Join Anthony Q. Artis for an in-depth discussion in this video Looking at different light options, part of Video Production Techniques: Location Lighting.
Let's take a look at some of the different types of lighting instruments that we'll want to use for any type of location shoot, whether we're talking documentary, narrative, or otherwise. Now all of these lights have different pros and cons, and some have different advantages. So, I'm just going to touch briefly on what some of those things are, and when we might want to employ them. So I'll start over here, I think with the one by one LED unit by Light Panels. These are very popular lights right now. They're a little bit pricey, but the reason people are willing to pay the price for these is because you can work very quickly with these lights, they are energy efficient.
And because they're LED units, they're cool to the touch. Another variation of these lights right here is that they also come in daylight balance or tungsten balance, and some units can do both. So, some of these units are bi-, color temperature so you can get a full, warm. Tungsten light, and you can also get a full cool daylight out of the same lighting unit by just twisting a dial. They're also dimmable, so all of those things make this a very versatile and quick and easy light to use. Similarly, by the same company I've got the little tiny baby version of that, which is a Light Panels Micro Pro.
Now this is a camera light. That's meant to go onboard the camera. Probably best used for event and live event videography, as well as some documentary, you might find use for this. This has a very short throw, though. You can only light things maybe about. Five to six, seven feet max, with a camera light like this, but for close up and tight shots, if you had to, I could put this on a stand and even use it on a key and I've certainly done that more than once. Over here, I have a home made LED unit by 12 gauge illumination, my man Greg Picard has been helping me with this course, doing all of the lighting that we have here.
Now, this little type of LED unit like this could be used similar to a camera light but what's cool about this little unit here is that it has a dimmer on it. We could put this on a stick and actually follow around our subject. So, rather than trying to light a whole hallway everywhere we went, we could keep this wherever our subject went and follow them. And you could actually have a manned operator putting light where we need it, as we need it. So that's another cool type of unit. Moving back here behind me, we have some of the more traditional types of lighting, the hot lights that we have here.
Now these lights are definitely hot to the touch. This is tungsten balanced lighting. All three of these lights here that I'm going to go over all tungsten balance, or indoor lighting balance, 30 to 100 degrees Kelvin. This is a cute little Arri 150 light, pretty small light right here. The difference in this light and some of the other lights that we have up here, is that this is what's known as a Fernell light. Now, a Fresnel light means that it has this special lens in front of it. With these little circles in it. What those do is help keep the light nice and focused.
So you're going to get nice, hard, very easy to control light, any time you have a Fresnel lens on it. So that's the Arri 150 Fresnel. And this is good to use as a prop light. you could, because video is pretty light sensitive. I could certainly use this as a key if I wanted to for a tighter shot. Also a hair light. But works great as a prop light. Now, the big brother to that light right here. Is this Arri 300 Fresnel light that we have. So same exact type design as this light, just bigger, putting out more light. So this one I could definitely use as a key or background light or other purposes.
Over here I have. A Arri 600 watt open face light. Now, this open face light right here is a very similar design to the Fresnel but with one big difference, the face is open, meaning, there is no lens so there's nothing between the light bulb and the front of the light right here to help focus that light. This light is a little bit harder to control. So all of these lights right here. Create hardlight. One thing to know about these hard light sources is that I can always make a hard light soft but I can't make a soft light hard.
So it's just something to keep in mind. So these are. Versatile in that sense. Over here we've got a long, stand-by favorite which is the Kino Flo light. Now Kino Flo lights use fluorescent light tubes; they come daylight balance tubes or you can get tungsten balance tubes, so you can have this be daylight or tungsten but not both at the same time. So either, or. Kino Flo lights are also very, very popular the reason these are very popular especially for ENG and documentary work, ENG being electronic news gathering work if you ever, one thing I like to do a lot of times is when I'm watching TV Interviews, or any type of setup like that, Dateline, 60 Minutes, often at the top of these shows, they will show you the full lighting setup.
