Lighting can easily make or break your video.
From creating different moods in your video (add drama, create a soft-light environment, evoke positive or negative emotions), to turning subpar videos into super professional productions — lighting plays a critical role in the video creation process.
However, it is an aspect of video filming that is often overlooked.
And with so many lighting equipment options out there, it’s hard to know how to choose the setup that meets your company's needs.
Ask yourself these questions before searching for video lighting kits:
- What is your budget?
- Are you working with a professional video team?
- Where do you want to host these videos?
- What kind of videos are you creating?
And so on.
So how do you choose the right lighting kits for your videos?
Let’s find out.
Why light is crucial to make your videos look professional
First things first, why does lighting need to be carefully managed when filming a professional video? Why is light source such an essential part of the video creation process?
The right video lighting setup…
Helps the audience focus on the main element of the video. So from focusing on the interviewee for an interview to the product for a product launch video, it can help highlight elements of your video that you want the audience to focus on. Need help? Check out tips and tricks to enhance your interview lighting setup!
Helps set up a mood for the video: dark atmospheres can create a sense of mystery, while well-lit atmospheres and continuous lighting set a joyful mood.
Amps up the quality of the final video, which impacts the company's branding and notoriety — everything needs to be up to a professional standard!
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The different types of lighting setups
Now depending on your budget and use, there are different types of video equipment you can invest in. Each has its own pros and cons (and expenses) so choose one that suits your needs perfectly.
Starting off with the most basic (and also at times the most flattering - hello, golden hour!) lighting setup - the natural light.
If you’re operating a small business with limited funds, you can use natural light to light your videos. Choose a room with the best possible sunlight coming in (multiple windows will be ideal!).
Now stand (or sit, depending on your video type) next to the window or directly in front of it. Use a reflector to diffuse the light (direct sunlight can often wash you out completely). You can also simply drape a white cloth over your window to soften the harsh sunlight.
Try to shoot during blue hour and magic hour. Blue hour is right after the sun goes down, and magic hour is the hour leading up to the sunset!
Here’s an excellent video to help you get started with natural light.
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Two-point or three-point lighting
If you’re looking to splurge and invest in a proper studio lighting setup, two-point or three-point lighting setups are the way to go.
In a two-point lighting setup, two light sources are usually placed at 45 degree angle from the subject. One of them is your key light, which is the main light used to illuminate the subject, and the second is your fill light which helps to remove harsh shadows on the subject that are created by the key light.
This works great if you’re just starting out with a professional lighting setup.
Here’s an excellent tutorial video to help you understand how a two-point light setup works.
Next up is the three-point lighting setup.
In this setup, along with a key light and a fill light, you also need a back light. It illuminates the subject from behind and adds shape and depth to the video. A back light also separates the subject from the background, adding a three-dimensional effect to the video.
In this video, Think Media walks you through the what and how of three point lighting setup.
The best video lighting kits according to your budget
While natural light is the best option for videographers (or social media video enthusiasts) just starting out, it’s always a good idea to level up and invest in a good lighting set-up.
The best part is there are a lot of different options available for different price ranges.
Let’s discuss some of the best video lighting kits here.
Low budget lighting kits
Fancierstudio Lighting Kit 3 Point Light Kit is an excellent option for businesses on a budget.
For under $50, you can drastically improve the look of your videos with this kit. It also comes with white translucent umbrellas to disperse and diffuse light from the bulb.
Go through the comments section and you’ll see a ton of happy customers.
Medium budget lighting kits
If you can afford to go a little higher, this lighting kit by StudioFX is an excellent option.
With two light stands, 3 softboxes (excellent for controlling the shape and direction of light), 8 fluorescent daylight bulbs, and a carrying bag of great quality, you really can’t go wrong with this.
Another great option for creating professional looking videos on a budget is Neewer Bi-color 660 LED Video Light kit.
It comes with lighting stands, white diffusers (to reduce harsh shadows), 2 Bi-color LED Video (to help adjust the colour temperatures), and a carrying case. The included barndoor light filter gives you more control over the direction of your lighting.
Now if you have a big budget and are looking for the very best all-in-one lighting kit to invest in, you won’t go wrong with this one by ARRI.
That's a wrap
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Great camera lighting is the best to instantly amplify your video quality and ensure a great experience for viewers.