Lighting is the key to great looking high-quality videos. If you’re currently shooting without lights, buying a low priced kit is a smart investment. If you’re shooting your videos using only ambient lighting in most corporate offices or homes, you’re leaving lots of quality on the table. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get good lighting, but you do need to buy smart and know what you’re getting.
There are two details about lighting you should know before buying or using lighting gear. The first relates to color temperature. The second is CRI (Color Rendering Index). In terms of colour Temperature, lights fall broadly into two main categories – Daylight (5600K) and Tungsten (3200K), however there are many other colour lights too. When choosing your lights you should start with lights all of a similar colour temperature. In terms of CRI, this a is a measure of how accurately a light source renders color. A high CRI rating indicates faithful color rendition. A rating close to or higher than 90 is desirable.
There are four major types of continuous lighting – fluorescent, tungsten, HMI & LED. All can generate great results, so choosing which to use can be determined by budget or personal preference. Fluorescent and LED lights are easy to find in studio lighting and are a cool lights. Tungsten and HMI lights generate lots of heat (hot lights) If you are like me, I run hot lights on cool days to keep me warm when shooting. Tungsten and HMI lights generally have higher output than Fluorescent and LED.
Don’t just use lights for video shoots as Stills Photographers can use Video lights or Continuous lighting in product and still life photography. One of the advantages to this is that you can see what your light is doing in your image before you begin shooting, thus making it easier to adjust your lighting quickly.
What lights to buy
Here is some great lighting gear to shoot videos or even to improve your stills photography. These kits are aimed at starting out with lighting.
Here are a few great options for 2 light continuous lighting kits:
- Flashpoint 2-Light SoftBox Kit, Stands and Carrying Case
- Bescor LED-95DK2 LED Video Light Kit
- JTL 92175 DL-170 Fluorescent Soft Box Kit II with Two 85W CF
Or if you want to start out with a 3 light kit try these:
- Savage Quartz Light Kit, 3x 1000W Fan Cooled Quartz Lights with Softboxes, Stands and Carry Case
- JTL TL-3000 Everlight Kit with 3 Everlights, 3 1000 watt Bulbs, Stands, Soft Boxes & Wheeled Case
- JTL TL-2250 Everlight Softbox Kit with Three Everlight Quartz Units, Softboxes, Stands & Case
So for your next video shoot give lighting a go and see the difference it makes. Remember you will need to see what works and what lighting achieves the mood or feel you want for your video.