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RGB video light: Definition, working principle and uses explained

In the last 10 years, low-cost color-changing LEDs have rendered gels and filters useless. You can adjust the color of the light in your scene as you photograph with color-changing programmable RGB LEDs. And this is with only one RGB video light, rather than several gelled lights in an intricate dance. In this article, we will cover the following topics to help you better understand this kind of light.

  1. The pros and cons of using RGB light
  2. How does it work to change color?
  3. What are its used in portrait photography?

Video: RGB video lights example and pros & cons explained

RGB is an abbreviation for the additive color scheme of Red, Green, and Blue. The colorful light is created by combining various hues. Some RGB lights have red, green, and blue bulbs, with the combination providing the final hue. Others produce the hues using a programmed color scheme rather than real red, green, and blue bulbs. You can check the video and see how COLBOR CL60R, an RGB LED light for video, works in lighting the shooting scene.


RGB lights do not flash; instead, they remain on constantly, ensuring that the output is consistent every time. There is no need to bring gels around and attach them to white lights because the lights themselves change color. You may also utilize RGB lights for light painting, in which you move the lights slowly while keeping the shutter open.

They also run cold and don’t let out much heat, so they won't make your subject sweat or melt any plastic surrounding them.

With all of these advantages, there are certain drawbacks to RGB lighting that must be addressed.


RGB lights have a significantly lower light intensity since they are continuous and do not flash. As a result, most photographers either increase their ISO or decrease their shutter speed to compensate.

Because of the lesser brightness, the lights do not spread as far, necessitating RGBs to be positioned closer to the subject than other forms of lighting.

How does LED RGB video light work?

An RGB LED is a type of LED module that can generate nearly any color by combining three fundamental additive colors: red, green, and blue. The most basic RGB LED is a mix of three independent light-emitting diodes encased in a transparent protective glass. This LED package will have four pins, one for each of the three different colored diodes and one for the common anode (+) or cathode (-).

The three main colors LEDs employ the additive color mixing principle to create more colors than humans can imagine. Additive color mixing is the process of producing a new color by adding one set of wavelengths to another set of wavelengths. This is what occurs when multiple wavelengths of light are combined. When all of the hues are combined together, we get white rather than a rainbow of colors. Because all of the wavelengths still reach our eyes, this is referred as as additive. Because LEDs are dimmable by nature, each red, green, and blue color may create all of the distinct shades of that color.

So, how does an RGB LED light for video generate the many color combinations? It's as easy as changing the brightness of each LED. Increase the brightness of red and blue LEDs while decreasing the brightness of green LEDs to create purple. To make yellow, dim the blue LED and increase the red and green LEDs.

Three ways to use RGB color video light in your portrait photography

RGB video light can play a big role in various types of photography and videography. And today let’s see what it can do in portrait photography.

Change background color

You can use RGB light for video background. Creating a collection of multiple color backdrops can be time-consuming and necessitates more storage space. Setting up some RGB LED lights for photography in front of a white background is a wonderful approach to get around this. Choose the color you want, and boom! You have an alternative color background!

You may wind up with some patchy lighting on the backdrop depending on the size and spread of the lights you use, but this is nothing to worry about because you can start experimenting with the location and modifiers you use to level the light out.

Another amazing feature that RGB video light panel offers is the ability to cycle between several colors slowly (or at any speed you like). This is a simple method to provide your clients with more options for photo backdrops.

Again, all you have to do is push a few buttons to get started. No more halting the shoot to remove a specific color backdrop and replace it, just to discover that you don't like how that color is working for the shot. Using this strategy, you can quickly examine all of the many solid color backdrop selections and how they affect your picture within a few minutes of shooting.

Use color directly on your subject

Another technique to make your work stand out is to directly apply color to your subject. This approach differs greatly from the conventional lighting used by 95% of portrait photographers, and the options are limitless. Some color tones appear better on the face than others, but that doesn't indicate anything is particularly wrong.

Colors can be mixed and matched as needed. Experiment. There is no "wrong" way to do things.

Add lighting into your scene

Using lights for video recording is a terrific way to add something different to your photographs. This can help bring the viewers into your scene by showcasing a little portion of the behind-the-scenes studio environment.
When you choose a certain color palette in your shot and leave the light in the frame, it offers the viewer context for the overall appearance of the image. The observer may be perplexed as to why the image comprises of these tones if there is no real light in the frame.


There are RGB lighting choices available to fit every budget and style of photography or filming. From entry-level to professional, an RGB video light is available to take your work to the next level. Do your investigation before deciding which light is best for you to prevent costly blunders, and you'll enjoy using your new RGB lighting in your future shoots for years to come.