lighting for youtube videos

How to Get Good Lighting for YouTube Videos

What is the best lighting for YouTube videos? Vlogging pros know that perfect lighting means a great YouTube video and translates to more viewers.

When it comes to answering the question of what is the best lighting for YouTube videos, the answer is that no matter how short or long your video is, it will depend on good lighting.

lighting for youtube videos

Get a natural-looking light for each and every YouTube video you make from here on end.

The effort really is worth it. 

It is safe to say that good lighting and knowing video lighting basics will make or break your video. Natural sources of light are simply not strong enough to light scenes you are attempting to capture. Artificial lighting is the best solution. Even if you want completely natural light in your video, you will still have to deal with getting rid of the shadows. This brings us to different equipment for types of lighting that can improve your footage quality.

In fact, if it seems like your camera never seems to be recording high-quality YouTube videos the culprit might simply be lack of lighting. Video cameras record the exact amount of light they receive and for its sensor to catch the light, you need to provide more than enough of it.

Sensors on video cameras have different levels of light sensitivity, also known as ISO which stands for International Standards of Organization. Understanding ISO greatly increases your video quality to look much more professional.

Why Lighting is Important for YouTube Videos

If you want people to watch your videos on YouTube from start to finish, great lighting is a must.

Viewers want to clearly see you and if they can’t they will just click away to another video with better lighting. Consider vlogging outdoors for natural light, which works great. However, if your YouTube video is shot indoors, you will need great indoor lighting.

Ceiling lights and lamps are just not going to give you good quality indoor light. Floor lamps can be useful for back-lighting or filling shadows, but these won’t be powerful enough to use as your primary light.

Use a window to get natural light while you can. If this is not possible or if you are vlogging in the late afternoon, you will need some lighting equipment. 

Different Types of Lighting for YouTube Videos

Natural Light

Natural light is the most beautiful type of YouTube light. When you work alone, it won’t be easy to achieve a great video alone because it is random.

In other words, you may be filming perfectly in natural light when suddenly a cloud decides to cover the sun for a minute. Every video filmed with natural light will look different. The reason is that daylight is hard to predict. 

This is even more true when you don’t film at the exact same time of the day. After all, who knows what kind of light tomorrow brings? Huge windows in your home is the secret to indoor filming using natural light.

The only problem is again, what if it rains tomorrow? There are just too many things that are not within your control, when it comes to using natural light to film your YouTube videos.

Point Lighting

Point lighting is setting up three points of light to make you look great on video. To begin, turn off all the lights in your studio. Turn on your main or key light. This is the scene’s brightest light and creates the overall ambiance in your shot.

Next, bring in the back light for behind you. Add in your fill light. Three-point lighting is a great way to emulate perfect daylight in your video no matter what time of day you are filming. You have full control on light and shadow when you use point lighting. 

Lighting for YouTube Videos: On Camera Lights 

If still photographers have a speed light, videographers have their version, which is the on-camera light. Most consider this an essential part of your light kit.

On-camera lights refers to a battery-powered, compact light that you can mount on your drone or video-camera if you want to. There are hundreds of on-camera lights to choose from including from brands such as Core SWX, Sony, Genaray, Lume Cube or Rotolight NEO.

Soft Boxes

Soft boxes diffuse light into an even, pleasing soft light. It reduces harsh shadows when you use these properly. The closer the soft box is to you, the softer the appearance of the light.

It emulates the light streaming through a window. Soft box shapes vary from octagonal, rectangular, long strips of light or square lights. 


Lighting umbrellas are used for modifying or diffusing light. The way this works is that you point your light away from yourself and into the umbrella. The umbrella then reflects softer light right on you. This is also known as bounce light.

Umbrellas for lighting are reflective and created for directing light and maximizing output. Unlike soft box lights, umbrellas produce diffused, broader light that is un-contained and uncontrolled, similar to the light outdoors. In contrast, soft boxes are direct and controlled, much like sunlight streaming through the window. 

Lighting for YouTube Videos: Ring Lights 

Ring lights are artificial light shaped like a ring that lights up huge spaces like your garage or basement very brightly and efficiently. In fact, ring lights are so powerful you might want to bounce the light on the wall rather than pointing the light straight at you as you begin filming your vlog.

Ring lights create even lighting around your face without having to use any other source of light. 

This makes it quite practical and the perfect first light for newbies. Your face won’t have any shadows and look extremely bright. Keep this in mind when applying makeup.

You can set your camera in the middle of the ring so the ring serves as a stand. Ring lights are also easy to carry around and set-up. You get a circular reflection on your eyes when you use a ring light to vlog, which a lot of people like. You Tubers creating makeup tutorials will do best with a ring light.

3 Best Ring Lights YouTubers are Using:

The top three best ring lings YouTubers are using include:

Lighting for YouTube Videos: Wrapping it up

You need to have the perfect balance of light and shadow for great results on your YouTube video. Indoor video recording without enough light simply won’t give you great images.

Increasing your light sources by getting a light kit together or using lots of windows is one way to increase your YouTube video quality for great videos that generate views by the millions.

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I'm Stefano, the guy behind VloggerPlanet. I'm an online entrepreneur. I specialize in growing online traffic, with several years of experience in video making, photography and web development. I'm here to help you launch, grow and make money with your YouTube channel.

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