The Ultimate Guide to Using Light Boxes in Food Photography

Food photography requires complete control of the light and backdrop to get high-quality images. However, choosing a background and setting up the lighting can take time and effort. On that note, a lightbox can be your savior, making the photography process easier.

Among the wide range of options available, picking one lightbox for food photography can be confusing. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. 

In this blog, you will learn everything you need to know about a photography lightbox and get recommendations for the top light boxes with their specifications to help you decide which one you should choose for your upcoming food photography. 

What is a Photography Lightbox?

A photography lightbox is a simple photography tool, also known as a light tent or a white box. It is an empty rectangular or square box with five enclosed sides and one open side at the front with an in-built lighting system that illuminates the subject from all sides and gives the images a professional look. 

Why Do You Need a Lightbox for Food Photography?

Numerous photography tools are available these days, and a lightbox is one of them. Since there are many ways to make a setup for food photography, you may wonder if investing in a lightbox would be worthwhile. 

Let’s look at the advantages of a lightbox so you can understand why you need one for food photography.

  • The lights used in a lightbox have the same intensity. As a result, your food items will receive the same amount of light from every angle, ensuring that your subject is evenly lit from all sides. 
  • A lightbox’s inner walls are made of reflective materials to make sure that light reflects from all angles so that the subject receives proper illumination without having any shadows. 
  • The backdrops of a lightbox are of solid colors, with no distracting element. So, naturally, the subject gets all the attention in the composition.
  • Lightboxes have the option to adjust the position of the light source. So, by adjusting the angles of the lights, you can create customized soft shadows of your subject to give a realistic feel to your composition.
  • You won’t need to make arrangements for additional necessary tools like strobe lights, diffusers, reflectors, backdrops, etc., because a lightbox already includes all of these items. 

Light Boxes in Food Photography

These days, there are many different lightboxes to choose from, each with unique characteristics such as material, size, lighting quality, price, and more. So it might be difficult for you to choose the lightbox that’s best for you. 

To assist you, we have put together a list of the top 10 light boxes for food photography. 

1. FOSITAN Photo Light Box

FOSITAN Photo Light Box

The Fositan photo light box can be considered one of the best light boxes for food photography. This light box has all the best features you would need in a light box, such as high-quality light beads with a 95+ CRI that ensure excellent color accuracy without the need for a strobe. Additionally, the four access points allow you to shoot from various angles. 

The 360-degree rotating light panels allow for adjustable light angles to produce unique shadows and textures. Besides, the inner walls contain a diffuser and reflective materials that help make the light softer and  illuminate the setting evenly. Also, it comes with 5 different color backdrops to create a versatile look for your food photography. 

The package contains a 32 inches lightbox, a hand-carry bag for easy transportation, a brightness dimmer to control the intensity of the light, 2 LED light bars, a light diffuser to make the light softer, 5 backdrops, and a user manual to help with the setup. 


  • Material: Paper
  • Light source type: LED
  • Quantity of LEDs:252 pieces
  • Brightness: Max. 13000 LUX
  • Dimension: 32 x 32 x 32 inches
  • Color temperature:3200-5500K(±200K)
  • Rated Voltage: AC 110V or 220V, DC 24V
  • Weight: About 5.2kg
  • Power: 48W
  • CRI: ≥92
  • Color: Black, White
  • Backdrop color: Black, Blue, White, Red, Gray
Efficient lighting systemPossible wrinkles in the fabric
Lightweight, compact, and easily portable
5 colored PVC Backgrounds
Multi-angle shooting
Dimmer for quick brightness adjustment
Diffuses easily and eliminates reflection
Great clarity

2. ALUCAX Portable Photo Studio Light Box 

ALUCAX Portable Photo Studio Light Box 

Alucax portable photo studio lightbox is another trustworthy photography lightbox for food, especially for small food items. This 9.3×9.3×9.0 inch lightbox has a ring LED panel consisting of 64 LED light beads and 3 lighting modes, which are white, soft, and warm lighting. Besides, with the brightness dimmer, you can adjust the intensity of the light from 1% to 100%. 

