Amazingly Effective DIY Flashlight Lighting Setup

If you've ever tried to film something, you probably know what it's like to try and cobble something together with a bunch of borrowed and/or homemade gear. I know the first music video that we ever shot we done with a "borrowed" shopping cart, a camera on loan, and some shop lights. Shanks FX, which appears to be a part of PBS Digital Studios, put together this great short video about how they light various environments creatively using less than $150 in flashlights and accessories.

According to Shanks FX, a youtube account dedicated to showing how you can create cool visual effects using household items:

I've always incorporated flashlights in my lighting arsenal. And with LED lights getting more powerful, you now can light people and make it look professional. All you need is a few gadgets and some imagination.


At the very least, one has to be inspired to see what you can do with a bit of ingenuity and creativitiy. Do any of you use any cool homemade gear in your regular arsenal? Would love to see in the comment section below.

Check out the Shanks FX reel to see more of their work:

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That's it! I'm subscribing to Shanks FX YouTube channel! I want to know more!

Douglas Sonders's picture

I know I subscribed!

Spy Black's picture

LED flashlights make good modeling lights when shooting with speedlights too.

Anonymous's picture

At 4:55, the artifact he's referring to is caused by the Pulse Width Modulation on the LED. Some LED products use PWM to control the brightness of the light--it's basically strobing the light at a rate that is faster than the human eye can detect in order to reduce the amount of time that the LED is illuminated, saving battery. Sort of how a fluorescent light strobes at 60hz, causing noise if your shutter speed isn't synced, except PWM is a much faster pulse--it causes interference with the camera's shutter speed at almost any shutter setting. You'll generally find this in LED lights that can dim, since it's an easy way to control brightness in an LED light.