Film production is when you are ready with a script and the plan and going to shoot the scenes. And lighting is most important when it comes to shooting. The presence of lights and their angles would tell the story in a certain way. LED lights are the way to go if you are looking for lights in film production.
But when cameras already come with a built-in flash, what is the need for an external light? Well, there are many reasons for it. Firstly, the flash is fixed and harsh. It would give you unpleasant results. Plus it would always be there with the camera. So you can’t change the angle of the light.
While and external lighting setup will not only add depth and softness to the shooting but also give you the flexibility to target it where you want without moving the camera. You can adjust the color temperature and the intensity which is not possible in the built-in flash.
However, lights for photography and videography are not the same. Photography lights are made for short shots that can last for minutes at the max while videography lights are made for continuous static lighting.
If you interchange and use them, the results will be very bad. Photography lights may flicker which would be visible in the video and spoil your scene. So the lights for both are different and you need to know the settings and the usability for each before choosing for any.
Lights come in two different formats. The most common format of lighting is RGB or Red Green Blue. This format is based on the addition of the three colors. The three colors are added in a specific proportion to give the desired color. This is used in printing too.
The other format is the CMYK format which is Cyan Magenta Yellow Black. It is the opposite of RGB as it is based on the subtraction of colors. The results are the subtraction of colors in a specific proportion to give the desired color. The CMYK format is uncommon and it might be a better idea to stick to the RGB format for lighting in videos.
Now that you have basic knowledge of the light concept for shooting and photography, let us start with listing the best ones:
Best LED Lights For Film Production in 2020
|Image||Product Name||Features||Check Price|
|Emart 60 LED Continuous Portable Photography Lighting Kit|
|Neewer Dimmable Bi-Color LED with U Bracket|
|RALENO Led Video Light|
|Neewer 2 Pieces Bi-color 660 LED|
|VILTROX LED Panel Light with Stand Kit|
|Neewer 160 LED Studio Photography Lighting Kit|
|YONGNUO YN360 II LED Video Light|
|LimoStudio Photography Photo Studio|
|GVM 2 Pack LED Video Lighting Kit|
|Fotodiox Pro FlapJack|
|GSKAIWEN Photography Studio LED Lighting Kit|
|Godox SL-60W LED Video Light|
|Dracast DRSPPLLK3x500BNS S Series|
1. Best Overall: Emart 60 LED Continuous Portable Photography Lighting Kit
This is a bright lighting kit that is sufficient for lighting about 6 to 7 feet. It is bright and can work perfectly for YouTube videos. They are small but power-packed. It does get a bit hot but that should not affect the materials or the lights.
The Emart 60 LED is small and portable at a width of 5.5 inches and a height of 3.7 inches. The kit comes with a stand with metal legs. It has the ability to move up and down to change the angle.
This is the light that you can carry with you wherever you go without adding much weight to your luggage. It is suited for shooting scenes that are shot in the evening and morning when there is ample light perfect for shooting but you want to fill in the shadows.
The LEDs are bright enough with an output of 1400 Lumens. The light has 60 LEDs in each of the lamps. The temperature of light is around 5500k. More number of LEDs would ensure that the light falls evenly on the subject.
The light kit comes with a cord and a stand with which you can adjust the height and angle. The lights can be used for any type of lighting ranging from photoshoots to video shoots. It comes with orange, white, blue, and red color gel filters which can be mixed and you can create your own light to shoot your video.
The LED has a weight of 1.75 pounds. It comes with a warranty of one year. This Emart kit is a good choice for people who are into producing short videos and taking good photos. It is not recommended for long film shots as the lights are not made for long hours shooting.
- 1400 Lumens brightness
- Adjustable angles
- Energy efficient
- Metal legs can scratch surfaces
- Not for shooting more than one hour at a stretch
2. Best for Professionals: Neewer Dimmable Bi-Color LED with U Bracket
The Neewer Dimmable Bi-Color LED is supremely bright. It is suitable for both photography and videography. These perform at 70hz of frequency which means that you would not have any problem while film shooting.
Videos record at a frequency of 60hz so a higher frequency would not intervene in the video and you would see brisk free shots. The light is a panel of 10.4 inches in length and 10 inches in height. It can have a big set up with the controls behind it.
the LED is attached to the stand and it can rotate 360 degrees. It is slim and sleek to use. The sleekness will make sure that it fits in bags and you are able to carry it to the location of the shot.
