Cheap Lighting For YouTube Videos
Many professional and novice YouTubers know that using the right lighting for YouTube videos is a critical aspect that can either make or break their content. If you’re into creating YouTube content, you need to use great lighting when making videos especially if you want your viewers to watch your videos from start to finish. After all, most viewers don’t have the patience to watch contents that have poor lighting quality.
You can make high quality YouTube videos with lighting that is inexpensive. There are some great options that can deliver effective lighting for your videos at a reasonable price.
Why Lighting is Important For YouTube Videos
Lighting is one of the most important factors that can affect the quality of your YouTube videos. Aside from making sure that your subject can be clearly seen, good lighting can also help set the mood and ambiance of your videos. Using a variety of lights with different intensities and tones can help you convey the mood that matches the message of your videos.
Here are three of the top reasons why you should use appropriate lighting with good quality for your YouTube videos:
- It helps create quality videos: Who would want to watch dark and blurry content? If you want to persuade your viewers to watch your videos in full, you need to ensure that your contents are pleasing to the eyes. Using good lighting can help you create high-quality videos.
- It helps the audience feel the right mood and emotion: Using the right type of lighting can give your audience tonal cues. Poor lighting can make a serious scene seem too light. On the other hand, videos that are supposed to be funny can appear too somber when the wrong type of lighting is used.
- It helps the audience look at the right subject: Where do you want your viewers to look? Good lighting can help make your subject stand out. Directing the light on specific subjects can draw the attention of the viewers to the intended spot, making sure that they don’t miss any important detail in your video.
You can use cheap lighting for YouTube videos while still hitting the mark on the three points referenced above.
Types of Video Lighting Setups
There are different lighting setups you can use for your videos depending on your location, the time of the day when you shoot your videos, and your budget. Here are some of the most common lighting setups for YouTube videos:
- Natural lighting: Natural lighting is a technique using natural daylight as your lighting for shooting videos. Most photographers and video professionals use a reflector to bounce back the sunlight and direct it to the intended subject. Natural lighting is one of the cheapest lighting setups for YouTube videos and photography and is best used when shooting outdoors.
- Simple lighting: If you have limited resources, a simple lighting setup can be a good option for shooting indoor videos. With a simple lighting setup, you can use your regular lights for your videos, such as lamps and your existing home lighting.
- Three-point lighting: The three-point lighting is a classic lighting setup commonly used by most professional videographers. This type of lighting can properly illuminate the main subject in your videos.
The three-point lighting combines these three types of light sources:
- Key light – the light that focuses on the main subject in the video, making the subject stand out among other people and objects in the same scene.
- Fill light – a diffused light that is used to fill-in shadows and other dark areas to make the subject clearly stand out.
- Back light – a light that is used to provide a contrast that can separate the subject from its background environment.
Types of Lighting Equipment For YouTube Videos
Having the right set of lighting equipment can help you produce clear, visually pleasing, and engaging videos that will help draw the attention of your viewers and increase the number of your subscribers.
Here are a few basic types of lighting equipment for YouTube videos:
Softbox lights are natural light emulators and are ideal for front lighting. This type of lighting imitates the natural light by using diffusion panels to soften the light and make it look less artificial. They are a great option for softening shadows and lighting up an area. It has a reflective silver or neutral white interior lining that can change the quality of light it produces, depending on your preferences.
Softbox lights produce natural-looking light in a particular area where it is placed. This type of lighting equipment is ideal for indoor video shoots. It’s best for indoor vlogging, product reviews, cooking shows, and other videos that rely on diffused light. Softbox lights can typically cost between $170 to $750, depending on the brand. Cheaper options may also be available.
Click to See Recommended Softbox Lights on Amazon
Ring lights are a smaller, more portable, and usually cheaper type of lighting equipment. Ring lights are popular among beauty and fashion YouTubers. They are a good option if you want to ensure that your subject is well-lighted — they can eliminate shadows and create a halo-looking catchlight in the eyes. Further, ring lights provide a flattering light source for a variety of shooting environments.
Ring lighting is the best option for illuminating faces. This is typically used for beauty vlogs, such as makeup reviews or tutorials. Ring lights should be placed close to the camera at the subject’s face level. Using the ring light on the side of the face can also help create a more dramatic effect. You can buy a ring light for as low as $100. Cheaper and more expensive options are also available, depending on the brand.
