Youtube lighting setup

Youtube lighting setup DEFAULT

Top 5 Best Lighting Equipment For YouTube Videos

Top 5 Best Lighting Equipment For YouTube Videos

Making sure you have the best lighting equipment for Youtube videos is vital if you want people to watch your videos and walk away saying WOW.Most Youtubers have transformed their homes or rooms into full-scale shooting studios, investing in DSLRs, green-screens, tripods and lighting equipment.

Why would use lights when natural light is so much better?

No doubt that natural light is abundant, cheap and of high quality. However, it is simply a limitation during indoor or night time shoots. Also natural light light isn’t the most dependable. If you have overcast days or poor light into your studio/room, your videos can suffer.

If you still have any doubt, here’s a list of pros that clearly set the need for a high quality studio light:
  • You are no longer limited by the time of the day. All you need is electricity.
  • There are numerous ways to customize the light output, e.g. diffusers, grid, shape, etc.
  • They add credibility to your shoots and the output never ceases to impress.
  • You have total control over the intensity, direction and other parameters of your light, something that’s not possible with natural light.

Setting up your DIY video studio has many essential components, and lighting is definitely one of the most important.

How A Simple Change in Your Light Setup Can Better Your YouTube Videos

After using a set of lighting equipment while shooting, have you ever wondered how they can elevate your video to the next level? 

Let’s find out:

  •  Balanced and good lighting makes a good impression. You or your subject will look more professional under proper light. If the light is not appropriate, your subject will not only be unclear, but this will diminish the appeal of the content. 
  • If your video focuses more on color and texture (remember that little differences of color can change perception), you should use proper light to clearly show these facets of the video to your viewers.
  • Differences in light can convey the mood of the scene. With clever use of light, you can make your viewers feel any emotions you want.
  • Light, as we all know, is used to highlight a subject. You can use the power of light to make your viewers stand up and notice the subtle changes in a scene. Remember, they will turn their attention to where the light is!

Man recording a blog with lights

Best Lighting Equipment for Youtube Videos Comparison Table

Remember, as long as you’re smart, you don’t have to spend a fortune on external lighting. Buying according to your requirements is the key, which will get you a great illuminator at a fair price.

Different Types Of Lighting Equipment

Before we can dive into the best lighting equipment for Youtube videos, I first will explain the terminology and meanings of some of the most used lighting equipment for video production and YouTube videos.

Different types of lights are used in YouTube videos and vlogs depending on the type of show, setting, number of subjects, and what mood you want to set. Here, we’ll discuss the three kinds of lighting options that ultimately result in highlighting different areas and setting different moods. Although there are many lighting options, you can also comfortably combine them for even better lighting!

Softbox Lights

Softbox Lights

A Softbox can be thought of as a natural light emulator that tries to duplicate the natural light coming from a window. It diffuses the lighting from the source by transmitting it through a diffusion panel.

There are all kinds of shapes & sizes available for these Softboxes, e.g. rectangular, octagonal, square, etc. By using a Softbox you can reduce the strain on your flash for obtaining the same lens aperture. Softboxes are generally the cheaper options when compared to other artificial lighting sources which makes them great picks.

We recommend that you use two or more softboxes to get balanced lighting. You can place the subject right in the middle with the two softboxes, making the light shine directly on the subject. Remember that the softboxes should make an angle when facing the subject, such that the softboxes and the subject make the three corners of a shallow triangle, to ensure that the subject is evenly illuminated. 

You can use a light behind the subject to help highlight it. A backlight will clearly define the edge of the subject thereby amplifying its presence in the video.

Umbrella Lights

Umbrella Lights

Umbrella lighting is highly portable while also being an affordable lighting source, which provides a videographer/YouTuber with a soft light source. These lights are great if you just need that extra bit of controlled light for a polished look.

However, unlike softboxes that provide directional control, umbrellas have a more unrestricted type of lighting. There are majorly two types of umbrellas, reflective and shoot-through. You can read my full guide to the best umbrella lights.

Umbrella lights are used to create soft light and to add dramatic effects to your vlog. The soft lights from the umbrella light have the ability to either create or negate any shadow on the subject’s face. To accomplish this, make sure that the umbrella light is completely facing the subject. Moreover, any shadow of the subject on the backdrop can also be evened out with the use of an umbrella light.

When using reflective umbrellas, place the flash or the light source away from the subject. Umbrella lights can be used as both key light and fill light. When kept at 45% towards the left or right of the subject, it can spill and illuminate the backdrop as well. Keep in mind that the light is generally kept a little higher than head level.

Ring Lights

Ring Lights

A ring light is a multi-use tool built for all kinds of shooting environments. They emit uniform amount of light that comes right out of a camera’s point of view, making them great for shooting sharp videos with vibrant consistent light. Ring lights are go to for many YouTubers such as Casey Neistat, PewDiePie and almost every make up artist. (They are also excellent for making Tik Tok’s).

A ring light is sufficient on its own to eliminate shadows and works great as a catch light. As the light comes straight out of the camera, it gives the subject a nice even wash.

A ring light should be kept right in front of the subject’s face, so that the face will receive the most even light. Also, refrain from keeping the ring light too far from the subject’s face. If you choose to couple the ring light with two softboxes, keep the softboxes on either side of the subject with the ring light still directly in front of the subject’s face.

Plus, it eliminates most shadows, and only a halo is left if this is the only light source being used. To learn more, read my roundup of the best ring lights for makeup, zoom and YouTube.

Top 5 Best Lighting Equipment For YouTube Videos

1. Neewer 18″ LED Ring Light Kit


Neewer 18″ LED Ring Light Kit  ring lightFirst off, let’s look at the Neewer Dimmable 18 Inch Diameter 55W LED Light Kit. This is a great value and a very useful kit.

Neewer is a manufacturer and distributer of professional DSLR and photography equipment, including flashes, battery grips, remote shutter controls, camera and phone lenses, and other photo video and camera phone related products. Neewer is reputable and provides very cost-friendly equipment that can compete with professional gear.

This seems as though it is the industry standard light that is used by plenty of YouTubers in 2020.

It’s incredible for just about any situation, whether you’re in a Zoom meeting, shooting a YouTube video or doing your makeup, ring lights make it much easier to have evenly distributed light and limit the shadows.

You probably won’t find a better ring light at this price point. It’s bright, sturdy and reliable. You don’t have to worry about it overheating. (Though you should always be cautious).

The 18” light delivers a continuous output of Daylight balanced 5500K, and two sets of filters that fit directly on the ring light, soft white and orange. You can easily snap them on and get a different color temperature. Make sure your DSLR is set to manual white balance so the filters actually change the look of your footage.

