How I Light My Videos // Basic Video Lighting Techniques

Welcome to my blog, where I share my knowledge and experience on how to perfectly light your videos. Lighting plays a crucial role in creating a visually stunning video that captivates your audience and conveys your message effectively. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced videographer, this blog aims to provide you with basic video lighting techniques that will elevate the quality of your content. From understanding the importance of natural light to mastering artificial lighting setups, I will guide you through the process of illuminating your videos like a professional. Get ready to enhance your storytelling abilities and bring your videos to life with the right lighting techniques.

How I Light My Videos

Basic Video Lighting Techniques

Video lighting can be complicated, with endless possibilities. However, there are a few simple principles that can help improve the lighting in all of your videos. In this article, I will discuss these principles and show you how I apply them in my own video lighting setup.

Hard Light versus Soft Light

When it comes to lighting, you often hear about hard light and soft light. Hard light refers to a light source with a defined, sharp shadow, while soft light produces shadows with a gradual gradient. The size and distance of the light source determine whether the shadows will be hard or soft.

The larger the light source in comparison to the subject, the softer the light will be. Additionally, the closer the light source is to the subject, the softer the light will appear. Think of the size and distance as interchangeable. A large light source far away will act like a small light source, resulting in harder shadows. The sun is a great example of this. Despite being the largest light source, it still casts hard shadows because of its distance. However, when clouds cover the sun, they act as a smaller light source that spreads the light, creating softer shadows.


Diffusion can be used to soften light further. By adding a layer of diffusion between the light source and the subject, you can create a larger effective light source. Filmmakers and YouTubers often use diffusion, such as the Aperture 120D paired with a light dome, to achieve soft light. Another option is bouncing the light off a larger surface, like a reflector or wall. However, be mindful of the resulting color cast on the subject.

Light Dissipation over Distance

Understanding how light dissipates over distance is crucial to achieving balanced lighting. The closer the light source is to the subject, the brighter the subject will appear. However, the inverse square law states that every time you double the distance between the light source and subject, you lose three-quarters of the light. This means that the light on the front and back objects will differ more the closer the light is to them.

For a face, it’s important to consider the light fall-off from one side to the other or from the front to the back. Moving the light source farther away and adjusting the intensity will result in less rapid light dissipation and more even lighting across the face.

My Lighting Setup

In my videos, I typically use a two-light setup consisting of a key light and a rim light. The key light is the main light used to illuminate the subject, while the rim light provides a nice glow over the shoulder and separates the subject from the background.

For my key light, I currently use the Falcon Eyes Esso 28 TD. I position it as close as possible just off to the right side, slightly above my face, and pointing down. By having the light source close, I achieve a soft yet cinematic look with a touch of drama. While using a larger light source pushed back can also provide the same level of softness, I prefer the closer setup for the desired effect.

Remember, experimenting with different lighting setups is essential to find what works best for your videos. The principles discussed here are just the basics to get you started. Now go out and elevate your video lighting game!

Oh, before I forget, here’s a bonus tip: always remember to adjust your lighting based on the specific needs and mood of your video. Happy filming!

How I Light My Videos | Basic Video Lighting Techniques

Frequently Asked Questions

How I Light My Videos | Basic Video Lighting Techniques

1. Why is proper lighting important for video production?

Proper lighting is crucial for video production as it enhances the overall quality and visual appeal of the video. It helps set the mood, highlights key elements, and ensures clear visibility of the subject matter.

2. What are the key components of basic video lighting setups?

A basic video lighting setup consists of three essential components:

  • Key Light: The primary light source that illuminates the subject and gives shape and depth to the video. It is usually the brightest light in the setup.
  • Fill Light: A secondary light source that balances the shadows created by the key light. It helps reduce contrast and provides more even illumination.
  • Backlight: Positioned behind the subject, it separates the subject from the background and adds depth to the video by creating a subtle rim of light around the subject’s edges.

3. What are some common lighting techniques used in video production?

Popular lighting techniques include:

  1. Three-Point Lighting: Using all three components (key, fill, and backlight) to achieve a well-balanced and professional-looking video.
  2. Rembrandt Lighting: Creating a triangle-shaped highlight on one side of the subject’s face, often seen in portraits, to add drama and depth to the video.
  3. High Key Lighting: Employing bright, even lighting with minimal shadows, often used for a clean and cheerful aesthetic.
  4. Low Key Lighting: Utilizing darker and more dramatic lighting with high contrast, suitable for creating suspense or mystery in the video.

4. What are some tips for achieving good video lighting?

Here are a few tips to help you achieve optimal video lighting:

  • Use natural or artificial light sources strategically to complement the desired mood.
  • Position the lights to avoid harsh shadows or unflattering highlights on the subject.
  • Experiment with different angles and intensities to find the most flattering lighting setup for your video.
  • Consider using light modifiers, such as softboxes or diffusers, to achieve a more even and diffused light source.
  • Regularly review and adjust the lighting setup during filming to ensure consistent quality.

5. What equipment and tools are commonly used for video lighting?

Commonly used equipment and tools for video lighting include:

  • LED or fluorescent lights
  • Light stands and tripods
  • Light modifiers (softboxes, diffusers, reflectors)
  • Gels and filters for color adjustments
  • Bounce cards or reflectors to redirect and soften light
  • Light meters to measure light intensity

Remember, lighting plays a vital role in video production, and experimenting with different techniques and equipment can help you create captivating and professional-looking videos!

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I hope you find useful my article How I Light My Videos // Basic Video Lighting Techniques, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

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