Top critical review
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Not nearly as good as the comparably priced Cowboy Studios version.
on July 20, 2013
I purchased a similar three-stand lighting kit from Cowboy Studios on Amazon earlier this year, that also featured three stands, two umbrellas, sockets, bulbs and, importantly, a carrying case. That kit worked out fine, but I needed a second kit, so thinking the LimoStudio kit looked nearly identical, and was about $10 cheaper, I decided to take a chance and purchase the kit.
The kit arrived, in workable condition, though it was immediately apparent that, while similar in profile and build quality, it was of different manufacture than the Cowboy Studios kit. The adjustment on the Limo-studio stands tighten via knob versus a simple folding clamp on the Cowboy Studios. This requires extra time to make height changes and also means having to double check the tightness to make sure the knobs are tight enough to hold the light.
Second, the shorter edge/rim/back light only comes up to about waist height. The Cowboy Studios version, while not as tall as the two fill and key light stands, does actually extend to nearly 5.5-6 feet tall.
The included "day light" balanced bulbs read REALLY blue, and take a bit more time warm up to their full brightness, and even then are a touch dim.
There is a second depressible fin on the side of the LimoStudio umbrellas pole towards it's base that serves no real purpose other than to make it harder to insert and remove the umbrella from the light socket guides. The Cowboy Studio version has a smooth stem.
The one slight advantage of the LimoStudio version is that the tops of the stands have male camera screw mounts, so that you can directly attach certain items in a pinch (small cameras, an H1 microphone, hot-shoe adapters, Neewer LED light panel, etc...)
The main drawback of this "kit" however, is the fact that the contents don't actually fit in the included carrying case. The stands don't even fit properly, even when taken out of the boxes. When I contacted their customer service, they informed me that the case was not meant to hold the entire kit, just the stands and the umbrellas OR the sockets, and that the bulbs were meant to be carried separately because they were "too fragile." Moot points all, as nothing fits well in the case period. But really, what is the point of sending a carry case for a kit, if the kit doesn't fit in the carrying case?!
In the future, I would advise people to spend the extra $10 and go for the Cowboy Studios kit, which is a bit more functional and certainly better thought out.