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Why and how to get lighting for social media video?

If you're looking to succeed with social media videos, regardless of the type of content you create, such as tutorials or gaming videos, lighting for social media video is a key factor that can make or break your success. Proper lighting not only improves the visual appeal of your content but also helps you communicate your message effectively. In this article, we'll explore the importance of good lighting, outline three useful lighting types, and provide tips to help you produce optimal lighting for your social media videos.

COLBOR LED video lights are set up properly to offer LED lighting for social media videos like interview videos.

Why do you need lighting for social media video?

Good lighting improves the visual quality of your social media videos. It makes sure that the subject is well-illuminated, allowing audiences to see details clearly and increasing the video's visual attractiveness.

Good lighting also contributes to a professional and polished appearance. It removes shadows and diminishes flaws, making you (or the subject) look trustworthy and engaging. This professionalism is required to establish a strong brand and reach a broader audience.

Furthermore, proper lighting for social media videos helps create the ideal mood or ambiance. Different lighting arrangements may elicit emotions, establish a tone, and improve the narrative. Whether it's a bright, happy vlog or a serious movie piece, lighting is crucial in creating the viewer's impression.

Finally, well-lit videos are more entertaining and can keep viewers' attention. When viewers can easily see the information, they are more likely to remain interested and finish the video. This can result in greater viewer retention rates, more subscribers, and overall success on YouTube, Instagram, and suchlike social media platforms.

Three common types of lighting to use in videos on YouTube, Instagram, etc.

There are various types of lighting that you can use to create social media videos.

Natural lighting: A cost-effective option for outdoor video shooting like travel vlogs

Natural lighting refers to the light that is sourced directly from the sun or other natural ambient sources, without the need for man-made lighting fixtures. It is ideal for video productions seeking an authentic and natural appearance, such as in vlogs, exterior shots, or documentary films. Sunrise and sunset produce a mellow, diffused light with a warm, pleasing glow, but noon sunshine is vibrant and lively. Natural light may be low-cost and simple to work with, but it is critical to arrange shots around weather conditions and time of day for consistent outcomes.

How to set it up:

  • For gentle, warm light, record videos during sunrise or sunset, the "golden hours."
  • Face your subject toward the source of light.
  • Diffusers and reflectors can be used to regulate and temper intense sunlight.
  • Keep in mind that changing weather and clouds might have an impact on your lighting.
  • Schedule video shots to coincide with the ideal lighting conditions.

Ring lighting: Best lighting for social media videos like makeup tutorials, beauty vlogs, close-up shots, etc.

A circular and continuous light source, referred to as ring lighting, is frequently utilized in videos and photography. This type of lighting is comprised of LED bulbs or fluorescent tubes arranged within a fixture that has a ring shape. Ring lighting is a favored option for makeup tutorials, beauty vlogs, and close-up shots since it improves the subject's appearance and results in an attractive, flattering appearance. Additionally, it is good for interviews and product videos where a well-lit and evenly illuminated subject is necessary.

How to set it up:

  • Place the ring light so that it surrounds the camera lens and is in front of the subject.
  • For uniform lighting, adjust the intensity.
  • To reduce harsh shadows and create a softer light, attach diffusers or filters.
  • Select ring lights that may be adjusted to achieve the ideal color temperature.
  • To achieve the characteristic catchlight effect, film through the center of the ring.
  • Experiment with different lighting effects and styles, such as close-ups, by tilting the ring light.

LED lighting: A versatile choice to offer lighting for Instagram videos, YouTube videos, and videos on other social media platforms

COLBOR W100 portable LED video light is used to illuminate food videos on social media.

LED lighting is made up of light panels that consist of multiple LED bulbs. It is highly versatile, energy-efficient, and produces minimal heat, making it an excellent choice for videos. This light for social media videos also offers adjustable color temperatures, allowing you to easily achieve your desired lighting conditions.

When it comes to video production, LED lights are versatile, portable, and energy-efficient, making them suitable for a wide range of scenarios. Whether it's indoor shoots, on-location filming, interviews, product demonstrations, or vlogs, portable LED video light can be used effectively.

How to set up LED lighting for social media video:

  • Strategically position the LED lights to ensure even illumination of the subject.
  • Set the desired brightness level on the LED lights.
  • Adjust the color temperature to achieve the desired look.
  • Use diffusion materials or softboxes to soften and spread the lighting for social media videos.
  • Make sure the camera is properly aligned with the LED lights.

How to light social media video properly: 4 tips to follow

Besides investing in the necessary lighting equipment for social media videos, it is important to pay attention to some key elements to ensure stunning outcomes. Here are four tips for you to get the best lighting for YouTube videos, Instagram reels, TikTok videos, and suchlike.

Wear lighter clothing for evenly lit and less harsh lighting conditions

To enhance the lighting for social media video and overall appearance, consider wearing lighter-colored clothing. Avoid high contrast unless it aligns with your desired aesthetic. Generally, it is preferable to achieve even lighting. By opting for lighter colors in your videos, you can create a more evenly lit and less harsh environment. This choice will also contribute to a smoother skin tone. If you wear a dark-colored garment that greatly contrasts with your skin tone, imperfections may become more noticeable. Choosing lighter clothing helps to maintain a more consistent tone in your images.

Use 3 point lighting setup to create a pro look in social media videos

To achieve high-quality, well-lit videos or photos, it's recommended to use a 3-point lighting system. This is particularly useful in controlled indoor environments where you can adjust the lights for optimal results, resulting in engaging and professional-looking content.

To set up a 3-point lighting system, follow these steps:

  • Position the key light at a 45-degree angle to one side of the subject, slightly higher than the subject, and aimed downward. This is the primary source of light.
  • Place the fill light on the opposite side of the key light, at a lower intensity or further away to reduce shadows. It creates a balanced look without eliminating shadows.
  • Position the backlight behind the subject, typically at a higher angle, and aimed towards the subject from behind. The backlight separates the subject from the background, creating depth and highlighting its edges.
  • Adjust the brightness and angles of each light to achieve the desired effect, experimenting with mood and style.
  • Test the lighting for social media video by taking test shots or short clips, making adjustments as necessary to achieve the desired lighting effect, paying attention to shadows, highlights, and overall balance.
COLBOR LED studio light is used with a softbox to create soft lighting for social media videos at home.

    Consider space around to ensure proper text and graphics placement in post-production

    When filming a video, it's important to consider the space surrounding you, including the area above your head.

    For YouTube videos, positioning the camera at eye level or slightly above can enhance the appearance of your eyes and create a slimmer look for your face. While aiming to be centered on the camera, it's common for YouTube videos to have graphics or text placed off to the side. Sitting slightly off-center during filming makes the editing process easier.

    When filming for Instagram reels or considering text and graphics placement, it's advisable to plan ahead to ensure appropriate positioning. Strive to remain the focal point of the video without being completely off-center. Allowing some space on one side for text and other elements is a recommended practice.

    Create well-lit background to avoid distracting viewers

    To create more professional videos with better lighting quality, it's essential to utilize a well-lit background. Opt for a simple and clean background without excessive details or clutter, such as a plain wall. This ensures that the focus remains on you without distractions. If you do choose to have something in the background, position it further away from the camera. This way, viewers will perceive less detail, making you the central point of attention.

    When considering backgrounds, keep the following points in mind:

    • Keep it simple: Choose a solid color background or minimize elements in the background.
    • If there are objects in the background, position the camera as far away from them as possible. This blurs them out, reducing their level of detail and making you stand out.
    • When using a simple background, you can be closer to it, as any detail won't be noticeable.