According to data from April 2021, TikTok’s billions of users spend nearly an hour and a half on the app every day. Similarly, over on YouTube, all users spend a cumulative daily average of one billion hours watching videos. Certainly, there’s an enamored audience just waiting to watch content on your favorite subject, hobby, or expertise. But reaching those viewers is a whole other story.
If you record and post videos of your own, how can you draw attention to your creations? Great lighting is one of the most effective ways you can create compelling videos, and the best lighting for video recording is within reach for pretty much every creator.
How to light a video
To light any type of scene in your videos, take the following steps:
- Look around. Before you get a fancy video lighting kit, take a look around the space where you’ll be recording videos. How many windows are there? Do these windows have curtains, blinds, or other light-blocking panels? What does this all mean for how natural light will or won’t affect your videos? Then, fill your recording space with light setups that solve any problems you identify.
- Think about brightness and shadows. Light sources with no covers or filters can often (though not always) be too harsh or bright for your video shoot. These lights, known as hard lights, are basically tableside lamps without lampshades. Instead, opt for soft lights, which are any light sources with some sort of cover. These lights are great for illuminating dark corners or walls.
- Position your lights appropriately. Most video lighting pros use three-point lighting to provide high-quality illumination. The three points in this setup are:
- A key light just in front of and to the right of the camera (if you’re looking at the camera from behind, not the front). This light should be the brightest one in your rig.
- A fill light just in front of and to the left of the camera. For good lighting, your fill light’s intensity should be at most half that of the key light so the former doesn’t overpower the latter.
- A backlight just behind and to the right of where the camera is pointing. The fill light should be on one side of the camera, with the key and backlights on the other side. Notably, hard lights can be great backlights, as they provide a bright foundation on which soft key and fill lights can build.
Best lighting for video recording
Now that you know how to light a scene, consider using the below lighting options to make the best videos possible:
1. Ring lighting
If you’ve ever watched Youtube makeup tutorial videos, you’ve seen ring lights in action. That gorgeous halo of light it creates is just one reason why ring lights are among the most popular ways to illuminate the subject -- you -- while filming content.
Ring lights also offer a highly affordable, convenient way to combat the flattening effects common with other studio lights. That’s because, as their name suggests, they’re shaped like rings, and the blank area in the center eliminates shadows. Without these shadows, flattening effects won’t happen, so you’ll face fewer obstacles to fully immersing your viewers in your video experience.
You can use certain ring lights directly on your computer’s webcam. These ring lights are especially easy for great video lighting, as they clip onto your laptop so you can sit in front of your screen and record. Bigger ring lights are also available for larger filming setups. In any size, they’re among the best lights for video recording setups that take your viewers on an awe-inspiring journey.
2. Softbox lights
Softbox lights are among the most accessible types of professional lighting. Although they’re commonly used for Hollywood movie shoots, you can just as easily get them for your own videos. Just set them up to point downward on your shooting space for strong, but not harsh, lighting that makes shadows a thing of the past.
Typically, softbox lights are rectangular, but you can find them in other shapes. These other shapes, which include hexagons, light strips, and curves, don’t necessarily affect the brightness and intensity of the light. They do, however, provide whimsy and excitement that can help make your recording studio a space of comfort, creativity, and celebration.
3. Strip lights
Strip lights are among the most versatile types of video lights. They often come as narrow belts of tiny LED lights with an adhesive backing for easy placement wherever you might see fit. This easy-peel backing makes strip lights a great way to illuminate spaces under cabinets. You can also place them along the periphery of walls or desks or anywhere in your video’s background.
A fun and novel way to use strip lights could be to place your strip lights just under your face but out of view. With their lights pointed upward at you, though, your face will lack any shadows or flatness, and your videos will easily take viewers to another world.
4. LED lighting
LED panels, bulbs, and strips provide ideal lighting for all kinds of videos. They lose far less energy to heat than traditional incandescent and fluorescent lights, so you won’t feel uncomfortably warm as you record your videos. This lack of energy loss also makes for greater energy efficiency that keeps your electric bills lower. And big lighting setups can certainly consume a lot of energy!
The type of LED light best suited for your video depends on what you’re filming. For up-close-and-personal views of your face, LED strips near your face but out of the camera’s view should do the trick. LED panels for your fill, key, and backlights can brighten your room at little cost. LED bulbs work best as minor mood-setting devices, especially if they’re color-changing lights. Other energy-efficient lights, though, go the extra mile in bringing unforgettable moments of wonder to your audience.
5. Star lighting
Star lights are typically laser lights that lose even less energy to heat than LED lights. Laser lights are also brighter and more focused over long distances, so your starry-sky lighting won’t appear blurry or dull. Instead, you’ll find yourself recording under a breathtaking expanse of red, blue, or green stars that transform your space into an interstellar environment you just don’t see every day.
The best part about star lights is that they don’t require big, expensive new light stands or fixtures. The BlissBulb star light, for example, fits in ordinary E26/E27 ceiling fixtures and floor lamps. The StarPort Laser USB plugs right into your laptop for quick, simple starry-sky lighting as you’re recording via webcam. Star lighting is perhaps the easiest way to give your viewers a moment of instant gratification that never entirely ends.
StarPort USB Light
One tiny light. Thousands of stars!
6. Galaxy lighting
Picture this: You’re letting YouTube play you an uninterrupted stream of videos and trusting it to find you the best videos around. Suddenly, you see someone facing the camera and speaking alluringly under gently oscillating nebula clouds and sparkling laser stars. Wouldn’t you want the same thing for your own videos? Surely, the answer is yes – that’s why the original Sky Lite galaxy projector previously went viral on TikTok. And the Sky Lite Evolve is even better.
With the Sky Lite Evolve, you can project nebula clouds -- and infinite possibilities -- from across the rainbow into your entire recording space. And you can do it right from your phone! Just keep your phone slightly out of your camera’s view, at arm’s reach, so you can adjust your colors whenever and however you please. As you film under tranquil, rotating colors and interstellar sights, you’ll shift your viewers’ perspective with just the tap of a screen. There’s no better way to keep your audience invested in your story.
Sky Lite Evolve: Smart Galaxy Projector
The latest evolution in smart galaxy lighting.
BlissLights are among the best lighting for video recording
For pro-quality videos, you’ll need to place your lights appropriately and reckon with color temperature, brightness, shadows, and glare. Once you’ve solved that puzzle, you can make your videos appear especially unforgettable with the wondrous, transportive colors and patterns of BlissLights.Under the color-changing nebulas and stars of BlissLights, seeing your videos will mean believing in the unbelievable. Whatever you have to say, your viewers will be ready to take the journey with you as you reach them from intergalactic, starry expanses. Browse the BlissLights collection now to find the best lighting for your next video – and every one thereafter.
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