It’s a well made light, including a camera mount, a very sturdy light stand, and a bag to carry it all in. It isn’t the most portable but the light quality and reliability of this product at this price is unmatched. Definitely some of the best lighting for YouTubers.

  • 18″ Ring Light 
  • Rotatable Camera and Phone Holder
  • 2x Filters for Adjustable Color Temperatures 
  • Quick Set-Up with Carrying Bag

2. StudioFX 2400 Watt Large Photography Softbox


StudioFX 2400 Watt Large softboxThe StudioFX 2400 Watt Softbox is a 3 piece lighting system that has 2 softboxes and an overhead hairlight boom softbox. The StudioFX 2400 has been built for multipurpose operation and supports 5 bulbs on each softbox, with individual on/off control.

For Vloggers and YouTubers, this is an excellent lighting kit as it has complete continuous lighting system, background support stands as well as backdrops for perfect setup within a studio.

When compared to the other lighting kits in this list, this one easily provides the best bang for back value and is still competitively priced.

Compatible with all major camera brands like Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc, this is one of the most useful and high performance kits out there. You cant go wrong with this one!
  • 2x 28”x20” Softbox
  • Includes 10 bulbs
  • Multipurpose
  • Quick set-up time

3. Fancierstudio 2400 Watt Professional Lighting Kit


Fancierstudio 2400 Watt Professional Lighting Kit

The Fancierstudio 2400 Watt Lighting Kit is third in line for our best lighting equipment for Youtube Videos. And for 3 good reasons!

This is a professional lighting kit built for all kinds of settings & situations. While it has a wide range of applications, it is most suitable for makeup tutorials, product reviews, interviews and even video podcasts!

The boom arm works seamlessly as hairlight in conjunction with the other two stands that fill light from the opposite sides. In addition, it is great for shooting multiple subjects within a single frame.

Like the above StudioFX softbox kit, this one too provides that same consistent “natural window light” look that comes out very good on videos. Just be aware that if you are recording in a darker environment, a ring light or umbrella light might be more beneficial. 
  • 3x 16”x24” softbox lights
  • 3 x light heads able to hold 4 bulbs each
  • 12×45 watt fluorescent bulbs 
  • Carrying case

4. LimoStudio Dimmable LED Lighting Kit 


LimoStudio Dimmable LED Lighting KitThe LimoStudio LED Lighting Kit offers a healthy alternate to fluorescent lighting kits for YouTubers.

Don’t underestimate the power of the LED kit as it packs a punch as powerful as fluorescent kits. The kit produces soft & diffused light, suitable for all applications. These light stands also have industrial grade wheels which makes them great for quickly manoeuvring for video shoots.

While LED lights are great light sources, they can have their drawbacks. The biggest one being they lack the ability to be made into hard light. Therefore, it is recommended to limit the kit’s use as a kicker or hairlight.

LED lights are great for starters and YouTube Vloggers on a budget as they produce greater amount of light compared to a fluorescent kit at the same price.

  • 2x 500 LEDs Photo/Video Studio Lighting Panel
  • 2x 86” studio quality light stand
  • 6x caster wheels
  • 1x carry bag

5. INKELTECH 18″ LED Ring Light


INKELTECH 18″ LED Ring LightThe 18-inch Fluorescent Ring Light is great for all kinds of environments, especially for close-ups and make-up tutorials, interviews, speaking into the camera or any close recording needs.

The diameter is a generous 18”, which we are really beginning to enjoy. It also has a large range of color temperatures that you can adjust (3000K – 6000K). You can get your footage looking very cold or very warm.

The kit is compatible with any DSLR that has a hot shoe mount adapter and is mountable on any light stand. Having the ability to insert the camera into the centre of the ring light provides a very natural and vibrant shadowless look. Just be aware that you may get ring light reflections in your eyes like YouTuber Unbox Therapy.

Another great benefit of using a ring light such as this one is that it uses a goose neck which allows for a lot of adjustment when recording. This means you can adjust just like a tripod to your desired location.

Like the above setups, this one is compatible with all the major camera manufacturers and also has an adapter for smartphones such as the iPhone and Galaxy models. A great pick!
  • 18-inch Ring Light
  • Light stand and Carrying Bag
  • Cellphone holder and Camera Mount Adapter
  • Remote Control

Important Features a Good Lighting Setup Should Have

In addition to knowing the types of lights available, you should be aware of the top features to look for within a studio light:

  • Adjustable Beam Spread: The light you purchase should allow you to adjust the beam spread, as well as the direction of propagation.
  • Stand Height: The light stand that comes within the kit should be durable and adjustable so that it can be used within multiple environments and for a variety of shoots.
  • Portability: How portable do you want it to be? If you plan on shooting indoors then portability won’t be an issue however if your videos will have a different setting every single time, then this has to be considered.

We’ve shortlisted the best lighting equipment for Youtube videos just for you. Let’s take a look below.


These are the best lights for YouTubers looking to transform his/her video arsenal into something substantial & professional. You can learn more about what type of cameras YouTubers use here if you’re looking to make your footage more crisp, sharp and colorful.

Leave a comment and tell us what lighting equipment you use!

Filed Under: Lighting, Trending


4 in 1 Bulb Softbox Setup (Pair)

Youtube Lighting Setup

If you are looking for an excellent Youtube lighting setup the 4 in 1 Bulb setup is one of the best starting points. This is a continuous lighting setup and would work in multiple scenarios, whether you are shooting videos or taking portraits. Good lighting can make a difference! The lights are easy to set up and even easier to operate.

The whole setup includes two E27 4 in 1 Bulb sockets, you can fix up to four bulbs in each socket depending on your lighting needs. You also get two light stands to fix the sockets on. These also help you keep the sockets in different positions depending on your needs. You also get two Softboxes with diffusers, these help to soften the light and make it gentle. This makes it an excellent indoor light setup. If you need lights for product photography these will suit you well.

Apart from products, these can be used as food video lights. If you are someone working in the food photography field these are a good investment to make. If you want to have all four lights but don’t want to use them all the time you can switch them off separately. The control panel has switches with indicators of what bulb is controlled by it. No need to remove the bulb every time. For safety, a 3A fuse is also given to protect from electric shocks.

Some of the various other applications for these lights are portraits, for those of you who need to bring life to their subjects by adding lights these will work well. They are also cool lights for video making. If you are looking for a Youtube lighting setup in Pakistan these work as a good option.

  1. Justice illinois crime rate
  2. Curly haircuts men
  3. The plug tattoo
  4. Sherwin williams representative

Best Lighting for Youtube Videos 2021: Ultimate Guide

​If you’re like me when I started reading about video and lighting, you probably have no clue of how this is going to help improve your videos. Even more, you might feel like it’s going to be too complicated for you.


