Starting a Youtube channel comes with its challenges, many of which will work out as you progress through trial and error. One test is the ability to create visually appealing videos.
A great way to overcome this is to step up your video lighting game. Knowing good lighting for YouTube videos is essential. Yet with all the lighting options available, which ones are worth your time and money?
Lighting may take a backseat when it seems high priced gear from a camera to editing equipment is all it takes to create great videos. In this article, we talk all about different options for lighting for YouTube videos. We will share a series of budget-friendly lighting accessories and briefly explain an easy lighting setup you can use to improve your videos.
Starting, let us talk about a three-point lighting setup anyone can follow. This setup uses three lights to create a scene pleasing to the viewer. This setup consists of a Key light, Fill light and a Backlight.
The Key light is your leading light. This light will face your subject from a 45-degree angle casting light that will light half of your subject’s face and fall off casting the other half in shadow.
Next is your Fill light, this light directed at the second half of your subjects face in shadow from the Key light. Using your Fill light, you want to take some of the shadows, helping the point of interest have a little more dimension. Your camera position will sit in between these two lights directed at your subject.
Lastly, we have the Backlight, which will light the back of the subject from above, giving the scene more separation from the background.
Types of lights
Now, as we move to the lighting itself with some budget-friendly selections, which for $200 or less, you can search and purchase the best light or set of lights to fit your needs.
First is natural light, which is the best as it makes all skin tones and colors look amazing. Unfortunately, this abundant lighting source can be tricky to access and unpredictable due to cloud cover or other weather conditions.
In a 3-point lighting setup, the natural light would be the Key light, lighting your subject and while using artificial lights or reflectors to fill in the gaps.
When it comes to Softboxes, the best ones replicate Natural light due to their metallic coated insides. Whether they are boxy, cone, or round-shaped, their sheer frosty covers diffuse the glare from the bulbs inside, making the light they give off softer.
This continuous lighting option can come in sets of two to three lights with a tripod for each. Using a tripod and standard covering for lighting may be cumbersome, especially when you have to regularly set them up and break them down. As a result, you may decide to keep them up at all times, so having an added amount of studio space is essential.
In the 3 point lighting system, Softboxes can play all the points, making them very versatile in that sense. Yet as Key lights, they are most deal.
Next, we have umbrella lights. These lights, in combination with another lighting option in the three-point lighting system, make good use in Fill and Backlighting positions.
Also, with Umbrella lights, there is some assembly required, as they also have a tripod stand and the umbrella itself with its reflective silver, white, or shiny gold insides. This lighting works best in a studio where it can be left set up at all times.
Next is Ring lighting. With this type of light, the bulb is a ring and casts a great flood of dimmable light over any subject. This lighting is highly used by Youtubers who create makeup and beauty content, as the Ring light casts a nice and even amount of light over the point of interest.
This advantage is also a disadvantage, as it makes it difficult to use the ring light for other tasks. It floods the scene with light, making it tough to direct it to a specific area. With its options to dim or brighten the light, it can play a role as a strong back or fill light, helping to create separation.
Lastly, we have LED lights. They are affordable, durable, and versatile. LED lights come with numerous and variable options from a dimmer switch, interchangeable gels, a variety of overall sizes and shapes, battery pack or A/C adapter cord, ability to select the color of your lighting, to the ability to attach to your camera or tripod using your primary screw-on connection.
Of all the options we’ve discussed, LED lights have the fewest drawbacks. In a three-point lighting system, LED lights can successfully play all roles effectively due to the number of configurations these lights have.
No matter what type of content you plan on creating, having a reliable lighting system helps you develop a look your viewers will come to enjoy. Furthermore, as you experiment with lighting, you will discover the best set of lights to achieve your desired look. Hopefully, this information has helped you in that endeavor, giving you confidence in creating lighting setups of your own.
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