For many pho­tog­ra­phers, set­ting up their own pho­to stu­dio is the most log­i­cal solu­tion. It is always avail­able, ready to work, and the avail­abil­i­ty of con­sum­ables and nec­es­sary devices is always under the con­trol of the own­er. For those involved in com­mer­cial film­ing, set­ting up their own home stu­dio is often a prof­itable oppor­tu­ni­ty and even a smart invest­ment in their own career. Set­ting up a stu­dio is a com­plex process, but the back­bone of any film­ing space is the lamps. Today we will talk about what kind of light­ing fix­tures are used in stu­dios and how they func­tion, as well as talk about kits and lamps from the Ray­Lab brand.

Source: Doop­ic

The design of lighting fixtures

Stu­dio light is not a sim­ple floor lamp, despite the fact that the mech­a­nism is some­what sim­i­lar. The main dif­fer­ence between stu­dio illu­mi­na­tors is that they are locat­ed on racks that are fixed in height and rota­tion. This is done so that the pho­tog­ra­ph­er or assis­tant can eas­i­ly direct the light. The reflec­tors or lamp­shades of such lamps are usu­al­ly made of alu­minum, and the met­al sur­face inside con­tributes to an even dis­tri­b­u­tion of light. In addi­tion, stu­dio light­ing fix­tures are often used with soft­box­es for soft, intense light or umbrel­las that func­tion as dif­fusers or reflec­tors.

Lamps are not only stan­dard tung­sten, mod­ern pho­tog­ra­phers often use LED illu­mi­na­tors for shoot­ing, which con­sume less ener­gy.

Square and ring devices are pop­u­lar in shape. Each gives its own spe­cif­ic effect.

Anoth­er fea­ture of stu­dio lamps is the abil­i­ty to use col­or fil­ters and adjust the tem­per­a­ture, that is, the shade of the light­ing. The light can be cool­er or warmer, allow­ing you to use the most com­fort­able white bal­ance set­tings on the cam­era.

Unlike con­ven­tion­al lamps, stu­dio illu­mi­na­tors are equipped with a con­trol unit on which you can set some set­tings. And they work both from the net­work, in the case of film­ing in the stu­dio, and from an exter­nal gen­er­a­tor, if the shoot­ing takes place in nature.

Source: Ray­Lab

Constant or pulsed light?

There are two main types of stu­dio light­ing fix­tures, these are pulsed lights and con­stant lights. From the name it becomes clear and the main dif­fer­ence. Pulsed light works in a sim­i­lar way to a flash. At the same time, two lamps are pro­vid­ed in the design of the device. Pilot mode allows the pho­tog­ra­ph­er to adjust the set­tings on the cam­era, and to deter­mine the dif­fer­ences between dark and bright areas of the frame. The flash lamp fires simul­ta­ne­ous­ly with the shut­ter. The pow­er of pilot lamps, as a rule, is from 50 to 300 watts. Light­ing pow­er is adjust­ed through the set­tings, and depends on what frame the pho­tog­ra­ph­er plans to shoot.

Sources of con­stant light­ing work on a dif­fer­ent prin­ci­ple. They often use high­er wattage halo­gen lamps. Such illu­mi­na­tors are used in pho­tog­ra­phy, to deter­mine the light­ing scheme, as well as for video record­ing and cin­e­matog­ra­phy. Blog­gers often pur­chase con­stant light lamps, often ring-shaped and with a dif­fuser pro­vid­ed in the kit. The more user-friend­ly con­stant lights are less pow­er­ful than flash lights but are more suit­able for begin­ners as they make it much eas­i­er to under­stand how the light will look in the frame.

Source: Ray­Lab

What and how to use?

In total there are sev­er­al types of stu­dio lamps and acces­sories, and each com­bi­na­tion is suit­able for cer­tain tasks.

The first thing to remem­ber is that it is light that allows the pho­tog­ra­ph­er to cre­ate form and depth in the frame. There­fore, it is impor­tant how exact­ly it will be exposed.

  • Key or draw­ing cre­ates the main light­ing in the frame.
  • The fill light sup­ports the main light by reduc­ing the inten­si­ty of the shad­ows and the con­trast of the scene.
  • Out­line — high­lights the object from behind in order to high­light it from the back­ground. Depend­ing on the loca­tion, it can give either a sharp out­line or a soft one.
  • Back­light cre­ates the main tone of the frame.

In addi­tion, it is nec­es­sary to take into account the nat­ur­al light that exists in the room before shoot­ing. In order to reduce its influ­ence, black­out cur­tains are often used on win­dows.

Source: Ray­Lab


Reflec­tors (mod­i­fiers) are a type of acces­so­ry that is placed on a flash lamp.

  • Umbrel­las — usu­al­ly with a sil­ver, gold or white coat­ing inside, mount­ed on a light­ing fix­ture. The light reflect­ed from the coat­ing becomes soft­er and gives a spe­cif­ic tone, depend­ing on its col­or.
  • White umbrel­las — work on the prin­ci­ple of a soft­box or dif­fuser, also soft­en­ing the light, but pass­ing it through a white translu­cent fab­ric.
  • A soft­box is a design that is put on a light source and acts as a dif­fuser. They come in dif­fer­ent sizes and, depend­ing on the dis­tance, give a sharp­er or soft­er light.
  • Strip­box­es are a vari­a­tion of the rec­tan­gu­lar soft­box. Strip­box­es are suit­able for back­light­ing and cre­at­ing high­lights.
  • Anoth­er sub­species of soft­box­es — octo­box, respec­tive­ly, has an octag­o­nal shape. These box­es are main­ly used for por­traits due to their more round­ed shape.
  • The reflec­tor directs the light at a cer­tain angle and is one of the most com­plex light­ing fix­tures.
  • The tube focus­es and directs the light into a nar­row beam. This acces­so­ry is used to high­light hair and cre­ate con­tour light.

