Vlogging lighting setups can range from natural light to a four-point vlogging lighting setup: The goal is to create something consistent and professional in appearance.
A ring light is an inexpensive and simple-to-use vlog camera lighting option. Using light modifiers will assist you in creating a good vlog lighting setup on a budget.
6 Basic Vlogging Lighting Setups: Lighting Tips for Vlogging
The Basics of Vlog Lighting
Lighting can make or break a video, and if you’re a vlogger trying to grow your audience, the key is to keep it professional-looking and consistent.
You may believe that you must spend a small fortune on vlog lighting, but the truth is that you can do an excellent job for a very low cost. Here are six vlog lighting setups to help you figure out what you need to do.
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Should I invest In Lighting Equipment?
Vlogging Lighting Setups – If you’re wondering whether or not you really need dedicated lighting for vlogging, the short answer is no. There’s no reason why you can’t light a vlogging setup with lights from around the house. If you want to create a homey or cutesy atmosphere, mix table lamps, standard lamps, and fairy lights.
The longer answer is that purchasing lighting gear will be your best option for a consistently consistent vlog lighting look that gives you a lot of versatility. Even so, investing in just one light will significantly improve your YouTube lighting setup.
Using Only One Light
Vlogging Lighting Setups – If you can only afford one light for your vlogging lighting setup, a ring light is probably the best option.
The Benefits of a Ring Light
- The setup is simple.
- Distribute light evenly across your scene.
- Remove obnoxious shadows
- Create appealing catchlights in your eyes.
Ring lights are very simple to use: they are placed around your camera. Ring lights can be purchased for a very low price. Still, for a little bit more money, you can get lights with variable color temperature and intensity.
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Making Use Of Two Lights
Vlogging Lighting Setups – A key light and a fill light are required for a 2-point lighting setup. The main light source for the scene is the key light, while the fill light is present at a lower intensity to balance out the shadows. If you’re having trouble finding the third light in a 3-point lighting setup, try 2.
Just be aware that if you’re not careful, it can make you appear to be floating against a dark background!
A 2-light setup is useful if you want a backlighting configuration but not necessarily a silhouette. If you’re the vlogger, you can keep the halo effect while not putting your face in shadow by balancing the backlight with a fill light.
You might be wondering about softbox vs. umbrella lighting for a 2-point lighting setup. Which is the best? There is no clear answer: some people prefer umbrellas for their large spread of very soft light, while others prefer the greater control, but still softness, of the softbox. More than whether you want umbrellas or softboxes, make sure you understand the difference between hard and soft lighting.
When deciding between high-key and low-key lighting, you may discover that one light source is more than enough for a low-key setup. For example, suppose you’re shooting at night with a street light as the main light. For high-key lighting, use two lights with the fill light at half the intensity of the key light and bright white walls to bounce the light off.
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The Three-point Lighting System
Vlogging Lighting Setups – The 3-point lighting setup is a mainstay in any photography or filmmaking studio. It is simple to set up, but it is versatile and flattering. If you’re trying to make a name for yourself through vlogging, it will also add the necessary polish to your videos.
A 3-point lighting setup consists of three lights: the key light (or main light), the fill light (which lifts shadows), and the backlight, which illuminates the subject from behind and adds separation to the scene. The backlight is also known as the hair light or rim light.
The key light is positioned 45 degrees from the camera, either left or right, at eye level with the subject. The fill light is positioned on the opposite side of the camera at the same angle and height as the key light. In general, the fill light should be half the intensity of the key light.
However, using an actual light for the fill light isn’t always necessary; sometimes a reflector will suffice. Finally, there’s the backlight, which is on the same side of the camera as the key light but behind the vlogger and toward the camera.
A softbox lighting setup is probably a versatile option for 3-point lighting because it provides lovely soft light while also allowing you to direct it. Examine a Fresnel light as well. It is extremely useful to be able to switch between spot and floodlighting.
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Vlogging Lighting Setups – Sunlight is a free source of light that should not be overlooked. The simplest way to use sunlight is to record while facing a sunlit window. However, keep in mind that the color temperature of sunlight changes throughout the day. To ensure a consistent color look, it may be a good idea to always film at roughly the same time.
You can make even better use of natural light by incorporating some light modifiers, which will go a long way toward achieving a consistent and professional appearance. A reflector, for example, can bounce light back onto a scene, acting as a fill light to soften harsh shadows. A scrim or diffuser can be used to soften harsh sunlight.
Don’t worry about putting up a reflector or a scrim inside or outside because these work both ways.
A Four-Point Lighting System
Vlogging Lighting Setups – With the addition of background light, a 4-point lighting setup has the same foundation as a 3-point lighting setup (key, fill, and backlight). This is a light that is used specifically to illuminate the area behind you, the vlogger. This fourth light helps to separate you from the background, but it can also be used for some interesting effects.
For example, you could use a gobo to light a pattern on the back wall or a small light to add a splash of color to the background. Yes, it’s a more involved vlog lighting setup than the others, but it can help you stand out from the crowd.
Frequently Asked Vlog Lighting Questions
What kind of lighting do vloggers use?
Vloggers use whatever lighting they have available, whether it’s practical or a four-point lighting setup. To appear professional, the lighting must be effective and consistent.
What is the most effective way to light a vlog?
The real answer here is to go with whatever method works best for you. However, if you want us to recommend a lighting setup, we believe that a 3-point lighting setup strikes the right balance of versatility, practicality, and affordability.
How should a vlog studio be lit?
Position the camera in front of you for a 3-point lighting setup. Set your key light at 45 degrees to the camera, either camera-left or camera-right. Place your fill light or reflector on the opposite side of the camera from the key light. Aim for a fill light that is half the power of the key light.
Finally, place the backlight on the same side as the key light, so that it illuminates you from behind. Make sure that all of your light sources are set to the same color temperature, and you’re ready to go!
The vlog lighting setup that works best for you is the one you should use. It could be natural light with reflectors, or it could be the 3-point lighting setup.
Remember that your viewers will expect the same level of professionalism from all of your videos, so make lighting a priority!
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About the author: Trent (IMDB | Youtube) has spent 10+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. He writes about his experiences to help (and amuse) others. If he’s not working, he’s either traveling, reading or writing about travel/film, or planning travel/film projects.