How to Get the Perfect Lighting for Video

Lighting for video: You’ll need lighting if you’re going to record a video since it needs to look decent. In fact, having superb lighting is one of the most crucial aspects of making a successful video—possibly even more crucial than your camera set-up. Even if you may do a lot with a budget camera or even your phone, trying to record a movie in the dark won’t work.

The appropriate lighting aids in establishing the scene’s atmosphere and tone produces a pleasing shot, and ensures that your audience can see what you intend for them too.

A crucial component of video production is lighting. Depending on the type of video you want to film, it might be challenging to get enough light for cameras to generate a high-quality image and create the correct ambiance. Understanding which lighting to use and how to set it up is crucial if you want the appropriate light for your films.

What Sort of Lighting Kit Is Best?

Similar to photographic lighting, the lighting you choose for your video production will probably rely on your budget and the type of material you’re producing. For instance, make-up tutorials sometimes employ ultra-bright LED ring lights to display minute, up-close details, while interviews could make use of soft light or LED panel lights to capture a subject’s likeliness.

For Small Budget: DIY filmmakers without access to or ownership of a lighting system can purchase a few materials to create their own light kit. Shop at a hardware shop for low-cost clamp lights, LED video light panels, or tripod-mounted work lights. You’ll need diffusers or reflectors to lessen the effect of these lighting solutions because they can be harsh and non-dimmable.

Buy inexpensive soft filters to lessen harshness and basic heat-resistant color filters, such as blue gels, to help turn halogen bulbs from yellow to white. To assist in focusing and directing the light, wrap the lamp’s edges in a black wrap or cinefoil.

For Big Budget or Professionals: The greatest choice for seasoned videographers with big budgets is studio lighting equipment. Continuous lighting for video packages with fluorescent bulbs, dimmable bi-color LED light panels, or premium tungsten bulbs are all readily available. You must decide which continuous light would work best for your videography requirements before buying the equipment.

Although strong, tungsten lights heat very quickly. Because they are inexpensive and generate minimal heat, fluorescent lights are a safer option for set lighting. Fluorescent lights are less potent than tungsten, though. LEDs endure a very long time, but if you use different types, you could have shadows. You’ll also need camera light stands, color filters, and diffusers to complete your kit.

Three-Point Lighting

Standard lighting for videos for most straightforward filmmaking is a three-point arrangement. It is performed with three lights, as the name suggests:

  • Key Light: The majority of the light in the photo comes from the key light, which is the brightest. Typically, it is positioned in front of your subject at an angle of around 45 degrees to the right or left.
  • Fill Light: A softer light called a fill light is used to eliminate shadows on a subject’s face. It ought to be placed to the side, across from the key light. The fill light’s intensity is typically around half that of the main light.
  • Backlight: The backlight, also known as the rim light, adds depth and a gentle glow to the backdrop. The device is positioned above and behind the focus (out of the shot)

Webcam Lighting

Your webcam’s lighting setup doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are some pointers:

  1. Ensure that there is enough light. If not, include some! Later in this article, we go through the many types of lighting you may buy.
  2. Check that your face is evenly lighted and free of unwelcome shadows. To achieve this, you might need to move one or more of your light sources.

Try taking photos with a window behind your camera and the light coming from it on your face for a low-cost fix. If it’s possible, using natural light is a fantastic choice. If not, there are several inexpensive ring light configurations that are perfectly enough.

Natural Lighting

Use the sun’s natural light to highlight your scene if you’re filming outside or in a room with a lot of windows. Because of its gentle and attractive golden light, the “golden hour” between the early morning and late evening is a favorite among photographers and filmmakers.

However, relying on natural light has disadvantages.

  • Too much sunlight may produce harsh shadows on your subject.
  • As the weather changes and clouds pass overhead, it likewise moves and changes in intensity.
  • All of these things might have an impact on the light and color quality and make it challenging to get consistent photos.

However, you may use natural light sources for your films with careful preparation and modifications as necessary.

A version of the three-point lighting for video arrangement mentioned above is one that many video producers who employ natural light choose to use. You may position your subject so that the sun serves as the primary source of light while using reflectors to add fill and backlighting.

The subject may also be placed in front of the sun during the golden hour, utilizing it as a backlight, with reflectors supplying the key and fill lights (you simply need to move quickly before the light changes too much).

How to Get the Perfect Lighting for Video?

Step 1: Prep up for the Shoot

Always take a pre-trip inspection of your surroundings. Because the weather may change fast and alter your lighting, take into account the natural light that comes in through the windows and the shadows it casts. That lovely sunshine may go in a second.

