What are some of the best portable lights for video? I share my top 5 recommendations and I’ll also walk you through what to look for when lighting yourself on video. A super easy to follow guide on lights and lighting you.
🔴Get your free Facebook Live Cheat Sheets🔴: https://saranguyenonline.com/special/facebook-live-cheat_sheets/
3:03 Manfrotto LED light
5:18 RGB Video light
7:40 Camera light
10:04 Ring light
13:42 Lighting tutorial starts
14:19 What you don’t want to do
17:30 What to look out for when lighting yourself
💡Lights mentioned in this video💡
Manfrotto Lumimuse 6 LED Light: https://amzn.to/3k5oOEU
RGB Video light by Pixel: https://amzn.to/2DdV2NE
Camera light: https://amzn.to/3k3csxe
For the Australians – Luvo: https://www.luvostore.com.au/
Best Portable Lights for Video -Video Transcript
Hello and welcome to the live stream. In today’s video, we are talking all about what are the different lighting options, particularly portable lighting options that you can use, whether you’re looking to live stream on Facebook or YouTube, or whether you’re looking to create videos to upload.
What are different lighting options that you can use? Let’s go right into it now because I’ve got a whole bunch of options. And I’m also going to not only show you different options and talk about the pros and cons of them, but I’m also going to do a little bit of a lighting tutorial because I feel that lighting is a little bit over-complicated and we need to simplify it.
And what I think it’s better if we simplify it so that you can just get the light right, and get focused on the thing that’s important, which is your content and delivering your actual content.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sara Nguyen, and I help coaches, consultants and creative pros build their business impact and brands using video on social media. Make sure that you, this is going flawlessly, check out the links in the description because I’ll go and I’ll put all of the timestamps to everything in this video, as well as any resources that I mentioned.
All of the links to the lights that I talk about, all of the timestamps, if you want to go back to the video after this broadcast and check them out, they’ll all be there. Let’s get right into lighting.
I’m going to do this by size because sometimes size matters. I’m going to cover what I think the best portable lighting options are. We’re going to go from smallest to largest.
And I also want to have a bit of a disclaimer to say that the best lighting is the lighting that you have. And the other thing that I have to mention is I don’t feel that you have to spend a lot of money on lighting.
I see a lot of people, particularly when they’re new to video, go out and invest like hundreds, like hundreds and hundreds of dollars on lighting when it’s like, that’s not necessary. I know lots of really successful YouTube channels who started out just using natural light.
Just going in front of a window during the day where there was some, you know, some sun and using that to light themselves. The best lighting is the lighting that you have, sunlight, if you can get it.
Otherwise, when I first started creating videos and we were travelling and overseas, we were just using lamps that was in the hotel room or in the Airbnb.
And just putting that in front of us, in front of the, well in front of myself to light myself. It really isn’t about you know, the specific brands or specific types of light.
It’s about having some light and I’m just covering options to narrow it down for you ’cause there’s so many things out there and I can’t cover everything, but these are the things that I’ve used and the things that I can vouch for. Let’s get into it.
The first light option is one of the first ones that I got and I got it because it was available at the store at the time. This is a mini led light. Okay, let’s get this sharing on the camera. And this is by Manfrotto and this has six lights inside it. And I like this because it’s small.
And I also like this because it has a dimmable button. With all of your lighting, you ideally want the option to be able to dim it. Why? Because sometimes with the lights, it may be too bright or it might not be bright enough.
And you want the ability to either increase the lighting levels or decrease it. This is a good light because it has a dimmable option. It is small. And I do find that the light on this is a little bit harsh, but it’s better than having no light at all. Right?
Harsh light is better than no light, even though the ideal light is soft light. And I really do like this one because as usual with Manfrotto, it’s a really solid build. It’s a quality light. I’ve carried this around and dropped it and it still works really, really well.
