Best Lighting for YouTube Videos (Lighting is Critical)

Woman under lights for video shoot

Lighting is one of the core elements that can make or break the video quality output. If you have a perfect mic, camera, and frame, but the lighting is off, your entire video will most probably fail to convey the message you want to convey.

Lighting quality sets apart a professional video from an amateur one. It gives your audience the impression that you know what you are doing. Therefore, choosing the lighting according to your setup and content type is very important.

This article explains popular lighting types and reviews the best YouTube lighting options to start a channel.

Lighting is the Key to Great Videos, and This is Why?

Lighting quality is one of the key elements that give videos a professional and polished look which encourages the audience to keep watching.  

Cameras cannot reflect light the same way as human eyes can. Human eyes are developed to see the shadows and highlights of a scene. No matter how good the camera is, it can never perceive the situation in the same way as the human eye does. This is where lighting plays its role.

The quality and intensity of the light you use have a great impact on the audience. It creates a mood that can emphasize your message more. Poor lighting can convert a funny scene into a serious situation or a colorful moment into an ordinary and plain moment.

Types of Lighting You Can Use for YouTube

There are different types of lighting you can use to create professional videos. Once you learn about the difference between them, you can select a setup that suits you the best.

Natural Light

Natural light is one of the most affordable lights while shooting videos. You can shoot beautiful scenes outdoors using the sunlight or moonlight. It is usually hard to control natural light, but you can do it by changing direction or choosing a proper time for shooting.

Artificial Light

Natural light is not always there while recording a video. To tackle this issue, you can use artificial light and brighten up your videos. One way to set up artificial lighting is using the 3-point lighting method.

In this method, the first light is placed to focus on the subject of the video. The second light is placed to focus on the remaining area of the subject. Lastly, the third light is placed at the backside of the subject to give a denser look to the video. It also separates the background from the subject. In some cases, you can also use lamps to shoot a professional video.

Softbox Lighting

Softbox lighting is a perfect option for those who want to use natural window light. It is a directional light that is diffused from lighting sources attached to it. Softbox lighting provides the video with a soft and more defined light.

Umbrella Lights

Umbrella lights are another way to add lighting to your videos. This lighting provides a soft yet natural effect to the video. They are placed at a height on the left or right of the subject to eliminate facial shadows. They also remove the background shadows to give the video a smoother look.

Ring Lights

A ring light is a circular-shaped LED light that is designed to illuminate the subject. It is placed in the front to create an even light around the face. You can place your camera in the center of the ring light to produce a better effect.

LED Lighting

LED lights are becoming common for video shoots. They are portable and easy to handle. You can choose the best LED set up according to your budget and needs. For example, makeup artists need a setup to zoom and brighten up only the face, while interviewers will use the one that focuses on the whole subject.

Most Popular

Apurture 120D ll

It’s an updated version of the original Apurture 120D and is 25% brighter. This new version draws 20 times more power which is great. One major improvement in 120D is putting the ballast and controller into one unit, which creates a defined setup. Its DMX lighting function is a game-changer for YouTubers.

Features

  • Comes with a 6 meters long cable for distant setups
  • In-built lighting effects
  • Accurate color adjustments during videos with CRI rated 96+, and TLCI rated 97+

Pros

  • The handgrip design allows you to adjust light direction while operating the setup
  • Has a high color quality
  • Produces good quality of light

Cons

  • Expensive

Affordable

Godox SL60W

Godox SL60W is a perfect choice for those who don’t like flash. It has a promising color adjusting system. It comes with a wireless dimming control system and has the ability to work with 6 lighting groups. Godox SL60W is a must-have for outdoor setups.

