I am building up a garage studio and have a c stand setup with an overhead camera (Canon 5d Mark II with EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS) somewhat similar to the setup here. enter image description here

I’ve been researching overhead, and side lights and the ones I got to see look very expensive.

What do you recommend for the highest lumens (in the price range), a single overhead setup that can be fixed to a boom bar (on a c stand), a 95-98 CRI, daylight, don’t need battery, has a dimmer, spot light, preferably LED (low heat and power), nearly 29x17’’ (not fixated on this – picked up on the kinoflo website) in dimensions, subject as a 40x25’’ table, has the ability to be mount and in the $100-300 range.

I got some good advice for a Aputure Amaran AL-528W, but not sure if the 9.37 x 7.48 light can spread to a 40x25’’ table.

I also got some advice for a PAR 64 but not sure my garage setup can contain the heat this thing generates.

Note: this is for continuous lighting and not for flashes

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why insist on continuous lights rather than flash? Flash is much cheaper per both light energy and quality of light. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 4:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well actually i need it for video too \$\endgroup\$
    – Cherian
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 4:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Is video your main use case? If so, this may do better on Video Production SE. I can migrate it over if you want. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


I love this guys DIY projects


Worth having a look for inspiration. On looking for the same lighting for both still and video.. that's not really ideal. What are you trying to shoot still? There is a lot you can do with $100 in flash technology and some creative thinking around off camera flash.


LED isn't going to happen in the size you want for the price you want. LEDs are great in terms of efficiency and brightness and portability (as they can be driven easily by batteries) but they are not cheap. High CRI LEDs are 10 to 20 cents or so each and you need thousands of them for a panel in the size you are talking about plus the substrate to wire them all up and provide correct power to them all, deal with dead LEDs without overloading others, etc.

To meet your requirements for size and cost, the only option that is likely to meet your requirements is fluorescent studio lighting. Fluorescent studio lights aren't ideal in terms of brightness, but they've made pretty good strides in terms of CRI recently with specially made florescent tubes. Fluorescent lights can easily cover the sizes you want and do so cheaply (within your price range). Specific product recommendations go out of date quickly, but flourescent lights is the only option I know of that will meet your requirements.

Do be sure to get flourescent lights that are designed for studio use though as standard fluorescents can produce both poor CRI and also produce variations in light output that can result in banding or distortions in color when working with shutter speeds near the frequency of the power.


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