Besides, the lightbox allows multi-angle shooting such as top-down photography, front angle shots, side angle shots, and many more. Additionally, you have a choice of six different colored backgrounds to go with your food. 

The package contains the lightbox with 1 ring LED panel, 6 colored backdrops, a USB cable, and a dimmer to adjust the intensity of the light.


  • Material: Paper
  • Light source type: LED
  • Lighting mode: 3
  • Quantity of LEDs:64 pieces
  • Dimension: 9.3×9.3×9.0 inch
  • Brightness:6500K white light source-3200K Warm light 
  • Adjustable brightness: 1%-100%
  • Color temperature:6500Kelvin
  • Available Plugs: USB
  • Weight: 0.68 lbs
  • Backdrop color: Black, White, Green, Blue, Red, Orange
6 colored backdropsQuite flimsy
Multi-angle shootingDoesn’t come with USB charger
Dimmer allows quick brightness adjustment
Good for small items
3 lighting modes i.e. white lighting, soft lighting and warm lighting

3. Emart Portable Photo Studio Shooting Tent

Emart Portable Photo Studio Shooting Tent

Emart portable photo studio shooting tent can be one of your favorite photo light boxes for food photography. This polypropylene-made lightbox is durable, waterproof, and wrinkle-free. The lightbox can be shot from the front and top, enabling almost unlimited camera angles. 

The 104 SMD LED chipset having 95+ CRI allows you to take high-quality images. Besides, the dimmer allows for adjusting the intensity of the light from cold to warm to yellow. 

The package contains the 14×16 inches lightbox, 4 different colored backdrops, an 80 inches micro USB cable, and a tripod stand with a smartphone holder. 


  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Light source type: LED
  • Quantity of LEDs:104
  • Dimension: 15.75 x 13.39 x 14.17 inches
  • Color temperature:3200K, 5500K
  • Power option: Charging plug, USB
  • Weight:2.94 pounds
  • LED strip Power: 10W
  • Cord length: 212 cm
  • CRI: 95+
  • Backdrop color: White, Black, Light Blue, Gray
Water resistantPlug might get a bit hot
Tear resistant
Wrinkle free
Multiple camera angles
Quick and easy to assemble
Color temperature adjustment is easy
Top opening allows flat-lay photography
Easy to clean with a damp cloth
Has a mini tripod stand
Reasonable price

4. MyStudio PS5 Portable Studio Lightbox

MyStudio PS5 Portable Studio Lightbox

MyStudio PS5 has a unique design that sets it apart from other studio light boxes available on the market. Unlike other lightboxes with enclosed sides and foldable designs, this one only has a flexible and seamless fluorescent-lit background wrapped around the frame from top to bottom. 

The continuous 5000K fluorescent lighting in the lighting system ensures perfect color without using a flash or other additional lighting. Besides, it comes with 10 different colored backdrop options that will help shoot versatile food images.


  • Light stand material: ABS plastic
  • Background material: Styrene
  • Light source type: Fluorescent
  • Dimension: 24×60 inches
  • Color temperature:5000K
  • Voltage:110V/120V
  • Weight:5.5 pounds
  • Light power: 15W
  • Backdrop color: 10 colors 
Provides daylight quality light1 light may not be sufficient for everyone
10 colored backgrounds availableFrames may seem less sturdy
Voltage converter required for countries using 220V/240V

5. Finnhomy Professional Portable Photo Studio

Finnhomy Professional Portable Photo Studio

If you want a portable photo studio for professional food photography, then the Finnhomy professional lightbox is the one for you. This metal-built lightbox is both lightweight and sturdy, making it durable and easy to carry. It has magnets in both the light bars that help adjust the position of the lights along the metal strips on the lightbox ceiling as needed. 

The lightbox has two flaps, one on the front and the other on the roof, that provide versatile shooting angles such as a 90-degree shot for flat lay photography, a 75-degree shot for drinks, a low angle shot, and many more. Moreover, you can adjust the light’s intensity to the highest or lowest setting necessary using the stepless brightness dimmer knob. 

The package contains a lightbox, five PVC backdrops, two 5500K LED lighting bands, a power adapter, a diffuser, and a carry bag. 


