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282 of 292 people found the following review helpful
As a photographer with over 30 years experience, I can tell you that these lights are simply awesome. There have been many reviews from what I can only assume are drooling morons about the socket quality, the stands quality, the low light levels. Guess what? They are $60.00 bucks, not $1,500.00 like my main set!

PROS:
The Stands are of a thinner tubing than the $1,500 dollar variety, yes, and of a pot metal construction (not aircraft grade aluminum) with lower quality plastic clamps and adjusters (not machined and polished aluminum) HOWEVER... they are most certainly sturdy for light stands and absolutely useable for what I can see as a very long life (if you're not a tool!)

Also, the light fixtures themselves are very sturdy AND accommodate the included bulbs very well.

As this is a continuous light system and not strobes, I have used them for studio lighting along with 2 softboxes. The light level is strong and clean, with no flickers or other anomalies.

The light levels are steady and at the advertised rated output continuously.

The accompanying nylon bag is branded with Cowboy Studio's logo as with all of their products. The bag is really descent and holds the gear for transport properly and completely as it should.

CONS: None, for 60 dollars there is not a one. Even for $120.00 I would be very satisfied.

All in all, for 60 bucks, these are awesome and very much worth the money and will serve you well... unless you're a tool.
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138 of 146 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2010
We will be using this kit for both photography and video.

I was initially skeptical at what I was going to get at this phenomenal price, but I am extremely pleased with my purchase. Everything assembles very quickly, and it goes back just as easy into the included storage bag. I kept the boxes for each item so they stay nice and neat in the bag.

I am an amateur photographer, my partner runs an indie production company, so we needed something that fit our extremely modest budget, was portable, and provided the light we required for various shoots. This product met our requirements in all cases.
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119 of 128 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2014
This is a great budget lighting kit for beginners and hobbyist. Obviously, for this price you are not going to get the best quality of materials, but overall this kit is perfect for small indoor projects.

Pros:
- The lights create a clean and strong white light. Excellent for video work.
- Great price.
- The bag fits everything that comes in the kit and more.
- The umbrellas are big and create a nice diffused light.
- Easy to set up.

Cons:
- The quality of the materials is not the best. Cheap-looking plastic connectors and endings.
- Some of the tightening screws will pop out if you unscrew them all the way.
- The light stands are light. Be careful when using them outdoors.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
The light socket assembly that comes with the Cowboy Light Studio kit is defective. When you screw in the light bulb, the metal piece that is inside the socket, will come out as you tighten the light bulb. This happened to two of the three light sockets. I didn't tighten the third one very much, otherwise the metal piece would have came out.

Make sure to checkout the additional close up pictures of the metal ring coming out of the light socket.
review image review image review image review image
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2010
A few years ago I put together a homebrew set of lights using the bases of two cheap torchiere lamps and clamp lights. When I saw these lights I kicked myself... it actually cost more to build the hombrew system than it did to purchase this set!

The stands are more durable than I expected at this price. They are easy to set up and sturdy. The only problem I've had is the end caps keep popping out of the smaller stands (easily fixed with a dab of glue.) The umbrellas provide a nice diffused light. As others have mentioned... the bulbs are not bright enough for a typical portrait set up. But they are fine for closer 'light box' product shots. For my use I will supplement this setup with some daylight flourescent bulbs that are more than 100watts.
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82 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2010
I bought these as a cool light setup for a permanent addition to my studio and for video, but not nearly bright enough to work. I added a four way adapter and brighter bulbs, which helped. It is cheap, but works with brighter bulbs.

[update]
another reviewer in this feed suggested a 105w bulb that is 5000k made by Cowboy Studios.
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114 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2010
I ordered the items on mon with checking transfer. I apparently typed something wrong and they sent me an email with issues with my bank and I needed another form of payment on tues, I fixed that the same day. I got an email that stated I would receive my kit anywhere from Nov. 5 to Nov 16. I was surprised when I received it 3 days later on Nov. 5!

PROS:
not only where the umbrellas huge, it came with a reflective shield that's not listed in the listing. it goes on the outside of the white umbrellas. The stands felt real sturdy and good standing. the lights were amazingly white. I never seen such a white bulb. lol sooooo bright.

CONS:
one of the light sockets didn't work on arrival, however I emailed them sunday at 11pm, and received email stating they already sent out another product on monday at 10am with tracking info. I can't believe the service! from them! they look cheap, but its definitely worth the price.
the bag does not look like the bag in the pic. the bag only holds two stands and two umbrellas, no room for anything else.

