lighting equipment

Continuous lights fulfill a similar purpose to strobes but differ in that they do not flash. Instead, they are powerful and consistent lamps that can typically be equipped with modifiers. Although commonly used in videography, continuous lights remain relevant in still photography. The continuous light market is currently dominated by LED lights, many of which are suitable choices for photographers.
It's worth noting that continuous lights are occasionally known as hotlights due to their tendency to generate heat. When using modifiers positioned close to the bulb, caution is advised as they may pose a fire risk. (This caution does not apply to LED lights.)

Strobes: A pro choice of light source in lighting equipment for photography studio

A studio strobe, also known as a monobloc or monolight, is a specialized flash unit. While strobes typically rely on cords, an increasing number of battery-powered options are being introduced regularly. The power output of different models can vary significantly; budget-friendly strobes provide similar power to inexpensive third-party flashguns, whereas top-of-the-line strobes rank among the most powerful lights available. Consequently, strobes are the preferred studio lighting choice for many professionals.

Flashguns: A compact and affordable lighting choice for studio photographers

Flashguns are compact lighting units that attach to the top of your camera. They offer excellent portability, and certain models provide relatively high power outputs. Despite their limitations in terms of size and power, flashguns remain a valuable resource for photographers seeking off-camera lighting solutions. Moreover, they are generally more affordable than dedicated studio strobes.

Continuous studio light recommended: 3 picks at COLBOR

COLBOR LED studio lights fall in the category of continuous light. They are different in power outputs, fixture design, and features to fit various studio lighting conditions. Here are 3 product recommendations.


COLBOR CL60R is a piece of studio lighting equipment to offer RGB LED lighting.

The COLBOR CL60R is a versatile and compact studio lighting solution that has garnered positive reviews for its performance in small spaces. It’s an RGB LED light that offers control over color temperature and brightness, along with the ability to select from over three million colors in its HSI mode.

Here are some key features that make the COLBOR CL60R a great choice for studio lighting:

  • High CRI Rating: With a CRI rating of 97+, it ensures accurate color rendition, which is crucial for high-quality visual content creation.
  • Powerful Output: It delivers 2,082 lux of 5600K lighting at a one-meter distance, which can be further increased with the included reflector.
  • Lightweight Design: Weighing only 600g, it’s easy to handle and ideal for setups where space is limited.
  • Smart Control: The light can be controlled remotely via an app, offering convenience and flexibility.
  • Lighting Effects: It comes with 13 lighting effects, such as lightning, fire, and TV, adding creative options for video production.
  • Versatility: The inclusion of a Bowens adapter allows for a wide range of light modifiers to be attached, enhancing its adaptability to different shooting scenarios.

Whether you’re a photographer or filmmaker looking for a compact lighting solution that doesn’t compromise on features, the COLBOR CL60R is a strong contender to consider for your studio setup. Its combination of portability, power, and color accuracy makes it suitable for a variety of creative applications.


COLBOR W100 is a portable LED light for studio projects.

The COLBOR W100 is a bi-color LED video light that stands out for its compact size and powerful output, making it an excellent choice for studio lighting, especially for content creators who require versatility and portability. Here’s a brief introduction to its features:

  • Bi-Color Range: The W100 offers a wide color temperature range from 2700K to 6500K, allowing for precise control over the warmth or coolness of the light.
  • High CRI: With a high CRI of 97+, it ensures that the colors in your videos or photos are rendered accurately and vividly.
  • Powerful Illumination: Despite its size, the W100 delivers a strong output of 3450Lux at 1 meter (5600K), providing ample light for various studio setups.
  • Lightweight and Portable: Weighing only 345g and with dimensions of 157x43x93mm, it’s incredibly portable and can easily fit into a camera bag.
  • Innovative Design: The light’s slim profile and built-in optical design allow for a broad and even lighting area, making it more efficient in its output.
  • Multiple Powering Options: It can be powered using the COLBOR Battery Grip, a DC adapter, or via PD Type-C fast charging, ensuring you always have a power source available.
  • Smart Control: The W100 can be controlled remotely through an app, utilizing NFC technology for instant adjustments to brightness and color settings.

For studio lighting, the COLBOR W100 is a smart investment for those who need a light that is both high-quality and adaptable to a range of shooting conditions. Its combination of power, color accuracy, and ease of use make it a valuable tool for filmmakers and photographers alike.


COLBOR CL220 is professional studio lighting equipment, offering power lighting output and precise control.

The COLBOR CL220 is a good choice for professional studio lighting equipment, offering a blend of power and versatility that caters to both photographers and videographers. Here’s an introduction to its features and benefits:

  • Powerful Output: The CL220 is a continuous light source with a 220W power output, ensuring strong illumination for various studio applications.
  • Bi-Color Capability: It provides a bi-color light with a color temperature range of 2,700-6,500K, allowing for seamless integration into any lighting setup.
  • High CRI: With a CRI rating of 96, it promises excellent color fidelity, which is essential for capturing true-to-life images.
  • Versatile Modifiers: The light is compatible with Bowens mount accessories, giving you the flexibility to use a wide array of modifiers to shape and control the light.
  • Remote Control: Adjustments can be made remotely via the Colbor Studio app, providing convenience and efficiency for solo shooters or those managing multiple lights.
  • Special Effects: It comes equipped with 10 effects modes, offering customizable pulse rates for dynamic and creative video production.
  • Cooling System: An effective cooling system ensures the light operates smoothly, even during extended use, without overheating.

