How to Create a YouTube Lighting Setup on a Budget

As many of us have been confined to our own homes, there has been a sharp rise in people looking for other revenue streams attainable from their own house. Here is how to create a budget lighting setup to make your YouTube videos look more professional.

Continuous lighting used to be rather tricky. Before the advent of LED lighting, they were expensive, cumbersome, thirsty, hot, and generally difficult. However, over the last decade or so, we have seen an influx of excellent LED lights that are both cheap, small in form, and easy to set up, all while often having control over the color and temperature.

In this video, Peter Lindgren walks you through how he lights his talking head videos in his studio, and you may be surprised at just how cost-effective and easy this solution is. As an Editor here at Fstoppers, I obviously consume an ungodly amount of content in and around photography, particularly YouTube videos. Of all the channels I watch on a daily basis, I would put Lindgren's in the top five in terms of image quality. His lighting setup looks complicated at first; there are different colors, rim lights, key lights, and so on. But, as you can see in this video, it's far easier to recreate than it looks.

The key light for Lindgren is the popular Nanlite PavoTube 15C 2' RGBW LED light and costs $200. This is then supplemented with smaller versions of the same light, to great effect. You may be able to create a similar style for cheaper, but for an RGB LED tube light that can reach such power, $200 is a steal.

Rob Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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"On a budget" for me would be a couple of Home Depot reflectors with known light temperature bulbs behind umbrellas for key and fill. Rim light and ambient can use colored LEDs again with some work light reflectors. That's cheap!