It’s all extremely simple and easy. I’m here to help you understand why you need lighting, what you want to do with it and how to do it. I'll also recommend the best lighting kits for Youtube. ​

This is the ultimate guide to achieving the best lighting for Youtube videos in 2020.

best lighting for youtube

Table of Contents

​Why Lighting is the Main Reason Your Videos Look Crappy

The main reason your camera might seem like it’s not recording high-quality video even though you set it to 1080p is the lack of lighting.

As the human being you are (I hope so), you know you can’t see well in the dark. And that’s even though our eyes are much more sensitive to light than a camera sensor.

A camera is pretty much a machine that saves the light it receives at an exact moment, and to do so it needs to be bright enough for the sensor to capture it.

Camera sensors have different levels of sensibility to light. The higher the sensibility---also called ISO---, the worse the image will look.

When the camera doesn’t receive enough light, it increases its sensibility to light to be able to capture the moment, and that affects the resulting image.

high iso image noise

​High ISO creates little dots called noise. It looks a lot worse ​when it's a video.

​That’s why you want to have enough light so your camera can use the lowest sensibility possible, so the ​image looks as faithful to reality as it’s possible.

While things might look bright enough for you, bear in mind that the camera needs a lot more light than you do to "see" well.

Recording indoors without enough windows---even if it’s during a clear and sunny day---is not enough to capture the highest image quality your camera is capable of.

That’s why, as long as it’s possible for you, you should increase the number of lighting sources either by using lots of windows or by the easier and more reliable solution of owning a lighting kit.

​Types of Lighting for YouTube

​Natural Light

​A lot of YouTubers have wide windows at home that they use for their lighting, so they don’t have to bother about setting up lighting.

But for this, you need the right place, and you will have record during the day. You’ll also have to pray that the day you are planning to record is not rainy or darker than usual.
The other problem with this is that all videos will look slightly different because it will all depend on the intensity of the light of the day you choose for recording.

Natural light is the most beautiful kind of light for Youtube, but it is really random and hard to achieve a good result if you're working alone.

You can instead try to imitate natural lighting by using artificial methods.

​Artificial Light

Artificial light is usually achieved with a bulb, a stand and a light modifier. The objective of using it is to achieve a natural light look in a controlled setup.

This way you can always achieve the look that you want and you don’t have to rely on the duration of the day and quality of light available.

With artificial light, you can record a video at midnight and nobody will notice.

However, turning on a bulb, aiming it at your face and hoping it will look good is like hunting a lion with a BB gun and hoping you won’t get killed.

You need a modifier to make the artificial light look natural and some basic knowledge of what looks good and what doesn’t. 

Types of Artificial Light

LED Light ​for Your Key Light

The best look you can get for your YouTube videos is achieved by using a nice LED light as your main light (also called key light).

led key lighting for youtube

Notice how soft the shadows are on his face making it look like a natural light

The idea is that your key light has to be the main source of lighting, so it should be powerful.

Combine it with a big diffuser and you get a gorgeous soft shadow that looks natural like the pic above.

The bad news is that a powerful LED light is not cheap.

You can skip this if you don't have the budget. It's not a big deal if you don't get one.

But honestly, the best kind of look you can achieve is through a good LED key light.

There is a really popular light between YouTubers and it's called the Aputure 120D:

However, I've found that it is way too expensive to use just for YouTube, and there's a better option on the market that is much more affordable. You can BARELY tell the difference and it's the one I personally use... the Godox SL60W:

Godox SL60W

  • HUGE price difference and basically the same result
  • It has a fan that makes a bit of noise, but it's too low for most mics to pick it up
  • ​Weight: 60oz/1.7 kilograms

No products found.No products found.
No products found.

You need to also get an hexadecagon or octagon diffuse softbox and a strong stand to use them. Don't forget to check the ones that are often bought together on Amazon.

​Fill Lights

​These will give a light that isn't as intense as your key light and ​that will help you light up the shadows that remain on your face and background.


​Umbrellas are easier to carry around than other modifiers. They are also the most simple and easy to use.

When you use them, light spreads around more naturally than using a softbox, so you require less control and knowledge to get a nice natural-looking light. It’s basically the plug and play for lighting.

How to use an umbrella

If you know how to use an umbrella, you got the knowledge to use one for lighting. There are two kinds of umbrellas: bounce umbrellas (black and silver) and shoot-through umbrellas (white and translucent). You will be using the latter for YouTube videos.

The way of using it is simple: set the inner part of the umbrella in front of the bulb and aim the bulb at you or your subject. That’s it.


​Softboxes are translucent boxes that come in different figures. The most common one is rectangular, which imitates the light that comes from a window.

It requires a bit more control than umbrellas. Because of this it’s more versatile and you can achieve the specific look that you want, but you need the knowledge and to play a lot with it.

​How to use a softbox

​To use the softbox itself is not complicated. You just have to set the bulb inside the box itself and point the white part to your subject.

However, there are probably hundreds of ways of using a softbox.

You have to try different angles and distances with a softbox to play with the different shadows you get on your subject.

A good starting point is following the typical three-point lighting method I will explain later on.

They simply require a bit more of testing and experimenting, but you can give your Youtube videos an unique look with them.

Alternative: One Light Setup

If you don't​ want to use multiple lights for your studio, you could simply go for a ring light.

​Most YouTubers simply use one of these because they can light up everything pretty evenly and it's just one light that is easy to set up.

Of course, using a strong key light + softer fill lights will give a more professional and beautiful look​, but you can use a ring light if you're just starting and if you're too confused about lighting.

​Ring Light

​Ring lights are another kind of artificial light that looks a lot different than the traditional lighting setup.

​Just a ring light should be your choice if you're tight on budget. 

They can light up a basement or garage like it's nothing.

They are so powerful that you might want to bounce it to a wall because they can be intolerable if they're directly pointing at you.

It basically consists of a light bulb that comes in a ring shape. 

It creates an even light all around your face without having to use more light sources. So it’s practical and can clean your face of any shadow.

They make your face look really bright, so they are perfect for makeup work, but they might look more unnatural than using a typical lighting setup.

They are pretty ergonomic because you set your camera in the middle of the ring, so it also serves as a stand for your camera.

They're also the easiest setup to carry around.

Finally, it creates a circular spotlight on your eyes, which is something that a lot of people like about it.

​How to use a ring light

​If you are showing some type of work on someone’s face---like makeup---, you don’t want shadows. That’s when using a ring light is best.

And to achieve a shadowless look with them, you should always put the ring light in front of your subject. If you don’t, the ring light will create some hard shadows on their face that won’t make things look clean.

​Umbrella vs Softbox vs Ring Light: Which One is Right for Your YouTube Videos?

  • ​​​Simplest to use and require ​basic knowledge to make them work.
  • ​​Can help you achieve a more unique and professional look, but you will need lots of trial and error.
  • ​Ring lights are ​easie​r to carry around because you ​only need the ring light and ​one stand, but they ​don't look as natural and ​are also more expensive. It should be your choice if you're a makeup Youtuber.

