I agree with you about monolights although I have never used them. They are expensive and need expensive light stands to hold all the weight of the monolights. With a power block you just plug your lights into it and the block into an electrical receptacle. With monolights you have to plug each monolight into a receptacle and if you are using 3 or 4 lights it can be difficult in someone's house unless of course you bring an extension cord with enough places to plug in all your lights.
Originally Posted by StoneNYC
I recommended Novatrons because you can pick up a used 3 light set for less than $500.00 with case, stands and umbrellas. If you are patient you may even get a set for below $400.00. Now that's cheap! The umbrellas are nice because they both reflect or you can shoot through them. I like umbrellas because they are a lot more compact for shooting in some one's living room than big soft boxes.
I am an amateur and just do this for fun so I have to keep my budget low.