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Are the Strobes Coming With Studio Lighting Kits Reliable Enough?

So many people ask for a complete package of lights to get them off and shoot like professionals. Studio lighting kits are great way to start with because you can literally save hundreds of bucks! In addition, they contain all the accessories to make the perfect portrait package so the beginner and professional can receive all the equipment at one time. This is very important as you save money and time.
Today I’m going give you a brief idea of what a good studio strobe is. As you know strobes are the most important part of a studio lighting kit and how it functions and what light it produces is the key of a successful shot. Depending on their quality they can be used in commercial studios, location photographers as well as advanced amateurs at home. Strobes are used for a main light, fill light, back light, or hair light.
Today all strobes come with variable power setting which give complete control over the light output. Depending on the quality you can adjust the output light to 1/10 of a stop or even less. Also, strobes come with modeling light which means that you get pretty good idea how your final shot will look like. Some people have asked me if the modeling light actually affects the end result. The answer is “No”, as the light from the strobe is tens to hundreds times brighter than the modeling light.
There are two main distinctive kinds of studio strobes – monolights, and power-pack/head system. Which one is better? My personal preference is the monolights. Mostly because it requires less wire. Also if the power-pack fails completely there is no workaround. And last monolights are much more portable. Today, most of the studio lighting kits come with monolights.
Which brand to choose? This is a tough question. It is almost the same as choosing a SLR camera. However, for home studio I would recommend a studio lighting kit with as much as possible accessories. If you later want to go for professional studio lighting you can use your kit for on location events…
What power do I need? The power of a studio strobe is measured in watts per second (w/s). For home studio I recommend at least 300 w/s.
What else? Here are some of the other things that you should consider when choosing your strobes:
Reliability and consistency – this is very important! Once you adjust the power you should get consistent result (output light). Otherwise you will end up with poor results. Most studio lighting kits come with strobes which produce light within 1/5th stop. Of course more expensive studio kits and strobes come with better accuracy – 1/25 stop or even more.
Recycling time – most home studio lighting kits come with strobes with recycling time of 2 to 3 seconds. In my opinion this is good enough for home studio.
Portability is another factor you may consider when choosing you studio kit. Fortunately, most studio lighting kits come with a good bags and are easy to assemble.
Cost – I’m not sure if I should recommend something regarding price. At home I personally use a good studio lighting kit which I bought while ago for less than $300. I’m very happy with it as I have made some of the best portraits of my family and my kids. This is something that nobody can buy for me. I could wait a bit more to buy better kit for sure, but then I would regret all missed moments.