Click to See Recommended Ring Lights on Amazon
Umbrella lights are an affordable and portable type of lighting equipment that can provide a broader light source and can cover an entire scene. Umbrella lights have a curved umbrella-like shape that can provide more controlled and directional lighting. Unlike the softbox lights, the umbrella light’s source of light is not boxed in, making it capable of giving any room a good distribution of light.
The two main types of umbrella lights are reflective and shoot-through. A reflective umbrella light has a reflective inner surface that bounces light onto the subject and an opaque outer material that keeps the light from passing through the umbrella. A shoot-through umbrella light is made of translucent white fabric that provides soft lighting to the subject by diffusing the light.
Umbrella lights provide directional lighting, making it a great option if you want to achieve a more polished look to your videos. Using an umbrella light for filming YouTube videos can add dramatic indoor lighting and cast soft shadows on your subject to help set the right mood. Umbrella lights can typically cost between $135 to $160, depending on the brand. There are cheaper options available.
On-Camera LED Lights
On-camera LED lights are square or rectangular and they usually sit on top of your camera to function as a fill light. Some on-camera LED lights can be mounted on stands to create directional and creative lighting. In general, on-camera LED lights are more affordable than other types of lighting equipment.
On-camera LED lights are a good option for on-the-go videos because they can simply attach to your cameras. LED camera lights have hundreds of small light bulbs that work to create even lighting with zero hot spots. On-camera LED lights are the best option for travel vlogging or any type of on-the-go video. You can buy an on-camera LED light for as low as $25 to as high as $500, depending on the brand.
Cheap Lighting Options For YouTube Videos
While natural light is the cheapest lighting option for your YouTube videos, it is not always available, especially if you prefer to shoot indoors or at night. If you want to create dramatic scenes and quality videos, you need to invest in lighting equipment that can provide the right illumination that you need.
Fortunately, there are cheaper options for the types of lighting equipment mentioned above. Here are a few examples of lighting equipment under $100 available in the market today:
- NEEWER CN-216 LED Camcorder Video Light: (Check Price on Amazon)
- RALENO Led Video Light: (Check Price on Amazon)
- UBeesize 10″ Selfie Ring Light with 50″ Extendable Tripod Stand & Flexible Phone Holder: (Check price on Amazon)
- MOUNTDOG 18″ Ring Light Kit 55W Bluetooth LED Ringlight Lighting with Tripod Stand: (Check price on Amazon)
- MOUNTDOG Softbox Lighting Kit Photography Studio Light with 19.7″X27.5″ Reflector and 3 Colors Temperature 45W Bulb with Remote: (Check price on Amazon)
- ESDDI Softbox Led Lighting Kit: (Check price on Amazon)
- RALENO Softbox Photography Lighting Kit 20″X28″: (Check price on Amazon)
- LimoStudio LMS103 Soft Lighting Umbrella Kit: (Check price on Amazon)
- Emart Umbrella Lighting Kit: (Check price on Amazon)
- Neewer Flash Mount Three Umbrellas Kit 33″/84cm: (Check price on Amazon)
Lighting for YouTube Beginners
This cheap lighting option for YouTube beginners is most cost effective and the lights can be used for other purposes. These simply clamp lights are available everywhere and when paired with the light diffusers you see below, they can produce excellent results. We recommend also using LED bulbs that are as bright as possible with a minimum of 2500 lumens. See our article on how to choose a light bulb.
Check pricing on Amazon for the Clamp Lights
Check Pricing on Amazon for the Diffusers
Things to Consider When Choosing a Lighting Equipment
Before buying lighting equipment for your YouTube videos, you need to consider a few important things to ensure that you get the right one.
First, you need to know what type of lighting equipment will work best for the kind of videos that you are creating. For instance, if you are into making beauty vlogs, a ring light may be your best choice. If you are into travel vlogging, then maybe it’s time to invest in a good set of on-camera LED lights. If you are buying an on-camera LED lights, you need to make sure that it is compatible with the camera that you are using.
Aside from lighting, some YouTubers also use other equipment to make their videos look more professional. Choosing the right lens, camera type, reflectors, and flags can also help. You may also need to consider these to ensure that they are all compatible with the type of lighting that you choose.
Most of all, you need to consider your budget. While most high-quality lighting products are pricey, you can find cheap lighting for YouTube videos that can help make your videos look more professional.