​Best Ring Lights for YouTube

2. Neewer Camera Photo Video Lighting Kit: 14"

  • ​Adjustable mount for ​cameras and mobile phones
  • Color filters to experiment different light temperatures (​orange, ​white), Bluetooth Self-timer
  • ​Size: 14" Outer/12" on center 55W 5500K
  • ​Weight: 5.06 pounds

​3. LimoStudio LED Ring Light 18"

  • ​Adjustable mount for ​cameras and mobile phones. This one comes with a lever that makes adjusting the camera easier
  • Color filters to experiment different light temperatures (​orange, ​pink, ​blue), Bluetooth Self-timer
  • ​Size: 18"/48cm Outer 55W 5500K
  • ​Weight: 11.2 pounds

Best Lighting Kits for YouTube

Combine any of these with a key light from the section above and you'll have the perfect lighting kit for YouTube.

If you want to know, my favorite combination is the Godox SL60W key light + the softbox kit below.

​Linco Lincostore Photo Video Studio Light Kit AM169 400w

  • ​Four 23W ​Bulbs with holding sockets and stands. This makes this lighting kit ​half as bright ​as the ​one above.
  • Green, white and black backdrops with stand support system
  • ​You'll need to buy better clamps for the backdrop
  • ​Two ​white ​translucent umbrellas and two softboxes
  • ​One ​carrying bag for the entire kit

​How to Use Your Lighting Kit

​I’m sure you noticed that most lighting kits come with 2-3 lighting bulbs and their respective stands and modifiers.

How do you use these lights?

A basic lighting setup is normally made of 3 parts:

  1. Key light
  2. Fill light
  3. Back or background light light
lighting setup for youtube videos

​The key light should be your stronger light and the main one that will point to your subject’s face. You should put it closer to your face than the other ones, or make it stronger by increasing the output. You should also put it slightly above the level of your subject’s face.

The fill light will fill the shadows generated by your key light so it softens them up and makes them look more natural. Use it to avoid hard shadows and create a more diffused shadow.

The back or background light can be used in two ways:

  1. Point it to your background so it’s also bright and you don’t look like you’re in a spotlight.
  2. Point it to your subject from behind to create a highlight that helps to separate the subject from the background. This is mostly used for portrait photography.

Each kind of light doesn’t need to come from an artificial source. That means that your key light can be the sun, the fill light a bouncer, the background light a window, etc.

The advantage of using a lighting kit is that you are in control of the light so you can achieve a pretty consistent result and replicate it over and over.

​Be Conscious of Shadows

So you bought one of the lighting kits above. Now what? You probably have no clue how everything falls into place.

Don’t worry, it really isn’t that hard.

Using lighting will make your videos better, but you also need to know what you want to aim for.

First, using lighting will naturally create some shadows. Learning how to deal with them is what you need to do.

There are no good or bad shadows, there's just appropriate lighting for what you want to communicate with your image. As a Youtuber or video blogger, you don't want to look like a movie villain:

​You will probably want something simple that looks good and it's just natural:

diffused light

You should know that the kind of shadows you get will depend on many factors:

  • Distance from the umbrella and the bulb
  • Distance from you and the umbrella
  • Angle and size of the softbox
  • Natural light sources available
  • Much more...

​The best ending results will come after a lot of trial and error.

If you just want to record a nice looking YouTube video, just make sure you are not creating hard shadows around your nose. 

You need to look at your final result and make sure that the image is bright enough and shadows look diffused and natural.


​Once you find the right setup, make sure you achieve a look that you want and try to memorize how you achieved it so you can replicate it for all your videos.

It will take some practice and many videos for you to finally choose the best one. You might want to take a picture of all your setup once you achieve a look that you love, so you can replicate it later.

1. Try different setups for your lighting. Use different angles, combinations and amount of lighting sources. Try it out and experiment until you achieve something you like. It’s the only way to learn.

2. Use an umbrella for a nice natural light look without too many complications.

3. Use a softbox for better aesthetics and a more artistic look with shadows.

4. Use a ring light to make your face really bright and erase all shadows from it, which is great for makeup work.

5. Think about your environment. You can also use light for the background so it doesn’t look a lot darker than you or your subject.


A Beginner's Guide to Video Lighting for Vlogs


If you’re just starting a YouTube channel (or maybe looking to reinvent an existing one), you’ve probably got a laundry list of things to figure out. Whether that’s music for your videos, topics to cover, or editing software to download, there’s always one more puzzle to solve.

And what about lighting? Do you have a budget for equipment? Will you need some creative solutions to get your video lighting on par with the channels you subscribe to?

Most videographers and photographers know the ins and outs of lighting. Whether you’re shooting outdoors or on a staged set, three-point lighting is an industry standard. And the same standard applies to content creators who are just getting started.

Three-point lighting isn’t just a thing for professionals to keep in mind — it’s something viewers unconsciously expect in every video they watch. In some ways, great lighting is like a stamp of professionalism. It’s a promise to view about the quality of content they’re about to watch.


New call-to-action


A consistent lighting setup can go a long way in establishing your channel as a go-to source of information (even if you are by no means an expert). YouTube viewers can literally tell at a glance if you’re serious, so it helps to try and match the visual standards they expect.

But not every aspiring vlogger has a studio lighting kit just lying around. We understand.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to replicate a three-point lighting setup at home and make your videos look just like the million-subscriber channels you currently follow.

Things You’ll Need for Video Lighting 

Spend 10 minutes googling and you’ll find a whole catalog of lighting kits you can buy. Heck, most YouTube personalities plug links to their recommendations or sponsored products. 

The truth is you don’t need to spend $5,000 on professional equipment, or even $500 on amateur gear. For the absolute basics of a decent lighting system, all you need is some DIY craftiness and a willingness to experiment.


An example of three-point lighting for videos


It’s a low bar of entry, and something you can — and should — improve as soon as you can.

Direct Lighting

As the name suggests, direct lighting is the primary light source. Your main goal with a direct light source is to create shadows or “texture” within the scene. (And, you know, illuminate your face for the camera!)


Direct lighting on a person with a microphone

Image courtesy of Parker Walbeck


The most popular option is a softbox, which offers focused and diffused light. But you technically don’t need one for a vlog setup.

When choosing the primary video lighting for your vlog, try to stay consistent. A large window works fine and is as free as stuff comes. Other options could be work lights or clamp lights, and you can pick those up on the cheap from a home improvement store.

And once you choose a light source, you’ll want to stay consistent to establish a visual tone or brand for your channel.

