Best Lighting For Webcasting or Vlogging that’s Cheap

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Mountdog 1350W Softbox Lighting Kit

The Mountdog kit provides enough light for a YouTube video or small group photo. The Mountdog 1350W Softbox Lighting Kit is one of the cheapest softbox 3-point lighting kits that also includes super bright 135W CFL bulbs. If you’re starting to make videos or shoot portrait shots on a tight budget this might be the softbox lighting kit for you. If you are after the best lighting for webcasting the Mountdog kit will certainly fit the bill.

What’s in the box

  • 3x 20″x28″ softbox
  • 4x 135W CFL Daylight Bulbs
  • 3x 80″ Tall Studio High Light Stand
  • 3x Softbox Diffuser
  • 1x Stand With Boom Arm
  • 1x Sandbag
  • 1x Carry bag

DIY Video Studio review

A softbox is definitely a step up from using photography umbrellas. With a softbox, you have better control over where you direct the light. Whereas shoot-through umbrella lights will spill light all around your video or photography studio (for most of us that a spare bedroom or living room).

So what do I think of the Mountdog lighting kit?

The biggest takeaway is that this 3-point softbox lighting kit is really cheap. Even so, it produces bright soft light that will improve your YouTube videos or product photography, thanks to the included 135W CFL 5500K daylight bulbs (which are large).

But as they say, in terms of build quality, you get what you pay for. You will get good service out of the kit provided you take care when using the gear. Adding some weights, or sandbags, to the light stand legs would probably be a good idea.

Don’t expect the quality and durability you would expect from professional lights. Having said that, you are still getting a good beginner deal with the Mountdog kit. You can expect to pay more than double its price to get the next quality level of lights. And if you really aspire to professional lights be prepared to spend many hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

So this kit really is a bargain. If a low price on reasonable quality starter gear if your priority then the Mountdog kit will be the best lighting for webcasting or YouTube vlogging.

Considering the price of the kit it’s surprising that a spare 135W CFL bulb is included. That’s a bonus I’ve not seen with most other video lighting kits, especially with such a large bulb.

This kit is right for you if you’re a beginner who needs controllable bright soft lighting while on a tight budget.

The kit doesn’t come with instructions but it should be fairly obvious what to do. If you’re unsure, search YouTube for “Three-point lighting softbox lighting setup and tutorial“. Once you know what you’re doing you should be able to set up the Mountdog softbox lighting kit in under 10 minutes.

The softboxes are actually OK and easy to set up. They have four umbrella-like rods at each corner that open up by turning a ring where the bulb is later screwed in. Once you screw in the bulb, cover the open face of the softbox with the translucent nylon diffuser. It attaches around the edges with velcro. The bulb lights this up so it effectively becomes your soft light source.

There’s a simple on-off rocker switch on each light’s power cord but the cord isn’t very long so you will need some extension cords.

Returning to the CFL light bulbs, Mountdog says the bulbs have a CRI of more than 95. That means the lights will render colors, such as skin tones, naturally. Considering the price of the kit, having four such bulbs is really impressive.

Pros: Inexpensive. Includes bright 135W bulbs. The kit’s easy to set up and produces nice soft light. A spare bulb is included.

Cons: Not dimmable. The power cord is short. You need to be careful otherwise this light-weight stands might topple over. However, an extension cord will solve the first point and the second is easily corrected by adding a sandbag weight over a leg of each light stand.

The bottom line

Would I buy this kit?

If I were an enthusiastic beginner, a YouTuber beginner, or an online business that needs good quality product shots the answer would be YES!

What’s not to love? The Mountdog kit would be a good video lighting choice for a home or office video/photography studio, provided you have a reasonable amount of space.

In truth, I got a near-identical light kit when I started out. The brand name was different but it still pretty much the same kit. A few years on I still have the kit but now use it together with other lights and accessories.

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