The Seven Best Video Lighting Tips

Last Updated January 27th, 2020

video lighting

LIGHTS. CAMERA. ACTION. There’s a reason lights come first in this familiar Hollywood phrase. Because it can make or break your finished product. And we’ve got the seven best video lighting tips to get you on the right track.

The 7 Best Video Lighting Tips

Finding the best lighting for your videos can be a challenging task. Maybe your shot isn’t bright enough. Or it’s too bright. Sometimes the color temperature isn’t right, or the shadows are so harsh that you can barely decipher what is what.

You want your prospects and customers to really absorb what you have to say. Especially if you’re sending them a personal video email.

Knowing how to get good lighting for videos will keep your content looking sharp and professional. And you don’t need all the fancy lighting equipment you’ll see in a professional shoot.

There are simple, effective ways to get good lighting in videos, without hauling around a ton of gear. Watch the following video, or read the post below for seven DIY video lighting tips for video:

1. Use Windows During the Day For Best Indoor Video Lighting

Windows are your best friend when finding the best lighting for videos indoors during the daytime. And they should ideally be in the shadows to give you a soft, diffused light.

Make sure the window is generally in front of you when filming. This will give you the balanced lighting you’re looking for.

If you’re filming a video near a window flooded by sunlight, the harsh lighting will create dark shadows on your face.

You’ll also likely find yourself squinting on camera. That can be distracting to your viewers or video email recipients.

2. Turn On A Lamp at Night For the Perfect Lighting Indoors

The best lighting while filming indoors at night will come from a lamp. It should be bright but also diffused.

Your lamp doesn’t need to be a professional one. It can even be a simple, inexpensive desktop one.

But ensuring it gives off a diffused light is key. This will give you the soft video lighting you need with minimal shadows.

It’s also important to place the lamp even or just above your head. If it’s too far in direction, shadows will start to show on your face.

Bonus Tip: If you’re filming personal videos with your phone, a ring light is a great piece of video lighting equipment. It’ll give you the perfect lighting that really accents your face in a balanced way.

ring light, video lighting equipment

3. Seek Shade When Filming Outdoors in the Sun for the Best Video Lighting

When recording videos outdoors in the sun, it’s important to avoid harsh lighting. Look for spots in the shade to shoot your videos.

outdoor lighting, harsh lighting

Steer clear of direct sunlight that will cause overwhelming shadows on your face and squinting.

This will not be an issue on cloudy days, as you’ll have great, diffused video lighting to work with.

4. If You’re Recording Outside at Night, Find a Street Lamp

Shooting your personal videos outdoors at night can be tricky. But when your business depends on responsiveness, sometimes you’ll have to do it.

One of the best lighting tips for video in this situation is to use a street lamp. When you do this, don’t go too far underneath the lamp.

This will likely cause long shadows down your face. So, your viewer or video email recipient won’t be able to see your eyes. And how can you build trust with them if there’s no eye contact?

5. How to Set Up Lighting for Video at Your Desk…

The best lighting setup for video at your desk will depend on a variety of factors:

If you have a window near your desk…that should give you the good lighting you need for your personal video. Just make sure there’s no harsh lighting coming through.
If you don’t have a good source of natural light at your desk…a lamp will give you great LED lighting for video.

If you’re recording your videos with a webcam…we recommend Logitech. The awesome thing about Logitech’s webcams is that they don’t need a lot of light to capture a clear image. See the gear review video below to find out more…

6. Avoid Mixed Video Lighting

It’s a good idea to try to avoid an overwhelming amount of mixed video lighting. This is when you have competing color temperatures in your shot.

So, if you have a lamp producing a warm tungsten light, while also receiving cooler light from a window – you’re going to get an odd light combination on your face.

The mixed lighting can be rough on your camera sensor, as it’s trying to auto white balance with the contrasting lighting. Depending on how the sensor white balances, you can end up very warm and yellow shots or very pale and blue ones.

If your camera is struggling with the different color temperatures, turn off the lamp and stick with natural lighting.

7. Don’t Go Overboard with Backlight

Backlight is a very artistic and cinematic filming technique. But it’s not needed for simple video.

If you’re using a webcam to record your videos, it will probably have auto exposure. So, if there’s too much backlight, your camera will set the exposure to the light behind you. And your face is going to be left in the shadows.

lighting tips for video, backlight

Want More Video Lighting Equipment Recommendations? Check Out Our Guide!

Now that you’re equipped with good lighting tips, it’s time to begin implementing them in your own videos.

If you want some additional video lighting equipment recommendations, check out our Salesperson’s Guide to Video. In it you’ll find gear recommendations for lighting and beyond for different video setups.

You may be looking for DIY video lighting tools. Or maybe you want more advanced equipment for the best lighting for YouTube videos. This guide has everything you need to get started today!

Get the Guide!


Vivian Lopez

Vivian Lopez | About The Author

Storyteller, writer, editor. Mother of a fearless little girl. Content Marketing Writer, BombBomb. BA, California State University-Long Beach.