Features

  • CRI greater than 95 and TLCI greater than 90
  • Able to work with 16 channels and 6 lighting groups
  • Smart LCD display panel

Pros

  • Low price for the quality of light it offers
  • The range for light brightness can be adjusted from 10% to 100%
  • Can function in a temperature ranging from 10°C to 100°C

Cons

  • Comes without any case to carry it
  • Fan creates a lot of noise
  • Gets heat-up really soon

Fancierstudio Lighting Kit 2400 Watt

It’s a newly designed professional videography lighting kit. It comes with 2 softboxes for lights and 1 softbox for hair-light. Fancierstudio lighting kit can be used for indoor as well as outdoor settings.  It is compatible with almost all cameras.

Features

  • Comes with one 16-inch x 16-inch and two 16-inch x 24-inch softbox lights
  • Softbox has 3 light stands
  • 12 X 45-watt bulbs for photo and video

Pros

  • Easy-to-carry due to the carrying case
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a number of bulbs

Cons

  • Difficult to assemble
  • Not enough information about its usage in the instruction manual

Professional Video Lighting Umbrella Kit

Smith-Victor KT750LED 2-Light LED Umbrella Kit

Smith-Victor KT750LED 2-Light LED Umbrella Kit is a good option for YouTubers for shooting in studios or locations. It includes 2 high-quality umbrella bulbs, each of 45 watts, which gives high-quality combined output. They have a highly rated CRI.

Smith-Victor KT750LED is a lightweight and easy-to-carry lighting kit. It has a good daylight-balanced color temperature system.

Features

  • 5/8-inch fixture mount
  • Includes 2 bulbs of 45 watts each that produces 375 watts of power
  • Color temperature of 5600k

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Consumes very little energy
  • Easy-to-assemble and use

Cons

  • Does not have a cooling system

Best SoftBox Light

Flashpoint Solo SoftBox Head & Shoulders 320M 1 MonoLight Kit

It is a basic lighting kit that will provide you with almost everything you need for recording YouTube videos. It includes a softbox which is an essential part to create a natural light glow. Its illumination system creates a defined shadow of the subject. The 7-inch flashpoint stand comes in handy when recording outdoors.

Features

  • Includes one flashpoint 320M moonlight,
  • One 24 x 24-inch softbox

Pros

  • A very short recycle-time of less than 1 second
  • Compatible with AC and DC
  • One year warranty

Cons

  • Difficult to set up

Great Ring Light

Fotodiox Selfie Starlite Vlog 18” Bi-Color Dimmable LED Ring Light

Fotodiox is an ideal lighting kit for vloggers, photographers, and videographers. The light is an 18-inch diameter ring with 100W power consumption. It has a lot of color temperature options which makes it suitable for nearly every environment. This LED ring light comes with a mirror so that you can fix yourself before shooting.

Features

  • Has a mounted receiver of 5/8 inch
  • 3200k to 5600k color temperature range
  • 100 watts of power consumption

Pros

  • High-quality lightening at a good price
  • 2 years manufacturing warranty
  • Varied range of color temperatures is suitable for any environment

Cons

  • Does not have a stand
  • Only compatible with AC adaptor
  • A little expensive

Top LED on Camera Light

Core SWX Torch LED Bolt 250 250W On-Camera LED Light

Core SWX Torch LED uses the latest technology to provide you with a light equal to 250 watts using the power of only 13 watts. It enables you to shoot in different environments with a varied range of color temperatures. It can be powered by a Sony L-type battery or a brick battery with a D-tap output. You can manage this lighting with its remote control from a distance of 250 meters.

Features

  • 13W power consumption
  • Color temperature range from 3200k to 5600k
  • Includes a D-tap cable

Pros

  • Varied range of color temperature
  • Long battery life
  • Can control up to 10 lights for one channel

Cons

  • Expensive

Summary

Using the right lighting source is very important as it adds production value to your videos and helps you catch the attention of your audience. Use any of the above-mentioned products to get the look that you want.

Ring lights are gaining popularity for close shots due to their convenience. Fotodiox Selfie Starlite Vlog 18” Bi-Color Dimmable light is one of the valuable ring lights you should consider. If you want a more professional and well-lit look, Smith-Victor KT750LED 2-Light LED Umbrella Kit is your best bet.