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How to set up video studio lighting?

The best lighting settings for a video studio are the ones that are fit for purpose. In other words, the setup and equipment you use or need will vary depending on your photography style and preferences. Everything you need to know about video studio lighting will be discussed in this in-depth article. The topics are as follow:

  1. Common used lighting types in video studio
  2. How to set up lighting with different quantities of studio lights?
  3. Equipment you need to establish a professional video studio
  4. Some tips for novices
COLBOR CL60 LED studio light is used to set up video studio lighting.

Learn about types of studio lighting for video and decide which is suited

Understanding different types of video lighting helps you arrange the video shooting better.

Soft lighting

It is lighting with a soft cover over it to disperse the light evenly across the subject. almost glows around your subject rather than directly shine on it. It can serve as fill light without casting shadows. Even you are on a limited budget, there are still various techniques for you to create soft lighting. This technique is really important for setting up lights for green screen.

Hard Lighting

Hard lighting casts vivid shadows on its subjects and is best suited to dramatic settings. It help put the attention on the subject rather than the background in interview films and documentaries. If you don’t want much attention to other elements, it is a perfect choice for you to achieve super focused shots.

Motivated Lighting

This is frequently used in scary or horror films when the shadow is the subject, or in scenarios where light is an important aspect of the scene. This sort of illumination often use either a natural camping light or a tunnel light.
Motivated is the important word here; in this case, it makes use of the natural lighting that may occur in that precise scenario.  Motivated lighting may necessitate the use of extra equipment to supplement the existing lighting on the scene.

Practical Lighting

It employs natural lighting from a distance inside a scenario to get the perfect video with just the appropriate amount of gloom. With this technique, You need to utilize point lighting with no diffuser. This gives the ambience in the scene a more natural appearance.

Table: Sum up 4 common types of video studio lighting








Intense focus on the subject

The light itself is focused as the subject.

Concentrated on a single setting that is the focal point

3 point uses

Fill light

No filter on fill light, or key light

Used in conjunction with other methods

Reflections on a small size, maybe dimmed. The main light in the room is the natural fixture.


Reflective shader

Direct sunlight, high noon.

Enhance natural light with equipment

Enhance indoor natural light with equipment.

Video studio lighting setup: Choose the suitable one according to what you are filmming

How to set up studio lighting for video? Depending on what you are filming, the setup of video production studio lighting could be easy or complicated. Here are four effect lighting setups you can choose from.

One-light setup

  • Key light

The main light is always the first light in a scene. This is the main source of illumination for your subjects. The key light is where the illumination in your scene originates from and how you ensure that the camera captures the details of your subject. You can position your camera in front of the key light or perpendicular to it for flair.

Typically, close-up and small-scale scenarios work best with a single light setup. And you need to arrange for the proper light-to-scene size ratio and to eliminate undesired shadows.

Two-light setup

  • Key light
  • Fill light

Fill light is added in this setup. It is placed at a lower intensity on the other side and used to eliminate or reduce sharp shadows and make the scene glow. Given that its sole purpose is to balance the key light and provide your objects with more definition from the other side, fill light is frequently more diffuse and virtually always softer.

Fill lights are assessed by their intensity in relation to the primary light. A fill light that is half the intensity of the main light, for example, will have a ratio of 1:2. Depending on your key to fill ratio, each scene will have a particular tone and intensity.

Three-light setup

  • Key light
  • Fill light
  • Background light

This is the golden combo for video studio light that offers prefect control over shadow. A background light is added, coming up behind the subjects.

Sometimes it is reflected off the background objects themselves, providing a more comprehensive and immersive mood to the overall image. This kind of setup allows you to adjust how your characters burst out of the camera or blend into the environment.

This setup is also used to create lighting for makeup videos. For more information, click the link and check the article.

Four-light setup

  • Key light
  • Fill light
  • Background light
  • Another background light

It differs from the three-point lighting by an additional background light, which illuminates background items or components like outside landscapes or walls. This technique is widely used to remove shadows created by foreground components and/or focus attention to the backdrop. So the extra background light is placed low to the ground or on a raised grid facing the background pieces.

