On the blog and vlog today, we're talking all about lighting. What are the lighting technology and techniques you can use to get better looking, better quality, more engaging videos? Watch the video below I created for SEMrush to find out more.
If you don't have any budget at all for any technology your best lighting option is to film outside. Natural light is great because it's free. However, there are issues with natural light in the summer on a bright blue day, you can be bombarded by light and it can be overpowering. Therefore, it is always better to avoid filming the glaring noonday sun in the summertime.
When filming in the winter or on a cloudy day the noonday sun is perfect. The morning and the afternoon time are also good times to film because you're not getting a full-force blast of the sun in your face.
Lighting option 1 - fluorescent kit:
These lighting kits start at around $50. for 2 lights and stands. You'll need two lights, one for each side of the camera.
They are super cheap and they do offer a decent quality of light and a decent quantity of light. They're not that powerful, but they're not overwhelming as well.
They are very easy to use for people who are just starting out in video production and strategy.
The issue with them is there are lots of parts, which means there are also lots of chances to break them and miss-place bits.
Lighting option 2 - LED lighting:
LED lighting kits start at around $100 for 2 lights and 2 stands. You will need 2 lights, 1 for each side of the camera.
LED lighting kits offer very powerful lights for very low energy consumption. They're small, lightweight, and pack up easily. They are more robust than your fluorescent bulbs and there's a lot less to build.
Te better light kits run off mains electric and battery. Which means they are easy to travel a good for location filming.
Lighting Option 3 - Halo / Ring Light:
Halo/ring lighting kits start at $120 for one light. They are used by a lot of makeup artists, fashion bloggers, and bloggers. The ring light is the lighting kit I use the most in my content.
This type of light offers excellent quality light and excellent quantity light. The best ones are dimmable if you buy one that is not dimmable you are wasting your money!
You only need 1 light and stand as the camera sits in the middle of the light.
You have the one light which consistently washes your face with good quality light, and you can actually attach your camera to the center of the lighting stand so you don't need a tripod.
Most Halo/ring lights are mains powered, however, you can buy more expensive halo lighting kits that can run on battery power but they are noticeably more expensive.
Cheaper kits will not be battery-powered, so they will only work indoors, or where you can get a reliable mains supply. We're not talking about specialist mains, we're not talking about insane quantities of voltage. We're talking about normal mains which you can plugin, in any power socket (with the power supply owners permission).
Note: some locations will need your kit to be PAT/safety-tested before you can plug into their mains supply.
Light from behind the camera:
The best practice is to have the light(s) behind the camera because you're wanting your face to be lit. If the lights are behind you you will become silhouetted and dark. Also if the light comes from behind you there's a higher chance of lens flare on the camera, which means it'll be very hard to see you.
To sum up:
Those are your 4 options.
1. Natural light is free but you have no control of it
2. Fluorescent, the cheapest
3. LEDs are easy to use and offer good value
4. Halo/ring light offers extremely good quality and in my personal opinion, if you're doing a lot of piece-to-camera filming, a halo/ring lighting kit is worth every single penny.
If you have any questions get in touch via the comments below.
Best wishes, Dom O'Neill -The Vlogging Guy from Vlogify