The product comes with 240 white and 240 yellow LEDs that can be adjusted to a temperature range from 3200-5600k. The controls are given at the back of the panel. It has a brightness of 3360 lumens. This is bright enough to light you from a distance of 15 feet with ease. Hence, it is a good option for distant lighting.
This model also comes with a diffuser that can soften the light and give you the perfect soft portraits that you always wanted. It also works on a battery that has to be purchased separately. They have low power consumption.
They are a lightweight option at 3.49 pounds. It comes with a standard one year warranty. It is a good option for its versatility. However, the usage is inclined towards fully professional ones who are well acquainted with lights and adjusting temperatures.
- Portable and easily carryable
- A range of temperature from 3200 to 5600k
- Comes with a diffuser
- Built-in temperature control
- No remote support
- Low battery capacity of 90 minutes
3. Best for Live Streaming: RALENO Led Video Light
The Raleno LED is all about portability and lightweight. It is small enough to fit in your bag or purse. It can be charged via USB so you can even use any out light like a power bank, car charging, laptop, or adapter. You do not need to worry about having a dedicated power supply for it.
This video light works for around one and a half hours. It can light up the subject upto 5 feet. It is made for close shoots and it is made in order to protect the eyes from harsh light.
The light range that can go from 3200 to 5600k temperature. This can be adjusted from the back panel. It also has an option to adjust the brightness. It can be mounted on a 4k film camcorder or any mount with its compatible ¼ screw hole.
The eye protection feature makes it perfect for baby shoots. It can be also used for live streaming religious ceremonies. It has an acrylic light guide that softens the light and makes it perfect for portraits or videos. The portability makes it worthy to be used outdoors also.
The RALENO LED is very light with just 11 ounces of weight. It comes with a one year warranty. This is a very good setup option for live streaming and home use. Note that it is focused on basic users who want to fill in light in dark places. It is a worthy choice if you are all about making videos on a move with minimum hassle.
- Pocket sized
- USB charging
- Eye protection
- Universal mount
- Built-in temperature control
- 90 minutes usage only
- 5 feet range
4. Best for Long Shots: Neewer 2 Pieces Bi-color 660 LED
The Neewer Bi-Color LED is a professional type light that needs to be put in the stand and at two places in the room. It has a fairly large range of around 10 feet. It has a battery life of around 90 minutes but you can also use a power cord and connect it directly to a power source.
The Neewer lights are dimmable and you can control the light brightness as per your use. It also has a white diffuser to soften the light which ensures brilliant portraits and shots. This reduces shadows and unevenness of light. The softer the light is, the better the photo or the video would come.
The lights have 660 LEDs of which 330 are of yellow and 330 of white. One can adjust the range of each color separately and have the desired output. They can be adjusted at any angle with their movable head.
There are two lights so you can use one as a key light and one as a fill light. This will ensure that your subject is lit from two sides. There would be no shadows if you add a backlight to it. If you do not, then there would be shadows but minimal. The most important thing is the angle.
The lights have barn doors which are definitely a plus point. The doors can be used to channelize light and focus on one part. Barn doors would prove really helpful when an actor has a monologue or you want to focus on one particular subject.
It also has a built-in color temperature control system that allows you to adjust the temperature anywhere between 3200k to 5600k. The weight of the lights is 14.7 pounds. This 2-piece LED comes with a warranty of 1 year.
This bi-color LED is a decent option for people who would need intermediate types of lights that can be used for film stills and long shots. It is a proper set of lighting and ideal for sets and locations.
- Barn doors
- Adjustable temperature and brightness
- Built-in diffuser
- Comes with a bag
- Heavy for travel
- Can be a bit complicated for beginners
5. Best with Remote Control: VILTROX LED Panel Light with Stand Kit
The VILTROX LED light panel is used for lighting a scene or a set. The LEDs are quite bright and used for a range of 5-7 feet. It can last upto 90 minutes on battery or you can attach it to a power supply through a cord.
The LED panel has a slim light and comes in a pack of two. They have controls of temperature behind the screen. It also has a digital screen for the display of the temperature. It has an LCD display. This helps you decide the best angle for the shot and give you an easy option to create a cheat book for shots.
The Viltrox LED has a range of 3200k to 5600k. The brightness can be adjusted between 20 to 100 %. It has 96 beads for white and 96 for yellow which is what is used to control the light temperature.
