Buying the right lights for videography. A video light buying blog post.
Buying the right lights for videography. A video light buying blog post.
This is a general buying guide from the owner and staff members of Fotogenic.
For the basics we will divide light based on the size of the shoot, this is to determine the power of the light. This takes into consideration the lights being diffused by modifiers such as softboxes. We will start with small setups to larger setups in this article, as well as briefly mention the functions of these lights.
1) All lights in this section are of excellent quality, these lights are tested over time and quality has been approved by the team, less quality products are not mentioned in this article. Only the best lights for the job are listed here.
2) To ensure ample lighting and minimal shadows each application requires at least 2 lights but a 3-point light set-up is always better for photography or videography.
3) Power of lights will match the active shooting area, as explained in each section. There are 2 primary types of lights which are panel lights or COB lights. COB- Chip on board, which means a large LED bead at the front of the light which is then purposely cooled by heat sinks or fans. COB lights always have a Bowens mount attachment at the front of the light to allow you to attach any sort of Bowens accessories such as softboxes, snoots, gel or barn doors and grids. Panel lights usually have a soft white cover in front of the light and some models come with barn doors for light adjustment.
4) All lights in this article have a CRI to TLCI of >94, with the average light having >96+. This refers to how white the light will be without any variation in colour. This reading basically tells you how accurate the colours will be when shining the light on a subject. Lights need to be high CRI for projects such as fashion, art, food and instructional photography and videography.
For a tabletop set up of video streaming set-up, this requires a minimum of 2 lights for balancing shadows, having 1 light will result in shadows:
Godox LED260C Soft panel light daylight only. AC powered only.
Godox ES45 Soft panel light daylight only. AC powered only.
Godox ES45kit, this kit is a 2 lights package with table mounts. AC powered only.
For a small space set up – 2m x 2m will be 60w or 100w COB light requires 2 lights for a balanced shot.
Basic Softbox video lights:
Fotogenic 1 Head softbox kit - x 2 Softbox Light Kit, uses large 125w bulbs in each softbox, suitable for small setups such as 1 person interviews, product videos or demo videos. Suitable lighting for actors/models to do demos or audition videos.
COB Lights all with Bowens mount:
Godox SL60W – 60w daylight-balanced white light, no battery port.
Godox ML-60 – 60w, very portable light (has a compact size), battery port and also Bi-colour versions available. You can use a total of 2 NPF-type batteries.
Godox SL100Bi – 100w, a COB light, Bi-colour no battery port.
NiceFoto HC-1000B – 100w, the Cheapest COB light we stock, Daylight only and no battery port.
NiceFoto HC-1000SB-Kit, 100w x 2 lights package with softboxes included. No battery port and only a daylight balanced version available. We call this kit the perfect small home setup kit, everything is included at a lower price point.
Godox LD75R – 75w, Panel Lights, RGB colours, battery v-lock port.
SL-600A x 2 Kit – 30w Panel lights, this kit includes 2 lights, can be battery operated and is Bi-colour. A 3-light kit is also available here.
SL-1000A x 2 Kit – 50w Panel lights, this includes 2 lights in the kit, can battery operated via a v-lock battery, and is Bi-Colour. A 3-light kit is also available here.
Nicefoto TC-688 – 50w Panel lights, RGB colours, additional barndoor can be added to this light, can be run of NPF style Battery.
For the majority of spaces at 3m x 3m. Requires minimum of 2 lights for a balanced shot, with less shadows.
If you have this shoot space you will need to pick LED constant lights that are 150w in power. Minimum of 2 or the recommended 3-point light setup in photography/videography.
Basic Softbox Lights kit:
4 Bulb Softbox Lighting kit - Has 4 x 85w bulbs in each softbox so its plenty of power to light up a 3m x 3m space, it is the most cost-effective 2-light setup, which is much cheaper than LED lights. You have the ability to use full power or half power by switches controlling 2 bulbs at a time.
Godox LA150D – 150w daylight balanced, no battery port.
Godox SL150IIBi – 150w Bi-colour adjustable light, no battery port.
Godox VL-150 – 150w, daylight balanced, duel battery v-lock ports. Bi-colour version is not available yet.
Nicefoto LED-1500BII – 150w daylight balanced light 5600K, can run optional add-on of a battery port so that you can run this light from v-pock style batteries.
Panel Video LED Lights:
Nicefoto TC-768 - 160w
Nicefoto SL-2000A – 200w Bi-Colour Large panel light, Ac powered only.
Godox LD150R – 150w, Panel light,
For Large spaces at 4m x 4m. Requires a minimum of 2 lights, 3 lights make a big difference in these type of areas.
For this shoot space, you will need to pick an LED that is 200w in power.
Softbox Lighting Sets:
7 bulbs Softbox Lighting Kit - each softbox has 7 x 85w bulbs which are suitable for lighting and an area of 4m x 4m. In this package, you get 2 lights which makes it the cheapest 2 lights package compared to LED Lights.
LED COB Lights:
Godox SZ200Bi – 200w
Godox SL-200IIW – 200w
Godox FV200 – 200w
Godox SL200IIBi – 200w
Godox VL200 – 200w
Nicefoto LED-2000BII – 200w COB Light, and an optional battery port can be added onto this light, which will allow for a v-lock type battery to power it. Only available in daylight 5600K, but comes with a set of coloured filters in the box.
Nicefoto HA-2300B – 230w Cob light, an optional battery port can be connected to this device so that you can run the light from a v-lock battery, this model is daylight only 5600K. This light cost price is the cheapest amongst the entries above.
For the Largest spaces at 5m x 5m +. Requires a minimum of 2 lights, 3 lights make a big difference in these type of areas. Minimum light watts would be 300w lights.
Godox VL300 – 300w
Godox SL-300IIW – 300w
Godox VL-200 and VL-300 Professional lighting kit – 300w and 200w x 2 lights package. Can be battery operated using v-lock batteries, daylight-only versions.
Godox KnowLED M600D – 600w super powerful portable light with 2 x v-lock battery ports for outdoor use, one of the most powerful lights in the market, only for big spaces and outdoor shoots. Only available in the white daylight version.
Nicefoto LED-3000B – 300w COB light daylight only version, no battery port AC powered only. Basic functions and very affordable for a 300w light.
Nicefoto HA-3300BII – 330w COB Light, has a controller panel that will support 2 x v-lock batteries for portable operation. This model is the daylight 5600K model, there is a different model below for the Bi-colour version. This light is the top-of-the-range light from Nicefoto.
Nicefoto HA-3300A – 330w COB Light, has a controller for running 2 x v-lock batteries, this is the Bi-colour model from 2800k-6500K. This light is the top-of-the-range light from Nicefoto.
This blog post will be updated over time as new models of lights will be coming in every few months. This is accurate for the lights we currently stock as of 19/09/2022.
We will be adding to this blog post with the most popular setups e.g most popular set-up for fashion photography/videography.