10 Clever Ways You Can Use a Tiny LED Light in Your Films

Credit: David Öhland
There are so many reasons why you should own at least one small LED light.

Those big, expensive, professional lighting setups do look awesome and absolutely scream, "Hey, a movie is being made over here," but the days of needing all of those lighting units for your low-budget film is pretty much over. With today's super sensitive cameras, you can actually get a lot of use out of a cheap LED that is no bigger than a smartphone, and in this video from Aputure, you can learn just how versatile one of these pocket-sized lights can be on a film shoot.

Here are all the ways you can put a pocket-sized LED to work on your film:

  • Eye light
  • Car light/car dash
  • Subtle key
  • Space light
  • Accent light
  • Cell phone screen
  • Fridge light
  • Closet light
  • Computer screen
  • Tarantino effect

The light used in the video is the Aputure AL-M9 Amaran LED light, which is a pretty damn good unit for the price ($45). However, there are a ton of other great LEDs you can get for $50 or less that have a small form factor like the AL-M9, like the Bestlight 176, the Gigalumi 228, and the Yongnuo YN300 Air (all of which are cheaper). Keep in mind, though, that there is no such thing as the best pocket-sized LED light. Each one has different features and qualities that may or may not be important to you, from battery life to bi-color options, but if I had to choose, I'd say CRI, brightness, and dimmers would be my top three must-haves.

Whichever pocket LED you go with, there's no doubt that these little babies are insanely useful on set, because they not only make easy work of lighting in small spaces but they also let you get creative with your lighting design.

What are some other clever ways you can use a small LED on a film set? Let us know in the comments below!     

Your Comment


Clever ways...!!

October 25, 2017 at 11:36PM

Sameir Ali
Director of Photography

You could use it to simulate how a cars headlights casts shadows through windows simply by holding it and rotating it. I think it could also work as a strobe by putting it behind a fan which could be useful for club/dance type scenes

October 26, 2017 at 7:49AM, Edited October 26, 7:49AM

Jarrett Glass

I love the art in the Voynich Manuscript. I’ve been doodling in its style for about 3 years now. I have notebooks full of little things https://www.assignmentspot.co.uk/ that I called Voynich-x or y. Personally I believe the book was created for fun/to make some cash off some rich idiot, but it doesn’t really matter to me because its effect on my life wouldn’t change.

August 27, 2018 at 10:26PM


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November 28, 2018 at 2:06AM