Video Lighting: Softbox Light Tips and 2 Common Problems

– Hey, it’s Justin Brown
here from Primal Video. So, we all know that
lighting is a key element in creating professional looking videos. But, there’s a ton of options out there, so where do you start? Well, for all the
professional work that I do and the corporate work that
I do, I normally take or use a LED lighting kit, or
LED lighting panels, because they’re easy to
travel with, they’re light, they’re easy to set up, but
they’re pretty expensive. But, for my home office studio set up, I use a soft box lighting
kit, cause they’re great to leave set up, they’re cheap, and you can get some really
good results with them. I do know of some people,
though, that have blown up their soft box lighting
kits, and have also got some pretty bad flickering
through in their videos. In this video, we’re
gonna cover three things that you need to know
about soft box lights. What to look out for, and
how to get the best results. And these all come down to three things, which are power, the
globes, and positioning. (synthesizer music) So, we’ll jump straight into
it, and the first one is power. You need to make sure
that your soft box lights are rated for the power that you’ve got in your geographic area. So, if you’re in the United
States, that’s 110 volts, if you’re in Australia, that’s 240 volts. Now, I do know of someone who
bought a soft box lighting kit from Amazon in the States, had
it shipped over to Australia, and plugged it in here. Now, the lighting kit
they bought was rated for only 110 volts, our power being 240, blew it up pretty quick. So, that’s a big, big waste of money, and probably not a great
thing to have happen anyway. So, you need to make sure
that when you’re buying your soft box lighting
kit, that you’re getting the right ones for your
power or for your area. Now, the ones that I use
are a Studio Pro brand, which is just a cheapie from Amazon. But, these ones are rated for
both 110 volt and 240 volt. So, again, just check before you buy, because most of them
will be one or the other. Number two, it’s really
important that you look at the globes that you’re
going to use in your soft box lighting kits,
for a couple of reasons. The first is that they
are power rated as well. So, if you have imported
a light that is capable of 110 volts and 240 volts,
or whatever it might be in your regional area,
make sure that your globes are rated to run at that power as well. I’m sure it’s not going
to be pretty if you, say, plug in a 110 volt light
globe into a 240 volt power. But, no matter what your voltages are, just make sure that they
match your area as well. The other reason it’s really important to get the correct globes to
match them for your region and for the power in your
region is so that they’re flickering at the right
hertz or the right time. So, in Australia, all of
our lights and all our power runs at 50 hz, so they flicker at 50 hz. In the U.S., that’s 60 hz,
so you need to make sure that your globes are matched to that. So, if you then set your
camera’s shutter speed to match that, either 1/50 or 50th/2nd if you’re in Australia,
or 50 maybe all it says in your camera, or 60,
or 1/60th of a second if you’re in the U.S. Now, that way you will
totally remove the chances of there being any flickering
or strobing in your videos. You can also use a multiple of that, so in Austalia, being 50, you could also set your shutter speed to 100. Likewise, in the U.S., instead
of 60, you would go 120. As long as it’s a multiple of those, then your camera’s shutter
speed will be matched to the lights that are
flickering in your scene. So, when you’re purchasing your globes, you’ll normally get two main options. One is a warmer globe, which
is a yellow or orange-y light that comes out, and the
other is a cool blue or a white light. So, wherever possible, I would
say to go the cooler light, unless you’re trying to
match any lights that are already in the room or the
office that you’re going to be filming in. If you’ve already got
lights in there that you’re going to have on when you’re filming, then you need to match
the color of the lights that are already in there. And on to number three,
which is positioning of your soft box lights. It’s really important to get
the position, the height, the set up of your lights
correct to get the best results. So, in most cases, the best height to have your soft box light set
up to is to head height, so that your head is in the middle of the soft box light area. Whether you’re going to
be standing or sitting in your videos, these
lights typically come with height adjustable light stands. So, it’s really easy
to either raise them up if you’re standing, or to lower them down if you’re going to be
sitting down for your videos. So, no matter what your
scene is, the most important thing to do is to light
your subject first, and then if you’ve got additional lights, then you can use those to light
up your background as well. So, if you’ve only got one
light, the ideal place to put it would be somewhere near
the camera so it’s lighting up your person from either front on, or if you’re in situation like I am here, where I’ve got light
coming in through a window, then you can use it to fill in the shadows on the opposite side from the window. Now, if you’ve got two soft box lights, then the normal set up for that would be both of them probably
in line with the camera, but shining in to yourself, the subject, on a 45 degree angle. Now, if you’ve got a third
light, then you can either use it to light up your
background, or you can use it to shine some light on
either the top of your head, or on your shoulders
to really make yourself or your subject pop out
from the background. So, there’s the three
things that you need to know about soft box lights
to get great results. The power, the globes,
and the positioning. If you found this video
helpful, we’d really appreciate a thumbs up, and if you
haven’t clicked that subscribe button yet, make sure you do. We’ll see you next time.


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