  • Material: Metal
  • Light source type: LED
  • Quantity of LEDs:2 bands
  • Dimension: 16 x 16 x 16 inches
  • Color temperature:5500K
  • Weight:4.51 pounds
  • Color: Black, White
  • Backdrop color: Black, White, Gray, Tan, Red
3-way opening allows multiple shooting angleUsing light softener won’t allow photography from top
Position of LEDs can be adjusted
Tent body is of premium quality
5 PVC backgrounds
Easy installation process
Come with a carry bag for easy transportation

6. Neewer Photo Studio Light Box

Neewer Photo Studio Light Box

Looking for the best photo lightbox for food? Try the Neewer photo studio light box, one of their most successful models to date. This 20 inches foldable and lightweight lightbox is convenient for carrying around. It has 80 LED lights, a CRI of 85+, and a color temperature of at most 6500K, which help to produce a bright and clear image. 

The lightbox is spacious enough to fit regular-sized food items. Besides, the diffused fabric and reflective interior help to spread the light evenly throughout the lightbox and make the light softer to reduce shadows. Moreover, you can shoot from multiple angles, as the front panel can be opened in two ways, and there is a top opening for 90-degree shots. 

The package includes a 20x20x20 inches lightbox, a diffusion cloth, a power adapter, 4 colored backdrops, and a user manual. 


  • Light source type: LED
  • Quantity of LEDs:80
  • Brightness:4000LM 
  • Dimension: 20” x 20” x 20” or 50cm x 50cm x 50cm
  • Folded Storage Size: 20” x 20” x 1.2” or  50cm x 50cm x 3cm
  • Color temperature:6000k – 6500K
  • Weight:8.03 pounds
  • Output power: 2W – 40W (adjustable)
  • CRI: 85+
  • Backdrop color: Black, White, Gray, Orange
Lightweight and compact size enable easy transportationShiny or glossy objects can cause reflection
3 openings allows multiple shooting anglesSuitable only for small objects
Easy set up with the hook-and-loop fasteners
Glare-free illumination
Dimmer allows brightness adjustment from 0% to 100%
Reflective interior and the diffusion cloth can reduce shadows

7. SAMTIAN Portable

SAMTIAN Portable

Another great photo lightbox for food is the Samtian portable lightbox. It has 84 LED lights that provide three times the brightness of other ordinary lights. The high CRI of 95 helps capture the subject’s actual colour. Besides, the inner wall is made of reflective fabric for even lighting.

It also has a dimmer that allows you to adjust the intensity of the light from 10%-100%. In order to meet the demand for flexible shooting angles, it supports both horizontal and vertical shots. Moreover, its versatile design enables shooting with a camcorder, camera, and smartphone.  

The package includes a photo light box, a brightness dimmer, a power adapter, a power cord, 8 backdrops, and a user manual. It also offers a 12-month warranty.  


  • Material: Polyvinyl chloride, Reflective fabric, Paper
  • Light source type: LED
  • Quantity of LEDs:84
  • CRI: ≥95
  • Brightness:2900 lumen
  • Dimension: 17.13 x 17.13 x 17.13 inches or 435 x 435 x 435 mm
  • Color temperature:5500K
  • Rated Voltage:12V
  • Output power: 30W
  • Weight: About 2.68Kg or 3.75 pounds
  • Backdrop color: Black, White, Red, Yellow, Green, Light blue
Easy setup and portableSuitable only for small items
Supports smartphone, camera, and camcordersNot suitable for glossy objects
3 shooting angles
Top hole supports 90-degree shooting or top-down photography
The inner wall’s reflective fabric evenly disperses light
Brightness adjustment dimmer ranges from 10%-100%
Comes with 6 PVC backgrounds & 2 upgrade backgrounds
Easy to store
Backed with 12-month warranty

8. Travor Photo Studio Light Box

Travor Photo Studio Light Box

The 39 inches Travor photo studio lightbox can be your favorite lightbox for photographing cakes. This strong, spacious lightbox can be used to photograph both small and large food items. It has 252 bi-color LED lights with a total brightness of 13000 LM and a 2600–8500K color temperature range. 

