Continuous studio lighting is popular for novice video creators and photographers who look into studio light. It allows them to monitor the shot in real time and removes the trouble of syncing up the camera to flash and trigger. In this article, we will go through the following topics to help you learn more about it.
- What is it and what are its pros and cons?
- What features to look for in it?
- What tips to follow when using continuous lighting in studios?
What is continuous studio lighting?
Continuous lights are artificial lights that illuminate the subject continually. They don't flash on and off while you take snapshots; instead, they stay lit up the entire time. Technically, we are constantly exposed to continuous illumination. It is used in homes, shops, streetlights, and other places.
However, continuous lights in the studio are specially developed for photography (or video) uses. They may be mounted on a stand, moved around the room, and equipped with modifiers to soften or focus the light. Tungsten, Fluorescent, and LED studio lights are the common types of studio continuous lights you may come across.
Pros and cons
Using it in studio content creation brings the following benefits and drawbacks.
- It allows you to see the light in real-time, which makes it simple to adjust the placements and power quickly.
- Studio continuous lighting kit tends to be lower in price, making the shooting cost more affordable.
- It doesn’t require the use of remotes or triggers, which eliminates the hassle of needing to ensure that all of my lights on set are firing on the same channel and synchronizing.
- It can not only work for photography but also video.
- Its power output is generally limited by the size. Portable model may not able to overpower the ambient light.
- It requires an outlet or a battery pack to function, making it more difficult to transport.
- There are an infinite number of modifiers available in the realm of strobes. Continuous lights, on the other hand, do not offer the same variety. Particularly when more and more continuous lighting packages are converted to panel lights.
- Some of the continuous light kits overheat faster than strobes. When left on for an extended period of time or when utilized at maximum power.
What features to look for in the best continuous studio lighting?
When it comes to acquiring studio continuous lighting, photographers look for a variety of features. When comparing different brands and lights, it's easy to get lost in the lingo, so we've attempted to clarify all of the essential features that are vital when purchasing continuous lighting below.
Wide range of color temperatures
The most common light color temperature used in photography is somewhere between a very warm 2000K and a blueish 6000K. LED constant light for photography will cover a wide variety of these and are perhaps the most adaptable in terms of temperature range, with a decent set delivering temperatures ranging from 3000K to 6000K. Consider what you're photographing and ensure that the lights you're considering cover those temps.
Multiple power supply options
Studio continuous lights are normally powered by the mains. When looking at lights, see whether they come with a battery or if there is a battery mount in case mains powering the light isn't handy in the future (for filming on location, for example).
Continuous lights may get fairly hot since they are always on. It's crucial to remember that some units might create low-level noise when operating their in-built fans to cool the lights, while others run absolutely silently. Consider your usage requirements and base your selection on them. If you're just shooting photographs, you probably don't mind a fan quietly humming to keep your lights cool, but if you're capturing video, you'll want to minimize any external sounds that can interfere with your sound recording.
A Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a measurement that conveys a light source's ability to correctly portray the colors of things when compared to natural light. The closer this value is to 100, the more accurate the lighting will be in showing the colors of the thing you're photographing. Before selecting new lights, it is critical to understand the CRI rating. Any score in the 90s is regarded as excellent. Another approach for measuring the same thing is the Television Lighting Consistency Index (TLCR). They are graded out of 100 in both cases.
5 continuous studio lighting tips for novice creators
If you are new to studio continuous lighting, you can follow the tips below to get good outcomes.
Purchase the most powerful lights you can afford.
Continuous lights provide good illumination, but they aren't as strong as speedlights and can't match with studio strobes. That is, if you want the greatest results, you should get the most powerful lights you can find.
Soften the light as much as possible.
In general, continuous illumination looks good. However, if you want exceptional photographs, you must modify the lighting quality, or how harsh or soft the light seems.
When taking conventional portraits or product photographs, you should use soft lighting with restricted shadows and gentle gradations. Soft light is more attractive, and it also helps to avoid ugly hotspots on your subjects.
How do you make soft lighting? You place a modifier, such as a softbox or an umbrella, over your continuous light. Either will soften the light, so don't get too worked up over it; just make sure you're providing soft light and you'll be OK.
Set the proper color temperature
Some continuous lights allow you to change the color temperature while working. While this may be an intriguing approach to generate creative effects, as well as help you match your continuous lights to the ambient light, it's normally preferable to maintain the color temperature at a relatively natural number.
If you want the most realistic appearance possible, start with a daytime setting (about 5600K). If you decide you prefer a different effect, you may simply change it while editing.
Block out all other lighting
This is a big continuous lighting tip that you must remember if you want to take the greatest images. Turn off all of the lights in the room. You should also use curtains to cover the windows. The idea here is to make your continuous lighting the only source of illumination for your camera. Otherwise, ambient illumination may add varying lighting quality and directions to the image, resulting in problematic color temperatures.
Use more than one studio continuous light
While a single continuous light may produce good images, the best portrait and product settings sometimes require two, three, or more lights. And a 3-point lighting setup is the most commonly used and is highly recommended. We have written an article to talk about that, just click the link to learn about it.