Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Production Gear › Lighting equipment
- July 24, 2008 at 9:19 PM #43798stevgolMember
I need advice on what lighting to purchase and brand. My videos are mostly to interview people and later on do short skits with 2 people as part of a business type training program. I have just read the article on LED and flourescent lighting and wondering if that is the route to take. How many lights would I need, what power and reliable brand? I will not be using them everyday so I do not need the most rugged equipment. Thanks!
- July 24, 2008 at 9:59 PM #183570
As soon as I get paid from a job I just did, I’m getting these lights. I feel they are ideal for those on a tight budget who don’t have a couple grand to spend on lights. I also do a lot of interviews and 3 lights should be enough. I really like who the one light in the kit can be put on a boom, it will make it extra easy to add a rim light to the subject.
One day I will get some Arri lights, but for now I think these will serve me well and probably will for you too.
- July 26, 2008 at 2:06 AM #183571stevgolMember
Thanks for the suggestion. Have you tried these lights? Are they well made? They seem pretty cheap so I am wondering about the quality.
- July 26, 2008 at 2:58 AM #183572
Well like many things in this industry, you get what you pay for. But the people who wrote reviews seem please with them, and you said you’ll be using them primarily for interviews, which isn’t very demanding. One person suggested to have a sandbag for the light that has the boom, which makes sense. I personally haven’t used them yet, but I do plan on getting them soon.
Even if they do break, if your work gets you a good amount of money, and these lights last you for as long as a few projects, $200 wouldn’t be that much to lose out on. You may be able to use them long enough to save up for a real like kit, perhaps on made by Arri.
- July 26, 2008 at 12:12 PM #183573NewbsNetworkParticipant
Honestly, knowing what lights to get is a by-product of knowing how to light your shots.
Instead of wondering what lights to buy, you should be learning how to use lights while filming. This is a process that takes years. I doubt you’re that patient, so instead I recommend spending at least a week googling like mad and reading every article and watching every how-to video you can find. Make it your passion, your hunger, your obsession, for 7 days. It may only take a minute to grasp a simple concept like a basic 3-point lighting technique, but it takes much more than 3-point lighting to know how to light a shot. Start there, and keep going.
I’m not trying to deflect your question or blow you off, but the simple fact is that you could have the “best” lights in the world, and they won’t matter if you don’t know how to properly use them. Conversely, a pro can light a scene beautifully with a flashlight and a $30 garage light from Home Depot if he has to.
Familiarize yourself with the difference between a tungsten and an HMI. Find out what a C-Stand is. Learn how to properly pronounce Fresnel. Learn what CTO and CTB mean and when to use which, and the difference between a key and fill light. Find out why you can shoot some frame rates in the US and others in the UK (hint: it has to do with lights and electrical current). Know how many watts of lighting you can plug into a normal circuit before you risk blowing the breaker. Find out what a Kelvin is and why it’s important. Ditto: Cross lighting. The inverse square law. Soft box. China ball. Gobo head. Glints. Kicks. Lighting contrast ratio (it’s K+F:F). Senior/Junior/Tweenie/Tiny. Practicals. Spill. Barn doors. Cookies. Scrim. Diffusion. French flags. Be able to know – without thinking about it – how to light someone with glasses, or someone who’s bald, or someone who has a dark complexion.
Now, does it really matter how you pronounce Fresnel? No. BUT, if you do enough studying, you’re bound to find out as you go, and that’s the point I’m making. Good lighting doesn’t just come out of a box, no matter how many people recommend it. You can’t just flood a room with light and expect it to look good. Study, study, study – the more you learn, the better prepared you’ll be to decide what lights you do (and don’t) need. Don’t go shopping – go learning.
After your 7 days, and once you know exactly what kind of lighting you need for your particular projects, you’ll be able to pick a basic lighting kit (the one Rob mentioned or any of a thousand others) and then supplement it with whatever other tools you require. You won’t need the advice of a forum like this. By learning how to light BEFORE you buy, you’ll save yourself a lot of money, time, and effort in the long run.
I hope this is helpful. I know it’s not the exact answer you were looking for, and I hope it does not come across as condescending. It is certainly not intended that way.
Best of luck to you,
- July 26, 2008 at 1:16 PM #183574
hmm….great point jeff. To further reinforce, many kids at my school buy expensive cameras but then make the crappiest videos I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how they graduate. So the point is, like jeff stated, you do have to learn about the equipment and how to use the equipment to make an educated purchase, but some of us also have to learn by “doing.”
So for the sake of answering your question, if you want a light kit for lighting interviews, i feel these will serve you well for now. I feel this way because with some experience under my belt, I like to alter the “rules” of 3 point lighting. For example, this kit will allow for typical 3 point lighting, but I can also do split lighting, horror, i can light with harsh shadows on a dude, but I have the umbrellas available if I need to light a girl(you almost never light a girl with harsh shadows on her face).
So like jeff clearly stated, learn about the equipment and techniques and go from there.
- July 26, 2008 at 7:09 PM #183575D0nParticipant
Here’s a link to a video clip that may be of use to you. It is basically a quick how to, with a $15.00 lighting set-up.
- July 17, 2009 at 4:46 AM #183576wldstudioParticipant
Arri LED-based On-Camera Lights have arrived. LED technology is truly amazing – high brightness and low power consumption. A fully-charged battery (NP-F970) will last about 140 minutes.
15% promotional discount for videomaker forum members. (to get this discount, you must call to place an order)
- July 17, 2009 at 12:02 PM #183577birdcatParticipant
I always thought these guys had pretty good prices – I don’t own any of their stuff so couldn’t say definitively.
- July 17, 2009 at 6:38 PM #183578
- March 23, 2010 at 2:09 PM #183579AnonymousInactive
Hi Earlc, nice to hear that you purchased LitePanels, Cool-Lux and NRG. Could you please share your experience with those.
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