The ability to change the temperature is integral to any film as color of the light is what sets the tone of the scene. A warmer light may be used for scenes that are romantic and happy while you may use a cold light to show sadness or apathy. Thus it helps to add dimension to your film.
Moreover, the lights have a fantastic wireless capability and it comes with a remote control that can be used to control both the lights at the same time. This whole setup eliminates the need for an extra spot boy.
You can yourself adjust the lights and control it to give your scene a boost. The effect can be customized to fade-in lights when you are showing a morning scene or showing the actor to just have woken up. You can adjust the angle for a full 360-degree and have the perfect angle with it.
The weight of the kit is 10.23 pounds and comes with a one year warranty. It is a fantastic option for a location or set shoots considering the unique wireless control system. This can be a brilliant option considering its features and the ability to put a versatile shoot for whatever requirement you might have.
- Wireless capabilities
- LCD System
- Comes with a carry bag
- Heavy and hassle for traveling
- Would need diffusion as it is very bright
6. Best for Low-Budget: Neewer 160 LED Studio Photography Lighting Kit
The Neewer 160 LED lighting kit is made for lighting areas upto 5 feet. It has a brightness of 900 lumens for a distance of 1m and then the intensity decreases upto 40 lumens for 5m. This means that it is useful for near subject lighting. You need to place the lights close to the subject for the brightest results.
The design of this light is for attaching it to the DSLR camera and carrying it around for capturing the youtube videos. It is portable and can fit in a bag very easily. Since the kit comes with a stand, you can place it somewhere at a different angle from your camera as well.
The light has 160 LEDs that operate at the temperature of 5600k. You can add the gel filter that comes with it to lower the temperature to 3200k. It has a brightness meter to control the intensity of the light.
This Neewar LED has a standard hot shoe mount which means you can put it on any tripod too. It has filters like the spotlight effect and diffuse effect. The spotlight filter would help you to focus on one specific thing and give the light fully on it while the diffuser will soften the light.
This studio kit has a runtime of around 90 minutes.it is operated by battery only. The light weighs 8.57 ounces whereas the whole set weighs 3.4 pounds. It comes with a one year warranty. This portable option is recommended for people who make occasional videos or YT videos and not full-fledged professional films.
- Attachable to cameras
- Brightness control
- Diffuser and spotlight filter
- No temperature controls
- No direct power supply option
7. Best for Music Videos: YONGNUO YN360 II LED Video Light
The Yongnuo YN360 LED is designed to be held in hand so there are no mounts or attachments on it. It is lightly weighted so as to make long handheld hours pleasurable.
The light is versatile as it can be used by the photographer in the image to create experimental shots. It has a range of 3200 to 5600k light temperature. There are dedicated buttons to change the intensity of light, color, and battery capacity.
The advantage of this light is that it can be moved during the scene to create a dramatic effect. You must have seen music videos where the light is moving from one part of the subject to another. This will create a very unique effect that would otherwise be very difficult to achieve with fixed lights.
This video light also has a built-in fine or coarse light button for diffusing the light. The changing of colors can be done wirelessly through an application on a phone too. It also has a LED screen for display. The display will ensure that you can shoot all the scenes in the continuity of the same light.
Continuity is what makes a good film stand out from the average ones. The light tone, brightness, and angle of the scene can be written down to replicate on the next shot and you would have no problems with continuity.
The LED light comes with both battery and power attached options. With a built-in battery of 5200 mAh it lasts upto 2 hours at full intensity. It can run at 2480 lumens for a close range of 4 feet.
The product is weighed at 2.6 pounds.it comes with a one year warranty. It can be coupled well with the camera used for recording music videos where you not only want to light the subject but also use the light as a source in the image itself.
- Digital screen
- Built-in battery
- App control
- Buttons for each function
- No support for mounts or tripods
- Needs to be close to the subject
8. Best for News Studio: LimoStudio Photography Photo Studio
The LimoStudio Photography LED is a light that is a single LED bulb. It runs on a power source so there is no limited time duration for it. It is bright enough to light for 6 to 7 feet but you would need to use both together.
The design is similar to that of professional photography studio lights. It is a bulb that has to be attached in the stands. The lighting setup comes with barn doors which can be used to the direction of the light. It can also help in focusing the light.
The bulbs give out a fixed color temperature output of 6500k but you can add filters on the setup. It is designed for outdoor shoots and indoor shoots. No need to buy separate lights if you go with this one.
