How do I light a DIY TV show?
May 21, 2018 7:57 AM   Subscribe

I'm working on a late night talk show to be filmed in my apartment. I'm not sure of what to purchase in terms of lighting. I've seen lots of lighting "kits" on Amazon for <$200 but I'm not sure of (A) which kits will best suit my needs and (B) how to light a traditional talk show set (desk, guest chairs, backdrop, and...well, that's it.).
posted by frankokay to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Search on "lighting a YouTube video" or "lighting a LinkedIn video." You should see plenty of videos that explain how to do what you want to do. Some of them will go into great detail about lighting options.
posted by John Borrowman at 8:10 AM on May 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah, youtube is the place to learn more so you can decide what you want. But I will tell you that my husband* has one of those sub-$200 (maybe even sub-$100 now) kits from Amazon and uses it to shoot indoor web series and it looks fine. You may want some additional targeted lights if you're wanting to do that slightly spotlit feel some talk shows have. Those light kits are freestanding, so you have a ton of control over your final lighting design just by moving them around or angling/bouncing differently, it's very unlikely you'd buy them and not need them. You just may end up augmenting or swapping out some parts.

*He wrote a book about it, it's in my profile.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:57 AM on May 21, 2018 [4 favorites]

LED lighting has made this dramatically more cost-effective.
posted by theora55 at 10:32 AM on May 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

You're going to want LED panel lights. Mostly for heat issues if you're shooting in your apartment. Enough incandescent lighting for video will quickly heat up a room and fans or air conditioning will mess with your audio in bad ways. I don't really have any recommendations on panels but having adjustable refresh rates and adjustable color temperature would be very helpful.
posted by Uncle at 11:47 AM on May 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

DIY Photography has a bunch of articles on how to do low cost video lighting. You can do a lot with LED worklights and replacement florescent tubes. You will probably do well to get a few umbrellas and reflectors, as indirect lighting from large sources tends to be more pleasing than light direct from the bulbs.
posted by Candleman at 12:04 PM on May 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

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