I like to freeze frame and see exactly what type of lighting they're using. 90% of the time I'm freeze framing those setups, it's going to be a Kino Flo. Why? Because you can set these up really quick and easy, and they give you beautiful, soft light really quickly, and they can light up a large area. So, Kino Flos are good if you have to work quickly right there. Next to these, I have another soft type of lighting unit right here. And this is a low Rifa light. Now this has a single, hard light source tube inside of there, but what makes this light nice and soft is that we put this soft diffusing cover on the front.
This is good for interviews, but any other situation when you like nice, soft, warm lighting. You can certainly use for narratives. But definitely popular with the ENG crowd for interviews and such. So this is a Rifa light. Now this light is a warm light as well. That's something to know, one, one little factor that you might take into consideration, depending on your shooting conditions. One that I like, I'm shooting in this studio. Where it's kind of air conditioned. But this light right here that's giving off a lot of warmth, so it's making me a little bit more comfortable as talent. So something else to keep in mind is the comfort of your talent when you're talking about these different lights.
Just a little practical matter. We have another, cool little experimental, type of light we've got right here. And this is also by 12-gauge illumination, my man, Greg Picard. And this is, a camera LED light. So this lighting unit is actually designed for you to shoot through it. So you'll put your camera right here where my face is and shoot right through it. And what I like about this light is pretty unique is that it has dimmers on each side. So, if I wanted to, I could better shape the light on someone's face. Make one side fall off little bit more than other and I can really quickly and easily adjust that using these dimmers.
So that's another type of light we got right here. LED Unit. Newest kid on the block, or one of the newest kids we got on the block right here that I really like is this little Sola unit by Litepanels. So this is the little Sola ENG, is the correct name for it, by Litepanels, the same company. That makes this one by one in this camera light right here. What's cool about this light that I like is that first off, it's really small and lightweight, and it's battery operated. A big, big advantage if we're talking about location shooting. So now instead of having to run.
Electricity and get a generator and all of that stuff. I can get my lighting as long as I've got battery power and I still have the option to plug this in, so I could still get a AC adapter or, or DC AC/DC adapter to plug it in if I needed to into the car or into the wall. what's cool about this though is that I can spot and flood the light. And I can also dim it. So these are really powerful. For the size of this light right here, it gives off a lot of energy. And I want to talk about one more light that I have all the way in the background here. Because these are kind of, the newest thing that's coming out right now.
still very expensive because it's new. But when I tell you what it does, you'll understand why it's so expensive. So this a ArriI L7-C light. This is a Fresnel light. It's the equivalent basically of about a 1K or 1,000 watt light, so it'd be a lot. Light similar to this is a 600 watts while they also make a 1000 watt one. Well, this is the equivalent to that. However, this is an LED Fresnel light. So it uses the same LED technology that you see in the LED lights that we have up there, however, it's shining it through a Fresnel lens.
And what's really unique about this. Is the extreme amount of light output that you can get, at 1,000 watts almost. However, notice this. I can actually touch the lens. And I'm touching the lens right now, and it's barely warm. And this light has been on for hours. If this were a traditional Fresnel light, I would be making a trip to the emergency room right now. What's also really unique about this light. Is that in addition to those features that I just told you, it can also change color temperatures, so I can be totally tungsten or I could be totally daylit with this, but I could also actually change the color.
Of the light from blue to red to green. I can dial in the exact color, so that eliminates the need for gels and I think that's a pretty cool and unique feature and obviously it's priced accordingly. So obviously for any setup you don't need all of these lights. I'm just trying to show you. The wide variety of different types of lighting that are available to you, and I can't necessarily recommend one type of light from the other because it really depends on the style of lighting you like to use it depends on your budget. To some extent, and it also depends on what type of work you need to do and how fast you need to work.
So, it's going to be versatile and you're really going to want to experiment around and see. So before you rush out and buy a lighting kit or drop $1,000 or $2,000 on a bunch of lights, I highly recommend that you rent. The lights first, or work with other gaffers and see which lights you like for your situation and your type of shooting before you plop down your money. So any of these lights will do you well. The bottom line is, make sure you have the right type of light for the type of work that you like to do.
- Acquiring gear, from stands to mounts
- Lighting walls and backdrops
- Faking sunlight
- Lighting props
- Adjusting lighting in rooms with windows
- Supplementing daylight
- Staging a plain location