Lighting equipment is expensive, but there are ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality.
Getting your hands on a decent lighting kit can be difficult for a budget filmmaker. Buying is oftentimes out of the question and rental costs (if you have a rental house in your town) can still be more expensive than you'd like. So for a lot of us, putting together a kit with a hodgepodge of different lights, modifiers, and stands is the answer, but the question still remains: what should I include in my budget-friendly lighting kit? In this video, Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter offers up his response; a high-quality, low-budget lighting kit that you can buy for $500.
Pike's kit includes:
- Aputure Amaran HR672S LED Spot Light Kit: $278
- (2) Aputure Amaran H198 LED Light: $58/each
- (2) Battery Kit: $34/each
- (3) Light Stand Kit: $38/each
- Reflector + Reflector Holder Kit: $36
- Diffusion: $10
All of this comes out to be around $620, but it all depends on where and when you buy, as well as what you already have. When it comes to diffusion, you can save a lot of money by getting creative. Use bed sheets, T-shirts, or shower curtain liners for free diffusion.
The most important pieces in your kit are obviously going to be the lights themselves, so if you don't know much about them, it might be best to go with Pike's recommendations. However, if you do want to save a little bit more money on those units, just make sure to get lights that have a high enough CRI that you don't have to worry about having to spend lots of extra time (and money) in post correcting the color on your footage.
What are some other budget-friendly units that you could include in this inexpensive lighting kit? Let us know in the comments below.