March 3, 2017

This $250 LED Lighting Kit Is Ideal for Filmmakers on a Budget

If you need a light kit but don't have the funds, this $250 LED kit might be right up your alley.

Even though there are many ways to save money on lighting, sometimes you do need to bite the bullet and drop some dough on some lights. However, this can be a scary process, because 1.) lighting is important and not all lights are created equal, and 2.) you may not have enough money to get your hands on ones that are powerful/accurate/functional enough. But Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter is here to give you some suggestions on some dirt cheap LEDs that will give you the most bang for your buck. Check out his video below:

This is actually the second video Pike has made about budget-friendly LED light kits, the first one having a maximum budget of $500. So for this video, he took it a little further and cut the budget in half for those that really need to pinch their production pennies.

At just $250, Pike's kit includes 3 LEDs, 3 light stands, 3 batteries, a battery kit, a mic stand boom arm, clamps, and some diffusion material. That's pretty impressive considering the price. Here's a breakdown of the kit. If you want links, head on over to DSLR Video Shooter.

  • NEEWER CN-304 LED light (x1)
  • NEEWER CN-160 LED light (x2)
  • DSTE 2x NP-F750 battery/charger (x1)
  • DSTE NP-F750 battery (x1)
  • NEEWER 6ft tripod kit (x1)
  • AmazonBasics tripod boom microphone stand (x1)
  • Diffusion material
  • 6-pack of clamps (x1)

Clearly the most important parts of this entire kit are the lights. If they're no good then the kit is essentially worthless. So, let's talk about the NEEWER CN series.

According to Pike, these are worth the $56 (CN-304) and $32 (CN-160) price tag. The CN-304 is bright thanks to housing 304 LEDs and comes with a dimmer, battery level indicator, and several useful filters. The light is also compatible with five different kinds of batteries, including NP-F and regular old AAs. You can also power this thing with a cable via the DC jack. 

With an inexpensive kit like this, you may be lacking in CRI or desired features like LCD screens or dual daylight/tungsten color balance, but if it's got the brightness, as well as the ability to dim that brightness, I'd say it's well worth your hard earned cash, especially if you're a beginner.

What are some other inexpensive LED lights that low-budget filmmakers should check out?      

Your Comment

3 Comments

Yongnuo YN300 iii is in the same price class, allows dimming and light temperature adjustments, have reflector panels and a remote control.

March 7, 2017 at 3:55AM, Edited March 7, 3:55AM

0
Reply

Funny thing... I just opened my box from B&H Photo with the Yongnuo YN300 III and 2x YN600L's as I scrolled and saw this post. I think the Yongnuo is a better light system. I'll find out for sure in the coming months but the LED Shootout video does a great job explaining each system. Thanks to him for my purchase.

March 16, 2017 at 1:54PM

2
Reply
avatar
D Jones
DP, Editor, Animator
113

What did you think? I'm looking for a cheap kit that I can use for indoor/outdoor that I won't cry if it breaks. Good enough for a beginner to get by?

June 6, 2017 at 6:59AM

5
Reply

I bought some decent Yongnuos about 4+ years ago with the assumption someday they would break. I've since moved on to a great-but-far-more-costly Dracast kit, but despite shooting in everything including the rain, I have not yet killed the Yongnuos. They require a little post color correction, just a smidgen too much green (or red if you have bi-color) but they're surprisingly resilient. Certainly worth a shot.

June 15, 2017 at 2:43PM

3
Reply
avatar
KJ Halverson
Graphic Designer / Film Guy
13