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What types of lights for video production are best for the type of videography gear that we have? Some often chosen types of lights for video are LED panel lights, ring lights, fresnel lights, soft boxes, and HMIs.
What are the best lights for shooting video? We like softboxes a lot for still photography but a higher intensity light is often desired for good video. HMI lights are very intense, but also very expensive and quite hot, a little overkill for most video productions unless you’re filming for theatrical release or broadcast TV.
So let’s look at some examples of the other 3 types of lights, LED panel lights, fresnels, and ring lights. Ikan Video Production Equipment & Accessories is a fantastic source for your high quality videography gear such as DMX, lighting, tripods, cages, and mics. They make or design what they sell on their website so their prices can stay reasonable while delivering superb quality.
LED Panel Lights
One of the most versatile of all the lights for video production is the panel light design. Modern LED bulbs have made these compact, lightweight, and cool operating while providing very true color in adjustable color temps and intensity.
Ikan’s Lyra Bi-Color LB5 LED Panel Light is a good fit for many videographers for several reasons. Like any panel light, it emits a broad swatch of light, 110 degrees for this light. Just one or two panel lights can be configured to light up many of the situations in which a videographer might be filming.
Bright enough for most needs, panel lights are also relatively soft (compared to a flood). Not as diffused as a softbox, but really easy to work with. The Lyra LED panel light is switchable between 3200K and 5600K, has adjustable power settings, and includes the barn doors for precise shadow control. It can be powered by AC power or batteries.
Fresnel lenses let you shape the light cone to your exact needs, form a tight spot to a broad flood. It is focused like a lens might be by moving the fresnel or the bulb in order to change the light shape. The bulb may be tungsten, CFL, incandescent, or LED, with LEDs being the easiest to use and coolest to operate.
White Star 4” LED Fresnel Light from Ikan is a professional light with a lot of power and very useful features. It is 100 watt and can focus into a very bright and tight spot or widened out to a full flood. In addition to the fresnel adjustment, the 5600K light produced can also be modified by the included barn doors or by the dimming control.
It’s extremely well made and robust and also has 512K DMX for precise control in a total lighting system. It can be used on its own or as part of a lighting studio ensemble.
Ring lights are well suited for product photography or macrophotography but they are also invaluable for certain types of videography. A ring light is one of the best lights for shooting video of people, especially YouTube or other vlogging of a single person such as an interview or an instructional video.
A ring light, used coles to the subject, provides a virtually shadowless light on the subject. You’re shooting through a ring of light surrounding the camera, so there is no directionality at all to the lights, meaning no shadows. Another way to use ring lights for video is to add it into an already existing lighting configuration to add a catchlight for the subject’s eyes.
The Oryon RLB40-M Ring Light is a 14 inch circle of light that can be switched between 3200K and 5600K color temperature, has mounts for smartphones or cameras, and a remote control
Which One For You?
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So, then, which light is the best one for your video productions? Hopefully, the descriptions and uses listed above will help narrow it down for you. You can also take a look at some of our more detailed tutorials on video lighting.
Actually, if you’re like most videographers, you’ll find that a nice kit of lights for video will probably include one than one type of video light. In fact, I’m envisioning a particular lighting configuration for all three lights we just discussed. Should be fun!