My favorite time to take pictures out doors is during a cloudy day. I get great diffused lighting with the sun shining through the clouds. My favorite kind of lighting when shooting in the studio is creating the kind of lighting that I like to shoot outdoors.
In the studio I diffuse the light by shooting through a soft white umbrella; it will soften the detail in a face when shooting portraits. For shooting products, I like to use a studio light tent, this gives me diffused light all around the product and eliminates shadows. You can find some real bargains on a lighting tent on eBay!
If you have a big product to shoot or you must shoot on a bright sunny day, buy some heavy duty white sheets. Figure out a way to build a light tent around your subject and then let the sun shine through the sheets. When photographing the cover of the "Hang 'Em High catalog, the shoot was scheduled outdoors on a very bright sunny day. The lighting was harsh and caused many shadows. I immediately sent my assistant out to buy some white sheets.
Expensive strobes and professional lights are not needed to produce professional photographs. Do not get me wrong, it is nice to have all the fancy equipment, but you absolutely do not need it. I have used construction lighting for years. The yellow tripods with bright 500 watt lamps work very well for photography. Also, halogen bulbs are daylight balanced and perfect for simulating daylight. These bulbs get very hot so you must be very careful. And be sure to take the metal grill off the front of the lamp housing.