Fill Lighting

One great thing about vlogging is that you get to put your personality into the product. While we don’t recommend you do anything weird with your lighting — again, solid lighting is something viewers expect these days — you do have room to experiment.


Fill lighting on a person with a microphone

Image courtesy of Parker Walbeck


Most DIY lighting options can be used in any of the three main “roles.” If you use a window as your direct lighting, you could grab a bright lamp or buy a work light as your fill lighting. Or vice versa, depending on the brightness of the lamp.

But regardless of what you pick, things should look natural, not staged. That’s where second and third lights come into play.

If direct light’s goal is to create shadows, then the fill light should help you minimize how dramatic they are. (Unless you’re telling ghost stories with a flashlight under your chin, you’ll want to keep the depth of your shadows to a minimum.)

Back Lighting

Part of good lighting is to “round out” the features, and a back light (situated behind you) provides the third piece in the setup. This light defines hair and head shape and all that good stuff. It adds another dimension to separate you from the backdrop.


Back lighting of someone's profile

Image courtesy of Parker Walbeck


When it comes to DIY options for back lighting, you can use just about anything. It’s important to try to match light temperature across all three points, but it isn’t strictly necessary when you’re just starting out.

Even things like a lamp with a sheet over it, a window across the room, or lights from a different room can do the job. You just need a faint, non-distracting highlight behind you. 


Sometimes you need a little help to modify the lighting you’ve got to work with — scrims are an easy way to adjust things. Most scrims are lightweight and made from textured fabric, and their job is to reduce how intense (or “harsh”) a light source is.


Photographer setting up a scrim

Image courtesy of Eric Eggly


Scrims are one of the cheapest DIY projects when it comes to video lighting for vlogs. All you need to make one is a portable clothes rack and a sheet. And if you’re using a window as your direct light, a curtain can function like a homemade scrim.


The second tool you can use to change lighting is reflectors. As the name suggests, these are tools that redirect light. They work kind of like mirrors, but bounce the light without creating strange glares or flashes.


Reflectors for video lighting

Image courtesy of DSLR Video Shooter


An easy — and popular — DIY alternative is tinfoil around some sort of wire frame. (Coat hangers do the trick nicely.) But you can also pick up a cheap fabric reflector for $50 or less.

Unlike scrims, reflectors can also replace lights. Let’s say you’re using a window as the direct light. And maybe you’re recording at 10 a.m. but all your lights have warmer “afternoon” tones.

Have no fear, new vlogger! This is where a reflector can save you. By placing a reflective surface to one side, you’ll be able to fake a second “source” of light. It’ll create some balance for your video and match the tone you need.

Now a reflector may not look quite as good as a light, or even a DIY replacement. But it’s proof that you can figure out video lighting for vlogs without buying professional equipment.

Test Your Ideas

In fact, there’s no easy replacement for studio lights, scrims, and reflectors. But those things aren’t necessary for vlogs. Content is king, and viewers will care about your content more than whether you use a $1,000 studio light or a $19.99 work lamp from Home Depot. 

If you’ve got access to studio equipment, then by all means use it! But if not, don’t feel like you can’t start that vlog series you’ve been thinking about for months. Chances are you’ve already got all the light sources you need.


behind-the-camera view of a video shoot


Lighting plays a major role in video production, and it’s something every viewer will appreciate (even if they don’t realize why). The best content creators are the ones who evolve over time, and that kind of flexibility can also help you minimize the cost of starting a channel.

One last piece of advice: Make sure you test out your lighting first. Ingenuity is a great thing, especially on YouTube. Just don’t get too strange with your setup — you might drive off the subscribers you’ve worked so hard to attract!

Start by watching videos from creators who have built successful channels. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Roman Atwood, Tyler Oakley, or Zoe Sugg. The important thing is to look for hints about their lighting setup and get an idea of how they light their vlogs.

You may not be able to replicate what they do, and you probably won’t be carrying around $10,000 in camera gear. But with enough attention to detail, you’ll start to develop an eye for great vlog lighting.

And then you can absolutely create your own video lighting setup for less than $100.


Lighting setup youtube

Let’s be honest, learning how to get good lighting for your videos can be intimidating for beginners.

If you’re just starting out with video production, lighting your video shoot can be tricky. There is a big difference in how our eyes perceive light compared to a camera lens.

Cameras need WAY more light to produce a quality image than you might imagine. Additionally, that light needs to come from the right direction.

If you haven’t invested time or money into your lighting process, it’s time to start.

Do yourself a HUGE favor and prepare and plan properly.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a professional to get great lighting!

We’ll guide you through the process we use here at TechSmith to get the perfect lighting for all your videos, regardless of your budget or experience.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to get great webcam lighting
  • How to prepare for a video shoot
  • How to choose a lighting type
  • How to set up three-point lighting
  • How to choose your light color temperature
  • How to fix/avoid glare

Free Lighting Tutorial Course!

Watch this FREE online course by TechSmith Academy to learn the basics of lighting your video.

Watch the free course!

Not all videos need professional lighting. But some extra production could be helpful. Here are some great tips and tricks for how to get the perfect lighting for video.

Webcam lighting

Setting up lighting for your webcam doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few tips:

1. Make sure you have enough light. If you don’t, add some! We discuss the different types of lighting you can purchase later in this blog.

2. Make sure your face is lit evenly and doesn’t have unwanted shadows. You may have to adjust the position or location of your light sources to do this. 

For a low-budget solution, try shooting with a window behind your camera and the light shining on your face. Using natural light is a great option if it’s available. If not, there are plenty of cheap ring light setups that will work just fine.

For more information specific to webcam lighting, check out this great video:

Get the perfect video lighting setup

Step 1: Prepare for the shoot

It’s always a good idea to look around your location ahead of time. Consider the natural light entering through windows and casting shadows, and be wary that weather can change quickly and affect your lighting. That beautiful sunshine can disappear in an instant.

Even it doesn’t disappear permanently, constantly shifting light as the sun goes behind clouds and re-emerges can wreak havoc on your lighting. Be prepared for any changes or make adjustments to keep your lighting consistent.

The best shooting environment is one where you have as much control over lighting as possible.

Step 2: Choose a lighting type

Video lighting on a budget

Ultimately, if you have some amazing natural light in your shooting location, that’s by far the best (and cheapest) option. However, if you don’t have access to natural light or you find it especially inconsistent for your shooting purposes, there are plenty of other lighting types to choose from.

If you choose natural light, make sure it illuminates your face evenly and doesn’t cause unwanted shadows.

At TechSmith, we have a drawer full of cheap clamp lights. At around $10 each, these lights are versatile and can be mounted in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, the lack of dimming control and diffusion can lead to harsh brightness. 

If you choose this option, use lightbulbs of the same temperature and brightness in each lamp to ensure consistency.