The one color option makes it a different type of light. It is more suited for interviews and news production like scene. Of course, you can add the filters but that limits the scope too. This photography light comes with a stand. The stand has vents to ensure that the heat goes out.
The bulb is replaceable which means that you can even increase or decrease the intensity of light by changing the bulb. But this is not very convenient and you would want the lights to have a built-in brightness control. It is of course not a very good idea to change the bulbs every now and then.
The LimoStudio LED bulb is weighed at 8.73 pounds. It comes with a one year warranty. I personally feel it is a bit outdated considering how there are plenty of options available with built-in light temperature change control. However, if simple white light is what you need with a detachable bulb, this can be it.
- Replaceable bulb
- Sturdy and durable lights
- Adjustable barn doors
- Versatile stand
- Single LED
- No color temperature control
- No filters included
9. Best for Self-Potraits: GVM 2 Pack LED Video Lighting Kit
The GVM 2 Pack LED kit would suit professionals as well as beginners. It has 480 LEDs at 20 inches of distance so you can expect the best brightness. It can light the subject for 90 minutes on battery.
The lights are thin and portable. They come with barn doors that are adjustable. It also comes with a bag for ease of carrying. You can put it on the stand and adjust the angle in up and down direction. Moreover, it has a digital display on the backside of the screen.
It is very bright with 15000 lumens of brightness. The brightness can be changed in a range of 10 to 100%. The range of light is from 2300k to 6800k. This is something that is extra when most of the lights stop at 5200k of temperature.
More color options are available because of this. The addition of an extra temperature range is vital as it would give you a unique color that other lights would not. Of course, you can change it in the post-production process through apps like Premier Pro but that would not be as perfect as doing it on set.
The LED kit has an option of app control that can control not only the brightness but also the color. This will allow you to control the lights from a distance. You can also take self-portraits and take your own shots by this feature.
It is weighed at 16.37 pounds and comes with a one year warranty. If you have to start but want a long term solution, this is a great option. Hence, this GVM kit is a great option for professional filmmakers as well as beginners.
- Remote control app
- Barn doors
- 2300 to 6800k color temperature
- Digital display
- 15000 lumens
- Complicated to handle
- Heavy and the case is not shockproof
10. Best under 400: Fotodiox Pro FlapJack
The Fotodiox Pro Flapjack is a panel light that can run on battery as well as the power cord. It can light a person upto 6 feet. It is one panel light instead of small LEDs. This would be powerful but it may focus light on one area whereas the sides might be dimmer.
It is sleek and thin in design. The LED panel comes with a bag where it can easily fit. It is adjustable in the 180-degree range. This would help you to change the light direction. This Fotodiox light comes with a temperature range of 3200-5500k.
It also has brightness options from 10 to 100%. Note that the kit comes with a battery included. This is a good feature as most of the sellers do not include the battery with the light. The battery capacity is around 90 minutes.
The lights are weighed at 12.52 pounds. The warranty is for 2 years. It is a good option as it has portability as well as power supply. The lights are fairly bright for home usages such as interviews and youtube films.
- Battery as well as a power cord
- 2-year warranty
- Good design
- No remote support
- 1 light only
11. Best Fill Lights: GSKAIWEN Photography Studio LED Lighting Kit
The GSKAIWEN LED kit is a strip light that runs on a power source. It is bright enough to light the subject at a distance of 5 feet. This is a versatile to be used for photography as well as videography. The reliability of a power source ensures that you do not suddenly run out of power and you stick to your schedule.
It has a unique design because it is a strip light that can be moved in any way. The LED kit can be put in any angle and the light can be focused on the subject. They don’t take up much space so that is a good option keeping in mind they would not appear in the video.
They have 120 LEDs in total. It means that each light is 60 LEDs. The brightness control from 1 to 100% is very useful for changing the light intensity and setting the mood. This would ensure that the subject gets equal light from every part of the light.
It comes with a built-in soft light mask which helps the person to get the perfect lighting for portraits and videos. The LED can also be used as a fill light. It has the aluminum alloy shell to protect it and enhance heat dissipation. Its color temperature is fixed at 5500k.
The light weighs 7.7 pounds. It comes with a one year warranty and lifetime customer support. This video light is a nice option for having fill lights. However, it might not be a great option for using them as primary key lights.