You recharge it with the cable so it’s no actual batteries, you know, additional batteries that you have to have with it. You just charge it with the, I can’t remember which port this is, but you charge it with the cable. And it’s a nice little light that you can get.
And it has this mount here that you can, or quarter-inch thread that you can attach to a tripod so that, you know, you can attach it and have it as a light source. I really like this one as a small little, option for having a light for your video.
The Manfrotto led light and the link is in the description to check that out. I mean, it doesn’t have to be a Manfrotto, I’m not the biggest, I don’t believe that, you know, one brand is the “be all end” or Lord of the rings or Lord of the lights, but Manfrotto do make great stuff, you know. In terms of other led lights, there’s so many on the market.
But this one is one that I’ve used that I can vouch for to say that it actually works. And I’m going to try see, it’s a good, it’s a good source of light that you can dim, and just by pressing the button on the side, it goes, you know, brighter and dimmer.
That’s it. That’s the first light. Now the second light, I can’t remember the price of this one. You’ve just have to look at the link in the Amazon link in the description because I bought this quite a while ago, but, yeah, this is a really good one.
The second light, and this was a light sent to me by Pixel, and this is an RGB Video Light, right? I like this as well because it has a dimmable option. We like dimmable. And it’s, it’s a really beautiful light and I was sent this, so I didn’t actually pay for it.
Thank you Pixel for sending it to me. But I liked this light because it has colours, right? You don’t just have the standard white. I’m going to turn this on and hopefully not blind you.
But if I set this on the side, you’ll see it has different colours and it has different settings, so this is blue. And if I change it, this is now going to like orange. And with these different colours, you know, you can light the wall, you can light yourself and just have like to stuff variety of colour.
I liked that about it. In terms of pricing, these, let me turn this off now, ’cause it’s distracting me in terms of pricing. This one’s not too bad. Check out the link in the description. It’s a solid light. I think for the strength of the light that you get, it’s a pretty good price.
It also comes with this mount with a couple of quarter-inch threads. You can mount it to a tripod as well, or you can mount it to a cushion mount and put it on your camera, which is what it’s kind of meant for. But it’s a nice, you know, build of light and type of light that you can use if you’re looking for an option.
That’s the second option. And RGB Video Light, these can get really expensive, but this one I think is priced not too badly. I quite like that about it as well.
Now, let’s move on to option number three and behind door number three, we have some camera lights. This was a video light that I talked about. These are quite slim. This one has options to have different colours.
You can put it against the wall and have different coloured wall options with, which is quite trendy right now on YouTube as I’m seeing. This is probably one of my favourites, and completely underrated because I don’t know why I think people feel that it’s all technology, but I completely disagree.
The third option that I recommend and use is a good old camera light. Okay. This is a bit old school. This one runs with external batteries. You need– this one has, I can’t remember how many, but they’re AAA batteries.
They last quite a while so I had, I’ve had these in there for ages. I like the camera light because once again, it’s dimmable, so you can turn it on, increase the level of lighting and adjust it with the dial. These are really cheap as well.
I like these as an option because I don’t really feel that you have to spend that much money on lighting as long as you have some lighting. And these are quite cheap. These are, I can’t remember how much these were, but we’ve got these overseas and I’ve seen these everywhere.
Lots of different lighting providers provide these. And you can just have a couple of these whether you, you know, mount them on a tripod or just put them around the place and then you can just have different lighting sources.
And they’re small and they’re compact and they run by battery and they’re such a great option and underutilised. They are a bit, a little bit bulky, particularly when you compare it to like, you know, the Manfrotto led, but you get a lot more light than you would from the smaller Manfrotto light or the smaller led lights.
This is such a great option and completely underrated. I used it for a very long time when we were travelling and absolutely love it. And I still use it today when we, you know, go, go out and you know, I’m not at home and I don’t have all of my ring lights.
That brings me to the fourth lighting option. Now one may question, Oh, actually before we go to that I also love these camera lights because they usually also come with filters. This has an orange filter.
