Entry Level Light Kit


Well-known member
What is a good entry level light kit for someone who is still shooting news but is also looking toward the future (possibly freelancing)? I'm looking at the Lowel Omni-2 Light Kit at BH (around $500.) Its a lot cheaper than the other light kits, is this someting too good to be true?


I have always been very happy with Lowell lights. I think the most important thing to consider when buying a kit is what you are most likely to be lighting. For me, its usually interviews or live shots. With this in mind, I would rather work with only one omni and have a tota or pro-light than two omnis. (Though I do have the benefit of a 1k for live shots in our trucks.) This gives me more variability when setting up fill or back lights. I would recommend cosidering some of the other options for a hundred or two more that include three lights. If you do decide to go with the two omni kit, you might consider investing in or building your own dimmer. I hope this helps. Good luck!


PRO user
Omnis are great and versatile lights.Very rugged and lightweight.One thing I like is that everything on them has a part number and they are simple for the average person to repair,if necessary.They fold up compactly and protect the dichroic filter (expensive to replace if broken)Even when you move on to more sophisticated lights,you will always find a use for these guys.


Well-known member
Although I own quite a few open faced lights, I would recommend getting some fresnels. Much more control, but more expensive.


Well-known member
Poor man lighting

There are ways to spend very little and still get good results, as long as you don’t care about your gear looking true professional. The result will be better than what you get from a $500 light kit.

This set-up can be done with 3 lights, although the lights shown are a bit more expensive, they can be substituted with something very cheap and still get good results. Buy a shop light at Walmart or Home depot for about $40, also buy black foil to contain spills; or you can buy a Lowel Omni open face light for about $150.00. Shine the light thru a one stop silk, there are many available on the market but if you are really short on cash you can make your own by building a frame out of 1x2 wood strips. Stretch and staple shower curtain material, either white opaque or frosted on the wood frame. This will be you key light, just make sure that you keep the light at least two feet away from the frame. Buy two Lowel Pro light, one for hair and one for background, with accessories they are about $160 each. For fill buy a large sheet of white foamcore, add few inexpensive or used stands and you can be in business for about $600.00

Build you own lightweight boom arm by attaching a 3 foot long lightweight aluminum tube to a standard grip head. The tube can be purchased at any hardware store.

For counterweight use any type of bag as a replacement for sandbags, put inside the bag your extra batteries, grab some rocks from outside or whatever else you have then tie the bag to the bottom of the stand.


Well-known member
Cool, thanks for the help

Thanks for all the help. I'm trying to throw together a jerry rigged light kit and down the road I'll look into buying one from one of the pro-light companies. My chief has also suggested going to music stores and looking at drum stands to use as auxillary/light stands.
Don't cheat yourself when it comes to lights. If you're willing to spend $500 on Lowel Omni's and actually want to 'build' a package, spend $600 instead on Arri's. B&H sells the Arri Fresnel 300w and 650w for around $300 each. There is no reason to settle for less if you want quality, light control, and a package suitable for future freelance work. If you're trying to throw 1000W of light around, chances are you don't need much control and a cheaper open face will suffice (your station's). A good fresnel 600w/300w combo will go a long, long way.


Well-known member
Spend your money where it will benefit you the most. If it's going in a Chimera or other softbox, buy inexpensive Omni's or the like and save your money for fresnels(Arri's) to "paint" with... I just put together a "run&gun" light kit for the times I'm not doing "big" sit-downs and don't want to load in all of my cases. I spent about $2300. It consists of 2 omni's(one lamped at 500 watts, one at 300) for key and hair lights; an Arri 650; an Arri 150; 2 XS Chimera's(Video Pro +); 40 degree eggcrates and stands. By the time you throw in lamps, dimmers, some grip and other neccessities, you're looking at $2500-$2800. And it ALL fits into ONE case...