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The Best Lights for Video Production

Lights Buyer
Lights Buyer's Guide 2019Lights Purchaser’s Information 2019

There are a number of variables to think about in selecting one of the best mild to make use of for your subsequent video venture. Colour temperature, shade score, lighting sort and energy choices are all essential no matter how the sunshine shall be used. Mild high quality, versatility and worth level will must be thought-about, as nicely. First we’ll spotlight our favourite lights for quite a lot of purposes. Then we’ll take a better take a look at the important thing features for a greater understanding of how to decide on a light-weight or mild package for your subsequent manufacturing. 

Best Fresnel: Litepanels Sola 6+

 Litepanels Sola 6+Litepanels Sola 6+

The Sola 6+ is a daylight-balanced 6 inch LED Fresnel and prices $2,000 dollars. It has a beam management of 16 to 67 levels. It’s supposedly over 50 % brighter than the Sola 6. It consists of Eight-way barndoors and in addition dims from zero to 100 %. It additionally gives the identical LED lifespan, heat-free output and consists of its 120-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz Energy Provide.


Best Panel: Kino Flo DivaLite LED

Kino Flo DivaLite LEDKino Flo DivaLite LED

The Diva-Lite LED is dimmable from zero to 100 % and gives a large shade temperature vary of two,700 kelvins to six,500 kelvins. Plus, it has an prolonged shade palette of two,500 kelvins to 9,900 kelvins. The quantity of management on the Diva LED is its largest power. The shade temperature is modified merely with the flip of a knob. Dimming may also be managed by that very same knob when the perform is toggled. You’re additionally capable of change the sunshine’s hue from magenta all the best way to inexperienced. There are additionally 4 customizable colour temperature presets.

Lowel’s New TotaLED Light!Lowel’s New TotaLED Mild!

The Lowel TotaLED is a transportable flood mild that emits 4275 lux of flicker-free steady mild. It operates on AC or battery energy, and it attracts solely 70 W to ship the equal output of a 750 W tungsten bulb. The TotaLED is daylight balanced (5600 Okay) and with a CRI of 96.Three, it delivers wonderful shade accuracy. Its energy output is managed by a stepless dimmer knob that ranges from 100% to zero% brightness. Study extra at

Best Multi-purpose Mild: Rotolight Anova PRO 2 Bi-colour

Rotolight Anova PRO 2 Bi-colourRotolight Anova PRO 2 Bi-colour

The Rotolight Anova PRO 2 is each a video mild and strobe for stills, however how properly does it work for each? The mild could be very revolutionary; a hybrid mild strains up completely with the rising market of photographers who’re additionally filmmakers. This bi-color LED mild provides you flexibility whatever the colour of sunshine you’re working with. It could actually run off a V-mount battery, so you need to use it anyplace. With a CRI score of 96 and a TLCI of 91, the numbers look promising. On prime of all that, it’s absolutely dimmable from zero to 100 % energy and might be outfitted with elective 6-leaf barn doorways.

Best Package: Dracast S-Collection LED500 Plus Bi-Shade LED Three-Mild Package with NP-F Battery Plates

Dracast S-Series LED500 Plus Bi-Color LED 3-Light Kit with NP-F Battery PlatesDracast S-Collection LED500 Plus Bi-Colour LED Three-Mild Package with NP-F Battery Plates

This package comes with three daylight LED mild panels with pre-installed battery plates, in addition to stands, barndoors, diffusion filters and mushy instances for every mild along with a tough case for the package. The lights are rated at CRI 95 and supply 10-100% dimming. Additionally they function Dracast IRR, which permits for management of a number of lights by means of a single fixture.

Best Finances Mild: Yongnuo YN360 II LED Mild Wand (3200-5500Okay)

Yongnuo YN360 II LED Light Wand (3200-5500K)Yongnuo YN360 II LED Mild Wand (3200-5500Okay)

This in style mild gives each daylight and tungsten balanced mild in addition to customized colours by way of a separate set of RGB LEDs. The 18-inch wand design and built-in lithium-ion battery make this mild appropriate for quite a lot of makes use of, together with run-and-gun capturing and capturing in small areas. The mild may also be managed by way of a cellular app, making it straightforward for single-person and small productions to make changes on the fly.

Options we Thought-about

The following options aren’t all weighted equally for every class, however if you’re shopping for a light-weight, you will need to think about all of them, together with the worth, earlier than making a buying determination.

Colour Temperature

Colour temperature is a measure of the colour high quality of a light-weight measured in levels Kelvin. It’s an essential issue, particularly when working with a number of totally different mild sources. If we have been capturing inside a home lit by Tungsten lights rated at Three,200 kelvin and we stability accordingly, the sunshine inside will seem white, whereas the daylight beaming by way of the home windows will seem blue. Inversely, if we have been to white stability inside that room for the sunshine coming in via the window, these Tungsten mild sources would seem orange. More often than not, the objective is to unify the colour temperature of all your mild sources, both by way of using gels or just by selecting mild sources that each one output on the similar shade temperature.

