3 point lighting kits

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    • #49038

      Hi guys, I need some feedback on setting up a video suite for filming interviews and product demos. I’m looking at a three point lighting kit, but there seem to be loads of different ones out there.

      Does anyone have any recommendations to what lights work best.

      Key –

      Fill –

      Back –

      Been looking at videos from several people and there seems to be no set rule, some use barn doors, some are using soft boxes and one was using builders halogen strip lights…

      If I could get some feedback on what you guys think is best

      many thanks


    • #200977

      I have this kit:


      I also have gels and umbrellas to go with them as well. The body of the light has a convenient slot that holds the rod of them umbrella.

    • #200978

      Hi Rob thanks for the speedy reply, the shop I recently went to were suggesting these

      Interfit 117 they come with two in the kit and then an additional solo light, I was recommended two soft boxes and one with reflector (lamp shade) I wasn’t sure if the multi bulb and having the ability to turn them on and off would be good or not

      I took a look at the link you supplied, they look good, I presume you are mainly controlling the light using the barn door and for the softer light bouncing it from the umbrella.

      Thanks again for the speedy reply, any other ideas or comments welcome

      Thanks again

    • #200979

      there are no set rules.

      read my studio build thread for another suggestion…


      something to think about…

      When setting up lights, there is a decision making process involved. Each choice you make leads you to the next decision, narrowing your options in the process.

      Lights can be purpose built quite cheaply. Lights designed to be used for multiple purposes get more expensive.

      A light system consists of lights and light modifiers. The range of lighting and accessories and the build quality all affect the final cost.

      In my studio build, the main lighting is being built in and can therefore be made quite cheaply… for less than the cost of a single professional softbox, I’ve built the light and softbox. I won’t need to set it up and take it down every shoot, or on location, means I don’t need collapsable lightstands and can hang it from the ceiling with a couple hooks and wires. the fact that I don’t need to modify the light for various effects means it is only being used for one lighting effect, therefore I choose that ighting and made a diffuser to achieve the effect I want…

      the light is versatile enough in that I can control power to use it as either main or fill, I have a seperate project for the backlighting… so I need only make two lights.

      I’m using halogen lights.

      So start by asking your self what you need, then figure out your options…

      you have to worry about heat and power if you choose to make your own halogen lights and diffusers for a built in studio… then you have to decide if you want to bounce the light off white walls or use light modifiers..

    • #200980

      part of a whole series…. will be updating often over the next two or three weeks..

    • #200981

      Don, I would have to disagree with your statement “there are no rules” there are rules that will provide very nice lighting. It isn’t until you know the rules that you can break them.

    • #200982

      Charles, how heartily I agree to knowing the rules in order to break them! I’m reading and observing every chance I get to learn more. I work with attorneys and insurance firms in their offices or meeting rooms and need a very professional look.

      I’m still looking for the right equipment – EASY and FAST setup, broad lighting with flattering fill, and unobtrusive.

      I’m now using PBL Cool Light Softboxes. They are a pain to set up (often in front of professionals) but are beautiful in their flexibility. The fluorescents are in 3 banks which give me options. I’d sure like to find the “ideal” set up for my business.

      I’m using a couple of pin lights to get “eye lights” and find that is working well. I can bounce one PBLfroma side whileusingthe other for fill which isadequate, but I intend tokeeplooking and learning.

    • #200983

      “… until you know the rules… you can break them.”


      Now there are no set guidelines that say you have to use specific lights to get the job done. Yet, since you’re just getting started, I’d go with Rob’s recommendation of a 3 light Omni Kit. I don’t recommend a kit with a Tota-Light in it as they get mighty hot (halogen bulb) and though they are good lights, there’s a safety issue I wouldn’t want someone unfamiliar to deal with it.

      The value of a packaged light kit is you can make sure the basics are there already. Some things you’ll have to improvise like diffusion, filters and such but you don’t want to sweat needing scrims, stands, barndoors and the like. Lowell also makes some damn reliable gear for the money you’ll pay. I’ve used their kits for years and have yet to have any problems with them.

    • #200984

      Sadly, most of my lighting knowledge has come from a little bit of schooling and a whole lot of trial and error. If you have a chance, set up the lighting well in advance of your interview and do a test shoot. If you have someone who is patient enough to stand in for your interview subject you can play around with different set-ups and tweak things until you’re happy with it.

      Watch out for odd shadows under the brow ridge or nose, especially. Also, if there are no shadows at all your subject’s face can look flat. It’s a balancing act.

      As for equipment, it doesn’t have to get expensive, although it easily can.

      I recently bought a $75 Cowboy Studios 4-way lighting kit off Amazon. It’s uses daylight CFL bulbs and has two tall stands and two short stand. It comes with two umbrellas. It’s pretty lightweight so you can’t beat it up.

      If you add aclip light from the hardware store you end up with a really versitile little kit for cheap.

      You can also purchase bulbs almost anywhere in a variety of wattages to adjust the intensity of your light, just make sure they’re all balanced temperature-wise. Or you can move your light sources closer or farther from the subject to vary intensity, although it also changes the way the light moves around the room.

      One of the nice things you can do with the short lights is put them behind the subject so they illuminate the background which ads depth to you interview shot. I’ve seen people use colored gels on the background and if you had something with barndoors you can focus the light better to get a spotlight on set pieces.

      Before you know it, three point lighting becomes 5 point lighting and beyond. πŸ™‚

      And if you find you don’t like the look of daylight bulbs you can swap them out for a warmer color temperature. One advantage of CFLs is that they aren’t a million degrees like bulbs were back in the old days. No one likes to sweat their make-up off.

      And no matter what you use or how you use it, remember to manually white balance.

    • #200985


      Yes he has rules but the end result is what we need and you consider that is good.

      First rule:

      Avoid to mix different light as example halogen light and neon light or different neon like day light and cool white. That means check the light temperature in Kelvin measurement and use something close to the natural light as example neon appear to be 4100K, 5000K, 6500K that is 3 levels.

      Rule 2:

      The square rule if you double the distance between the talent and the light source the light is 4 times less in intensity and the inverse apply.

      Rule 3:

      Avoid direct light use diffuse light like soft box, umbrellas to avoid spots on objects or skin orundesired shadows

      Rule 4

      Budget, pratice, learn. Check on the web or buy DVD to learn the How to or simply register to a seminar in about less an houryou have all in hand.

      Rule 5

      Know your equipment that means read the manual the theory you press only one button and this propulse to the top or to wonderland is …

      Last rule:

      Keep your money and wait to buy only good equipment better to have and pay only for a good tripod than 3 or 4 low end product same for mic and camera. That means inform and go to specialised store before to buy to some place that the guy read the sticker and tell you that is good for you and know nothing except to use your credit card.

      Best regards,


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