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Lighting Tips

Video Lighting for Under $100

By Jules Ebe on November 2nd 2013

Constant lighting is quickly becoming the mainstay on a photo shoot. With the newer video DSLR capabilities and the continual increase in usage of both still and video for promotions during the same shoot, video lighting is rapidly becoming another tool in the photographer’s arsenal. But what happens when you need good lighting on a tight budget?

Well, just take a quick trip to your local hardware store.

Our friends at Wistia has come up with a pretty cool tutorial for individuals setting up interview or video lighting on a budget. For less than $100 you can create an effective video/constant lighting kit for your next photo shoot.

Down & Dirty Lighting for Video


The Equipment List

Here are a few extras you can find online or at your local hardware store:

Hardware Store:

Daylight Color CFL Bulbs (look for daylight balanced “High-CRI” or “Full Spectrum” bulbs)
Spring Clips
12ft Extension Cords
Package of Clothespins


Light Stands
Rosco Diffusion Material
Scoop Lights
CFL Bulbs (look for daylight balanced “High-CRI” or “Full Spectrum” bulbs)

So what is your favorite quick and inexpensive lighting trick?

Until Next Time . . .

Stay Inspired ~ Jules

[via Wistia]


is a Southern California based Conceptual Artist and Photographer. Her work has been featured in several print publications and selections can be seen in local gallery exhibitions. Connect with her on Facebook and Google+.

Q&A Discussions

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  3. Kym

    Has anyone considered how much heat a lamp gives off? Beware folks. If you enclose a lamp as illustrated with flammable materials, you could end up with more than you bargained for!
    Any discoloration of any ‘filters/diffusers is a clear indicator things are getting too hot!
    I know CFL (Compact fluorescent lamps) have been suggested but they too can get very hot especially if enclosed.
    The example shown is probably OK as the metal reflectors will act as a heat-sink and dissipate the heat.
    Just a word of warning to keep an eye on things!

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    • Anthony Thurston

      CFL Bulbs are actually pretty cool, but yes whenever you have material near a bulb keep an eye out for burning.

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  4. Mike Sweeney

    I did this two years ago with the same basic equipment but I used 85 watt color balanced CFLs I bought off Amazon. The home bulbs are just too weak to throw light any real distance. The reflectors while cheap dent really easy so caution is in order. Any real camera store has the diffusion material or just get some ripstop nylon from Joann’s. The CFLs are cool enough that they won’t hurt the ripstop. If you get Rosco then get the toughspun diffusing material. Opal Frost also works well but flattens out the specular highlights so it’s better used for recording a reflective skin (oily ).

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    • Jules Ebe

      Thanks Mike. Those are some really great tips. I try to stick with material made to be near more heat, just because lighting can get pretty warm.

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  5. Andy

    can you please mention about the stand, boom used on that microphone please?

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