There are a few types of lighting to be aware of as well. Light with no filter is known as hard light. Think of the difference between a lamp with a bare bulb and one with a lampshade. Without the shade, it’s brighter, but the light can be harsh and cast deep shadows.

Diffusion helps spread light evenly, creating soft light, and can be improvised even on a budget. So when working with clamps lights, we highly suggest using some type of diffusion material.

You can buy diffusion paper and tape it over your lights, or even cut up a frosted shower curtain. Feel free to get creative!

These lights can also be bounced off a surface like a wall, ceiling, or reflector to create soft light, which is significantly more preferable to blinding your subject and creating an unflattering image.

The mid-range lighting options

If your budget is a little higher, you can buy purpose-built studio lights for $100-$500 with everything you need to set them up.

The downside with these types of lighting kits is they are usually pretty big and bulky.

Not everyone has the space to fill a room with giant lights. A great compact option is Lumecube. The light is small enough to sit on your desk, but has more advanced features like adjustable brightness and color temperature. If you’re recording videos at home or at your office desk, Lumecube is a great way to get balanced light without a lot of hassle. It’s the light I use on my desk every day.

No matter what lights you go with, try to find a kit with included light stands for easier setup. They also generally provide higher total light output. These lights often have a few switches on the back to control the number of lit bulbs, offering a greater level of control over your total output.

The high-end options

In the higher price range of video lighting kit options, you’ll likely pay as much for one light as you would for a whole mid-range kit.

In turn, you’ll find many more fancy features, such as full-range dimmers, wireless control, ability to change color on the fly, better diffusion, and stronger output.

Before purchasing these lights, it’s a good idea to rent them locally or online and ensure they’ll suit your needs before fully investing in them.

If you plan to shoot high-end camera video on a regular basis, it may be worth the higher price. But unless you have specific requirements for these fancier features, it’s a waste of money to invest in such expensive lights when something cheaper will work just as well for basic shoots.

Step 3: Set up 3-point lighting

The most common setup for lights is called three-point lighting. It consists of a key light, a fill light, and a backlight (sometimes called a “hairlight”).

Imagine that your subject is at the center of a clock, with the camera at six.

The key light is located approximately at four. It should be the brightest of the three and provides the bulk of light to your subject.

The fill light is approximately at eight, and eliminates shadows caused by the key light. Your fill should be about half the intensity of your key so that it still eliminates shadows, but doesn’t produce a flat-looking shot due to the fill and key lights matching too closely.

The backlight located somewhere between one and two, separates your subject from the background. This creates depth and prevents a flat-looking shot. Your backlight can be hard light (no diffusion), as it won’t create shadows visible to the camera on the subject’s face.

Pro tip: Look at your subject through your camera’s lens. That way, you’ll be able to see your lighting as your viewers will see it. This perspective may reveal issues you couldn’t see with your own eyes.

Three-point lighting will serve you well if you want to make YouTube videos, demo videos, webinars, and much more!

Three-point lighting will serve you well if you want to make YouTube videos, promo videos, webinars, and much more!

Step 4: Choose your light color temperature

Not all lights are created equal. Based on the type of bulb, lights can appear “cooler” or “warmer” on camera. The human eye perceives this difference, too.

Consider how a doctor’s office looks (cool fluorescent light) compared to a comfortable living room setting. Warmer light typically has more yellow color, which cooler light has more white or light blue tones.

This concept is called color temperature, and can be measured on a scale of kelvin (see image below.)

As we stated earlier, it’s best not to mix lights of different color temperatures. I suggest finding daylight color bulbs, which is around 5000K.

For LED, it’s helpful to be able to adjust the color by temperature to ensure even coloration. Mixed temperatures can lead to improper color balance, which can lead to unnatural-looking footage.

Step 5: Look out for glare

Glare on glasses can be a big issue, especially with fixtures that have harder, more direct light.

You can often fix it by raising up your lights higher on their stands. If you have someone who can assist, have them raise the lights while you look through the camera viewfinder until the light is no longer visible in the glasses lens.

If raising the lights doesn’t help, try moving your key and fill lights farther out, while keeping them relatively equal to one another.

In the three-point lighting image above, your key would be closer to 3:15, and your fill would be 8:45.

If your subject is comfortable with removing their glasses, that’s always a good last resort, but certainly not always an option — especially if they’re reading from a teleprompter.

It’s best to accommodate your shooting subject as best you can before asking them to adjust their appearance for a technical reason.

Next steps

With the basics down, feel free to experiment with lighting that works for you. If you don’t get it right the first time, don’t be discouraged! Like many other things, lighting takes practice to achieve consistent results. Keep at it, and you’ll be an expert in no time!

For a more in-depth video walkthrough of the lighting process, check out this course from TechSmith Academy.

Free Lighting Course!

Our FREE TechSmith Academy course will walk you through the basics of lighting your video.

Watch the free course!

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to light my video?

You don’t have to spend a fortune to light your video if you don’t want to. There are plenty of low-budget or even free options, like natural light. However, if you plan to make videos often or need higher quality, you might spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

What color bulb should I choose?

That depends on what atmosphere you’re going for- blue, “cooler” lights will give you more of a doctor’s office feel, while red, “warmer” lights will feel more like a cozy living room. Regardless of your choice, it’s important to never mix bulb colors.

How do I avoid glare?

Glare isn’t the end of the world. But if it’s bothering you, try raising your lights higher on their stands.

Can I use ring lights for videos?

While ring lights can be ideal for webcam videos, we don’t recommend them for productions where the subject is further away from the camera.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

YouTube Lighting Setup on a Budget

How to Create a YouTube Lighting Setup on a Budget

As many of us have been confined to our own homes, there has been a sharp rise in people looking for other revenue streams attainable from their own house. Here is how to create a budget lighting setup to make your YouTube videos look more professional.

Continuous lighting used to be rather tricky. Before the advent of LED lighting, they were expensive, cumbersome, thirsty, hot, and generally difficult. However, over the last decade or so, we have seen an influx of excellent LED lights that are both cheap, small in form, and easy to set up, all while often having control over the color and temperature.

In this video, Peter Lindgren walks you through how he lights his talking head videos in his studio, and you may be surprised at just how cost-effective and easy this solution is. As an Editor here at Fstoppers, I obviously consume an ungodly amount of content in and around photography, particularly YouTube videos. Of all the channels I watch on a daily basis, I would put Lindgren's in the top five in terms of image quality. His lighting setup looks complicated at first; there are different colors, rim lights, key lights, and so on. But, as you can see in this video, it's far easier to recreate than it looks.

The key light for Lindgren is the popular Nanlite PavoTube 15C 2' RGBW LED light and costs $200. This is then supplemented with smaller versions of the same light, to great effect. You may be able to create a similar style for cheaper, but for an RGB LED tube light that can reach such power, $200 is a steal.