The light tent comes with frame tubes that can be assembled easily. The silver film reflective fabric on the inside disperses the light uniformly to avoid casting shadows. Besides, using a diffuser, you can shoot reflective items as well. You can shoot light and dark food items with the four different colored PVC backdrops.

The best feature of this lightbox is that it can be opened from 4 angles, giving you the leverage to shoot from diverse camera angles. Additionally, the light bars can be adjusted, giving you the flexibility to move the light in any direction you need. 

The package includes a photo light box, 8 corner pieces, 12 frame tubes, 4 backdrops, 2 light bars, a brightness dimmer, a diffuser, a power adapter, a manual, and a carry bag. 


  • Material: PVC
  • Light source type: LED
  • Quantity of LEDs:252
  • Average Life of LEDs: 50000 H
  • Brightness: 13000 Lumen
  • Dimension: 39 x 39 x 39 inches or 100x100x100 cm
  • Color temperature: 2600-8500K
  • Input Voltage AC 100-240 V 
  • Weight:17.21 pounds
  • CRI: ≥95
  • Backdrop color: Black, White, Gray, Light blue
Easy setup and portableBlack backdrop is not glare-free
Interior’s reflective silver film spreads light evenly and prevents shadows.
Suitable for both smaller and larger objects
Three velcros hold the background in place
Adjustable light bars allow 360-degree rotation
Aluminum lighting board releases heat faster
Dimming ranges from 0%-100%
Allows 4 shooting angles

9. PULUZ Mini Photo Studio Light Box

PULUZ Mini Photo Studio Light Box

Puluz Mini Photo Studio Lightbox is a good choice to shoot small or flat food items such as pizza, pasta, or soup. The foldable mini lightbox is easy to set up and carry. It has 96 pieces of high-quality LED light beads with a CRI of 95. The inner wall is made of highly reflective fabric to ensure even lighting. 

Another positive aspect of this lightbox is that it comes with 6 double-sided backdrops, giving you 12 color options for use as a background. Besides, the transparent card slot on the platform prevents the backdrop from shifting and keeps it in place. The brightness dimmer offers light control options between 1% and 100%. It also has a soft light cloth to prevent vignettes.

The package contains a photo studio box, 6 dual side color backdrop papers, a soft cloth, a bag, and a manual. 


  • Light source type: LED
  • Quantity of LEDs:96
  • Dimension: 11.5 x 10.94 x 2.05 inches
  • Color temperature:5500 Kelvin
  • Weight: 2.11 pounds
  • Power supply: USB
  • CRI: > 95
  • Color: Black
  • Backdrop: Black & White, Gray & Gold, Green & Brown, Red & Pink, Yellow & Orange, Blue & Purple  
Easy setup and portableSuitable only for small objects
Dimming range 1%-100%
Provides light of near sunlight quality for true color rendering
Soft light cloth prevents vignetting
Inner walls covered with high-reflective materials ensure even lighting
Multi-angle shooting
Backdrops are waterproof and wrinkle resistant
6 double-sided color background papers
Compatible with smartphones and cameras

10. Elviros Professional Light Box

Elviros Professional Light Box

Elviros professional light box is a high-quality and eco-friendly lightbox. It has 2 LED light bands, each consisting of 60 LED light beads that illuminate a super bright light of around 13000 Lumen. This light box for food photography has two shooting views: the front view and the top view.

A heat-resistant, specially woven silver reflector is used in the lightbox to provide uniform brightness while removing harsh shadows and reflective glare. Moreover, it has a light softener to cover the light bands when photographing reflective items, such as shiny dinnerware. 

The package includes a LED power supply of 100V-25V, 2 LED light bands, 8 plastic frame joints, 2 sets of screws, 12 steel bars, a zippered tent body that serves as a reflector, 2 backdrops, a carry bag, a light softener sheet, and a user manual. 


