When looking for the best light bulbs for indoor photography, the most important factors to consider are brightness, color temperature, and color rendering index (CRI). Below, I listed the top picks from the market. So keep on reading if you want to learn more!
Have you ever composed a beautiful shot, only for it to be ruined by poor lighting?
It is a feeling I know all too well.
As a casual photographer, I recognize how important lighting plays when shooting. I will happily spend my money on the best lighting equipment if it ensures high-quality results.
But the truth is: not everyone wants to spend hundreds of bucks for a professional lighting kit.
That’s why I constantly look for cheaper lighting options that can illuminate my subjects well.
While doing my research, I found out that most photographers were using light bulbs for indoor photography.
Yes, you’ve read that right!
Trust me; I was as surprised as you.
Apparently, you can light scenes using consumer light bulbs, and they work well!
With these in mind, I started to further research on these lights. I came up with this list of the best light bulbs for indoor photography to narrow down your choices.
I also included some buying tips to choose the highest quality lighting for your needs.
So read on to find out the best light bulbs for indoor photography!
Types of Light Bulbs for Indoor Photography
Before we reveal our top picks, we like to discuss the types of light bulbs you can use for lighting indoor scenes.
Incandescent Light Bulb
Incandescent sources are bright and powerful light bulbs. They are similar to general-purpose bulbs you use at home.
This lighting provides natural light with a nice orange tint, hence the term tungsten light. It emits all colors of light, which gives you beautiful photos.
But incandescent bulbs can produce a harsh beam. It’s best to use reflectors or photography umbrellas to diffuse the light and achieve soft studio lighting.
Incandescent lamps can also get hot because they release most energy through heat instead of light. You must be careful when taking photos of children or products that can melt.
Incandescent bulbs also require more electric power to heat. These lighting sources are not that energy efficient compared to other types of bulbs that we would discuss below.
Fluorescent Light Bulb
Fluorescent bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent light. They consume less power, which can reduce electricity costs in the long run.
These lighting bulbs are also cheaper and easier to replace.
Unfortunately, they often flicker and give a weird orange-green tint. This hue can be hard to edit. Moreover, many users find their output lacking since they only produce between 60 to 100 watts.
On a positive note, there is another type of fluorescent light meant to replace these old bulbs.
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb
Also known as CFLs, these light sources are a modern alternative to incandescent light bulbs.
They deliver a wide range of color temperatures, from tungsten to daylight. As such, you don’t have to worry about the green hue.
CFL bulbs also have a longer lifespan and are more efficient than incandescent and fluorescent artificial light sources.
The only downside is that they are harmful to the environment.
These bulbs use mercury to produce light. As such, you need to be careful when disposing of them.
LED Light Bulb
Light-emitting diodes, popularly known as LEDs, are perhaps the most commonly used bulbs for photography lighting.
First of all, they are cheap and easy to replace. You can find LED bulbs at your local hardware store or supermarket.
LED sources also rarely heat up and require lower energy. In fact, they only use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. These make them more energy-efficient and environment-friendly.
Moreover, these types of lighting bulbs are more durable, which results in a longer lifespan.
However, some cheaper LEDs can start to flicker.
Other LED bulbs are also not capable enough to produce all colors of visible light. The result is uneven lighting, which can be hard to fix in editing software.
3 Best Light Bulbs for Indoor Photography
Below are our top picks for the best light bulbs for photography indoors. All of them are LED lights, which offer the best value for your money.
LOHAS A21 LED – Best Overall Light Bulbs for Photography
If you are looking for an excellent photography lighting, consider getting the LOHAS A21.
The A21 offers powerful daylight balanced color temperature in 5000 Kelvin, or simply K. It includes a 240° beam angle that can illuminate your photos, even in indoor and low-light situations.
It also comes with 2550 lumens for extra brightness on your images. This bulb even provides continuous white light, which ensures no flicker. Feel free to use it as a key light, fill light, or even backlight in your pictures.
Additionally, these LED lights use low electrical power at 23 watts. They can save you up to 85% on electricity. Thus, they are a great alternative to incandescent lights.
What’s more, the A21 has an average lifespan of 30,000 hours. It can last you a long time, especially if you will be only using it for photography.