Now discussing:

Best lights for YouTube videos: Top video lights for content creators

When it comes to creating professional-looking YouTube videos, lighting is key. The best lights for YouTube videos will allow you to create a well-lit, polished look that’s consistent from video to video.

From vlogs to full studio productions, all styles of YouTube video can benefit from a dedicated lighting setup. The best lights for YouTube videos will allow you to film independently of natural lighting, with increased creative control for results that are colour accurate and flicker-free.

Dedicated video lighting is also an excellent investment. While cameras and camera lenses become dated as imaging technology advances, you’ll rarely find quality lighting going out of style.

Video lights come in styles and at price points to suit all levels of content creators. To help you find the best video light for you, you’ll find our brief buying guide below, followed by our pick of the best lights for YouTube videos.

How to choose the best lights for YouTube videos

Video light basics

While most YouTube lighting setups start from a single light, it can be helpful to plan ahead. A three-point lighting setup is the most common arrangement and involves a key light, a fill light and a background light.

The key light is your main light and is usually the brightest. This light is used to illuminate your subject and determines the overall exposure of your scene. How it’s positioned will vary depending on the look you’re going for, but in general, around 45 degrees from your subject is a good starting point.

The fill light is usually a little dimmer and is positioned on the opposite side of your subject, mirroring the key. This light is used to fill in any shadows left by the key light, and its brightness can be varied to taste. Going for a bright, soft look? Turn the fill light up. Looking for something a little moodier? Dim the fill light down a little.

Finally, as the name suggests, a background light is used to illuminate the space behind your subject. This light can set the overall feel of your video and adds a sense of space to your scene. Pretty much any video light can be used to light your background, although dedicated background lights with colour-changing functionality can offer a wide range of creative freedom.

The three-point light setup won’t work for all styles of video, and it’s certainly not essential to go out and buy three separate lights immediately, especially if you’re just getting started. But it can help to bear this arrangement in mind when planning which light to buy first.

READ NEXT: The best tripods to buy

What type of video light is best?

From candid vlogs to full studio setups, no two YouTube content creators are quite alike, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. If you film on the go, then a small, packable, lightweight option will likely suit you best. Ideally, you’ll want a light that can be run off of a battery and potentially one that can attach directly to your camera or phone. Small LED panels and ring lights work particularly well here.

Moving on up, if you’re working in a makeshift studio out of your home, then you may instead want to opt for a mains-powered light. Larger LED panel lights are ideal as they offer decent brightness levels but can still pack down after filming. Larger diameter ring lights are also well worth considering as they can illuminate subjects from all sides, making for a great one-light solution.

For more permanent sets, you’ll likely be less concerned about portability and so a more substantial studio-style light may suit you best. Studio lights tend to offer the most output and the widest range of light modifiers and accessories, allowing you to tailor the light to your specific needs. They do, however, tend to require larger stands and bulkier diffusers and so will take up more space while set up.

What brightness do I need?

Video lights come in a variety of different brightnesses, and your ideal option will be determined by the style of light and how you plan to use it. Most video lights will list an approximate brightness in lumens, with 800 lumens comparable to a 60W incandescent lightbulb, and 1500 lumens a 100W bulb.

A brighter light with a dimmer will provide you with more flexibility as well as the ability to record your videos at a lower ISO for less video grain. Brighter lights tend to be heavier and more expensive, though, so sometimes it can work just as well to position a dimmer light a little closer to your subject.

READ NEXT: The best action cameras on the market

What other specifications should I look out for?

When working with photos or video, you’ll want to look out for a light’s colour rendering index, or CRI rating. The CRI will let you know how true to life colours will appear when illuminated by the light, which is critical for achieving accurate skin tones. The higher the rating, the better, but any light with a rating of 90 or above should work fine.

If you plan on working with mixed lighting, then the light’s colour temperature is also important. You’ve likely noticed that bright sunlight can feel cool and blue, while indoor light can seem warm and yellow. As standard, most video lights offer a daylight colour temperature setting, or a kelvin value of around 5500K. If you plan on recording using only dedicated video lights, then getting all daylight balanced lights will work fine. However, if you plan on filming with a mix of video lights and traditional incandescent lights, you’ll need a light that can be set to 3200K or tungsten setting in order to match the warmer indoor lighting.

The best lights for YouTube videos to buy in 2021

1. Neewer LED panel: Best LED video light panel for YouTube videos

Price: £90 | Buy now from Amazon

Neewer’s LED panel is an affordable, easy-to-use, versatile lighting option that will work for YouTube video makers of all experience levels.

The light is bright, colour accurate, offers colour temperature adjustment and includes a diffusion filter for more flattering results across faces. While cheaper LED panels attach rigidly to a light stand, Neewer’s panel features a metal u-bracket that allows you to easily angle the light, making it significantly more user-friendly.

While the light comes with a UK mains adapter, it’s also compatible with NP-F550/F970 batteries, allowing you to set up remotely or simply avoid cluttered cabling.

Although it doesn’t ship with a stand, the panel is compatible with all standard floor stands and table mounts, allowing you to adapt it to suit your specific setup. If you’re working on a budget, this light makes for an affordable key light. Alternatively, you can pick up a pair bundled with adjustable light stands for a key light and fill light set.

Key specs – Brightness: 3360 lumens; Dimmable: Yes; Colour temperature: 3200-5600K; Advertised CRI: 96; Power source: Included mains adapter or NP-F550/NP-F970 Li-ion Battery (not included)

2. Godox ML-60: Best portable studio light for YouTube videos

Price: £256 | Buy now from Amazon

Godox’s ML-60 light is a lightweight, versatile studio light that’s ideal for both home studios and remote work. Bright, colour accurate and simple to use, the ML-60 makes for an excellent key light on smaller sets and can then be used as a fill or background light should your productions get larger.

Unlike traditional studio lights, the ML-60 is compact and portable, packing down neatly into an included carry case. Compatibility with Sony NP-F550/F970 batteries allows for remote use, while a grip handle makes it great for run-and-gun filming. The light is quiet, too, with near-silent operation, even with extended use and offers a fan-free silent mode when required (although this is limited to 50% output).

As a studio-styled light the ML-60 is compatible with a range of lighting modifiers. As standard, it features compatibility with Godox mount reflectors and softboxes but can be used with all Bowens mount modifiers using an adapter. It’s worth noting that the light only ships with a basic reflector, so you’ll likely need to pair it with the Godox As-s60s softbox or similar before putting it to use.

If you’re working on a tighter budget and don’t need the high level of portability afforded by the ML-60, then the older Godox SL-60W is still a very capable option.

