Portable lighting kits are a boon for Photographers who love the freedom to shoot outdoors but dread the idea of lugging tons of equipment to a location. Portable lighting kits are lightweight, yet powerful lighting tools.
Many come complete with a light head and a power source (battery pack). But you can optionally add light stands, external batteries, and light modifiers to extend the usability and versatility of the kit. Here we will discuss a few portable lighting kits rated highly on Amazon:
The Westcott FJ400 is a one-light backpack kit that comes with the Westcott FJ400 strobe light, an FJ-X2m universal wireless trigger, and a Rapid Box Switch Octa-S type mounting system. Along with these you also get a magnetic reflector, Gel Set, and a traveler backpack to pack everything in it when you are traveling. Which is a nice touch.
The strobe produces 400 Ws power output. It is compatible with both AC and DC power units and works on batteries as well. This powerful strobe is great for outdoor shoots where you need to balance the ambient light with a fill-flash. The 0.05-0.9 second recycle time produces a lot of light at short intervals making it ideally suitable when you are working under a tight schedule and want things to move along quickly.
Amazon Rating – 4.7 / 5
Slightly less powerful than the Westcott FJ400, the Westcott FJ200 delivers 200Ws of power thanks to the removable and rechargeable, li-ion battery pack. On a full charge, the battery pack can provide enough juice to fire 450 full-power flashes.
The other features of the monolight are TTL capability with an optional trigger mechanism, a built-in receiver that has a range of 328-feet, a freeze mode, and 9-stop power control in 0.1-step increments.
Amazon Rating – 4.5 / 5
The Flashpoint XPLOR 300Pro (also known as the Godox AD300Pro) TTL is a monolight pack. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery pack. The unit comes with a battery charger, a cord reflector, and a compartment case along with the instruction manual.
The company pits the Flashpoint XPLOR 300Pro somewhere between a speedlight and a large monolight head. Therefore, it combines the best of both worlds. When it comes to power delivery the Flashpoint XPLOR 300Pro produces 300 Ws of power.
Bright outdoor light often is a problem to shoot with, especially when you light does not allow you to use high-speed sync. Thankfully the Flashpoint XPLOR 300Pro allows you to sync at 1/8000 sec enabling you to use this light to work as a fill light in bright outdoor conditions.
To round up the Flashpoint XPLOR 300Pro comes with a 2.4 GHz wireless trigger system that works with all leading camera systems. Additionally, optional adapters allow you to use accessories made by leading brands such as Profoto, Elinchrom, and Broncolor.
Amazon Rating – 4.6 / 5
Small is beautiful and nowhere is it more relevant but in portable lighting kits. We love a functional small lighting kit. One important feature for a light to be portable is that it should be powered by a battery pack. There are some lights like the Godox AD400 Pro that are hybrid. Meaning they can be powered by a battery pack and then when you inside a studio you can connect to a wall socket.
The pack does not come with this optional AC/DC wall adapter, and you will have to buy that separately. The Godox AD400 Pro is powered by a 2600mAh lithium battery pack. When fully charged the battery pack provides enough juice to last for up to 390 full-power flashes.
Amazon Rating – 4.7 / 5
As the name suggests the Godox AD200 is a 200 Ws monolight. It comes with a 2900 mAh rechargeable lithium battery and can produce up to 500 full-powered flashes on a single charge.
This is a lightweight easy to transport portable lighting kit. Its unique light head shape allows it to be set up in multiple modes. You can use it like a speedlight, thanks to the speedlight styled Fresnel head.
Alternatively, the flash head can be used as a bare bulb monolight as well. Thanks to this unique feature you can use the same light head for creating different types of mood.
But do keep in mind that the power output is on the lower side. So, if you are planning for shooting in really dark conditions this light may not be enough.
Amazon Rating – 4.8 / 5
The Godox AD600BM is a powerful outdoor monolight /strobe. It produces an incredible 600 Ws of output using an 8700 mAh powerful battery pack that can produce up to 500 full-power flashes on a single charge.
This is the sort of light that you would love to take with you. It can handle any kind of lighting conditions. Work as a fill-light in broad daylight conditions syncing at a maximum of 1/8000 sec. On the other hand, it can work as your main light when you are exposing to the background (such as a blue hour sky) and yet want your subjects’ faces to be properly lit.
There are a total of 9 power adjustment steps. That means the light is versatile and can work in a lot of different lighting situations.
The built-in 2.4 G wireless transmitter allows the light to be fired from a maximum distance of 80 meters without fail.
Amazon Rating – 4.9 / 5
Yes, there have been simply too many Godox strobes on this list. No, this is not a Godox one-brand show. Neither has Godox paid us to write this review. We have simply found far too many Godox products to showcase. That’s it. Anyways we shall make an exception and it is a damn fine exception. The Profoto B10 AirTTL.
The Profoto B10 AirTTL is a fantastic strobe perfect for both studios as well as outdoor work. It is powered by a rechargeable 3000 mAh Li-Ion battery pack. On a full charge, the battery pack fires up to 400 full-power flashes.
The Profoto B10 AirTTL has one of the most comprehensive listings of features in the market. It delivers 250 Ws of power and offers up to 10-stops of power delivery control. Plus, as the strobe offers TTL, you can control the amount of power delivered from your camera. Speaking of control, the power pack comes with a range of wireless controls. You can connect with it using Bluetooth apart from the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency band.
Amazon Rating – 4.5 / 5
Between the Profoto B10 and the Profoto B1X, I prefer the B10 for reasons of my own. Notwithstanding, when it comes to sheer power delivery there is no denying the Profoto B1X and its 500Ws of power.
If you ever needed a reason to buy this baby, then it must be about sheer power. Just like any other good monolights, the B1X comes with a built-in modeling light. It is powerful enough to do some video work as well.
Speaking of power delivery, it can be tuned to control its power delivery over 9 stops in 1/10-stop increments so that you can fine-tune the results that you are after.
Power is provided by a rechargeable 3000mAh Lithium-Ion battery with 325 full flashes on a full charge.
Amazon Rating – 4.1 / 5
Which is the best portable light kit for you?
So, finally, we are at the million-dollar question – which is the best portable light for you? It is difficult to put a finger on one and say this fits all. The final choice will depend on your need, the kind of photography you plan on doing, your budget, and how invested you are in a particular setup.
If you are buying your first light, the Westcott FJ200 is a decent pick at a reasonable budget. If budget is not a concern, then you can look at Profoto B10 AirTTL. Of course, we have also listed a bunch of high-powered monolights that are both reasonably priced and produce a lot of flashes on a full charge.