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Basics of light for YouTube video recording: Why, what, how

Light for YouTube video recording is a must for appealing videos. It not only contributes to the right tone and ambiance for your YouTube video, but it also plays an important function in making the subjects appear their best. Lighting is an important part of making your video appear professional and enjoyable, whether you're recording a food program, a makeup tutorial, or an unboxing video.

Use 3-point lighting setup to create the best lighting for recording YouTube videos

Why lighting is key to YouTube video recording?

Good lighting for YouTube videos may help you capture your audience's attention, build the perfect mood and atmosphere, and cast a spotlight (quite literally) on the subject. Proper lighting improves the overall quality of your video production, which leads to more engaged audiences—the exact path to YouTube success.

It improves the YouTube video quality

The quality of your video is directly affected by lighting. A video with dull or poorly lit items, for example, does not allow the audience to properly comprehend the context of your video. Overexposure to light, on the other hand, might obscure important visual features and distract the viewer. This is why you need a balanced lighting arrangement that reveals all of the important features in the videos without overpowering them and distracting the viewers.

It builds the mood in video recording

Light for YouTube video recording can influence mood subconsciously. Color temperature and color combinations have a significant impact on your ability to create the right ambiance for your YouTube videos. Cooler lighting might induce suspense whereas warm lights inspire delight. Red light is more relaxing than blue light, which is more energetic.

YouTube recording studio lighting enhances viewer engagement

You want people to watch your videos all the way through, right? Then you must consider the lighting for social media video. Why? Because the ordinary viewer is already distracted by smartphone alerts, social media, various applications, and a lot of other things. They will not view your video for long if it is poorly illuminated and distracts them from your main point.

It shapes the video recording spaces

It aids in visually expanding tiny sets. With the correct illumination, your audience won't notice if you're recording in a little closet or a bedroom corner, or if the camera is zoomed in or up close.

Five types of lights for filming YouTube videos to choose from

Now that you know it is important to get lighting for YouTube video lighting. But what can you use? Here are five common types that YouTubers make use of. Each owns has a different purpose and works well in some applications.

Natural light: Top choice for YouTubers on a tight budget and gives a natural look

Natural lighting has the potential to be the perfect light for YouTube video recording. It is free, making it an excellent option for YouTubers on a tight budget. However, if natural light is the only light source for your YouTube video recording,  you can only record at particular times of day since direct sunshine might be too harsh. If you're filming on a sunny day, for example, it's better to choose a shaded location, use curtains to filter the light, or wait for "golden hour."

Ring light: Ideal for solo vloggers, makeup tutorials, etc. to offer even, soft lighting

Ring lights are great for any video in which you are the focal point. Ring lights uniformly surround your face with gentle, forgiving light, making them ideal for solo vloggers, makeup tutorials, or any videos where you're front and center. They also produce an effect that highlights your eyes. They're among the simplest lights to set up for a newbie YouTuber.

Softbox light: It gives you more control over lighting for recording YouTube videos

Softbox light: It gives you more control over lighting for recording YouTube videos

Softbox lights are available in a range of forms and sizes to fit any project. They mimic the appearance and feel of natural lighting. The softbox features a white or silver reflecting interior that helps spread light evenly across all surfaces. They also provide you with more control over how the light is used. They are an excellent choice for indoor video recording, particularly product reviews.

Umbrella light: It can fill the scene with unfettered illumination

The umbrella-like cover that surrounds the light gives it its name, and it has virtually the opposite effects as a softbox light. This type will reflect light in a broad spread, filling your scene with unfettered illumination. The reflecting umbrella emits a gentler light than a flashing bulb or direct light. They are also portable, so you can quickly pack them up and bring them with you to the location.

Lighting kit: Popular among pro YouTubers to create high-quality video lighting

A lighting kit is a compact set of equipment used to provide high-quality lighting for YouTube video recording. This usually involves a three- or four-point lighting setup.

A typical lighting kit usually includes the following items.

  • Key light: The most powerful light source that shines directly on the subject.
  • Fill light: A smaller, softer light focused on your face.
  • Backlight: Background lighting for YouTube videos to illuminate the backdrop
  • Light reflector: A surface that scatters light to lessen shadows.
  • Grip gear: A variety of items such as light stands, C-stands, A-clamps, extension cables, sandbags, and gaff tape help keep everything stable.
  • Light modifier: A piece of black plastic that filters out undesirable light, modifies it or regulates light leakage.

Video tutorial: How to get lighting for making YouTube videos?

Video by Mark Wiemels

In this video, the YouTuber Mark Wiemels uses a COLBOR CL220 and 3 pieces of COLBOR PL8R, to transform a messy basement into a professional YouTube studio. Check the video to learn about his setup ideas.


Investing in light for YouTube video recording helps improve the video quality, build the mood & atmosphere, increase the viewers’ engagement, and shape the recording space. All these lead to the success of YouTube videos. You can choose between natural light, ring, softbox, umbrella lights, and professional lighting kit to get the best illumination. It is also advised to learn from different YouTubers to get various lighting ideas.