These are just the basic acces­sories avail­able for stu­dio shoot­ing. There are many more mod­i­fi­ca­tions that work on the same prin­ci­ple as the oth­ers, but give slight­ly dif­fer­ent effects. It is not nec­es­sary for the stu­dio to have all avail­able mate­ri­als, but it is manda­to­ry to use key mate­ri­als such as reflec­tors and soft­box­es.

Source: Ray­Lab

RayLab lighting features

The Ray­Lab brand has been devel­op­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing stu­dio equip­ment for pho­to and video shoot­ing for more than 12 years. The cov­er­age of this brand is cre­at­ed tak­ing into account the require­ments and pref­er­ences of the tar­get audi­ence. It is on this that the com­plete set of sets and the specifics of the lamps depend. Ray­Lab focus­es as much on the afford­abil­i­ty of its prod­ucts as it does on com­pat­i­bil­i­ty with most mod­ern cam­eras.

A strik­ing exam­ple is the Ray­Lab Axio III RX-200, a 200 joule pulse monoblock. This mod­el allows the pho­tog­ra­ph­er to adjust the pow­er dur­ing the shoot­ing process with six stops. To do this, a touch pan­el with intu­itive use is pro­vid­ed on the hous­ing.

The wire­less syn­chro­niz­er sup­ports four con­trol chan­nels, ensur­ing sta­ble con­nec­tion. The reload speed has also been increased com­pared to pre­vi­ous mod­els in order to ensure the smoothest pos­si­ble shoot­ing expe­ri­ence.

Anoth­er fea­ture of this lamp is the pres­ence of a uni­ver­sal bay­o­net mount Bowens S, which allows you to use noz­zles from dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers. The col­or tem­per­a­ture of the lamp is 5600K (with a min­i­mum error of +/- 200K). In addi­tion to the monoblock, the kit includes a pilot lamp and a pow­er cable, and a reflec­tor is addi­tion­al­ly attached.

The Axio III RX-300 and RX-400 mod­els are sim­i­lar to the RX-200, with the key dif­fer­ence being 300W and 400W respec­tive­ly.

Lamps can be used indi­vid­u­al­ly or com­bined with oth­er devices.

Source: Ray­Lab

Lighting Kits

For novice pho­tog­ra­phers who have not yet had time to learn all the fea­tures of orga­niz­ing a stu­dio, the most advan­ta­geous solu­tion is to pur­chase a stu­dio light kit. It pro­vides the max­i­mum nec­es­sary devices. Ray­lab cre­ates ver­sa­tile kits that are suit­able for both begin­ners and more advanced pho­tog­ra­phers.

The Ray­lab Axio III 200 Basic Kit is based on the Axio III RX-200 monoblocs. Two lamps of this mod­el with a pow­er of 200 J are includ­ed in this kit. But that’s not all. In addi­tion to them, the man­u­fac­tur­er pro­vid­ed for the pres­ence of two soft­box­es with a for­mat of 60 by 60 cm. Despite their small size, they are suit­able for most types of shoot­ing.

Among the nec­es­sary ele­ments for the stu­dio, which are not includ­ed with the stan­dard monoblock, the basic stu­dio kit includes two tri­pod stands and a syn­chro­niz­er trans­mit­ter.

The basic prin­ci­ple by which the kit is assem­bled is that every­thing you need is in one place. That is why Ray­Lab offers not only light­ing fix­tures and acces­sories, but also a case for stor­age and trans­porta­tion.

Anoth­er set of stu­dio light has a sim­i­lar pack­age. The Ray­lab Axio III 400 Basic Kit includes every­thing you need, includ­ing two 400J monoblocs. Pow­er adjust­ment is car­ried out in the same way as in the pre­vi­ous set.

Ray­lab Axio III 300 Cre­ative Kit is designed for more expe­ri­enced pho­tog­ra­phers. The kit offers more acces­sories to help you achieve your stu­dio goals. In addi­tion to three monoblocks with a pow­er of 300 J with three racks 2.6m high, two reflec­tors, two soft­box­es and syn­chro­niz­ers, Cre­ative Kit offers cur­tains with col­or fil­ters (blue, green, yel­low and red) and rec­tan­gu­lar soft­box­es with hon­ey­combs (2 pcs).

This kit gives the pho­tog­ra­ph­er the oppor­tu­ni­ty to express him­self and build more com­plex light­ing schemes than with the basic kit.

Photo studio maintenance and consumables

Ray­Lab light­ing fix­tures dif­fer not only in qual­i­ty. Stu­dio light users note long ser­vice life as one of the key advan­tages of this brand. With prop­er care and stor­age, regard­less of reg­u­lar use, Ray­Lab kits can last more than ten years. In case of fail­ure, most of the ele­ments can be replaced, and this does not require spe­cial skills. It is enough just to pur­chase the miss­ing item. Expe­ri­enced users rec­om­mend care­ful­ly choos­ing lamps con­sid­er­ing the base (E27 and G6.35) and dif­fer­ent pow­er (from 32 to 400 W). The aver­age life of the bulbs is about 5 years, and the advan­tage is the com­bi­na­tion of high pow­er and low ener­gy con­sump­tion.

Addi­tion­al­ly, you can also pur­chase var­i­ous types of fas­ten­ing sys­tems: hold­ers, clamps, etc.

With ready-made stu­dio light­ing kits, orga­niz­ing a film­ing space has become a more afford­able and eas­i­er process.