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Lighting for overhead video: Why does it matter and how to set it up?

Lighting for overhead video is used to illuminate the subject from a not commonly used angle. It plays a big role when you are making videos of product reviews, cooking, or want to film videos in an innovative view.

COLBOR CL220 LED constant light is positioned overhead for overhead video lighting.

Why does it matter to set up lighting for overhead video?

Whether you're reviewing products on YouTube or taking pictures of watches or cooking in your apartment, being able to shoot top-down gives you a great angle that can be used for dynamic shots or giving a cool second angle. It brings the following benefits when setting up lighting for overhead food video and other types of overhead videos.

It helps create an atmosphere for your overhead videos. If you want to make a commercial video, for example, you'll need to establish a neutral and professional environment. If, on the other hand, you're constructing a film studio to shoot a thriller, you should designate a location where you may experiment with gloomy and unsettling lighting.

Lighting aids in directing the audience's sight. If you want to draw attention to a certain object, person, or animal, you may utilize lighting.

Lighting has an impact on how the subject appears. Some lighting styles will make your subject appear as sharp and well-groomed as possible, while others will make them appear anxious or exhausted. Of course, the style of lighting you employ will be determined by the goal of your video!

Lighting may have an impact on how professional your video seems. Without proper lighting, the end work will most likely appear dull and uninspired.

Four tips to lighting setup for overhead video

You can follow these 4 tips to set up lighting for overhead video properly.

Position video studio light overhead

When applying overhead lighting, place your key light exactly above the person or item you're filming, so that the light reaches them from above rather than the sides. Attaching the light to an overhead camera rig is an excellent way to set up overhead lighting. You can also attach camera and mics to this rig.

Use a large and soft light source

It is advised to the largest and softest light source you have to get a professional lighting effect. If it produces hard light on its own, it will be a good choice to use a softbox to achieve soft illumination. Move the light as close as possible to the subject. This will help diffuse even lighting on the whole subject so as to illuminate it well.

Use bounce card to reflect lighting for top down videos

Add reflection to your overhead video filming to further illuminate the shadows of the subject. A bounce board may be used to reflect part of the overhead lighting back onto the subject from below. The bounce board might be a basic white piece of material or a darker, more reflecting material, depending on the effect you want. A white bounce board merely reflects the light back, however, a highly reflective bounce board additionally reflects a picture of the item back. This is a common method used in ads to make items appear more professional.

Add fill light to adjust shadows

Adding a fill light is another way of adjusting shadows in lighting for overhead video. It is usually used in 3-point lighting setup. The fill light is less powerful than the key one and helps reduce shadows caused by the key light. It is positioned opposite the key illumination, which means it should illuminate the subject from below.

[Want to know about Twitch streaming? We also have an article to talk about Twitch stream lighting.]

Table: Specs of overhead light for video at COLBOR

COLBOR provides several LED constant lights that can used for your overhead videos. They features different power outputs and can work for different types of overhead videos.

Video light








Color temperature

2700K-6500K (±200); RGB

CL100X: 2700K-6500K (±200); CL100XM: 5600K

CL220: 2700K-6500K (±200); CL220M: 5600K

Beam angle

≈∠120°; Reflector ≈∠15°

≈∠120°; Reflector ≈∠15°

≈∠120°; Reflector ≈∠15°

Power supply

AC-powered, V mount battery, NP-F battery, power bank

AC-powered, V mount battery

AC-powered, V mount battery

Output power




Brightness adjustment