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I've now owned these for 1 year and they're still running strong! I had my doubts because of the other reviews I saw but idk, maybe I got lucky? Mine have been working perfectly. I've been using them on a fairly regular basis and even the original light bulbs are all still working, which: that has honestly surprised me.

I just bought another set! The new set all works just fine, though I have noticed that on the newer "model" (I guess), the switches seem different. Not as fluid as the older switches. As in, the newer switches seem like they are "sticky" or just harder to press. Honestly that's not even a big deal, just something I noticed was different from the original kit.

Another difference I noticed and something I consider to be an upgrade on the newer kit, is that they use heavier duty tripods for ALL of the lights instead of just the light with the "boom arm." This is a big plus for me, since the older light stands that held the vertical lights seemed to be kind of cheap. The new tightening brackets on the new stands are higher quality as well. They look bulkier and just seem like they'll last a much longer time.

The light tones DO match the old light tones exactly, which is a huge plus for me, as I'll be using the new and the old ones in the same space (so I really didn't want two different colors of lights). This is especially essential for my photogrammetry! I use a particular method of photogrammetry that I cam up with that allows me to flip an object in multiple directions and still align perfectly upon processing. The one requirement is that it have even lighting (of the same color) across the entire object.

I also love the fact that these, even though they are at a low price, still come with fuses for the light outlet module! So if anything does happen to them, I can most likely just replace the fuse and continue working with them :) But using the fluorescent light bulbs that it comes with, I don't think there's any risk of that happening. You may have to worry about that if you switch out the light bulbs with incandescent bulbsl, which yeah, if you're using these for portrait photography, you'll definitely want to use a full-frame camera to let in that extra light AND you might consider replacing the bulbs with more powerful ones. The bulbs these come with are perfect for product photography, photogrammetry or other stationary subjects where you can have the camera on a tripod and use a slow shutter speed with low ISO.

As you can see in the photo, I'm not using the "boom" lights right now, but I switch them in and out all the time depending on what I'm shooting. So I do use them.

Summing up (plus additional) Pros and Cons:

Pros:
- Distributes light evenly - great for product photography, photogrammetry, lighting green screens evenly, etc.
- Sturdy build quality, especially with the newer kit. The one I bought 1 year ago was not as sturdy.
- Long-lasting light bulbs.
- Long lasting light bulb outlet module.
- Includes fuses for light bulb outlet module.
- Fairly intuitive to put together but it can take time/futzing - I didn't need to read the instructions to figure it out, and I had never (personally) owned a softbox before buying these, though I had worked with some super expensive ones - but those used a different method to put them together.
- Even the carrying case seems like a nice quality. I have moved these around a lot and the case still looks like new.
- You can easily access the light bulbs from the back, so if one bulb goes out, you don't have to disassemble the entire soft box to change the bulb out (see photos).
- You can vent out some of the heat by taping the top flap open (towards the back of the soft box) - just undo the velcro there and pull it open. NOTE: This will also reduce the amount of light coming out of the front by a little bit and I don't think the heat is a big issue. I've kept mine closed for a year and they still work fine. So I'd advise against venting it unless maybe you've switched the bulbs with hotter bulbs.

Cons:
- I noticed on the new soft boxes, they are a little bit more difficult to put together than the old one. The softbox, even though it's the same size as the older ones, seems a little bit tighter. Give yourself about 2-4 minutes per softbox to get it fully put together.
- While the "boom" light IS strong enough to hold the light fully extended, the small bag that is included cannot hold very much. So you can 1. Get some small, heavy lead weights or something to put in that bag or 2. do like I do and use a separate bag (backpack, night-bag, etc) with weights in it. Again, the tripod DOES appear to be strong enough to handle the weight. I have used the boom light fully extended on several occasions with no problems at all, but I do use a night-bag filled with weights instead of the bag that came with the kit.

Even though it's got a couple of "cons," for the price, I don't think these can be beat. I did quite a bit of research 1 year ago and even more research this year before purchasing these. They still seem to give you the most wattage-output for your buck. I'm really happy with this purchase and I think that these will last me a really long time :)

Extra note: If you're wondering what I've taped onto the front of each soft box, it's a linear polarizing sheet. This allows me to polarize each light so I can use circular polarizing filters on each of my 3 cameras to reduce and almost entirely eliminate reflections on reflective objects. The two images attached show Before (highly reflective, without the use of polarization) and After (with the use of polarization to remove reflections) photos of a highly reflective hammer just to get the idea across. If you're interested in doing something similar, just google "Polarizing sheet" and search for by-the-foot sales. I paid $15/foot. Each soft box will require a 17"x24" sheet. I recommend attaching it with black duct tape, as that has worked well for me.