Invest in necessary video lighting equipment for your studio

What lighting equipment is required to begin lighting videos? Anyone can start with a basic ring light and use it as studio lighting for YouTube videos, but for shooting sequences, you'll need a bigger gear.

Choose from 4 common types of studio lights for video recording

There are four typical types in the market, including Tungsten, HMI, Fluorescent, and LED studio lights.


For years, tungsten lighting kits have been a tried-and-true, industry-standard lighting solution for film and video production. They are comparable to the incandescent filament bulbs commonly used in interior lighting, an excellent choice for interior studio shooting.


An HMI is a powerful arc lamp lighting source that is essential for outdoor illumination (or replicating outdoor light shining into interiors). They are particularly useful for lighting huge sets because they are so strong.


You've probably seen fluorescent film or video lighting kits in action if you've ever seen a lighting fixture on set with a row of light tubes. These lamps produce UV light from mercury vapor and may be used both indoors and outdoors。


The LED video light is one of the best lights for video studio.

LEDs are now frequently employed as the primary illumination source on set. These lights can be controlled remotely, which is quite useful when trying to illuminate a complete scene from a single place.

LED studio lights for video provide several advantages. They're lightweight and simple to use on set. They also have a long lifespan, lasting up to 100,000 hours before needing to be replaced!

Check the video to see what makes the COLBOR CL60 LED light for video studio.

Table: Pros and cons of Tungsten, HMI, Fluorescent, and LED in video studio lighting

We sum up the pros and cons of each type, just use it as a reference and pick the one that suits your video studio.





  • Cheap to rent
  • Balanced CRI for revealing the true color to human eyes
  • Short lifespan requires for frequent replacement
  • Get hot during using and pose fire risk


  • Sheer brightness ensures it a strong light source
  • Don’t create much heat
  • High at price
  • Complex to set up and take down
  • Require for generator and operator


  • Provide naturally soft lighting
  • Affordable, portable, and adaptable to various scenarios
  • Don’t create much heat
  • Difficult to adjust the brightness
  • Ballasts are needed for dealing with flickering issues, asking for extra setup


  • Small consumption of electricity
  • Increased safety with little heat when running
  • Support various power supply to work in different environments
  • Lightweight and simple to adjust
  • General lack of standardization

Buy accessories/tool you’ll need in your video studio

Lights are required to illuminate your photographs. However, in order for the lights to accomplish their work properly, support equipment is required. The following equipment or tools will be required to keep your video studio running:

  • Light stand - It helps position the light off camera around the studio at a high or low angle.
  • Diffuser - It can soften the lighting and is often made of fabric or gel.
  • Reflector - It is used to fill or backlight your main light, and illuminate a whole scene from a single source.
  • Cucoloris - add a cutout to your light, such as a tree branch or noir shades.
  • Color gels - These enable you to adjust the lighting color so as to set the scene or alter the mood.
  • Light shaper - It offers control over the shape and size of your light. 

Video studio lighting tutorial for novices

Besides the host of information discussed above, here are a few minor yet pertinent things to keep in mind when working with or buying studio lighting solutions:

Continuous lighting plays a big role in video studio lighting

Continuous lighting’s biggest advantage is it lets you visualize the light accurately before you start shooting, helping you adjust your lighting quickly. Not to mention, such lighting is extremely cost-efficient than other lighting kit models. It is the top choice for setting up lighting for home video recording and video studios.

Know your kit beforehand

A video studio lighting kit is set together to include everything that a typical studio or videographer need. However, not all such kits are made evenly, and some may be missing items that you require. As a result, if you're considering purchasing a studio lighting kit rather than individual pieces, look into what the bundle has to offer.

The first thing to think about is the video lights. Consider both the type and the quantity. The diffuser might be a softbox, strip box, umbrella, or anything else. Checking the diffuser type supplied is also required if you are seeking for a certain type of diffuser.

Just keep in mind that the lighting equipment package should include everything you need for video recording studio lighting.

Do not underestimate the reflector

If you know how to reflect natural light entering your area via the window, you may illuminate your studio with no light or simply natural light entering your space through the window. A reflector plus a reflector holder (if you don't have someone to hold it) can help you make excellent use of ambient light.