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
Here are some examples of lights and lighting equipment for YouTube:
1. Julius Studio NEW 160 LED 160 Dimmable Ultra High Power Panel Light - $60
This is a powerful LED light panel that can attach right onto your camera. It is extremely portable, which makes it a great option if you are going to be walking with your camera while you shoot. This panel light is also bright enough to be the main light in a stationary setup.
Softboxes create soft, diffused, light and are often used in portrait photography. This LimoStudio kit comes with two daylight light bulbs, two softboxes, and two stands. Setting softboxes up on either side of you will create very even light, which means you may look flat against your background. So, even if you have two softboxes, you will still need to set up a backlight or reflector behind you to help you stand out.
3. Neewer Camera Dimmable Ring Fluorescent Flash Light - $200
A ring light is a circular light you can mount your camera within to get even light on the subject directly in front of it. These types of lights are extremely popular with beauty gurus and makeup vloggers because of how well they illuminate your face.
4. Aputure Amaran AL-528S LED Video Light - $358
This Video Light is a light, thin, panel covered in LED lights. It is powerful enough to be used as a main light and, because it is LED, it has a long lifespan. The Aputure Aramran Video Light is a great option for your main light.
Lighting equipment is an expense that some people do not expect to have when they decide to become vloggers, but it is a worthwhile investment. Youtube is full of badly lit videos and putting just a little effort into lighting will help you stand out. Plus, as you can see from the products listed above, it is possible to light your shots without breaking the bank.