Strobes vs. Constant Lighting 💡: Which is Best for You?

One of the most challenging and underappreciated aspects of Photography and Cinematography is lighting, especially when trying to create the highest quality image possible. But what makes lighting such a challenging concept to understand? It’s a skill that  takes time and practice to be able to visualize and understand exactly what is going on. Learning what will happen when you turn a light on and off and how to leverage and shape your light are fundamental skills that can really elevate your photography or videography. But first, let’s explore the basics. 

So what kind of lights are there and how do we choose which one to use? Today we will discuss the first principles to learn when talking about lighting for photography. 

There are two primary types of lighting fixtures to choose from for your photo and video projects; Strobe Lighting and Constant Lighting. 

Strobe lights (or flash lighting) produce pops of light when triggered. These lights will almost always be used solely by photographers. These flashes of light are typically short bursts, less than a second, that are very bright and powerful. These lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes which can be used best for different applications. If you are shooting a live event like a wedding, concert, or group gathering you will most likely need to be mobile and ready to change camera settings quickly depending on your environment. In these cases, a small on camera flash is the perfect way to fill any missing light or add emphasis on your subject. If you are a studio photographer shooting large groups, teams, or locations you will more than likely need larger more powerful flashes to spread the light over larger areas. 

Here are some great options to get you started in flash photography!

Constant lights (or continuous lighting) will provide a variety of different types of light over long periods of time. Much like a light bulb in your home. These lights are also used by photographers but have the most amount of use for video applications. This is due to the fact that constant lights usually don’t produce enough power for photographers who need a fast shutter speed, closed aperture, or outdoor lighting. Keep in mind you will most likely need to have access to a power outlet or other power source to use constant lights while most strobe lights these days are battery powered. 

These continuous lights are extremely versatile and bright, perfect for almost any video occasion!


Now that we have our light picked out we still need a couple pieces of gear before we are ready to shoot. A sturdy stand for your light is essential and you should never trust a cheap and poorly built stand to safely hold your lighting fixtures. There are a variety of light stands with different weight capacities and forms of breakdown. When you are looking at these light stand options, think about what would be the easiest for you to set up your lighting scenarios. Do they need to be mobile and easy to pack up? Heavy and sturdy for complicated studio fixtures? A stand that won’t be knocked over by your kids chasing your dog around the house? We have you covered! We welcome all customers to visit one of our two store locations and see our stand options for yourself!


Depending on the type of image you are trying to create, one of the most difficult yet interesting aspects of lighting is how to shape it. By using light modifiers like Umbrellas, Softboxes, and Domes, to name a few, we have the ability to manipulate the light intensity, spread, and shape over the exact areas we direct. No matter what type of light you use, keep in mind your light fixture will have a specific mounting system that you will need your modifier to match to be able to attach to your light without issue. Stay tuned for future blogs and content throughout the Pixel Connection social space for more lessons on how to use lighting to enhance your photography!


Message or Tag us some of your lighting setups on instagram @thepixelconnection for your chance to be featured on our page! We would love to share your work! Happy shooting!

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