Best Lighting for YouTube Videos

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Table of Contents


No matter how long or short, the quality of the video depends on the light and is more important than anything else. Natural light sources are usually not strong enough to illuminate the scene you want to capture, so to avoid processing underexposed material, the best way is to use artificial lighting. Even if you want the light in the film to be completely natural, you still need to find a way to eliminate the shadows, which will bring us back to various lighting equipment that can be used to improve the quality of the recording.

Often in home studios creating content can be very difficult because you have to take care of all aspects of the production, including composition, recording of good sound, lighting of the stage, and natural look on the camera. Because lighting can be particularly difficult and confusing, here is the guide and some of the best artificial light products that can make your life easier.

Before that, if you are looking for lighting for streaming instead, be sure to check out our guide on that.

Also Read: – Best Camera for Live Streaming


How Does The Selection of Lighting Impact Your YouTube Videos?


YouTube videos are the trendiest way of getting attention to your product or service – and for most people, to the message that they want to share with the world. The right selection of lighting, blended with an accurate environment, can render a great impact. Not only does the use of good lighting products make your video look professional, but it also entices your audience to continue watching. 

The selection of a good source of lighting depends majorly on the niche that you are creating the YouTube videos for. If you are going to record a video for makeup tutorials, bold white lighting is essential for the viewer to understand the colors blends and techniques well. Similarly, if you are looking to create corporate training videos of YouTube, then you would need to use cool-toned lighting. 


Factors That Impact A YouTube Video


Professional YouTubers know that you need to play with the lighting to create an atmosphere that matches your message. Different lighting styles and light intensities, when used appropriately, have the ability to give the viewers the necessary vibes to make the video messages more effective. 

Good lighting attracts the audience. Contrast lighting can make people or objects stand out. Here are some other factors that need to be taken into account before you decide on a lighting choice:


• Camera and Light Sensibility Issues


Generally, people assume that there might be something wrong with their camera equipment when the ultimate purpose of the camera sensors is to capture the image. The camera sensors provide very little help for the light effects. When shooting with the dark surroundings, the camera increases the sensitivity of the sensor itself, resulting in bad quality image results. The proper lighting sources address this basic issue. Therefore, you should start by studying more about the types of lighting that would add more value to the surrounding you are choosing for your video shoot.


• Day or Night videography


You need to analyze your YouTube content first so that you can choose the timing of the day to shoot for it. There are different aspects of shooting videos at day and night times and the YouTube video quality shall depend on it. If you want to have bright and sharp videos, then daytime should be preferred. For some videos where you need to portray a calm and quiet gesture, you should prefer shooting at night time.


• Indoor vs. Outdoor


Location is another significant factor that determines the production quality of your YouTube videos. For instance, if you desire to create a video outdoors, then you need to choose the lighting equipment that would help you to control the shadows and would balance the hues. For indoor videos, you need to have some additional light sources set up in your studio, to help you shoot the video in both day and night light effects. 


Types of Lighting Used By YouTubers


It is a fact that you cannot compare natural light with any other source of light; it can create an amazing impact on your recording quality. However, considering the amount of videos you are required to produce on a daily basis, you cannot keep the recording subjected to one time of the day. 

Therefore, you need to explore the artificial sources of light as well. Here, we have discussed different sources of light in detail. Understanding these types of lights can benefit you in the process of choosing the best lighting equipment for your studio. 


• Natural Light


Natural light can always help you in achieving beautiful results without costing you anything. However, natural light cannot be controlled. Also, during some days you will have a lot of difficulties due to weather conditions and clouds.


Artificial Lights


The cons of natural light are easily managed by using artificial sources of light. The significant benefit of an artificial source is that you can control the environment. You can shoot at day or night and outdoors or indoors. There are various synthetic lighting products to cater to your specific requirements, from simple setups to complex ones. 


What Type of Lighting Do Youtubers Use?


There are various types of artificial lighting products available in the market. Each one of them is used for a different set of YouTube video requirements. Let us go through them quickly and you will be able to decide the perfect lighting equipment as per your requirements.


1. Softbox Lights 


The softbox lights only imitate natural light from its source, a bulb, by transmitting it through a diffusion panel. With a softbox, you can control light ruggedness so that your videos look as per your needs.