Key specs – Brightness: 4500 lumens; Dimmable: Yes; Colour temperature: 5600K; Advertised CRI: 96; Power source: Included mains adapter or NP-F550/NP-F970 Li-ion Battery

3. Elgato Ring Light: Best ring light for YouTube videos

Price: £186 | Buy now from Amazon

The Elgato Ring Light is an excellent single-light solution for YouTube video makers and streamers. While most ring lights feature LEDs built into the face of the ring, Elgato’s LEDs are installed within the frame. This results in a ring of light free of harsh hotspots that’s significantly less fatiguing on the eyes over long recording sessions.

The light itself, thanks to the large diameter of the ring, is flattering and soft, resulting in a shadow-free look that works as both a key and fill light. While there are physical controls built into the rear, like all of Elgato’s lights, the Ring Light can be paired with a companion app, allowing you to adjust the brightness and colour temperature without having to leave your seat.

As standard, the Elgato Ring Light ships with a sturdy desk-mount stand that keeps floor clutter to a minimum. It is, however, also compatible with standard light stands, too.

Key specs – Brightness: 2500 lumens; Dimmable: Yes; Colour temperature: 2900-7000K; Advertised CRI: 94; Power source: Included mains adapter

4. Godox UL60: Best silent studio light for YouTube videos

Price: £262 | Buy now from Amazon

The Godox UL60 is a solidly built, easy to control, daylight-balanced light that’s completely silent while in use, making it perfect for YouTubers, vloggers and streamers.

The light is set apart from its rivals by its completely fan-less design. This means, even over longer recording sessions, you never have to worry about your microphone picking up any potentially distracting fan noise.

The UL60 outputs up to 60 watts of daylight balanced light, allowing it to handle key light duty on smaller sets and transition into a fill or background light role if your productions get larger. The light can be controlled using the in-line controller or by your phone via Bluetooth. The Godox Light app enables you to take control of the UL60 and other compatible Godox lights right from your smartphone, which is great if you want to adjust your settings without stepping away from the camera.

As the UL60 is a studio-style light it’ll need combining with a suitable light modifier for most use cases. For YouTube work it pairs particularly well with the Godox QR-P120 Parabolic Softbox, but as it features a standard Bowens mount it’s compatible with a wide range of other modifiers.

If you’re looking for something with a similar feature set but in a more portable package then be sure to take a look at the compact Godox ML-60 that also features in this round-up.

Key specs - Brightness: 4500 lumens; Dimmable: Yes; Colour temperature: 5600K; Advertised CRI: 96; Power source: Included mains adapter or V-port battery

5. Rotolight NEO 2: Best portable light for YouTube videos

Price: £199 | Buy now from Amazon

Small but powerful, the Rotolight NEO 2 is a highly adaptable professional video light that works well both fixed to your camera while on location and attached to a stand while in the studio.

The NEO 2 features a set of easy-to-use controls on the rear, allowing you to quickly and accurately adjust its output and colour temperature. It’s also compatible with Rotolight’s range of disc-shaped drop-in filters. A set of diffusion filters is included, allowing you to soften the light for more flattering results on faces.

A mains adapter is included, but the main perk of the NEO 2 is its portability, with its compact design allowing it to slip easily into most camera bags. While on the go, it can be powered using a set of six AA batteries. These are sold pretty much everywhere so you never have to worry about finding replacements should you run low while out and about, although we’d recommend looking into rechargeables.

For content creators that work with photos as well as video, the NEO 2 can also be used as a high-speed sync flash modelling light when paired with the Elinchrom HSS transmitter.

Key specs – Brightness: 2500 lumens; Dimmable: Yes; Colour temperature: 2900-7000K; Advertised CRI: 96; Power source: Included mains adapter or 6x AA batteries

6. Rotolight LED Ring Light Kit for Content Creators: Best for vlogging

Price: £77 | Buy now from Amazon

Rotolight’s small, lightweight, battery-powered LED Ring Light Kit is ideal for YouTube vloggers on the move. The light can be attached to just about any camera or smartphone using the included bracket and can even be fixed directly over the top of a shotgun microphone like the Rode Videomic Pro. The travel-friendly miniature tripod allows you to level and stabilise your shots while out and about and can even be used as a grip for hand-held filming.

The light is quick to set up, easy to use and thanks to its AA battery-powered operation, spare batteries are never hard to find. Although it’s not the brightest light in our round-up and lacks a dimmer control, we found it great for to-camera vlogs and social media clips.

The light is daylight white balanced for shooting under natural lighting conditions but a set of filters are included should you need to match indoor artificial lights. There are also two diffusion filters, allowing the output to be softened for more flattering facial lighting.

READ NEXT: The best tripods for iPhones

Key specs - Brightness:1000 lumens; Dimmable:No; Colour temperature:3200, 4100, 5600K; Advertised CRI:91; Power source:3xAA

7. Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagon: Best custom background light for YouTube videos

Price: £178 | Buy now from Amazon

Looking to create your own eye-catching custom backdrop? Nanoleaf’s Shapes light panels can be arranged and orientated however you like: simply connect the individual panels together and stick them to the wall. This allows you to create a unique background to match your YouTube channel’s logo or theme.

Once the Shapes are paired with your smartphone, you can take complete control. Through the app, you can dial in whichever colour you like and apply it to the arrangement as a whole, or to each panel individually. You can also create presets, allowing you to instantly switch between different colour combinations. There are also customisable themes built in that allow you to have the lights change colour gradually, pulse in time with music or react to being touched.

A starter set of Nanoleaf Shapes contains nine hexagonal panels, although you can expand your design through Shapes Expansion packs. Large and small Triangle Shapes are also available, and the different panels are inter-connectable.

Key specs – Brightness: 900 lumens; Dimmable: Yes; Colours: 16,000,000 user-selectable colours; Advertised CRI: N/A; Power source: Included mains adapter.

8. Godox CL10: Best background light for YouTube videos

Price: £65 | Buy now from Amazon

Designed as a dedicated background light, the CL10 is perfect for adding ambience, colour and style to your videos. Using the included remote or Godox’s smartphone app, you can dial in your choice of 36,000 different hue and saturation combinations or use one of the built-in effects, such as firelight, candlelight or TV flicker.

While the CL10 is powerful enough to illuminate a background scene on its own, where it really shines is in a stereo pair. Using the Godox app, you can control multiple lights simultaneously and dial in vibrant complementary colours.

The Godox CL10 is powered by a USB-C adapter. This means it can be set up to run from the mains or, for portability, a USB power bank.

While the CL10 offers full control over both colour and saturation, it’s not the most colour-accurate option when it comes to pure white light, and therefore not a good stand-in for key or fill light duty.

Key specs – Brightness: 1100 lumens; Dimmable: Yes; Colours: 36,000 user-selectable colours; Advertised CRI: N/A; Power source: Included USB-C adapter


811 812 813 814 815