Cheap & Easy Lighting for Internet Video

Cheap & Easy Lighting for Internet Video

I watch A LOT of YouTube.  To say I’m addicted is an understatement.   Hours of my life have been sucked away by the Internet video streaming service.

One thing I have noticed with Internet videos is the epidemic amount of bad lighting.  Even some of the top channels have atrociously lit scenes.

So if you want a leg up on the competition, do you have to spend a few hundred dollars on new lighting equipment?   I didn’t…

My Dilemma with Lighting

My studio (aka a bedroom in my house) isn’t very large (10’x8′).   After I crammed in a large corner desk, back drops, my trusty white board and some storage, the room was packed solid.

How would I ever get a proper lighting rig to fit without stepping over tripods and box lights?

My search first took me to our local “big box” store where I found some easy to use “goose neck” clip-on lights.

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I picked up 2 of the fixtures and then went to the light-bulb section.  The proper balance of lighting is needed so that the “cheaper” camera’s can pick up colors and depth properly.

I have found that the best balance I can find is to simulate sunlight with 2 different types of bulbs.  Using this method, I found the sensors on my webcam would work at their optimum level.

I grabbed one “Cool White” 40w bulb and a “Warm” 40w bulb.

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Using the clips I connected them to a shelf that is just above my monitor (you could also clip them to your desk or any other suitable surface) and pointed them at the walls.   By reflecting the light off the white walls, I was able to produce a nice “daylight” type light.

I had to adjust the distance from the wall and the angle of the light in order to minimize shadows and to give the scene that “full” look.


It’s not perfect, but it works!  If you have watched any of my Internet TV shows, you’ll know that while the lighting is not “top of the line”, it is better than 90% of the vlog style videos on YouTube.

The grand total for the 2 fixtures and the 2 bulbs was around $26, and I am very happy with the results.   I even plan on picking up a few more fixtures to light my backdrop properly and I plan on using different colors of bulbs to really make it stand out (stay tuned for a tutorial on creating a cheap backdrop).

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.   If you are new to video podcasting/Internet TV production, check out our free (yes FREE!course “Video Podcasting 101“.

Do you have anything to add to this article?  Comment below!

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