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What is studio lighting at home and how to set it up?

You need studio lighting at home to get professional shooting experience at your home studio. Home lamps are either too bright or too dull to provide proper illumination. Therefore, you need to invest in studio lights to guarantee great results. But what to use? How to set them up? What other aspects do you need to pay attention to? In this article, we will go through these topics to give you a better understanding.

What studio lighting at home can you use?

Studio light is a broad term and covers all lights that are used in the studio. It can be divided into three main types according to the bulb technology.

  • Fluorescent: This type is energy efficient but features low power output, which is typically around 60-100W. it is cheap and can be replaced simply.
  • LED: It is made of a lot of small LED beads. LED lights for home studio are really energy efficient and create little heat even after long-time working. They feature long lifespans thus being cost-effective.
  • Tungsten: Tungsten or Tungsten halogen light comes with the highest power output but also produces much heat. The bulb is cheap to replace. However, it cannot offer consistent color temperature when the brightness level changes.

According to how it works in photography, you can also classify it into continuous and strobe types.

Continuous lighting

Continuous, or constant illumination, as the name implies, remains on once turned on. How you alter this studio lighting at home will determine how you capture the shot. This is all related to how well you expose things on your camera.

The COLBOR CL60, for example, is the best studio light for video that you can use at your home studio. It provides constant 65W power output for both photography and videography. The compact design of 140×80×90mm and 550g weight allow you to place it flexibly even in a tight space. The noiseless cooling system ensures optimal working temperature and no fan noises being captured. The CL60 can work with a wide variety of modifiers with the supplied Bowens mount adapter. Besides AC power, it can also be powered by V mount battery, PD power bank, and NP-F batteries, which eliminates the tripping hazards.

Strobe lighting

Strobe lighting is a flash of light that is activated with each shot. This makes determining the initial outcome more difficult, necessitating some trial and error to get the intended effect. Strobe lights are significantly harsher and brighter, yet they also require more time to replenish electricity for the next blast.

The decision between continuous and strobe illumination is entirely subjective. Continuous lighting provides more control and uniformity, whereas strobe lighting provides a bit more punch.

How to set up studio lighting at home?

Three-point lighting is the most common setup for studio lighting at home. It is composed of key, fill, and back lights. It illuminates the subject evenly, casts beautiful shadows, and separates the subject from the backdrop.

Set up home studio lights with 3-point lighting setup

If you invest in professional studio lights for your home studio, you can use 3-point setup to illuminate the subject and the scene properly, which is a basic setup used by most of content creators.

Set up key light

This is your main light source; it should be the most powerful of your lights, and it should be positioned 45 degrees to the left or right of the camera, as well as 45 degrees above the subject. Getting enough light in a home studio might be tricky, but try your best with the space.

Set up fill light

It fills in the shadows cast by key light. Place it on the opposite side and also between 45 degrees and 90 degrees to the camera. As for the height, it can be above the subject between 0 to 45 degrees. Keep in mind that it should be about half the brightness of the key illumination.

Set up back light

Also known as rim or hair light, it helps separate the subject from the background. It is more focused and can be positioned at anywhere from right behind the subject to 45 degrees off to either side.

Diffuse home studio lighting for video and photography

Diffusion is the technique of softening studio lighting for photography with a filter to give the photos a softer, more even effect. By using a diffuser on your light source, you may reduce harsh shadows and emphasize certain regions rather than casting shadows.

There are multiple methods for diffusion, one of which is to utilize diffusion panels, which may be purchased in various sizes at your local camera store. These work excellently, but you'd need specific clamps and supports, which may get expensive.

Another do-it-yourself tip is to use regular wax paper from the kitchen. This works well as a diffuser and may be created by cutting the top of a shoebox lid and wrapping it in wax paper. It all depends upon your budget.
Softbox lights are another popular diffusion lights that are reasonably priced. There are several versions available, but for a simple home studio setup, they should be more than adequate.

DIY studio lighting at home with home lamps

If the window light is not available and you don’t have the budget for studio lights, you can consider taking advantage of traditional home lamps as studio lighting at home. And it is essential to know what type of bulbs you can use.

Generally speaking, you are advised to make use of fluorescent bulb featuring cooler color temperature. Bulbs with warm color temperature are not recommended since they will change the color tone of your subject. In addition, you should make sure that all home lamps you use are at the same color temperature.