Whether you’re setting up a professional studio or creating a home studio space, the COLBOR CL220’s combination of high-quality lighting, control, and adaptability makes it a compelling choice for a wide range of photographic and video projects.

Studio light modifiers to further shape or direct the studio lighting

Modifiers are positioned between the light source and the subject to alter the studio lighting quality or intensity. They can be used to make the light harsher, softer, dimmer, or to produce distinctive lighting patterns. Here are some common modifiers that you can include in the studio lighting equipment list.


Photography umbrellas, resembling traditional rain umbrellas, are not intended for rainy weather. They are available in silver or white and are affixed to your light using a mount. When a studio light is directed into the reflective umbrella, it creates a larger, softer light source by reflecting the light back onto the subject. Although umbrellas are technically directional, they can produce significant spill and are not the easiest modifiers to control.

In contrast, translucent umbrellas, also known as shoot-through umbrellas, do not reflect light like their counterparts discussed earlier. Instead, they are crafted from a diffusion material that diffuses the light. This results in a beautifully even illumination with minimal directionality when the light is pointed into the translucent umbrella.


Softboxes are available in diverse shapes and sizes. When installed, they mold and diffuse the light, resulting in a more flattering illumination. They also offer significant directionality, are easily controllable, and can be further customized with additional modifiers, such as grids. Due to their versatility, softboxes are widely favored as a studio accessory.


Reflective modifiers, distinct from handheld reflectors discussed later, are affixed directly to a studio light. They focus the light at a specific angle, producing highly directional light. The resulting light is typically very harsh, and most reflectors are designed to accommodate various grids.

On the other hand, portable reflectors enable the redirection of light back onto the subject. They provide a means to generate fill light without requiring an additional dedicated light source. Reflectors are available in a range of shapes and sizes, from the commonly used 5-in-1 reflectors to elaborate tri-flectors occasionally utilized in beauty portraits.

Other common types of studio light modifiers

Snoot: Snoots are light modifiers crafted to concentrate your light into a narrow beam, making them ideal for accentuating hair and background lighting.

Barn door: Barn doors, equipped with two to four flaps, enable you to block and shape the studio lighting, leading to various effects. These flaps can be utilized to focus the light on specific areas of your subject, such as the hair, or to block the light from reaching certain spots.

Beauty dish: Beauty dishes are directional modifiers that offer a light quality falling between soft and hard. They are particularly well-suited for beauty, fashion, and portrait photography. Often, they are accompanied by grids and diffusion socks to provide additional flexibility.

Grid: Grids or honeycombs serve as modifiers for your primary modifiers. They are applied onto reflectors, softboxes, or beauty dishes to further narrow the light beam, ensuring it specifically illuminates your subject or another desired area.

Diffuser: A diffuser, or scrim, is a translucent material placed in front of a light source to modify the light's quality or reduce its intensity. Some diffusers can accomplish both tasks simultaneously.

Flag: Flags are employed to obstruct or "flag" light from reaching particular parts of the scene. They can prevent excessive light from hitting the background or reduce exposure on specific sections of the subject. For instance, flags can be utilized to intentionally underexpose everything below the neck in close-up portraits. It directs focus to the face as the primary element of the image.

COLBOR has studio light modifiers like softbox to soften studio lighting.

How to set up studio lighting equipment?

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you set up your studio lighting equipment:

Choose the Right Space: Select a room or area with enough space to accommodate your equipment and the subjects you'll be shooting. Ensure that the space has access to power outlets and enough room for light stands and modifiers.

Position Your Lights: Decide on the number and placement of lights you'll be using based on your desired lighting setup. The most common lighting setups include:

  • Three-Point Lighting: This setup involves three lights: a key light, a fill light, and a backlight. Position the key light at a 45-degree angle to the subject, the fill light opposite the key light but at a lower intensity, and the backlight behind the subject to create separation from the background.
  • Single-Light Setup: With this setup, you'll use just one light source as the main light. Position it at an angle that best suits your subject and desired aesthetic.
  • Additional Lights: Depending on your needs, you may also incorporate additional lights, such as hair lights, background lights, or accent lights, to add depth and creativity to your shots.

Set Up Light Stands: Place your light stands in the desired positions according to your lighting setup plan. Make sure they are stable and secure.

Attach Modifiers: If you're using modifiers like softboxes, reflectors, or umbrellas, attach them to the lights. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure proper attachment and positioning for maximum effectiveness.

Connect Power: Plug in your lights or connect them to power sources, either through AC adapters or battery packs, depending on the type of lighting equipment you have.

Adjust Light Intensity: Turn on your lights and adjust their intensity or brightness settings to achieve the desired lighting effect. Use light meters or the LCD screen on your camera to help you gauge the exposure levels.

Test and Fine-Tune: Take test shots or record test footage to assess the lighting setup. Make any necessary adjustments to the position, intensity, or modifiers to achieve the desired look and feel.

Consider Light Modulation: Experiment with different light modifiers, such as diffusers, grids, or gels, to further shape and control the light's qualities and effects.

Monitor and Reflect: Continuously monitor the lighting during your shoot and make adjustments as needed. Pay attention to shadows, highlights, and overall composition to ensure you're capturing the intended mood and style.

Remember, setting up studio lighting is a creative process, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Feel free to experiment, try different setups, and adapt them to suit your specific needs and artistic vision. With practice and experience, you'll become more confident and proficient in creating stunning lighting setups for your studio work.