"Design is defined by light and shade, and appropriate lighting is enormously important."
~ Albert Hadley
Two weeks ago, I wrote a post called Video Backgrounds That Are Easy to Set Up, and my friend Monique who has recently started her business, commented on the link I provided about lighting. Here is what she said..."I clicked through to the lighting blog but that was way too complicated and confusing for me. I would love a blog on budget lighting options".
So this week's post is inspired by Monique. Thanks for the feedback and request Monique.
The most affordable lighting option to start with is Natural Light. It's free and it's the most flattering light there is. If you have an abundance of natural light in your office or room, and you can video during the day, then go with this. To get even, flat light though, you will need to be facing directly or mostly towards the window. So you have to ensure that the light isn't too bright. Earlier in the mornings and afternoons, the light is softer, so that's an ideal time.
However, we don't all have access to natural light or the perfect office or room set up.
The next step up from natural light is to use man-made lights or lamps. However, avoid using halogen or tungsten bulbs that give off a warm or yellow colour or 'colour temperature'. Conversely, using fluoro lights should also be avoided, as they tend to give off a cool, blue light or 'colour temperature'. Replace them with LED lights. LED lights give off a colour temperature that is closest to natural light.
HOT TIP: If you can, use two lights, so that you get even lighting across your face.
You'll see in the LHS photo below, a two light set-up. The photo on the RHS shows what the spread of lighting is across the man's face. You'll notice that it's nice and flat and even. This is ideal lighting if you want to create live video, webinars, vlogs, instructional videos or any conversational style videos where you or other people are featured and talking.
However, if you only have one light then try to keep the light towards the centre of the subject. And the larger the light source, the better. Again, if you look above, LED lights are being used as the light source. But it's a small light source, so on it's own, it will only light up where it's exactly pointed. To help spread the light, photographic umbrellas are used to help spread the light and illuminate more of the area, including not only the subject's face but his body and also the area in which he's sitting.
The set-up above is a very affordable set-up, but only if you have the space. As you can see above, this set-up does take up some space.
LED Video Lights
So what if you only have a small area in which to work from?
This is where LED video lights come into their fore. They come in different sizes. They emit powerful light, are portable, and you can also increase or decrease the strength of the light, as well as soften (diffuse) it, so it's not so harsh on your face. You will need to place the light on a light stand or tripod.
The next option is also ideal if you only have a small area to work from. Ring lights are one of the most economical, versatile, space-saving lighting options that emit a beautiful soft, flattering light.
The other great thing about ring lights, is not only can you set it up on top of your desk or near it, you can also mount your phone or camera onto the light. And look for a ring light that is dimmable, if you can.
This is a great option for those of you who are either using your phone or a DSLR camera, and will be creating a few different types of conversational videos, such as FB lives, vlogs or video series, and also for those of you who regular host webinars.
So these three lighting options are what I would class as BUDGET LIGHTING OPTIONS, and a great place to kick off your video journey.
However, there is one more lighting option that can't be overlooked. And that's a PHOTOGRAPHY SOFTBOX LIGHTING KIT.
Soft Box Lights
These again do take up a bit of room. But today, you can buy softbox lighting (flattering light) complete with all the lights, stands and backdrops, all together. It's economical and what's great about the kits, is that you can just use one, two or however number of lights you need, or you can use the lights plus the backdrop, if you want to.
DO YOU WEAR GLASSES?
If you wear glasses and you don't want any reflections coming off your glasses, then you will need a different lighting option, other than just placing lights in front of you. You will need more that one light. You have to position the angle of your main light above eye level and angle down toward you, and have it off to the side a little. Then move your second light or fill light to fill in any dark areas. And for you main light source, use a larger sized light source that's nice and soft.
You will then need to test and adjust the position of the light or lights, and then record the video to see whether any reflections appear on your glasses.
I hope these simple and economical lighting options will be a great help to getting you starting with your video journey, or help you along on your journey.
Remember, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me, if you want more information about your particular situation.
Have a great week!
Kerry :) x
*P.S. If you need some help getting starting and you want to start creating your own videos, contact me about my ONLINE or IN-PERSON VIDEO COACHING SERVICES. They're customised just for you and your individual needs and situations.