On top of all these benefits, these light bulbs are easy to install. They can fit into standard E26 bases without a problem.
Those who want to light up various scenes might find the LOHAS A21 LED a great option. It’s one of the best and most versatile photography lighting sources.
Bonlux 40W Daylight – Longest Lasting Light Bulbs for Photography
Another reliable light bulb for indoor photography is the Bonlux 40W Daylight.
It boasts a luminous flux of 3500 lumens, which is more than enough to illuminate various subjects.
Bonlux also offers a daylight color temperature of 5500K. This gives you natural photos, even if you’re shooting indoors.
Its beam angle of 360° further ensures that the scene is well-lit so that you can capture photos in rich detail.
Moreover, the 40W Daylight includes a standard E26 medium screw base. It allows you to fit the bulb in most fixtures, including softboxes and photo umbrellas.
But perhaps the best feature of this bulb is its extended lifespan. It can last up to 10 times longer than its counterparts.
So if you are looking for an indoor light source that can last you a long time, look no further than the Bonlux 40W Daylight. This studio white light offers excellent value for your money.
Asencia AN-03412 – Best Dimmable Light Bulbs for Photography
The last product on our list is the Asencia AN-03412.
These six-pack LED light bulbs provide natural light at a daylight color temperature of 5000K. They ensure you have ample light for capturing bright photos indoors.
The AN-03412 also provides an extended lifespan of up to 15,000 hours. It can last for over 13 years, given that you only use it 3 hours per day. Thus, it is a cost and energy-efficient alternative to incandescent bulbs.
Moreover, this LED light has dimmable capabilities. It enables you to soften or turn up the brightness, depending on your indoor photography needs.
It is the ideal bulb for photographers who prefer a versatile and dimmable lighting source.
The only downside to the AN-03412 is its lower luminous flux. It only delivers 800 lumens, which might not be enough to illuminate wide scenes.
We recommend the other products on our list if you need extra brightness over flexibility.
How to Choose the Best Light Bulbs for Indoor Photography
Are you still unsure which light bulbs to choose? To help you make the right purchase, we included this buying guide.
Read on to learn our buying tips before investing in a light bulb for indoor photography.
There’s no point in buying a light bulb if it cannot illuminate your subjects and overall image in the first place.
So you must ensure that it is bright enough to meet your needs.
Look for the luminous flux, measured in lumens, of a particular product. It determines the perceived power of light seen by the naked eye. In general, the higher the lumens unit, the brighter the light.
But there are other factors to consider. These include the ideal light intensity and surface size of the space you intend to illuminate.
Besides the brightness, you must be aware of the color temperature of the light bulb. It describes how light appears to our eyes and is measured in degrees Kelvin (K).
Light bulbs with a lower color temperature, such as 2700K, produce amber or “warm” shades of light.
Meanwhile, light bulbs with 5000K or higher have a bluish-white or “cool” tint to them.
Choosing between warm and cool color temperatures depends on your personal preference and the mood you want to achieve.
Color Rendering Index (CRI)
Color rendering index, or CRI, refers to the way a light source makes the color of an object appear to our eyes. It is measured on a scale from 0 to 100%, which indicates how accurate a light source renders color.
When buying a light bulb for indoor photography, you should look for a CRI of 85 or higher. This color rendering index produces the most accurate hue on your pictures.
Finally, you must consider how long a light bulb would last.
No one wants to buy a light bulb that dies down after a few days of use.
Before finalizing your purchase, look for the average rated lifetime hours. This information is a good indicator of the light bulb’s longevity.
With that said, do not solely rely on this quality.
A bulb’s life span can also depend on your usage. For instance, if you use the light for 8 hours daily, expect it to last shorter than advertised.
That sums up our picks for the best light bulbs for indoor photography!
We highly recommend each product on this list, but our top choice is the LOHAS A21 LED for its natural light.
This 2550 lumens bulb offers powerful daylight in 5000K. It can illuminate your subjects without a problem, which gives you higher-quality photos. Plus, it has an average lifespan of 30,000 hours. This LED bulb can last you a long time!
Buy the LOHAS A21 LED through this link today!