Death of Another Giant: Bowens Lighting

Bowens A Historic Photographic Company

If you have been around photography or video for a while you will know the name Bowens. Sadly, like Kodak, Minolta, Mamiya and many others the company is no more. This name has now slide into the annals of photographic history. For 94 years this British lighting manufacturer had been at the forefront of photographic lighting. Studios across the world were often kited out with Bowens flash heads or continuous lighting. As well as the heads, they made numerous lighting accessories such as soft-boxes, cables and stands.

A Brand Sadly Missed

Despite moving manufacturing to China, Bowens struggled to compete with fast moving lighting technology such as LED panels and competition from new leaner companies.

Although their liquidation has yet to be confirmed several independent sources have quoted internal emails and it has been widely reported in the photographic press.

For many years managed photography businesses on cruise ships and Bowens were a staple of the studio set ups. Towards the end of my time aboard however, cheaper Chinese alternatives were becoming the norm, if nowhere near as reliable.

What was your experience of Bowens?

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