3 Tips to Light Right for Video

You’ve got the top of the line HD video camera, so why does your video look so bad? One word, lighting.  At Audio-Video Group we see this a lot, and we’ve put together three tips to getting lighting right for your video.  Don’t fall into these traps that turn a big video investment into a disappointing video mess.

First, you might not have enough light in your setup.  What we mean by enough is something professionals call a “wash” or the fill lighting that is needed on stage. You don’t want your subject moving in and our of the light as they walk around the stage.  This can create issues with video as well as overall ability for everyone to see what is happening on stage. You want to have an even coverage across the entire stage avoiding any hot spots caused by a poor setup. This light should be bright and even, yet not feel like a spotlight is on your subjects. Consistency and lack of shadows will be your best indication you are headed in the right direction.

The second issue we see often is the wrong lights. You need specific lights for presentation lighting, and they are different than your standard overhead lights. There are two types of lights that are typically used in a stage setup, conventional lights, and LEDs. Conventional lights are the preferred method for the “wash” we discussed previously. They give good coverage by having a high power light that can present evenly over the stage.  You should not use standard LEDs or other types of colored lights for this application. Only conventional, or newer high-end LEDs can really fill this role for the “wash” lighting.  These types of lights are the right place for a critical investment in lighting to get your “wash” right. Your average LEDs can be used for accent lighting, or colored backdrops.  They can add flair to your stage and a sense of drama to your presentation, but are not adequate for your main lighting.

Lastly, the lighting position can impact your video by creating dark spots and hot spots on stage. This uneven lighting can make good video almost impossible. You can see it easily when your subject has  “raccoon eyes” or parts of their bodies are lost in darkness as they move around. Getting the proper placement on spot and “wash” lighting can make a big difference. Unfortunately there is no magic formula for the right placement on lighting. The best bet is to have someone at Audio-Video Group come and talk to you about your lighting options in terms of the goals and budget you have with your lighting. Angle, distance to stage, and stage activity all play apart in how to set these up correctly.

And one last work of quick advice.  Stay away from economic substitutes or quick fixes. You should always use professional lighting designed for these applications, not floor lamps turned on their sides. Trying to pinch a penny in lighting only lowers the value of your final product. Take it from us; having quality lighting for your video is going to make all the difference in the world. For more information on lighting right, contact us by visiting www.AudioVideoGroup.com, or call (800) 668-4988 today to speak with one of our specialists.

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