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LED Lighting in Product Photography for E-Commerce

LED Lighting in Product Photography for E-Commerce

Product photography, especially packshots that present products on a simple, white background, is essential for e-commerce stores. These photos help customers get a clear and appealing view of what they're buying, which influences their purchase decisions. High-quality packshots are vital for anyone selling online. In this article, we'll explore the best LED panels and COB lights for creating your own mini studio for product photography.

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The Role of Lighting in Product Photography

A good photo conveys more than the most detailed text description, allowing customers to visually understand the product when shopping online. High-quality, detailed photographs accurately represent the product's appearance, texture, shape, and colors. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure bright and even lighting, as it enhances the clarity and details of the photographed object, helps accurately reproduce its colors, and avoids unwanted shadows and reflections that can distort the item's appearance.

Lighting can significantly influence the perceived quality and value of a product. Well-executed and presented packshots will increase customers' trust in the brand and encourage purchases. Good lighting also helps create a consistent aesthetic, which is vital for the image of any online brand. Investing in proper light sources, such as LED lamps, is a crucial step for any entrepreneur aiming to successfully sell products online. Without good lighting, even the best camera and lens cannot deliver professional results.

Photographer taking product photos of high heels

Why Choose LED Lights?

LED lighting has been growing in popularity among photographers for years due to its many advantages. Firstly, it is very easy to use, making camera work much simpler. LED lighting allows for live view and continuous control of exposure and shadow arrangement without needing to take a photo every time you adjust the settings. Notably, you can use continuous light with DSLR and mirrorless cameras, as well as smartphone cameras.

LED lights also provide high-quality light, offering strong illumination with an excellent color rendering index, which ensures the accurate representation of the product's appearance. Additionally, they have a long lifespan of several tens of thousands of hours and exceptionally low energy consumption, making them a cost-effective investment in the long run.

Photographer taking product photo of a bottle with LED light

A Few Words on the Basics of Lighting

In packshots, achieving even lighting is crucial to showcase the product in the best and most realistic way. Here are some key principles for working with lighting to help you achieve professional product photos:


Light Placement

To evenly illuminate the product, use at least two LED lights. Place them on both sides of the product, at a height close to its center. This setup minimizes shadows and ensures even light distribution. If possible, add a third lamp directed from above or behind to eliminate any remaining shadows.

Experimenting with Settings

Working with lights requires practice, so experiment with different settings, especially if you are using a DSLR or mirrorless camera. Avoid automatic mode and set the appropriate shutter speed and aperture. If you are photographing with a smartphone, set the appropriate focus point and, if necessary, adjust the photo's exposure.

Photographer taking product photos of cosmetics

Controlling Reflections and Glare

Different product surfaces reflect light differently, so observe how light affects the product. When photographing items with shiny or glass surfaces, pay attention to reflections and glare. Move the lights around, and change their angles and distance from the product to find the optimal setting.

Consistency and Uniformity

Make sure all lights are set to the same color temperature to avoid color differences in the photos. Consistent lighting ensures uniform product photos, which is important for the professional look of your online store.

Product photo advertising cosmetics

LED Lighting in Product Photography

Although flash lighting remains the most popular choice among professionals, continuous light sources introduced in recent years are also excellent for packshots. These lights have been gaining more power each year since their introduction to the photo-video equipment market, and now they provide illumination strong enough for a home studio setup. Let's explore the available options:

LED Panels

An extremely easy-to-use solution that offers beginners satisfactory results. However, it usually comes with certain limitations. LED panels typically emit less intense light, which is also difficult to modify or adjust beyond basic power or color temperature controls. Small models are suitable only for small and medium-sized products, while larger panels that provide more power and a larger light surface tend to be quite expensive.

LED COB Lights

An advanced type of light offering a more professional approach to product photography. LED COB lights are known for their significantly higher light output and versatility. They often come with a Bowens accessory mount, making it easy to attach softboxes, barn doors, snoots, and various other light modifiers. Thanks to their high power, COB lights are ideal for photographing larger products or creating more complex lighting setups.

Two photographers on a product photo shoot set



Which Lights Should I Buy for Product Photography?



Option 1 – Low Budget

Quadralite Thea 450 Kit LED panel set
Quadralite Thea 450 Kit LED Panel Set
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A simple yet practical set of two 45W LED panels, complete with stands and a storage bag. The built-in diffuser softens the light, minimizing shadows in the background. This set is ideal for photographing small items such as jewelry, accessories, cosmetics, or small crafts.

You can also purchase the panels individually if you need to expand your setup.

Quadralite Thea 450 LED panel
Quadralite Thea 450 LED Panel
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Option 2 – Medium Budget



Godox SL60IID 5600 K LED COB lamp
Godox SL60IID LED COB Light
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An advanced 60W LED COB light with a constant, neutral white light (5600K). The Bowens mount allows for versatile light modification, making it particularly effective with softboxes. Its higher power makes it ideal for illuminating not only small items but also medium-sized products like clothing or electronics.

This model is sold individually, so you'll need lighting stands and softboxes to complete your setup. Here’s our recommendation:

Quadralite 60x90 Bowens softbox Godox 302 2m lighting stand with thread
Quadralite 60x90 cm Softbox Godox 302 190 cm Stand
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Option 3 – High Budget



Godox LA150D 5600 K LED COB lamp Godox LA200D 5600 K LED COB lamp
Godox LA150D LED COB Light Godox LA200D LED COB Light
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SEE DETAILS

The most powerful options available, the Godox LA150D and LA200D lights offer 150W and 200W of power, respectively, making them ideal for photographing large items, including furniture. With their high light output and constant color temperature (5600K), these lights ensure excellent exposure in every photo. The Bowens mount provides extensive possibilities for light modification.

These lights are also available in ready-made sets that include the Godox SB6090 softbox, Godox 302 stand, and a transport bag.

Godox LA150D K2 LED COB lamp set with softbox stand Godox LA200D K2 LED COB lamp set with softbox stand
Godox LA150D K2
COB LED Light Kit
Godox LA200D K2
COB LED Light Kit
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SEE DETAILS



Why is Photo Editing so Important for Packshots?

Achieving a perfectly white background straight from the camera can be challenging, even with the best lighting. Various factors can make it appear gray, or reveal its texture or wrinkles. Retouching helps correct these imperfections for a clean, professional look. In photo editing programs like Lightroom, or free alternatives such as Darktable or RawTherapee, you can easily adjust exposure, contrast, highlights, and color saturation.

However, you don't need advanced graphic programs to improve your packshots. If you're photographing with a smartphone, many apps offer advanced editing options, including quick background removal. Apps like Snapseed or Pixlr have built-in tools for adjusting exposure, contrast, and brightness. Some apps also offer automatic background removal, speeding up the editing process. With these tools, you can achieve professional-looking packshots that attract customers and boost sales, even without specialist knowledge.

Photographer taking product photo of cosmetics and makeup accessories



Summary

Proper lighting is the foundation of successful product photos. Using LED light, both panels and COB fixtures, allows you to achieve high-quality, evenly lit photos that accurately represent the appearance of the products. Whether you are just starting your adventure with product photography or already have some experience, investing in good lighting will certainly pay off.

Do not be afraid to experiment with different lamp settings and light modifiers. Each product is different and may require a different approach, so it is worth spending time finding optimal solutions. Also, remember the importance of post-production – a perfectly white background and a professional look of the photos often require additional editing.

If you have any questions or need help choosing the right lighting, feel free to contact us. We will find a solution that meets your needs and budget, helping you create professional and attractive product photos.

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