Great lighting is important if you want people to watch your YouTube videos from start to finish. Viewers want to be able to see you clearly and will click away if they cannot. Natural light works great, and it's cheap, so if it is possible you might want to consider vlogging outside. Of course not every type of vlog is suited to the outdoors.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely you will be able to get good quality light from the lamps and ceiling lights in your home. Floor lamps can be useful for filling shadows or backlighting, but are not usually powerful enough to use as your main light. Natural light is, so one way you can get around needing a lot of lighting equipment is to use a window as your main light. This is not always possible, though. If you are going to vlog from inside your house then there is a good chance you will need to invest in some lighting equipment.
Part 1: Best Types of Lightning Equipment for YouTube Videos
Every video no matter how long or short depends on light, more than anything else. The natural light sources are often not powerful enough to light a scene you're trying to capture, so to avoid having to deal with underexposed footage, the best solution is to use artificial lighting. Even if you want the light in your video to be completely natural, you still have to figure out a way to get rid of shadows, which brings us back to different types of lighting equipment that can be used to increase the quality of the footage you're producing.
1. Softbox Lights
Shooting videos with only natural light will put a lot of challenges in front of you, and the best way to overcome them is to use softbox lights. These natural light emulators mimic the natural light by using diffusion panels to make the light look softer and less artificial.
Softbox lights enable you to direct light to the exact spot in the shot, and they make lighting subjects and particular parts of a scene much easier. Soft boxes are available in all shapes and sizes at very reasonable prices, and they are a standard part of the equipment used for the production of YouTube videos.
2. Umbrella Lights
The newcomers to the world of YouTube video production are going to love using these lights. The umbrella lights provide a much broader source of light than the softbox lights and they are frequently used to light the entire scene. You can also add extra light on the video's subject if you're looking to get a more balanced shot.
They are portable and quite handy if you often shoot on different locations since you can easily pack and carry them to wherever you plan on shooting your next YouTube video.
3. Ring Lights
Although they are most frequently used for fashion and beauty videos, ring lights are a great option whenever you need to make sure that the subjects of the video are perfectly lit. These circular lights have a mount in the center, so the camera's point of view is identical to the direction from which the light is coming from.
Ring lights are powerful enough to provide light for an entire scene, and they also work nicely as a catch or fill light. Some of the most popular YouTubers like Casy Neistat or PewDiePie use ring lights in their videos.
Part 2: What Should Good Lighting Equipment Feature?
Now that you know which types of lights are commonly used on YouTube video sets, you can start looking at models that best fit your demands. There are thousands of different studio lights on the market, but only the best offer features that make the light setup process easier and faster. So before buying your lighting equipment, you should make sure that it has the following features.
1. Adjustable Beam Spread
The equipment you use should allow you to control how wide the light is spreading. This is particularly useful when you want to light just one subject in the shot while keeping the rest in the dark. Lights with an adjustable beam spread give you versatility and enable you to adapt to a wider range of scenes.
2. The Height of the Light Stand
Most lighting kits include stands, but not all stands allow you to change the height at which the light is positioned. This can largely limit your options on the set, which is why you need to check if the stand is adjustable. You'll also want to do a background check on the stand's durability, because low-quality stands may cause damage to the lights and other equipment.
How portable your lighting equipment should be is directly related to the genre of YouTube videos you want to produce. If you are planning on shooting in studio conditions, then portability is not such an important factor, but if you want to shoot at a different location every day then portability becomes something you simply must consider.
Most lightning kits include a number of handy accessories that help you achieve better results. Reflectors, barn doors, diffusers, scrims and mounting accessories are all commonly featured in high-quality lighting kits, and you shouldn't buy a kit that doesn't offer at least some of the accessories we mentioned here.
5. All About Reflectors/Diffusers
White reflectors are used to simply bounce light. Silver reflectors make light a bit colder-looking, and gold reflectors give things a slightly warmer, more glamourous, look. Black and translucent 'reflectors' are not really for bouncing light. The black reflector blocks light, which is useful if you are trying to focus your main light so it is only lighting you and not everything behind you. The translucent reflector is actually a diffuser. Diffusers are usually set up between you and your main light to soften it and make it easier on your eyes.
Reflectors are used to bounce light towards your subject. They are great for filling shadows created by your main light. This reflector is five reflectors in one: silver, gold, black, white and translucent.
Part 3: Best Lights and Lighting Equipment for YouTube Videos
Consumer-level camera sensors are nowhere close to being as sensitive to light as our eyes. So a scene that may look sufficiently lit to our eyes may be too dark for the camera. When you're shooting video indoors, you'll need additional lighting equipment. Here are some of the top seventeen best lighting equipment for YouTubers.
List of the Top 5 Best On-Camera LED Lights
What is an On-Camera LED Light?
On-Camera LED lights are LED lights that can be mounted directly onto your camera's hot/cold shoe (the little bracket on the top of a lot of DSLR cameras). On-camera LED lights are great for on-the-go YouTubers and YouTubers short on recording space because these lights are small and portable.
The Julius Studio 160 LED light not only can be mounted on any digital camera that has a hot/cold shoe, but it can also be mounted on light stands so you can keep the same light setting even if you are moving the camera around. This lighting equipment also comes with four color filters so that you can control the color temperature of your light.