Producing quality content through a softbox is not as easy, and you may need some practice initially before creating perfect quality YouTube videos. Softbox lights are cheaper than the other artificial light sources and are most favored by the beginners.

You may want to look at a few products to understand what they offer to your lighting requirements using the softbox lights.


Recommended Products:


a) Smith-Victor 2500-Watt Pro Softbox Three Light Kit

Smith-Victor 2500-Watt Pro Softbox Three Light Kit


The Smith-Victor 2500-Watt Pro is a professional grade softbox that uses various varieties of halogen lamps. The light source is heat-resistant, and it allows the users to have a continuous diffusion of light. It comes with 10-inch stands, two 1000-Watt, and one 500-Watt quartz lamp. 


b) JS Julius Studio [2-Set] Softbox Lighting Kit

JS Julius Studio [2-Set] Softbox Lighting Kit


If you are trying to look for very decent quality equipment, then JS Julius Studio is the best solution. You will have to assemble the product first, but it is perfect for usage as a permanent setup. It contains a softbox and a 5-socket lighting adapter so you can use five bulbs separately to control the diffused light. 

The softbox has a silver-colored sheet that helps to transfuse maximum light from the source. It comes with an energy-saving spiral bulb with a total output of 2000W, and it saves almost 80% of the energy. The stand and a double pouch water-resistant carry-bag also come in the package.


2. Umbrella Lights 


Umbrella lights are a lot easier to use than a softbox. Additionally, the light output is also softer as compared to other softboxes. And it also gives you more control over the light – you can adjust the direction of light easily as per your needs. They are portable and affordable, as well.

Given there are two types of umbrella lights, reflective and shoot-through umbrellas, you need the shoot-through umbrella for YouTube videos. Shoot-through umbrellas are made up of white and translucent fabric through which controlled light output is achieved.

Here are some more products for your better understanding.


Recommended Products:


a) Slow Dolphin Photography Photo Video Studio

Slow Dolphin Photography Photo Video Studio


Slow Dolphin Photography Photo Video Studio is categorized under Amazon’s Choice, and it is an Umbrella kit that also comes with a backdrop. 

There are two translucent umbrellas, two backdrops (black/white), and two background clamps in the lighting equipment. The transmitted light is a close match to the natural light with a brighter view. The reflector is made up of high-quality nylon. It comes with a fluorescent spiral bulb that saves energy up to 85%. It supports every level of user and can be used for professional shoots as well. 


b) LimoStudio Continuous Umbrella Lighting Kit

LimoStudio Continuous Umbrella Lighting Kit

LimoStudio offers a continuous lighting umbrella lighting kit that comes with two umbrellas, a tall light stand, a 45W 6500K light bulb, and a convenient carry bag. The umbrellas are made up of high-quality nylon, and the light bulb is daylight balanced – the combination offers the perfect light diffusion and streams evenly to your object.


3. Ring Lights 


The most favorite artificial light source among the YouTubers is a ring light. 

It is a spherical light that comes in various sizes, so you can either fit it around a camera’s lens or simply shoot through it if it is a large one. Since the light originates from a close area of the lens, the shadows are very minimum. Due to the round shape of the light sources, even light is diffused on the object, making it look much brighter. 

The most common advantage of the ring light is that it highlights the details of the object. Ring lights are inexpensive, portable, and can produce balanced yet powerful lighting for video content. There is one more benefit with ring lights – if you have a big one, you can replace the white bulbs with color ones. This will allow you special video effects that are produced by a ring light.

You can check the below-listed ring lights as per your requirements.


Recommended Products:


a) VILTROX Ring Light Kit

VILTROX Ring Light Kit


This 18-inch ring light has a unique spherical shape, and as a nature of the product, it offers a very soft look of light and minimizes the shadows efficiently. It allows you to create the best and professional quality YouTube videos. 

It comes with a flexible phone holder, a power adapter, and a portable light stand with a carrying case. One of the product’s best features is the wireless remote that allows you to control the settings remotely.


b) Torjim 18″ Ring Light with Stand

Torjim 18


This is one of the best circle lights offered by Torjim for the best quality YouTube videos. It has 18” 50W ring light with a 72 inches light stand. The ring light can be rotated 180 degrees vertically and 360 degrees horizontally. 

It offers color temperature adjustment between 3000K to 6000K to adjust between warm and cool light. The flexible phone holder allows us to improve horizontal and vertical screens of all sorts of smartphones.  