There’s this, I don’t know what colour that is, pinky-purple-y filter, and you can swap out the filters from the light. And this would just give you like, you know, if you wanted just that slightly different look, this is now like an orange-y light that you can just bounce off yourself.
Some people don’t like the pure white light, they want something a bit warmer and this can help give you that look, but don’t get too caught up with filters because once again, it’s more about the content than the actual lights, but I’m digressing.
That now lets me segway to lighting option one, two, three, number four, my favourite of all times. And it’s the light source that I use for all of my live streams and majority of the videos that I’ve created in the last 12 months. And it is a ring light.
This is one of my ring lights. I have two. This is a 12-inch ring light that I got from an Australian provider because I wanted to save on shipping costs. And the link is in the description for you for all of the Australians.
It’s Luvo store, even though probably should be Luvo store, but they said Luvo. And I really like ring lights as an option because you get a really big light source. It’s a soft light source and it lights you up beautifully.
I haven’t seen, out of all of the different lighting options, personally for myself, a lighting option that is as efficient as a ring light. One would question whether this is portable, but I think it’s portable in the sense that you could still travel with it.
This will fold down. I can swap, take the feet in and it will fit inside bag and I’ll show you the bag. I think, you know, that’s pretty portable. Comes with this bag and you can just take it with you on a plane or you can shove it in the car.
For me, that’s portable. It might be bigger than, you know, the camera lights and the video lights, but it folds down into that. And that’s pretty portable if you ask me.
And I consider it portable, hence why I’m including it in this video. It also, it also comes with filters as well. Once again, if you wanted, not just the white light, you can put on these orange-y lights and get a different lighting colour.
I recommend ring lights as well because you don’t have to mess around with softbox lights, right? With softbox lights. I think they’re a good option, but I do find them very fiddly and very bulky.
Whereas with ring lights, it’s like small, you get a beautiful amount of light and you don’t have to put it in six different positions you can just put it in front of you. Which then takes us to the demos.
I’ve talked about all of the different lighting options that I recommend. We covered the led, we covered the led lights. I talked about the Manfrotto light and how this is a nice little portable option.
It’s small so you’re not going to get, you know, a massive amount of light, but some light is better than no light. I talked about the RGB video lights. This was sent to me by Pixel.
And it’s a good option in terms of it’s really compact. It also has lighting colours. You can switch the colours and, you know, get that nice blue, green, purple, whatever colour backdrop with the lights that you want.
Talked about camera lights, completely underrated, amazing light source works really, really well. And then I talked about a ring light being my favourite of all options. Those are the options that I really recommend.
Now I want to go over to do a bit of a demo so that you can see in terms of lighting, what should you actually be aiming for? And when I was telling my husband that I was going to do this, he was like, are you sure?
And I’m like, no, I’m not, but I’m going to live life on the wild side anyway. I’m going to turn off the light and then I’m going to switch to my iPhone view.
And then I’ll walk you through lighting in terms of what I think you should look for and how to kind of position or frame the light. Just give me a minute while I turn off the lights, and we’ll see how this one goes.
Okay, let’s switch over to the, okay, so we’ve switched over now. I’m going to turn off the lights and I’ll be back in like a couple of seconds.
All right. I’m not lit too badly now, but in terms of lighting, here’s what I think you should be aiming for. Right now I’ve turned off the ceiling light. I’ve turned off the ring light.
This is not too bad, but what I would do in terms of lighting is, first of all, you do not want to light yourself from the bottom. And this is why. I’ve got this light here, which I’m going to use to demo in terms of the lighting that you should be, you know, playing with.
When you light yourself from the bottom, it looks creepy like this, and nobody looks good with all of these shadows on their face being overblown. And I see it a lot.
I see people just like finding a random light or sitting like next to a light. And they’re looking like this, and I’m telling you now when the light is at the bottom, like it is now, and it’s casting shadows on your face like this, this doesn’t look good.