Hope this is helpful!
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11 comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 28, 2017
I purchased these lights for recording youtube videos and I liked them alot initially, but now after only a few months of use two of the light switches from the two main lamps just fell off and I haven't even moved them once since I have them setup. Now this means only two of the four bulbs are working and the light is dramatically less intense. These are really flimsy switches that fall off from just turning the lights on a off considering I used the lights once per week to record youtube videos. I will not recommend this set to anyone and will be sure to create a video warning my subscribers not to waste their money.
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0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 23, 2017
Very difficult to put together. The rods are nearly impossible to get in. I felt like I was going to break something when I finally forced the final two through the holes. I hope one doesn't fly out and injure somebody. I never could get the final rod in the Velcro pocket on any of the lights. Seems like the box itself is a misfit for the placement of the holes in the lighting fixture. My fingers are sore after 2 straight hours trying to assemble all this. Instructions were paltry. I had to go to YouTube to get real tutorials for similar products. No instructions for assembling boom arm. Feels like a piece is missing, but it's not. Had to take apart the connector to get it to go on the tripod. There has to be a better design for this product - even for it to be so cheap. I feel worn out and completely drained of all my creative energy after wrestling with these lights for this long. I wouldn't recommend this product. I'd pay a little more for a better design & better instructions. Lesson learned.
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on February 29, 2016
Out of the box, with all of the pieces on the floor, you may not be immediately impressed. Especially if you are used to higher end lighting equipment. Set up isn't overly complicated, but may take you one or two times to get it down smoothly. There were set up instruction included with mine, but I altered the order slightly to make things easier. Once set up, and turned on for the first time I was stunned at the quality and power of the lights. There are two switches on the back of the light, each operates two of the bulbs. If the light is too "hot" you can simply switch one bank of bulbs off. As well there is an additional piece of diffuser that attaches inside the box with Velcro. Is the light is too diffuse, you can remove this. For the money I am extremely pleased. This is a perfect set up for a small room or studio. The stands and lights are nice quality, the boxes and diffuser are acceptable. This is not going to be extremely portable, as set up can take awhile, but the components are lightweight and sturdy enough for indoor use.
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on November 15, 2016
I was very pleased with this order. After looking at other reviews, I was worried that my bulbs would arrive broken but luckily that wasn't the case. All 12 bulbs arrived in one piece and functioning. The carrying case includes 3 soft box lights, 12 bulbs (each soft box takes 4 bulbs), Boom pole, a sand bag, and three stands for the soft boxes. This kit comes with extremely vague instructions. It's almost impossible to understand what goes where from just reading the instructions. But don't let that keep you from purchasing this kit. A quick search on Youtube will make the set up a lot easier. Just search for "Fancierstudio 2400 watt lighting kit setup tutorial" and a few videos explaining it will pop up. The only reason I deducted a star is because the stands are very flimsy. You have to be careful when tightening the screws. I would suggest not tightening it all they way because they will break. Although it does come in a carrying case, It's difficult to make it all fit in there again so you probably won't be using that again. Since the stands are very flimsy, I have them set up in my room and don't transport them anywhere. I'm afraid the stands are going to break since they are very fragile. I bought this to use on a green screen for my videos. If that's what you're trying to use it for, I would suggest purchasing one more softbox to really light up the whole green screen evenly. I'm having trouble getting the green screen evenly lit with just this kit. Overall, I think this was a good purchase for the price! I would suggest it for someone who's looking for their first lighting kit. I'm new to lighting so this is great for me meanwhile I save up to invest in something sturdier but more expensive. I recommend it, it gets the job done.
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on April 21, 2017
I'm very satisfied with this set up. I'm using it for studio/portrait photography and it is serving me well. The softboxes are a good size and the double diffuser is pretty great. The light is strong and clear and makes my subjects look really good. The price was excellent as well. Wasn't sure about the quality because of the price but I'm pretty happy with it. The stands aren't the best but they definitely work fine.

The boom arm set up was super confusing to me and the instructions did NOT tell how to put it together. That was the only thing I didn't like about this kit.
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on February 1, 2017
I got this for a home studio and for the cost it's ok. It's not amazing but for the cost it's perfect.

My major gripe with this is the overhead light the bag wont really hold much and it's not such a design that inspires you to trust that it could. The only other problem I have with it is the bulbs, every time to screw them in it feels like dirty and grainy, like there's a thick course sand in the sockets, it's very noticeable. It's on all the sockets so it's not like maybe it's just one part.

I'm still using them with no faults on bulbs or anything and like I said for the cost, these things are a winner. I would still buy this product again if I needed a cheap and affordable starting lights set up.
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on October 3, 2016
There aren't any instructions on how to assemble the boom arm (or any thing of the pieces for that matter) for the hairlight and in the process of trying to figure it out the pole bent. I haven't been able to use yet as a result of the lack of directions.
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on September 12, 2017
Very poor instructions and very difficult to setup the lights into the canvas boxes. Do not buy this unless you have a very unique ability to put things together. After you review the video you may decide to pass on this.

I watched the video and it greatly helped me to put this together. It's very sad the manufacturer includes such bad instructions.

I am increasing my rating because I now have this system working and know how to construct it more easily.

NOW I AM DECREASING THE RATING BECAUSE THE OVERHEAD LIGHTING HAS NO INSTRUCTIONS AND I CAN'T MAKE IT WORK.

When I go to the ratings, normally the seller will respond if there are problems, no responses to the boom issues.
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on December 20, 2015
Just got this lighting set and was over joyed when I managed to connect everything together. Sadly I would give this product 5 stars if only one of the switches worked. If Fancierstudio is reading this, please help me resolve it. Here is a youtube video of the problem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aphe4KDNUc
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse