DIY Lighting to help you Choose the Best Video Lights




Illuminating Success: How to Choose the Best Video Lights

Whether you’re embarking on a cinematic masterpiece, a captivating web series, or a live-streamed event, the importance of proper lighting cannot be overstated. So, you need to choose the best video lights to make your production shine. While shooting outdoors in natural light is a photographer or videographer’s dream, the real challenge arises when you’re working indoors, necessitating the use of artificial lights. The market is flooded with various options, making the task of choosing the best video lights a daunting one. Fear not! This guide is here to illuminate your path and help you make an informed decision.

First, Understand the Basics

There’s no point taking the time to learn about and then choose the best video lights, and then spending money on kit, if you don’t understand the basic concept of video lighting.

Three Point Lighting

Lighting Setup For Volvo
Photo by SCREEN POST on Unsplash

Before delving into the myriad of lighting options available, it’s crucial to grasp the fundamentals of three-point lighting. This technique involves strategically placing key lights, side fill lights, and backlights to achieve a balanced and visually appealing composition. Whether your light source is the sun or artificial, always consider how it interacts with your subject and the overall ambiance of your video. This No Film School Three Point Lighting guide is an excellent place to start learning.

Next, Consider These 8 Video Light Options

You can have the best idea, talent, format, script, set and sound, but if the lighting is bad then you won’t get the results you want. Here are eight types of lighting we consider. Which types you use will depend on your resources and situation. This guide provides an introductory summary so you can go on to choose the best video lights for you.


The most natural and abundant light source is the sun. Shooting outdoors during daylight hours can produce stunning visuals, but it comes with challenges like changing light conditions. To harness sunlight effectively, understand the sun’s position and use diffusers or reflectors to control harsh shadows.


Crowd dancing on the music; spotlights

Spotlights offer focused, intense illumination, making them ideal for highlighting specific subjects or creating dramatic effects. Consider the beam angle and intensity when choosing spotlights, ensuring they align with your creative vision without overpowering your scene.

Panel Lights

A crew setup lighting, example of panel lights
Photo by Aditya Wardhana on Unsplash

Versatile and adjustable, panel lights are a popular choice for video production. They provide soft, even illumination, making them suitable for a variety of settings. Panel lights are often adjustable in color temperature, allowing you to achieve the desired mood for your video.

Strip Lights

Perfect for accentuating specific areas or creating dynamic effects, strip lights offer a unique way to play with shadows and highlights. These long, narrow lights are excellent for adding a touch of flair to your composition.

Ring Lights

grayscale photo of person holding round frame
Photo by Aniket Narula on Unsplash

Ring lights are a favorite among content creators, especially for close-up shots and beauty videos. With a circular shape and even illumination, they eliminate harsh shadows, resulting in a flattering, professional look.


Reflectors bounce and redirect existing light, serving as an economical and effective way to enhance your three-point lighting setup. Experiment with different reflector surfaces, such as silver for brightness or gold for warmth, to achieve the desired effect.

Diffusers and Gels

A man about town, cruising around the city with his window down.  Red brake lights, business lights, and headlights are the only source of illumination.
Photo by Jay Lamm on Unsplash

Diffusers soften and spread light, reducing harsh shadows and creating a more flattering appearance. Gels, on the other hand, add color to your lights, allowing you to set the mood or correct color temperature discrepancies.

Effect Lights

For a touch of creativity, consider incorporating effect lights. These can range from color-changing LED lights to projectors that add patterns or textures to your background.

Finally, Choose The Best Video Lights For Your Production

Choosing the right video lights is a pivotal aspect of video production, influencing the overall quality and impact of your content. Whether you opt for the natural warmth of sunlight or the controlled precision of artificial lights, understanding the principles of three-point lighting will guide you in creating visually compelling videos. Experiment with different light sources, play with shadows and highlights, and let your creativity shine as you illuminate your way to success in the world of video production.