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Guide to filming LED lights: Basics, lighting types & using issue

You've made the decision to make a film. You have a wonderful cast, a perfect script, and a faultless set design, but now you need to create the tone of the film by selecting the proper lighting. Filming LED lights can be your choice. In this article, we will discuss the following topics:

  1. LED film light basics explained
  2. Different lighting techniques in film production.
  3. Flicker issue and how to deal with it for better filmmaking.

COLBOR CL60 LED light for filming is used to illuminate indoor shooting.

Basic introduction to LED film light

Recent advances have transformed the entire filmmaking process, and when it comes to light quality, one cannot deny the value of outstanding LED lighting equipment. With the development of LED lighting, creatives may now easily improve the ideal atmosphere and ambiance of whatever they're filming.

LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are comprised of semiconductor material and emit light when triggered by a power source. LEDs are becoming more helpful in filmmaking and provide several advantages in modern video production.

What are LED lights for film shooting?

Filmmakers have used LED lights for film and video for decades to create mood in their videos. 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 central place.

LED lights give everything that most DIY filmmakers require: enough of light from a fixture that can be connected to the wall. Many standard film lights are only intended for usage in the studio. To utilize anything greater than a 2K fresnel, you'll need to bring a generator on-site unless your home is designed to handle camlock and Bates cable. This restriction preserves your home's utility system at the expense of your aesthetic vision.

LED light for video filming often does not require any of these modifications to sufficiently illuminate the scene. The majority run on batteries or may be plugged into any regular Edison socket. They're the DIY filmmaker's go-to fixture as long as you stay below the amperage rating of the circuits you're pulling from.

Advantages of using filming LED lights

There are various sizes and shapes to pick from, making it simple to choose one that is ideal for your requirements. For example, if you have an interview scenario, you may consider utilizing small LED lights for filming instead of floodlights since it would produce softer light that is ideal for close-ups. And there are some major advantages when it is used for filming.

  • Use long-lasting, low-energy lighting to save time and money.
  • With a number of lighting solutions, you can cut your production costs.
  • Most daylight, bi-color, and RGB LED film lights have a lifespan of up to 20 years.
  • Because LED lights don't emit much heat, you may avoid burns on your production and other mishaps.
  • You may get a variety of effects. For example, the COLBOR CL100X offers 10 lighting modes, such as Fire, CCT Chase, Pulsing, TV, and Explosion.

Table: Types of filming lighting, effect, and ways to achieve

The best LED lights for film production are your first step to filmmaking. When it comes to film lighting, there are several terms used on set that you should become acquainted with. So, what are the most common forms of lighting in movies? We've chosen the most common terms and gone through each one so you have a solid foundation.

Lighting types


How to achieve


  • Replicate real life
  • Free
  • Use light already available at the location
  • Use bounce boards or flags to reflect or block light
  • Use diffusion
  • Consider time of day
  • Make sure to location scout


  • Light up the subject
  • Brightest
  • Primary light in a 3 point setup
  • Avoid placing the key light too close to camera so the subject doesn't appear fat & featureless-part of 3-point lighting


  • Cancels out shadows
  • Can draw attention to items behind an object or serve as a rack focus
  • Place opposite the key light
  • Use a less powerful light than the key light - part of 3-point lighting


  • Used to separate subject from background
  • Make the frame appear more three dimensional
  • Place behind the actor or object
  • Place higher than the actor or object
  • When placed at an angle behind the actor or object it is called a“kicker"
  • Part of 3-point lighting


  • Good for long takes & wide shots
  • Give depth of field to a scene
  • Makes use of set dressing/props such as lamps, candles, torches, TV, etc
  • Use a dimmer to reduce the light's intensity
  • Use a hidden motivated light to increase the light's intensity
  • Swap out bulbs to color correct, brighten or soften the light


  • Dramatic effect
  • Creates shadows, silhouettes & highlights
  • Draws attention to certain parts of the frame
  • Use bright sunlight
  • Use kicker light with soft fill
  • Minimize or eliminate fill light
  • Cut the light with diffusers & flags


  • Tender, emotional scenes
  • Portraying characters favorably
  • Can give characters a youthful look
  • Reduces shadows
  • Use large light sources
  • Heighten key light &use fill lights
  • generously
  • Use diffusion


  • Creates a larger area of evenly spread light
  • Can bolster any kind of film lighting
  • Highlights a subject without shining directly on them
  • Use white boards, white cards or reflectors
  • Point direct light at the board/ card/reflector & shine toward the subject


  • Imitate natural light source i.e. sunlight, moonlight or lamps
  • Enhance practical lights
  • Use filters, flags, colored gels or bounces to help it appear more
  • natural


  • Helps provide overall light but can also alter controlled light if not handled correctly
  • Light that's already present at the location
  • Consider the time of day and entrances of light for each frame
  • Make sure to location scout

Using issue: Reasons for filming LED lights flicker and how to deal with it?

When observed via a camera lens, it appears like LED podcast light is flickering swiftly at regular intervals, as if it is going off and on quickly. Because the camera's frames per second (FPS) recording is not synchronized with the frequency of electricity, light flashing in a video becomes more noticeable. This is referred to as the strobe effect.

What are the reasons for LED light flickering in the filming video?

LEDs run on alternating current (AC), which moves electrons in the current in cycles. Hertz, or Hz, is the frequency of an electron cycle in one second. The bulb goes off twice in one hertz or cycle because the electron flows in and out.
Except for the United States, the world uses 50 Hz of electricity, whereas the United States uses 60 Hz. It signifies that the light bulb is cycling on and off 100 to 120 times per second. Our eyes are unable to detect this flashing of light, but a camera lens can let you notice it. When we replay or record a video, we may see the flicker on the screen.

When compared to the pace of a flickering LED light, a camera's motion-detecting shutter typically opens and shuts a little quicker. The photo was shot by the camera as the light was turning off in its cycle when the LED light on the screen abruptly went dark. When the frame rate per second of the camera and the LED light are out of sync, flickering of the light is visible on the camera screen.

How to avoid it in filming?

Normally, slowing down the shutter speed will stop filming LED lights from flickering. For a 50 Hz and 60 Hz AC current, maintaining it at 1/100 to /120 is the ideal solution. It is simpler to say than to accomplish. Lowering the shutter speed gradually is what you need to do to test it. This is the only solution for a slow-motion shot, where the flicker visibility is greatest. However, you may use a video editing plugin like Flicker Free in post for still images with little movement.

It is also feasible to use battery powered LED film lights. In this way, the flicker will disappear from the screen.