There is a wide range of different options when it comes to choosing your photography equipment. While the camera is clearly one of the biggest decisions to make, it is also important that you make the right choices when it comes to the other pieces of equipment you will need to take good quality photographs. Lighting is a vital element of your equipment, and which you choose will depend on the type of photography, whether you are a professional or amateur photographer, your budget, and your personal preference. An increasingly popular option for photography is LED lighting as this offers many advantages. Even if you have decided that this is the best type of lighting for you, the options do not end there as there are several different types of LED lighting for photography from which you can choose. Here is an overview of some of the main options for LED lighting in photography.
Why Choose LED Lighting for Photography?
Once, LED lighting was far more popular for videography and filmmaking than it was for photography. Advancements in technology have changed this situation and LED lighting is now a popular choice among photographers. This is because LED lighting for photography has many advantages over other types of lighting. Some of these include:
• Continuous light– This allows you to see how your photograph will look before taking the shot.
• Cost-effective– They cost less than fluorescent bulbs. Also, because they are long-lasting, you will save money on maintenance and replacements.
• Energy-efficient- They use very little energy, and this is another reason they are long-lasting.
• Low heat– They do not give off a lot of heat. Not only does this limit the energy wasted, but it also means you are less likely to experience a burn from the lights.
• Clean and varied light– The light given off is very clean and there are various balance options available to meet your needs.
The Main Types of LED Lighting for Photography
Choosing LED lighting for photography can seem confusing as there are so many options available, and each product has its own pros and cons. However, the three main types of LED lighting in photography include:
• Ring LED lighting
• Panel LED lighting
• Battery-operated LED lighting
An Overview of Ring LED Lighting for PhotographyL
As the name suggests, a ring LED light is an LED light in the shape of a ring. This type of LED light is one of the most popular options for photography as there are many pros to using this type and veery few disadvantages. Some of the benefits of using a ring LED light for photography include:
• Good, eye-catching light in portrait photography
• It is flattering for facial close-ups
• Eliminates harsh shadows
• Soft light quality
• Good for macro subjects of close-ups due to evenly distributed light
The qualities of ring LED lights mean they are better suited to some types of photography. The variety of photography that makes the most use of ring LED lighting is beauty and fashion photography. They use this lighting to create photographs for magazine shoots, beauty blogs, and advertisements.
Another type of photography that benefits from this type of lighting is nature photography. Nature photographers use them when taking close-up photographs of smaller animals or flowers. When the picture is enlarged, the quality of the photograph is better if a ring light is used. This type of lighting is also used by any photographer that is taking photographs of subjects or products that are small or are being taken from a close-up view.
The term ring light describes the shape and style of the light, but there are several types of light that fall into this broad category. Some of the most commonly used include:
• Ring light for your phone– These attach to your smartphone so that you can use them for either videography or photography. The continuous light output they provide makes them great for both short videos and selfies. Ring lights for phones are popular amongst social media influencers, such as YouTubers and those with a large Instagram following.
• Flash ring lights– Usually, these ring lights mount to the front of a camera lens. Sometimes, they connect to the exposure metering as this gives perfect exposure. They are usually battery-powered and used for macro photography.
• Free-standing LED ring light– These are mounted to a light stand and have a larger opening than the other types of ring lighting. Often, they have a variable power setting, and some have an adjustable color temperature. Alternatively, you can modify the light using filters.
An Overview of Panel LED Lighting for Photography
Another option to photographers is to use panel LED lighting. These panels of LED lights are fixed to light stands and you can position them where you want to focus the light. Panel LED lights are most commonly used for portrait photography within a studio. There are both pros and cons to using this type of LED light for a photographer. Some of the pros include:
• Easy to work with because you can see changes before shooting
• Continuous light means what you see is what you get
• Color temperature is easily controlled
• Switching from stills to video is simple
• They don’t use a lot of power
Although there are clear advantages to choosing panel LED lighting, there are also some disadvantages. These include the following:
• Lack of power
• Tripods are needed
• They are difficult to modify
• Not good for freezing action
An Overview of Battery-Operated LED Lighting for Photography
This refers to any style of LED light for photography that uses batteries as the main source of power. It is worth noting that some LED lighting has dual power options, so you can use either batteries or a mains supply. The main advantage of battery-operated LED lighting is that you can use it for outdoor photography as you do not need to remain near a power outlet. This means they are a good option for photographers that work outdoors a lot rather than just in a studio. On the downside, replacing the batteries is an additional cost and battery-operated lighting is often weaker.
Types of LED Lighting in Photography- The Final Verdict
LED lighting has many benefits that make them a great option for photography. There are several types of LED lighting for photography, including ring lighting, panel lighting, and battery-operated lighting. Although each of these has its own pros and cons, ring LED lighting is often the most popular form of LED lighting for photography as it offers the most benefits and is the most versatile. However, those working only in a studio may prefer panel lighting, while outdoor photographers may favor battery-operated LED lighting. Many professional photographers opt to include several options in their lighting kit so that they can use different types of lighting depending on the subject and location.