Lighting Options for Your Marketing Videos - dummies

Lighting Options for Your Marketing Videos

By Kevin Daum, Bettina Hein, Matt Scott, Andreas Goeldi

Most modern camcorders can shoot fairly well in low light, but may not be enough to make your marketing video look the way you want. Lighting your subjects, and perhaps giving them a bit of dramatic or glamorous flair, can truly make your scenes come to life.

These basic options can shed some light on your videos:

  • Light panel: This attachable, battery-operated LED panel sits atop your camera. It usually comes supplied with a dimmer switch and is ideal for throwing ample light on subjects in the foreground. You can also mount the light panel on a light stand (a tripod for lights) so that it serves as a backlight for your subjects. You can find a good light panel for about $50 at Amazon.

  • Clamp light: Available in any hardware store, this work light uses either a standard bulb or a halogen light. (Halogen heats up the room, so you may want to stick with standard bulbs.)

    Clip one to a chair, a table, a door, or even a ladder to add a general wash of light to a dimly lit scene. You can also point a clamp light at an actor for a dramatic effect. It isn’t a professional movie light, but it can serve you well for less than $10 per bulb.

  • Light kit: A light kit consists of two or three lights (typically fluorescent), light stands, and often, a reflector, such as an umbrella that sits behind the lights or a soft box system that diffuses the light and eliminates hard shadows.

  • A light kit is a good investment, and after a little practice time, you can master the basic 3-point lighting technique to use repeatedly in your shoots. You can find a good light kit for slightly less than $200 to more than $500. Amazon, B&H, and TubeTape all carry good kits for reasonable prices.