You know what might help? I use one of these for challenging lighting situations:
You shoot one frame of the color balancing card in the exact position you are lighting your scene. Then in Lightroom you use that frame to create a lighting profile --- or you can just use it to color balance with the eyedropper tool. It takes some of the mystery out of getting a "neutral" image by making what you see in Lightroom exactly reflect what your camera's sensor saw.
Above images are good, I think your lighting has improved, but overall are too dark. I'm pretty sure if you looked at the histogram of them in LR they would be humped very much to the left side with nothing hitting near white on the right.