Best Budget Softbox Lighting For Under $100

TL:DR I’ve used lots of soft boxes and my biggest frustration has been that there isn’t a professional standard of light quality for someone on a budget. That was until I tried out the ESDDI LED SOFTBOX KIT.

If you’ve spent any amount of time looking for video lighting online you would know this is a saturated market. The budget end starts at 60 dollars or pounds in the UK for a pair of softboxes and stands. But ive tried these before for product videos and they are dim which means once ive put them as close as i can, I can only play with the camera settings to make good.

 Now Ive been playing more and more with LED lighting from full panels by Aputure down to handheld light cubes by Litra. The results are incredible. So when I found ESDDI had a kit available with 2 five and a half thousand kelvin LED bulbs for just 80 dollars I ordered.

Firstly the ESDDI light kit is complete with stand there is no catch. In the box you get two complete light boxes on light weight lighting tripods and the two LED bulbs. There is a manual to set them up but you wont need it. The boxes take shape light opening an umbrella and once the bulb is in you velcro the white diffuser in to place. 

Ok thats pretty straight forward so lets look at the good and the bad and I’ll give you my thoughts.

GOOD BITS

If you buy these lights on Amazon they have them available for next day delivery with Prime. There is a 6 month warranty should you have any issue which should give you some peace of mind. They are quick and easy to set up and you don’t have to be so timid with the bulb as its more robust than the glass comparable.

The LED light doesn’t cause any strobing or hot spots. Better still they are many times brighter than the traditional fluorescent bulbs ive seen in other set ups for a similar price. The colour is pretty close to perfect daylight at 5400 Kelvin (which is stated on the bulb) The listing stated 5500 kelvin which would be slightly colder as the closer you get to higher numbers like 6000 kelvin you get that blue hue. So for me getting less in the kelvins for me is a good result.

The power cable is moulded from the light mount to the plug with a switch inline that hangs just behind the soft box. Finally the light fitment is a standard E27 socket which is the large screw in thread, this means you wont struggle to replace a bulb should the worst happen.

BAD BITS

This set up doesnt come with a carry case, the lights aren’t the best rig for you if you want to be packing down on a regular basis to be honest. I think the umbrella style mechanism would show problems if you regularly pack this unit down. There are tiny screws which hold the thin frame together acting as the hinge joints and this is where it would come loose and fail. The bulbs wouldnt fair too well against being put in and out of the boxes either, so if that’s how you would use it don’t get this set up, maybe consider a led panel with a diffuser there are some great options available.

The stands are very stable with the weight of the soft boxes, they are just a generic lightweight metal alloy type though, pretty much what you get with any cheap lights to be fair.

The lights are very bright, definitely the best bulbs I’ve used in a budget set up. But if you are tight on space and cant move the lights further away from your subject then you will have to compensate in the camera settings So be mindful of that. On the plus side the diffuser does a good job of eradicating any hot spots. You only really have an issue if you start to sweat on camera.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This set up is not perfect, It does give you a great amount of light but if they come out with a version two that has a dimmer dial Well That would make this perfect. So should you buy this? Well you wouldn’t be disappointed you get a very capable set up. They are going to be the ideal solution for live streamers, photographers and youtubers. Of course an extra light would let you get your lighting perfect but this set up will get you pretty much there.


Product Links

🛒 ESDDI LED Softbox Video Lights: https://geni.us/f1PYp

🎽 120FPS Newsletter: https://120fps.co.uk/newsletter/
🎥 Ingaf YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ingafuk
🎙 Camera News Podcast: https://anchor.fm/ingaf

🎽 Our Kit Profile: https://kit.co/ingaf
🛒 Ingaf Amazon Storefront: https://www.amazon.com/shop/ingaf

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