I assume you have to work with a limited budget and want to get good value for little money. If you do have a larger budget, then it makes sense to spend more. And I agree with the recommendation of going with electronic flash instead of continuous light because flash gives you more lumens per dollar, and they can be really small. LED lights are coming as an alternative to traditional continuous lighting, but they are still expensive. So flash is the way to go. With a small amount of money it would be best to buy just ONE light with one modifier and one light stand. It may seem limiting, but it really isn't if you're just starting out. Instead of a strobe that requires AC or a big battery pack go with a portable off-camera flash. Smaller flashes can be had for little money and they work really well. You can buy one used for under $50, get an inexpensive stand and umbrella, together with a remote trigger, and you'll be in business. The Strobist website is a good resource, and you can find a gear guide there as well. One huge advantage of flashes that fit in your pocket is portability and the ability to travel light while still having access to manufactured light.