I only went and bought some bloomin' strobe lights....
I'd made a list of all the bits and pieces I'd need if I wanted to set up a basic home studio and then thought right, over the next few months I'll put a bit aside and save up.
And then I heard about a complete starter kit on ebay and that plan quickly went out the window. At around £140 this kit wasn't going to break the bank too much. It includes tripods, brollies, 3 flash heads, softboxes, triggers, bag... plenty to get me started.
As far as I can tell the lights are re-badged versions of the Godox Mini Master 180w. For a room about 13 foot square they're plenty bright enough. I can replace the modelling lamp (although I'm barely leaving it on as they get rather hot and there's no cooling fan) but I can't replace the flash bulb. (No need as the whole unit is cheap enough to replace instead).
Nothing fancy. On off buttons for flash and modelling light. A tester button and a turn dial to adjust the flash brightness. I've got a light meter so it's easy enough to test the strength as I turn the dial. They don't have a regular modifier fitting, but I've tested them with a snoot and a bowens/universal adaptor and they work a treat. The tripods are rather light weight for my tastes, but work fine with due care. All in all I'm rather pleased.
I bought them as a starter kit and hope to learn loads over the coming months. Will they last a lifetime? Who knows? Maybe with care and attention.
Are they fun and easy to use? Hell yeah!
Here's a sample of the results from my first week with them, creating dark thriller style imagery for my book cover work:
If you're interested, the lights can be purchased here