For their longevity and numerous features, LED lights have become a favorite for many cinematographers. There are tons of great options available too, but knowing which to choose to need some heavy research.
We created the ultimate list of the 5 best LED video lights for video production. By the end of this article, you’ll get to know about the LED market to make a confident purchase that gets you great lighting.
Here’s everything you need to know about LED Lights.
1. LED ESSENTIALS
1.1 WHAT IS LED?
The basics of LED lights
LED lights have been used since the 1950s in appliances, for Christmas lights, and many other lighting applications. But, from the last decade, LEDs have become an ideal option for home lighting, and, even more recently, for video production.
What are LEDs?
What does LED stand for?
LED stands for light-emitting diode. An electric current passes through a diode (a current switch) to trigger a reaction that generates heatless light known as “electroluminescence”. A luminescent layer of phosphor covers the entire LED.
What advantages do LEDs have?
- LEDs use minimal energy.
- LEDs give out very little heat.
- LEDs have the ability to be used as multi-color lights.
A “quick-bite” about LED lighting
LED light provide better illumination than the contemporary lighting.
While it’s important to understand the inner-workings of the LED. You’re here because you want to use the best LED video lights in your project or for any personal use too.
Now it’s time to dig deep into video lighting and colors.
1.2 VIDEO LIGHTING
How does video lighting work?
Video lighting is very different from the photography lighting.
You need continuous light to capture quality recordings. Lights that are not flicker-free may look fine when being used for still photography. But, be cautious, they will have harmful effects on your video recordings.
Light and color have an interesting natural relationship. Ever since cameras started capturing images, two color models have interacted with each other in the “capture-to-print” workflow.
One color model, known as the four-color process, or CMYK (for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black), is traditionally used for anything in print.
This is referred to as a subtractive color model, as printed ink minimises the light that would normally reflect off the surface. Meaning, the ink subtracts brightness from the white background.
Another color model, RGB, stands for red, green, and blue. In present days, it’s mostly used in digital design, as it represents the colors on computer, TV, phone screens and other digital screens.
RGB is known as an additive color system. The colors are added together in different combinations to produce a wide spectrum. In the RGB model, light blends by superimposing red, green, and blue beams.
At zero intensity, each of these colors appears black, while at full intensity they appear white.
Most LED camera lights, and really any sources that emit light, rely on the RGB model.
Remember this whenever you light something because the color temperatures of your lights may not be the same always and you will sometimes have to light based on the availability of the light.
Many of the LEDs on this list are bi-color, which means you can adjust the color of the lights via a knob on the back of the fixture. Say, from red to green & so on.
1.3 LED VIDEO LIGHTS
How we organize the list
The LEDs on this list will give you the best results when recording video.
Every one of the professional video lighting kits and LED camera lights on this list will work for shooting interviews or YouTube videos, at minimum. Generally, the more expensive the kit is, the more light output you will receive.
LED SPEC MINIMUM
95+ CRI (Color Rendering Index)
This will provide better color fidelity so that skin tones don’t end up green or magenta.
This allows you to adjust your color temperature.
Eliminates flicker during video recording.
2. LED LIGHT KITS
THE BEST LED VIDEO LIGHT KITS
2.1 LED VIDEO LIGHT KITS
Price: $310 on Amazon.com
These lights have a built-in dimmer that can adjust output from 10 to 100 percent, as well as a variable color temperature between 3200-5600K. LCD digital readout, barn doors, and diffusion included. Can attach these lights to your camera, too.
2.2 LED VIDEO LIGHT KITS
Price: $200 on Amazon.com
This kit gives you a relatively inexpensive LED video light panel with decent output. You can light an interview subject, and these lights have variable brightness and color settings. They also come with optional battery power if you need extra mobility.
2.3 LED VIDEO LIGHT KITS
Price: $588 on Amazon.com
Here’s a user friendly kit that has surprising power. Battery capable, with built in Fresnel lenses that magnify the light output. So powerful you can double up on diffusion for a super-soft look. Good for interviews, or to light a full scene.
2.4 LED VIDEO LIGHT KITS
Price: $777 on Amazon.com
This 3-point light kit includes three Bi-Color panels with 4-way barndoors. Also diffusers, a multi-voltage AC adapter, light stand, and an NP-F battery plate. Variable color temperature from 3200-5600K. Dimming capability from zero to 100 percent. And the multi-light control capability allows control of all three lights at once.
2.5 LED VIDEO LIGHT KITS
Price: $1,142 on Amazon.com
This LED video light panel includes variable color temperature from 3200-5600K. Dimming from zilch to 100 percent. Outputs the hot-light equivalent of a whopping 1,000W, but with a low electrical draw of 60W. Powered by the included 100-240 VAC adapter or by optional V-Mount 12 VDC batteries.
These are the 5 best LED video lights that could enhance the video quality and yet they are durable. These could be used for a long run, ideal for the videographers as well.