Mastering Simple and Effective YouTube Lighting

by | May 14, 2019 | Lighting, Tips and Tutorials

Today, I’m excited to share insights into my current lighting setup for YouTube videos, interviews, and talking head scenarios. This setup is not only easy to achieve but also budget-friendly. It’s perfect for anyone looking to create quality video content, whether you’re a fellow YouTuber, business owner, or just starting out in video production.

Efficient 2-Light Setup

My current lighting setup, which I have adapted since moving studios, consists primarily of two LED panels. Let’s break down the setup:

Key Light

  • Positioning: The key light is placed at a 45-degree angle to me, just out of shot, softened by a cheap light umbrella. This angle provides a flattering fall-off, giving definition to my features rather than a flat appearance.
  • Type: I use an Aperture LED panel, which is a bit on the pricey side, but you can find cheaper alternatives starting from around £40 per panel.

Rim Light / Backlight

  • Positioning: This light is mounted directly above my head.
  • Features: I’ve added a warm tungsten filter (included with most lights) to create a warm glow on my hair, helping me stand out from the background.
  • Color Temperature: The light is set to a warm color temperature, contrasting with the key light’s cooler daylight setting.

Practical Lighting

  • Background Lights: I use Philips Hue light strips and a desk lamp in the background for visual interest. However, any desk lamp or bulb can achieve a similar effect.
  • Purpose: These lights add depth and character to the background, enhancing the overall look of the video.

Control and Consistency

I prefer to control the light environment completely. Even on bright days, I close the blinds to avoid natural light affecting the exposure and consistency of my shots.

Improving the Setup

While I’m quite satisfied with the current results, there’s always room for improvement:

  1. Softer Key Light: An even softer key light would reduce shadows on my face, enhancing the quality.
  2. More Practical Lights: Additional background lights could add more visual depth to the scene.

Affordable Lighting Options

Although I use more expensive equipment, here are some budget-friendly alternatives for a similar setup:


Remember, this isn’t about achieving perfection but finding a setup that works well for your style and content. Two LED lights can deliver great results, and I encourage you to experiment and find what works best for you

Stay Connected

I'm Will Chidlow, passionate about creating visually captivating content that tells a story. Whether it's through video production, photography, or content creation, I'm here to help you share your ideas with the world. Learn more about my work. Follow me on Instagram and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Check out my kit

For a comprehesive list of all the equipment I regularly use for filmmaking, photography & content creation.

View kit list

Let me help you tell your story

Whether you need a one-off “about us” video for your website or 40+ Instagram reels ready to roll, I’m your guy. Contact me and lets grow your ideas.

Join the community

Over on my YouTube channel is where the real party is, come and join the fun.

Related posts