Even if it doesn’t go away forever, your lighting might suffer from the sun’s erratic movements as it disappears behind clouds and reappears. Be ready for any modifications or make adjustments to maintain even illumination.

The ideal shooting conditions are those where you have the most power over lighting.

Step 2: Choose the lighting type

Budget-friendly Lighting for video

In the end, the greatest (and cheapest) choice is to shoot in a place that has wonderful natural light. There are many more lighting options available, too, if you don’t have access to natural light or find it to be very unreliable for photographing.

If you go with natural light, ensure sure your face is evenly lit and there are no unwelcome shadows.

  • A couple of different lighting styles should be considered as well. Hard light is defined as light that has no filter. Consider the distinction between a lamp with a lampshade and one with a naked bulb. The light is stronger without the shade, but it may also be unpleasant and throw dark shadows.
  • Diffusion may be improved even on a tight budget and helps disperse light evenly while producing soft light. Therefore, we strongly advise utilizing some sort of diffusing material while dealing with clamp lights.

The High-end Setup

You’ll probably pay as much for one light in the more expensive range of video lighting kit alternatives as you would for an entire mid-range kit.

Many more glitzy features will become available, like wireless control, full-range dimmers, color-changing capabilities, improved diffusion, and greater output.

It’s a good idea to hire these lights first, either locally or online, to make sure they meet your needs before making a complete investment.

It could be worth the increased cost if you regularly capture high-end camera video. But purchasing such pricey lights when something less expensive would do the job is a waste of money unless you have a special need for these finer features.

Step 3: Set up a 3 Point Lighting System

Three-point lighting is the most typical lighting configuration. There are three lights: a key light, a fill light, and a backlight (sometimes known as a “hairlight”).

Image Source: Techsmith

Consider setting the camera at six and placing your subject in the middle of a clock.

  • The main light is about at position four. It should be the light source that illuminates your subject the most out of the three.
  • The main light’s shadows are removed by the fill light, which is set at around eight. In order to avoid flattening out the image due to the fill and key lights being too similar in intensity, your fill should be roughly half as intense as your key.
  • Between one and two, there is a backlight that distinguishes your subject from the backdrop. This adds depth and keeps the photo from seeming flat. As long as there is no diffusion, your backlight may be harsh light, which won’t cast shadows on the subject’s face that the camera can see.
  • Observe your topic through the camera’s lens, experts advise. You will be able to see your lighting just as your visitors would. This viewpoint could make things that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

If you want to create course videos, YouTube videos, demo videos, webinars, and other types of videos, three-point lighting will be quite helpful.


Step 4: Choose Light Color Temperature

Not every light is made equally. On camera, lights might look “warmer” or “cooler” depending on the type of bulb being used. This difference is discernible to the human eye as well.

Think about the contrast between a cozy living room setting and the decor of a doctor’s office (cold fluorescent lighting). Cooler light often has more white or light blue tones, whereas warmer light typically has more yellow.

This idea is known as color temperature, and it may be calculated using the kelvin scale (see image below.)

To maintain uniform coloring in LEDs, the ability to modify color temperature is useful. Mixed temperatures can result in an incorrect color balance, which can produce film that doesn’t appear realistic.

Step 5: Look out for Glare

Particularly with lights that provide harsher, more direct light, glare on glasses may be a significant problem.

You can usually remedy it by adjusting the height of your lights on their supports. If you have a helper, ask them to turn up the lights while you use the camera viewfinder to check that the light is no longer visible through your glasses’ lens.

Try moving your key and fill lights farther away while keeping them roughly equal to one another if increasing the lights doesn’t work.

Your key would be closer to 3:15 in the three-point lighting illustration above, and your fill would be 8:45.

As a last resort, having your subject take off their glasses is usually a good idea, but it’s not always possible, especially if they’re reading from a teleprompter.

Before asking your shooting subject to alter their look for a technical reason, it is advisable to make as many accommodations as you can.

You can read more about lighting here. (Reference – TechSmith)


No matter what sort of video you’re creating, remember that adequate lighting is crucial. The difference between a video that appears amateurish and ugly and one that looks polished and professional may be seen in learning the fundamentals of lighting a scene and purchasing a set of lights. In all honesty, if you overlook this part of creating a video, you’ll come across as a terrible amateur.

Stay tuned with Teachmore to know more about lighting for videos and how to sell courses online.

Thanks for Reading!

Suggested Read: How To Create A Promotional Video For Your Online Course


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