Okay? At the very least, you want to try to have the light, this is not too bad, so this is just one light just in front of me at eye level, not at the bottom where it’s cost and nasty shadows on your face.
And it does the same thing when it’s at the top. It’s not too bad from the top. It’s better. But I can still see like quite a bit of shadows. Try to have it at eye level if possible, and then go a bit higher.
Right now I’m lit not too badly, but I feel it’s a little bit too bright. You see how like, there are these white patches here. And there’s a lot of like, there’s too much light at the moment. I would just dim that down a little bit. And I also feel that the light is a little bit unbalanced, right?
I feel like I’m coming through a little bit strong on one side. What you’d look to do is you’d look to either add a light or you’d look to move the light. This is on one side where it’s a little bit too bright here, you can see all the light here, but on this side, it’s, it’s not too bad but it’s a little bit dark.
You could look at having a second light. And let’s have a look at what happens when I add a second light. My husband was right. I should have, I should have thought this through a little bit more.
Now we have lights on both sides. We’re probably still a little bit too over lit. I might bring it back a little bit and dim it down. Dim down, come on. That’s off. That’s completely off, dim it down, dim it down. It’s not too bad.
There you go. That’s probably not the best, but it’s better than with one side, like the light is not completely balanced. One side of my face is a little bit darker than the other. I could probably dial that down a little bit.
That’s not too bad. In terms of lighting, you’re looking to get rid of shadows on your face and you’re looking to not be overexposed like I am now. You want to dial it down so that, you know, it just lights you just enough.
Without light it’s it’s okay, but it’s a little bit dark. With some light on both sides, I can just balance it so that you know, it, there you go, it brings me out. It makes me a little bit more visible. And then you just find the spot where you like the look of how you look on camera, right?
Maybe let’s bring it all the way up. This is way too exposed. It’s way to exposed as you can see, my face is way too bright. There’s too much light bouncing on my face.
Using the dimmable lights, just bring it down, bring it down bit by bit, bit by bit, and then it will also adjust the colour tone and then just get it to a level that you like. That’s pretty much the lighting tutorial.
Don’t do it from the bottom. No one looks good with lighting from the bottom. Ideally, you can have it just in front of you at eye level. And that brings, that gives you a nice light as well.
From the top is not too bad, but watch the shadows because it causes shadows like on faces when it’s from above. But if you can try to get it, you know, to light both sides, so you may need two lights, one on the left and on the right, but just in front, that’s what you’re going for.
Now, see all of that effort was what was required to make it work with two lights. Let me show you with the ring light. With the ring light next to the actual device, it just lights me up and it’s more balanced as it is already.
I just, oops, knock the microphone, but with the ring light, it’s already balanced out my face like that. And I can just dim it to make it look how I want it to look. That’s your tutorial there. That’s your lighting tutorial.
The answer is a ring light people. The answer is a ring light, but if you don’t have a ring light, try to get it to, you know, light up both sides of your face equally. Don’t have too much light bouncing off your face. Don’t light from the bottom.
And don’t over complicate it because everyone overcomplicates lighting, you know, I really don’t feel that you need a million different lights to, to look good. You just need some light. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money on lights. I’m going to turn, I’m going to go back to the camera. Give me a second.
Okay. We’re just gonna switch back to, there we go. That essentially wraps up today’s live stream where I talked about all the different lighting options. And I did a bit of a tutorial on how to get good lighting, you know?
I hope that you enjoyed this. If you found this video useful give me a thumbs up and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel. If you haven’t already. I do lots of tutorials on live streaming.
I do social media tutorials and I do tech reviews and it’s a lot of fun. Make sure that you subscribe if you haven’t already. And if you’re looking to, you know, step up your game and get online a little bit more, make sure you grab a copy of my Facebook Live Cheat Sheets.
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I had a lot of fun with this live stream today. Thanks everyone for joining me live, had a lot of fun and I will see you on the next live stream. Bye for now.