Video Lighting Tips

One of the most important aspects of shooting video is lighting. Achieving the perfect lighting can be tricky though, as filmmakers must consider location, subject, light temperature, and a wide range of products to choose from, among other things. The key to becoming a lighting master is preparation and practice. Read below to learn more.

Prepare for your film shoot

The first step when preparing for a photo or video shoot is scouting your location ahead of time. Take note of the natural light and shadows in the space. Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid natural light because it can change in an instant if a cloud rolls in or something else obstructs the sun. It’s best to have as much control over lighting as possible.


Choose your lighting products

Once you have your location scouted, choose the lighting products that will produce your best shots while staying within your budget. If on a low budget, consider clamp lights that are versatile and can be mounted in a lot of ways. However, they lack dimming control, and will thus create hard light. It’s important to diffuse this light by bouncing it off a wall, ceiling, or reflector, or by using diffusion material.

The higher your budget, the more you will be able to customize and control your lighting. Many LED lights offer built-in lighting effects, a wide color temperature range, digital gels, hue and saturation control, and much more. If you are serious about shooting video, springing for versatile lights is a good idea.

Set up 3-Point Lighting


3-Point Lighting is the most common setup for lighting. It includes a key light, a fill light, and a backlight (sometimes called a hairlight) and is most often used for interviews, promo videos, webinars, and other similar video projects.

  • The key light is the brightest of the three and faces your subject, thus providing the majority of light in the frame.
  • The fill light eliminates shadows created by the key light. It should be less bright than the key light.
  • The backlight separates your subject from the background, which creates depth. Hard light can be used for the backlight because it will not create shadows on your subject.

For more lighting information, check out the Lighting video section on Explora.