2. Viltrox L116B highest RA CRI95 LED Light Panel
The VILTROX L116B LED light panel is a powerful piece of on-camera lighting equipment. As you can see from the back view of this light panel, you can see how much battery you have left as well as digitally set the color temperature of your light. It also features PWM light adjustment technology that reduces power consumption. As this equipment comes with an AC adapter, you can choose to use this outdoors or indoors.
3. Chromo Inc CI55000230 Macro Ring 48 LED Power Light
If you're looking for an on-camera ring light, Chromo Inc's macro ring light is a great option. This ring light mounts onto the lens of your SLR camera and its power source (two AA batteries) attaches onto your camera's hot/cold shoe. Get that nice looking ring light reflection in your eyes as you film with this portable ring light!
4. Neewer CN-216 216PCS LED Dimmable Ultra High Power Panel
The Neewer 216 PCS LED dimmable light panel is a powerful lighting equipment at a cheap price. You can adjust the color temperature of this light from 3200K up 5400K. This piece of equipment is only battery powered, but you do have the option to either use six AA batteries or specific Sony NP series batteries or Panasonic CGR-D16S rechargeable batteries.
This light is Neewer's cheaper version of the CN-216. Instead of having 216 LED light bulbs, this light has 160 LED light bulbs. Other than the number of light bulbs, the two light panels are pretty much the same.
List of the Top 5 Best LED Ring Lights
LED ring lights are called ring lights because of their ring-like shape. The opening in the ring allows you to position your camera right in the center of this lighting equipment. These lights are great if you don't have a lot of space.
The Diva ring light is a great ring light for divas, make-up artist, and anyone else wanting to look good right in front of the camera! This LED ring light has a dimming knob so that you can adjust the brightness of your light. It also comes with a cloth for you to diffuse your light (so that your light will be softer) and a gooseneck and z-bracket attachment if you want to use your camera and ring light with just one tripod.
The Prismatic Halo ring light is another great ring light option. It comes with a canvas travel bag, making it easier to store away or take around with you. The 110-120 VAC, 5400K light bulb produces light that can be dimmed as well. The Prismatic Halo Ring kit doesn't include a light stand.
The 18-inch light ring uses a fluorescent light. In addition, this kit includes a 59-inch light stand as well as white and orange filters and a hot shoe adapter that extends the capabilities of this affordable LED ring light kit.
With 300 pcs LED and 150 yellow color and 150 white color lights, FalconEyes DVR-300 is one of the best ring lights currently available on the market. It also features two control dials that enable you to adjust the color of the light the device produces and a white diffuser that makes the light softer.
The 10-inch inner rim diameter may seem small when compared with larger ring lights that offer more room to operate. The Neewer Camera Ring Light is undimmable and has 50W power. The ring light uses an AC adapter, which makes it difficult to use when filming outside of a studio.
List of the Top 2 Best Softbox Video Lights
A softbox is commonly used by photographers and videographers to simulate natural light. This effect is achieved with the aid of diffusion panel that is placed around the light source that produces continuous light. Softboxes are often less expensive than other professional lighting equipment which makes them a great option if you are working on a budget.
This lighting system contains two 16x24-inch softboxes and an overhead hair light boom softbox. The stands for all three softboxes are included in the kit. Each lighthead is capable of holding up to four bulbs.
This is a standard light setup you want to use when recording interviews, product reviews or vlogs. It contains two 16x24-inch and one 16x16-inch softbox lights that all have their own stands. Each lighthead can hold four 5500K fluorescent or daylight bulbs that are perfectly suited for work in studio conditions.
List of the Top 5 Best Umbrella Video Lights
Unlike ring lights or softboxes that provide directional light, the umbrella video lights basically bounce the light off a reflecting surface onto a subject and enables you to get a more balanced light in your videos. They are often combined with other lighting equipment to create natural scenes without hard shadows.
In addition to three lamps (two white umbrellas with 86-inch light stands and one 28-inch light stand), this kit also comes with three 45W CFL bulbs. The lamps can be tilted upward or downward, so you can find the best light position for your shot. The 9-foot cords can be used with standard 110/120V USA sockets.
Besides featuring two umbrellas and two softboxes, this kit also includes a 6x9 feet background that is perfectly suited for video production in a home-based studio. This umbrella kit uses 45W bulbs that generate natural light and have an approximate color value of 5500K. However, both umbrellas and softboxes can hold just one bulb.
Chances are that you won't need much more than what this photo/video kit has to offer. Emart's 600W kit includes two white and two black/silver 33-inch umbrellas as well as two 83-inch light stands and a smaller 33-inch light stand. The heavy duty carry case can store the entire kit.
The Linco 600W continous lighting kit contains two white translucent umbrellas that generate soft light, which is quite useful if you want to get even skin tones in your videos. The kit has three lamps that use 5500K 40W bulbs and light stands you can easily carry to any filming location.
The greatest advantage of this Emart 1575 W Lightning kit are the three pairs of 33-inch diameter translucent/white, black/silver and black/gold umbrellas. The 105W daylight bulbs provide enough light to work even under the most difficult light conditions, while the lightweight stands enable you to use this kit outside of your studio.
Besides the best lighting equipment, we have also summarized some tips and tricks for lightning, you should check it as well. If you find the video lighting isn’t good after recording the video, you can still improve it by adjusting brightness in post production. Wondershare Filmora video editor features the Auto enhance feature, which can adjust the video color and brightness with one click. You can download the free trial to try out.
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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