What are Watt Seconds and How Many Do You Need?

What are Watt Seconds and How Many Do You Need?


If you’ve ever used studio lights or been in the market to buy some you may have heard the term “watt seconds” (Ws) used in conjunction with strobes. But what the heck does it mean? How do you know if you should buy a 500Ws light or one with more?

In this video, Mark Wallace from Adorama TV explains an often confusing term – watt seconds – and answers the question, “How many watt seconds do I need?”

What are watt seconds?

Now, once you’ve decided on how many watt seconds you need for your shooting environment and style, how will you put it to use? Here are some dPS articles that might help you out:

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Darlene Hildebrandt is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through articles on her site Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Peru (Aug 31st - Sept 13th, 2019), Thailand, and India (Oct 28th - Nov 11th, 2019). To help you at whatever level you're at she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!