  • Material: Paper
  • Light source type: LED
  • Quantity of Leds:2 bands with 60LEDs each
  • Brightness:13,000 Lumen 
  • Dimension: 16 x 16 x 16 inches
  • Color temperature:5500k
  • Weight:5.5 pounds
  • Rated power: 60W
  • Input voltage: 100V-250V
  • Output voltage: 18V
  • CRI: 82
  • Backdrop color: Black, white
Easy setup and portableSuitable for small objects
Lightsoftner prevents the reflection of glaring object
Two shooting holes allow multi angles shooting
Super bright lights illuminates adequately
Compatible with both smartphones and cameras
Heat-resistant silver reflector spreads light evenly
1-year warranty on all parts
Has a service life of 60,000Hours

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Factors to Consider When Choosing Lightbox for Food Photography

The following are the factors you must consider when selecting a lightbox for food photography. 

1. Size

Food items come in various sizes, such as stacks of pancakes or a multi-tier cake, which would need a large space to take the shot while maintaining a proper depth of field, whereas flat food items like pizza can be shot in a small lightbox. 

So, while selecting a lightbox, think about which type of food photography you are planning to shoot. Depending on that, you can decide on the size of the lightbox that would be compatible with the purpose of your use. 

2. Accessories

Lightboxes come with different accessories, like different color backdrops, soft cloth to use as a diffuser, brightness dimmers, small tripods, and many others. Some offer 2 backdrops, while others may offer more than 10 backdrops. Therefore, it is best to check the package list to confirm which accessories the lightbox comes with. 

3. Color Rendering Index (CRI)

The color rendering index (CRI) of a light source indicates how the light will cause colors to appear. The value of CRI ranges from 0 to 100. The higher the value of CRI, the more natural or true color of the subject will appear. Usually, light sources with a CRI of 80-90 are regarded as good, whereas a CRI of 90-100 is excellent. 

So, while selecting the lightbox, make sure the CRI ranges from 80-100 to capture the food items in their true color. Always keep in mind that the goal of food photography is to make the food items appear appetizing, which can only be accomplished by making the food appear colorful. 

4. Weight

The weight of the lightbox is another major concern. People usually prefer a lightweight lightbox because it is easier to carry around. Small light boxes are therefore most in demand. However, larger light boxes are also essential. Therefore, when buying a large light box, check the carrying system to ensure that you won’t have an issue carrying it due to its weight. 

5.  Lighting

The most essential feature of a light box is its lighting system. The light intensity for your shoot will depend on the number and type of light in each lightbox. So it’s important to check whether the lightbox is using LED bands, ring LEDs, or fluorescent lights. 

Moreover, it’s better to check whether the position of the light is fixed or adjustable. The benefit of adjustable lights is that they allow you to change the direction and position of the light as per your needs.

Food Photography Lighting Tips for the Perfect Setup


How do you use a lightbox when taking photos of food?

Using a lightbox to take food images is very easy. First, you have to set up the lightbox with the backdrop and turn on the light. Then place your food item inside the lightbox and adjust the lighting with the dimmer as per your needs. Later, place the camera on the opening side of the lightbox and shoot the images from your desired angles.

What should I look for in a photography lightbox?

The most important features to consider in a photography lightbox are size, durability, lighting type, CRI value, weight, light intensity adjustment, number of openings for multi-angle shots, and accessories like backdrops, diffuser cloth, etc.

Is a light box worth it?

Yes, using a lightbox is worthwhile because it ensures constant and even lighting and gives the pictures a polished, high-quality appearance.

What material do you use for a light box?

Usually, a lightbox is made of translucent plastic, such as polypropylene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), and paper.

What are the limitations of the light tent?

In a light tent, you won’t have the freedom to move your light source and reflectors, making it difficult to photograph highly reflective objects.


Final Verdict

A lightbox is a useful photography tool for food photographers, restaurant owners, or even food vloggers. If you have a camera and a lightbox, you can take pictures of food regardless of where you are or the lighting you have because the portable photo studio comes with all the equipment you need.

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Amy Grace


Commercial Photographer, Writer

Amy Grace has been engaged in commercial photography for a long time. She has enough proficiency and skill set in photography and has nailed the task up to the mark and has helped a lot of entrepreneurs create a brand. Aside from photography, Amy has passion for travelling.

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