The Best Lighting Setup for Video

The Best Lighting Setup for Video Intro

One of the most important things for any video creator is to count on good lighting. This is not only because it helps the image look nice. But most importantly, they take it to industry-standard-nice levels. Meaning if you want to be able to compete, you got to have proper setups.

Everyone making videos online knows that it is necessary for almost every channel. Also, they are aware that if there is no proper lighting, the quality will be affected. Thus, fewer people will see them. This is very important in a competitive multimedia platform like YouTube.

But do not worry, you don’t need to hire professionals or buy insanely expensive products for doing it. What is needed is a good amount of info about options and concepts, and here we will do that.

In today’s article, we will tell you about the best setups you can get. We will mention one main accessory, one idea to cause a nice effect, and the lighting options there are.

Let us start.

What a Softbox Does

Before going any further, it is important to get some basics straight. Proper lighting is not about having a strong light that barely lets the subject open their eyes. But about a smooth lighting environment, which takes us to a very common accessory:


The idea of softboxes and umbrellas is to take the source of light and spread it/direct it in different ways. For the only reason of creating a better effect, thus a nicer image.

Softboxes are distinct because they maximize small lights and create the shape of a window. They are good additions because they help you get the most of your lights by channeling their beam as it is proper.

Knowing about this concept of light diffusion/direction/control. And the existence of softboxes will be of great use to you.

Ring Lamp

As for actual lights and not accessories, we got this one, often used in close-up scenes. As its name indicates, it is a circular light that does things differently. Instead of maximizing small soft lights, it produces one light that covers a whole area equally (a face e.g.). This light is soft but direct, and possesses a solid close range.

These kinds of lamps will be useful for you if you use them as it is common. Putting the camera right in the middle of the ring, so that the light is distributed in the same way all around the shot.

Inarguably, ring lamps for their accessibility and ease of use. Plus, for their practicability, and a rather low price are some of the best options there are.

How To Setup a Three-Point Lighting Setup

First, this type of lighting is commonly used because it helps distribute light in a larger area. Ensuring that the whole subject does not have shadows around him/her.

The way to set it up so that contrasts are controlled and shadows eliminated is simple:

  • Front light/main light. Situated either on the front left or right at 30 degrees and quite high above face level.
  • Fill light. Put on the opposite side of the main light at face level, targeted right at the face, and half dimer.
  • Back/rim light. Normally set on the ground, always out of the shot. Used to separate the subject from the background. A vital component of some scenes where the two get blurred or look the same.

Fake Three-Point Lighting Setup with Two Lamps and a Light Reflector

We are aware that a 3-point lighting kit is not for everyone, it can be complex, expensive, difficult to carry, etc.

For these reasons, many make their own setup without losing much quality while gaining in mobility and expenses.

Do not get discouraged to do it by yourself. If you know the basics, you can essentially do pretty well with less complex devices.

Plus, a light reflector is very popular even among professionals since it is inexpensive and portable. It is a great piece of any virtual artist’s toolkit. Now, the concept to set them up remains the same. Maintain the position as close to it as possible and use the light reflector simply as the backlight.

Just remember the main ideas: remove shadows, spread light. Plus, distinguish between the background and the subject via the reflector. With that in mind, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Two-Point Lighting Setup

After the ring light, this is the second most easy to set up kind in the list, thus it is quite common as well. The idea remains the same, you want to spread light as evenly as possible.

You will want to use this type of lighting when you don’t need a backlight. That is when the subject can be distinguished from the background. Or when there is not much blur between those 2 components of the scene.

There are differences when it comes to setting them up vs the 3-point type. It is easier, you just got to put them right in front of each other. And have your subject be right in the middle of it. If you don’t get problems with the background, you got yourself the setup ready.

Teal and Orange Cinema Effect with RGB Lights

There is one more type of lights that we want to mention, that is also connected with effects. When it comes to color grading, there are few doubts about the ones on the top. Orange and Teal enter in it, and they are so famous because it helps the image feel vibrant and alive.

One way of doing it is by underlining skin tones. Another is to create depth, and also, it simulates great lighting/background conditions.

Now, you can use some photo/video app to create the illusion, but it is best to actually get the effect with lights! RGB = Red Green Blue lights are there for you. There are inexpensive kits that will get the job done in no time.

The exact way to set up will depend on the place you are and the initial lighting conditions therein. We recommend checking ideal examples and try to replicate them. And do bear in mind that the orange spectrum should be used on the face for the highlighting we mentioned.

Conclusion on the best lighting setup for video

As you can tell, the world of lighting setups is filled with alternatives that only make them more accessible for more and more people. With a solid knowledge of why they are used for, how exactly do they help. And about best practices (including when to use a particular type), you got a solid foundation to make your own stand out.

Lastly, remember that the principles remain the same for each entry in the list. And that good lighting is one of the steps in your videomaking journey. Set it up, do not obsess too much with the imperfections. And get to the value-adding activities you really want.

Thanks for reading this article, we hope it was helpful.