- Adjustable lights
- Strip shape
- Light and portable
- No color range
- Not bright enough to be used as a primary light source
12. Best with LCD Display: Godox SL-60W LED Video Light
The Godox SL-60W is a set of 2 pieces of light bulbs. It is one bulb led with a power of 60W that is bright enough to give a brightness of upto 4100 Lumens for a distance of 1 meter.
The lights are designed in the traditional light setup which has a holder on a stand. The bulb is fixed in it. It can be covered with the provided softbox or gel filters that are to be bought separately.
The light is at the color temperature of 5600k. It has a continuous output option that would ensure high-quality video recording. This is a proper studio light that needs a power supply and does not work on battery.
The eye protection mode that makes the lights soft enough for the eyes. Lights are often very bright that the eyes may pain or get strained due to the power of the light. A high amount of brightness will also make the eyes close or blinded. The feature will ensure that the eyes are protected from the brightness and it is not harsh to them.
This video LED has a remote control with which the lights can be controlled at a distance. It also has a large LCD display to show the controls. The lights have an adjustable brightness that ranges from 1 to 100 %.
Godox SL-60W weighs an incredible 22 pounds and comes with a one year warranty. It is suited for studios and fixed sets. It is not recommended for people who are on the move and would want a portable option.
- 60W power
- Remote control
- LCD display
- Softbox included
- Continuous light with eye protection feature
- Fixed bulb
- No barn doors with it
13. Best for Indoor Shots: Dracast DRSPPLLK3x500BNS S Series
The Dracast S Series is a 3 light setup that is best suited for 3 point lighting setup which is commonly used in videos and photography lighting. It has 480 LEDs. It runs on a power source so one can run it as per the need.
The lights are nice and foldable enough to fit in a bag that they provide. They come with barn doors that help to channelize and focus the light. There is also a diffuser provided to soften the light. The LED is thin and can be fitted in the bag easily.
The lights have a color temperature range of 3200k to 5600k. The brightness can also be adjusted from 1 to 100%. The presence of three lights makes sure that you can use one as the main light source, one as a fill light, and one as a backlight for the best results.
It also comes with an infrared remote control that can control all three lights at once. There are controls on the back and the company has a dedicated website page to educate you about lights.
However, the infrared remote would work only when you are in the straight line of the receiver. So you might want to think twice before going for this one for the remote control feature.
The lights weigh at 18 pounds. They are a bit heavy and would need a power source which makes it an indoor-only light. It comes with a one year warranty. They are a good choice for indoor shoots where you need continuous output.
- Funky design
- 3 light setup
- Soft case and padding included
- Barn doors
- No battery support
- The infrared remote control is outdated
FAQs about Best LED Lights For Film Production
Choosing LED lights for film production depends on the script. If the film is largely based on outdoor shots, you might want to consider having portable lighting which runs on battery and is light. If it is indoor, something that runs only on power supply works.
You also need to consider the brightness and the color temperature of the lights while selecting them. A larger range of temperature will allow you to add mood to the scene and create depth.
FIlms and news production largely use a three-point light setting which includes one light focusing directly on the subject, one focusing on it from a side angle and one from behind. The type of light depends on the type of scene.
The lights are usually bright and very powerful for news shows. There are various types of lights such as tungsten, HMI (Hydrargyrum medium-arc iodide), LEDs, and Fluorescent. LEDs are the latest addition to the range so if the production is upto date and new, it would have LEDs.
If they are old school, they might still be using tungsten or fluorescent which are prone to heating. The HMIs are supremely powerful and replicate sun-like light so they are used very rarely.
No, the best part about LEDs is the heat resistance. They do get heated up but they are not hot enough to burn anything. A person might even touch them unharmed.
Traditional lights like fluorescent and tungsten may burn up the clothes and whatever comes in contact with them. They can cause a fire. LEDs are much safer and one can use them for a long time without worries.
No. If you use home LEDs, you might not get bright results. However, if you are smart enough to position them in a way that lights up your subject perfectly, you might get decent results. The home LEDs are not powerful enough for shooting videos for films. They are to simply light the room at the lowest possible energy output and save energy.
Choosing lights for film production can be a very difficult task but keep in mind that you are going to choose the lights once and shoot your whole film in it.
Make sure you invest wisely by selecting the best LED and keeping in mind your requirements like types of scenes, the number of people you are working with, and your budget. It would be easy to choose a light if you consider this all and go through each light carefully.