4. LED (on-camera) Lights 


In comparison to other sources of artificial light, the LED light is battery-operated and much smaller in size – hence offering the YouTubers the facility to carry them along comfortably. These are generally attached to the camera stand so that they provide continuous lighting for videos.

Most YouTubers prefer LED light to be used as the primary source of light for their videos. But you can additionally use reflectors and diffusers to get classy results. 

Some of the available options for LED on-camera lights are described below.


Recommended Products:


a) Sony LED Battery Video Light HVLLE1

Sony LED Battery Video Light HVLLE1


The Sony LED Battery Video Light HVLLE1 is the best option to use on the camcorders and digital cameras to get perfect lighting videos. 4 batteries power this product, and it shows the battery indicator as well. It is shipped with a diffuser, Alpha and ISO shoe adaptors, and color conversion filter.

Since it is just a video light hence, it can be used on any camcorder or camera. This is a very powerful yet lightweight LED light.


b) RALENO LED Video Soft Light Panel

RALENO LED Video Soft Light Panel


If you want to create the best YouTube videos, then RALENO LED Video Soft Light Panel is the perfect option. It offers easy installation and broad compatibility with camcorders, DSLR cameras, and light stands. 

It is a fragile light and can be carried anywhere due to portability. It has a built-in battery that can work for a maximum of 120 minutes. The light position is easily adjustable to let the light stream be directed towards the desired object.


How To Use Your Lighting Equipment?


The perfect lighting conditions do not come with the application of any single type of lighting source; instead, an ideal lighting setup or a combination of lighting sources is required to create the best quality YouTube videos.

The main aspects to be kept in mind while selecting a lighting source are the adjustability of light direction, stand height of the setup, and finally, the portability of the structure. You may need to analyze your requirements so that you can create a perfect combination.

Now it is apparent that the products have a set of different artificial lights combined to get a realistic and ideal result. But the trickiest part is how to use the setup. For this, you need to understand the basics of the best lighting setup; it comprises: a key light, fill light, and background light. 

  • Key Light – it is the primary light source of the lighting equipment, and therefore it is required to be the most powerful one. You need to check for your nature of videos that you intend to create, and then it would be a lot easier for you to decide about the principal light source of your kit.
  • Fill light – it gives a more diffused lighting effect to the key light. Generally, the key light generates shadows as well. Sometimes they are cool. Sometimes they look so absurd that you cannot stand the video quality yourself. In the latter scenario, you need strong light diffusion so that the shadows appear natural, thus creating a softer quality of light.
  • Background Light – The purpose of background light is to give focal attention to the main object. If you want the object to appear a bit brighter, then your object should not be at the background of lighting; instead, you should direct the background light on the background of the object. However, if you need your object to appear with highlights and separate from the background, then you must place the light behind the object directing towards the object.
  • Shadow Management – Shadows always come, and there is nothing you can do to avoid it. What you can do is to control the shadow effects. There are many reasons for the creation of additional shadows, including the lighting kits, the intensity of light, the distance between the lighting and the object, additional lights, natural light sources, etc.


To Sum it Up…


Creating professional YouTube lighting for high-quality videos is not as difficult as you think. Here are some other tips to help you make the most of your video:

  • Get rid of all shadows on the subject’s face to get a professional look.
  • Take some time to prepare the photos and prepare all the lighting before you start.
  • Look for glasses glare. The glasses converge light and can cause lens reflection. You can fix it by moving lights or objects so that the glasses are no longer visible.

The best lighting for YouTube is not a myth, but lighting requirements change with time, and you need to be flexible to adjust yourself accordingly. Once you know your requirements, then it is rather easy to choose from the different lighting sources. You can easily combine them or use a lighting setup if you want to take your videos to the next level.

If you need the best-recommended lighting kit for your studio recording requirements then you should opt for Slow Dolphin Photography Photo Video Studio. If you are creating personalized YouTube videos then the best available artificial light source is VILTROX Ring Light Kit.

And finally – practice a lot. You might invent your methods, and it would be best to remember the setup that you make so that it could be easily reused for obtaining the best light for videos.

Also, if you plan to invest in lighting to potentially make money from YouTube, we have a full guide on how you can do exactly just that in our Ultimate Guide to Starting An Online Business. Check it out to learn how you could make money from your YouTube channel.

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