Choosing artificial lighting and a product review of the FlashPoint 1220m monolight

Flashpoint 1220 review by BreAna L Cannon – Guest Contributor With the growing popularity of off camera lighting and home studios, many companies are offering artificial lighting systems to fit […]

Flashpoint 1220 review

by BreAna L Cannon – Guest Contributor

With the growing popularity of off camera lighting and home studios, many companies are offering artificial lighting systems to fit almost any need and budget. You have the choice of continuous lighting, speed lights and strobe lights. Each of these options have their own advantages and drawbacks. To choose which is right for you, you have to ask yourself a few questions. Where will I mostly be using them. Will they be used mainly in a studio setting or on location? Will I have a power source to power them? What kind or results do I want to produce? There is more, but in this article, I will only touch on these points.

One of the most important things is that you will need to know if you will have electricity. If you are photographing a location where there is no electricity, you will need an alternative power supply. This is where either speedlights or strobes with the ability to be powered by an external battery pack would be the obvious choice. I think the main advantage of choosing speedlights in this scenario would be their compact size. They are small, can be triggered with remote triggers and have and have a growing choice of light modifiers. Your other option are monolights (with the ability to be powered off of battery power). Monolights are studio strobes which are self contained. In other words, you will not need an external control / power source. The controls are on the individual units. These are my personal choice. They have everything you would get in a speed light, but has more power, give a better light quality, have a larger choice of light modifiers and give you a lot more control of your lighting. These have the ability to be used on location, whether or not there is electricity there. Their downside is, they are heavier than most speedlights and can be a bit cumbersome if you have to carry them a long way to get to your location. You can compare the two options and decide which has the best qualities for your needs. I have to add, if you are thinking of the monolights, make sure you are getting ones that are able to be powered with a battery pack. There are many that do not have this ability.

Continuous lighting for the most part will give you a “what you see is what you get” photo. There is no real light control on any that I know of and the only way to change your light power is to manually twist off or on the bulbs. Their only controls are “on and off”. (Disclaimer, if there are any continuous lighting set-ups which do have light dimming controls, please feel free to correct me).

I am including a product review of the lighting set-up which I use. These are for the most part a prosumer set-up. Although they do not offer all of the same bells and whistles as the more expensive brands, such as faster recycle time, color temperature accuracy etc, their functions and features are more than enough to start a small studio They did everything I needed and at a fraction of the price, buying them was a no brainer.

Flashpoint 1220M review

Good Color Value,
Attaches Securely,
Affordable Quality,


Heavy to transport


Best Uses:
Low Light,
Night Time,
General Use

I was looking for a set of monolights I could use both indoors and on location without an electrical outlet. I had a limited budget, so after reading many reviews, I narrowed my choices to FlashPoint (sold only by Adorama), and Alien Bee. Both had very good reviews and both edged the other in different categories. For personal reasons only, and knowing I could return them if they didn’t meet my expectations, I decided to give the FlashPoint 600ws 1220M’s a try. I received them a few days after ordering them and was pleasantly surprised when I opened the boxes. I first noticed, the bodies are metal and they were built very sturdy. I ordered mine with the 9′ Heavy Duty light stands, and they felt more than sufficient. They were very easy to set up and break down. The controls are very user friendly and well marked. The audible ready indicator is nice and the recycle time was good. I fire mine with Pocket Wizards, but you can purchase a less expensive set of FlashPoint triggers, which I heard good things about. Using only the included umbrellas, they produced great lighting results. 


Although I didn’t feel an urgent need to run out and do so, I have since purchased softboxes and other modifiers to broaden my lighting options. The batteries charged nicely and were very reliable. I guess, if I had to give a downside, it would be that, transporting two monolights, two battery packs, two light stands, reflectors, umbrellas and cords, in the included FlashPoint carrying case, is a little heavy. This is a small sacrifice though, to get a heavy duty well built portable studio lighting set with batteries. The named items come as a set (one item each), called the Portrait Wedding Kit for $499. ( This is about the cost of a good Canon or Nikon speedlight. I am about to order my third monolight now.

flashpoint 1220

Bottom line, I am very happy with the $299, FlashPoint 1220M ( and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a great monolight at an affordable price.


BreAna L Cannon


LunaStar Photographic Memories


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