As you store, think about what shade temperature will greatest go well with the kind of work you do. Will you want lights which are balanced for indoors 3200Okay, outdoor (5600Okay) or perhaps ones that provide variable management and may present a variety of colour temperatures? The reply will rely upon the place you’ll spend probably the most time capturing and what different lights chances are you’ll have already got in your package.

Shade Score

Colour score is a measurement of how properly the sunshine system will precisely reproduce shade. The Colour Score Index (CRI), developed within the 1960’s, measures how properly the sunshine will reproduce the complete vary of colours in a topic, in comparison with a standardized supply. 100 is ideal colour rendition rating; a CRI 95 or above is most popular.

Tv Lighting Consistency Index (TLCI) is an identical however extra trendy measurement. As an alternative of shade variance being based mostly on a human observer, it’s measured by colour modifications that may be detected by a video digital camera. A TLCI rating above 90 is suitable.

Mild High quality

You’ll additionally want to think about whether or not you need to mild your scene utilizing arduous or delicate mild. Onerous lighting is direct, creating a lot of distinction with arduous shadows; it feels very dramatic and accentuates textures and element. Onerous mild is specular, collimated and extremely directional. More often than not, arduous lighting will come Fresnel lights, which use a particular lens to focus a beam of sunshine to fit your wants.

Mushy lighting is subtle and appears to wrap round a topic. It leaves shadows with gradual, tender edges between mild and darkish. Smooth lighting is usually considered extra flattering to topics, making individuals seem younger and decreasing wrinkles.  Tender lighting provides a way of depth to a topic. Generally, in case you want gentle mild, you’ll be taking a look at panels and lights with tender packing containers.

Understanding how lighting will have an effect on an viewers permits video producers to create a selected tone, and finally, inform tales extra successfully.

Exhausting and tender mild every create a selected feeling in viewers. Understanding how lighting will have an effect on an viewers permits video producers to create a selected tone, and finally, inform tales extra successfully.


Subsequent, you’ll have to think about how the sunshine will probably be powered: AC, battery or each? Somebody who works primarily in a studio may have very totally different wants than a run-and-gun documentary crew. Together with energy choices, you’ll additionally need to know the lights draw and output. How a lot power does the sunshine use, and the way a lot mild does it produce? Output could be measured when it comes to wattage (w), lumens, candela, lux or foot-candles (fc).

Lighting varieties

Lastly, let’s take a look at the 4 major forms of mild utilized in video manufacturing. Every has its benefits and drawbacks, and a few varieties are extra reasonably priced than others.


HMI lights use mercury vapor and metallic halide to create a excessive output of sunshine with respectable power effectivity. The mild offered from HMI’s is similar to that of pure daylight (6000Okay), making them daylight balanced. These lights value rather a lot up entrance however can save on energy prices in the long term. On the draw back, they require cumbersome ballasts and aren’t absolutely dimmable. You’re not more likely to encounter certainly one of these giant, costly lights until you’re engaged on knowledgeable movie set. We don’t advocate HMI lighting for the typical video producer.


Tungsten lights are like super-powerful variations of the previous incandescent family mild bulb. At 3200Okay, Tungsten is the usual shade temperature for indoor lighting. To realize different shade temperatures, gels will have to be used. Tungsten lights are lower-cost and have good colour rendition. On the draw back, they get scorching, they require a lot of energy and the bulbs require delicate care — tungsten lamps ought to all the time be dealt with with gloves, even when cool since oil out of your fingers may cause the lamp to blow up. For many years, Tungsten lighting dominated on set, however with new know-how, fluorescent and now LED lighting is turning into extra prevalent because of comparatively low energy attracts and cooler dealing with temperatures.


Fluorescent lights use fuel to create a glow, which is amplified by a layer of phosphor coating. These lights are very power environment friendly and may have a variety of colour temperatures from 2700Okay to 6500Okay. Fluorescent lighting is compact and generates little warmth. Common-use fluorescent lighting can create issues with ‘flicker’ and shade rendition, however fluorescent lighting made particularly for video doesn’t often endure from the identical points. Skilled fluorescent lights have particular methods to negate the sparkle and poor colour high quality inherent in home-use fluorescents, however they’re significantly costlier.


Mild emitting diode (LED) models are power environment friendly however are recognized to supply restricted output. LEDs can present variable mild throughout the RGB spectrum and sometimes function bi-color performance to permit straightforward switching between daylight and Tungsten shade temperatures. They’re a fast-growing a part of the panorama and are more and more being utilized in Fresnel lighting fixtures in addition to panels. LEDs have a particularly lengthy lifespan, permit for full dimming and are very rugged and protected models in comparison with the opposite bulbs. They are often costlier, however costs are coming down yearly as this know-how turns into extra widespread and economical.


Figuring out your wants and the way they match into the present market makes it simpler for content material creators to get the appropriate instruments. Spending a while now to familiarize your self with the wide selection of lights out there will permit video producers to have the proper instruments for no matter jobs are forward.

Contributors to this text embrace Erik Fritts and the Videomaker Editorial Employees.