December 8, 2014 at 4:10PM


Good beginning lighting kit?

I've been meaning to get a lighting kit to begin with and really don't want to spend more than $1500 which unfortunately in the lighting world usually means one light. I've been looking at LED light panels and even the lovely Kino Flo's but just wondering if anybody has any suggestions?


Do you want to shoot under daylight conditions or indoor tungsten lighting ?

December 8, 2014 at 11:41PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

probably more tungsten.

Jamie Cullum

December 9, 2014 at 3:57AM

You gave no indication of what you shoot. Tho personally I would recommend a Wesscott Skylux with a good softbox (999+100~) and a Yongnuo Yn-900 (170+30 for adapter) and 1 or 2 YN 216s ($60 + CHarger)

That would pretty much allow you to light most anything.
More budget than that 2 YN900s and 3 YN 216s with a flash bracket. (about $500 total)

Skylux is awesome, easy to attach softbox and gels. Good CRI (~92) and good output.
Yongnuo stuff is excellent for the money, also good CRI (~94 [claimed]) and output.

December 9, 2014 at 8:47AM

Josh Wilkinson
Music Video Director/DP

Two problems I have had with Yongnuo instruments: 1) The fan comes on at inconvenient times, and is loud enough to be audible on the audio track; and 2) When dimmed, the light flickers noticeably.

I haven't had either problem with the Aputure Amaran instruments, which are only slightly more expensive.

Of course, your mileage may vary (as they say).

Minor Mogul

December 10, 2014 at 11:03AM

I shoot 90% music videos so the audio is mostly a non-issue for me, so I forgot to mention it. The few times I have used them with audio I didn't run into problems.

My problem with Aputure ones is the light quality isn't nearly as good imo and they have nowhere near the kind of output for the money (comparatively)
The 528 is the same price as the YN-900.

Josh Wilkinson

December 10, 2014 at 11:28AM

For tungsten lighting I use Lowel lights because they're bright, compact, and have a fairly good range of accessories. You can often find them used in good shape for half the price of what new lights sell for. ( my current kit consists of 5 Lowel Pro 250 watt lights and 3 Lowel Tota 500 watt lights )

Lowel ViP Pro-Light Focusing Fresnel : $118

Lowel Tota-Light Tungsten Flood Light : $118

For daylight lighting I use the F&V K4000 1x1 LED lights, which can be bought as a kit of three lights and a carrying case for $1,050.

K4000 Daylight LED Studio Panel | 3-Light Kit : $1,050

You can use the F&V 1x1 lights for tungsten work, but they will be pretty dim compared to the output from a Lowel tungsten light. ( just as a Lowel tungsten light would be dim for daylight work once you've added the conversion filter )

With the work I do I shoot mostly daylight setups, so I use the F&V 1x1 lights a lot more than I use my Lowel lights. ( most often I'm balancing with window light, so I need daylight balanced lights )

...Also stay away from the F&V K4000 Bi-Color lights, they are HALF as bright as the Daylight ONLY F&V lights and have green-magenta color shifts as you adjust the lights, so the color is a bit wonky.

December 9, 2014 at 9:44AM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Yeah second that, Bi-color lights are not worth it period. They all have weird casts and don't mix well. Better to get one or the other and Gel.

Josh Wilkinson

December 9, 2014 at 1:35PM

I recommend the f&v 1x1 lights as well I have a kit of three I picked up used for a grand. Mine are bi-color and while I do wish I had the daylight version the bi-color works fine for me and I find the tungsten is true which is a problem with many other panels I also have some divas which are good because clients are familiar with the brand. Flo lights are also a good kino knock off brand I have used some of the four banks and put kino tubes I them.
My advice would be start with a cheap kit to bud experience or a reel with and spend the money to get the good lights that last. The arri, k5600 and mole richardsons are around because they are dependable and can take the abuse

December 9, 2014 at 6:54PM


Hi! Thank you guys, very useful links! While the light gear is quite important, you can start with very beginner light kit which comes for FREE...the sun and a bounce card are your best beginner light kit. They've got best CRI, best unmatched power and all variety of color temperatures and all comes for free! If you haven't done anything beautiful with them yet, than you should do it first. After you manage them, there would be no need to put your(or your parents) money into cheap LEDs or low power tungstens, because you would be able to get paid job and you would afford all kinds of lights that are available in your city.

December 10, 2014 at 8:04AM

Einar Gabbassoff
D&CD at Frame One Studio

Yes nothing beats the sun, but the sunlight is often changing so you have to work very fast to get your shots before the light has changed too much. Days with mixed sun and clouds are the worst, where the light can be changing every 30 seconds, so trying to get matching shots can be a huge pain in the *ss.

Guy McLoughlin

December 10, 2014 at 9:45AM

In you tube there are a few really awesome LED Light Panel for video work and yes its a bit challenging though very rewarding and once you have done this then you can make better and better stuff while spending less.

December 28, 2014 at 5:50PM, Edited December 28, 5:50PM

S M Sabir
Filmmaker in MAKING :)

Tungsten must be the last thing. Better Led.

January 18, 2015 at 4:51PM

Rag├╝el Cremades
Film producer and director

Your Comment