November 17, 2015 at 1:41PM, Edited November 17, 1:43PM


Working against sunlight to create a night scene (with LEDs)

Can anyone help me?

I’m trying to light some interior night scenes for a Gothic horror (student) film I’m working on. I want to create moody scenes with strong accents, but as our location has no electric supply the only lights I have access to are LED panels - I feel like I have no control over these!

Our location is a disused chapel. It has these huge windows that fill the room with natural light. There’s no escaping this light as we can only film during daylight hours and the windows are too high and too large to block out, but against this light our LEDs do very little.

The LEDs I have aren’t very powerful, I’m not sure what exactly they are but they look like this:

I usually light with fresnels and reflectors, but our LEDs are too weak to bounce and when pointed directly at the subject/area they create this horrible flood light effect.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make the most out of these lights to create a moody high contrast image? Any advice would be hugely appreciated!


There's no way LED lights are going to balance with large windows streaming daylight, unless you find a way to reduce the intensity of the window light.

I would look at finding some kind of large fabric or plastic tarp that can be hung or tied to the outside of the windows to get the amount of light way down so that your LED lights can become useful.

Otherwise, is there any way you can bounce the light from the windows in to your shot.

i.e. silver fabric stretched over a frame, or even the silver-foil like "emergency" warming blankets stretched out over a frame or even a large sheet of styrofoam. ( you can buy a 2 inch thick 4x8 foot sheet of white reflective styrofoam at building supply places, and just gaffer-tape or duct-tape the outside edge to protect the styrofoam sheet from getting damaged during transport )

November 17, 2015 at 2:14PM, Edited November 17, 2:17PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

I haven't had much luck bouncing the natural light into the shot - the windows are very dusty and the light that gets through is too diffused to do much with. I don't think we're able to cover the windows either as it would be too dangerous to get up that high/too expensive to get that much material.. But you are right I can't expect my LEDs to do anything until I reduce the daylight - I will try and push for us to film after dark!

Thanks very much for your help!

November 18, 2015 at 3:11AM


Hi Guy
Thank you for this technique on how to shoot indoor day for night
Is there any technic on how to shoot day for night in a forest ?

December 6, 2015 at 9:17AM


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