You can not go wrong with this set up for this price at all.

i'd buy it again if I needed to ;) hit me up if u have questions on it, I'll answer them!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I'm relatively new to photography, especially shooting indoors with artificial light. Not having a lot of money to spend on lighting I did quite a bit of research on light kits available here on Amazon. I knew that at this point in time I would be photographing static objects. With this in mind I leaned toward continuous lighting kits, specifically compact florescent kits. I choose this kit because I wanted shoot-through umbrellas as opposed to the black-backed, shoot-into reflective type. The shoot-through type allow me to place the light source very close to my subject, but still provide a soft diffused light. Being able to bring them close to the subject allows me to make the light more directional. With the black-backed umbrellas you must place them further away, thus requiring a greater light source as well, and the light from them is less directional (more like a flood of light). Now for some they may want this, but I was after a more direct source.

This kit also comes with a case/bag which I wanted for storage/transport. I wasn't expecting much from this bag, but it is very well made with sown in dividers to keep the light stands apart and apart from the umbrellas. I made sure to keep the boxes and styrofoam inserts that the bulbs shipped in so I could pack them safely in the bag when needed.

The kit came packaged very well with everything wrapped in plastic and placed in separate boxes. I was pleased to see this as other reviewers of CowboyStudio items have commented on shoddy packaging, that was not the case here (I've also purchased a CowboyStudios 10' white/black backdrop and support system that came well packaged and that I'm quite pleased with).

I've used the lights for a short period thus far with great results. Keep in mind the bulbs in this kit are 36 watts. If you're shooting large objects or trying to light a large area, you will likely need to upgrade the bulbs. This is also true if you are shooting a live subject requiring you to shoot at a faster speed to stop movement. I realized this going in and expect to upgrade the bulbs in the future as my subjects (and wallet) dictate. This kit will also allow me to mount a shoe mount multiclamp Studio Pro Swivel Bracket to the stands/umbrellas and use my Nikon Speedlites if I need more light and want more creativity options.

This kit is certainly not a pro level kit on par with say a Spiderlite, but it doesn't cost that either. There's a lot of value here and a lot of room to upgrade/expand. All in all, a great kit for my needs:)
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2011
I have now used this kit a half dozen times and I think it is great. The CFL dont get hot which makes using them to shoot babies great. It is light and easy to set up so bringing them to a client's home is fine. The bag is big enough to hold everything (once it is all out of the boxes they were shipped in) and extension cords, small backdrops and other odds and ends that you might need. If you are starting up and are looking for a good basic light kit I would recommend this one.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2011
I was fairly skeptical when purchasing these lights. They look decent in the pictures, with quality stands/umbrellas, a large carrying case, and decent lights. I realize the power on the lights won't be great, so I intend on purchasing more powerful lights, if I need them.

Initial reaction: Pretty much what i expected. It came well packaged, everything inside the case and no broken bulbs. The 2 tall stands are very tall, could even be used to light hair with some tweaking of the umbrella. The umbrellas are decent, nice and white, light, but fairly small(32"). The 2 short stands are very short. Maybe 3' max. The light sockets are okay, plasticky but fairly sturdy. Since the lights and umbrellas are pretty light-weight, the strength of the system is not a huge problem. If using them outside, you might want to add some weight to the bottom of the stands since this whole thing could easily blow away.

In practice: This kit totally changed the game. In a sealed, dark studio room I was able to use just the 2 lights with umbrellas to light a decent portrait. (although I was shooting very wide; 1.8, 2, and 2.8) At f/4, to shoot at high shutter speeds (1/120 and faster), you will have to add more light. I first used the small stands with lights, but since they are on the floor in an empty room, the only added some fill light and not the wanted soft-contrast look that I was going for.
Now this part is where i modified this system to shoot all 4 bulbs through 2 umbrellas: Each head(light sockets) can attach to 1 stand and 1 umbrella, but oddly enough you can attach all other heads to a single umbrella (being very careful not to add too much stress to the umbrella pole). So I played around with this, and as you can imagine, 2 lights on one stand, and 2 on the other create very even, professional lighting. My favorite is actually having 3 on 1 stand, and 1 on the other, creates excellent dynamic light.

Pros: PRICE!; sturdy light-weight stands; 4 bulbs for cheap; good color lights/umbrella; lots of options; good case; long power cables; professional look; option to put multiple lights behind 1 umbrella; easy setup.

Cons: Fairly weak bulbs; umbrellas might seem flimsy, and reflect a lot of light(lose light); need to create separators/individual cases for bulbs in bag.

Some more things I wish came with this: Reflective umbrella; higher-wattage bulbs; extra stands could be smaller.
I will probably create a modifier to reduce the amount of light lost behind/around the bulb. It will be a salad bowl, painted white/silver on the inside and placed behind the fixture so that the light bulb is between this bowl and the umbrella. This will increase it's efficiency greatly.

All in all, this is a great product for the price, and would highly recommend it to any amateur photographer looking to boost their image/light quality and professional look.
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