Production Lighting: How to Use LEDs

When making a video production lighting is very important. If there isn't enough light in the shot then the film simply won't be recorded properly. All cameras, video cameras included rely on adequate light to store the image. There are many different types of light which can be used to make your video. One of the newest technologies is LED lighting.

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and it's something that has been around for a long time. Those blinking lights on your router, fax machine and power lights are almost certainly LEDs. However these have not normally been used to provide light for filming or living. New types of LEDs however are capable of providing this because they are much more powerful.

Step 1: Understanding the Benefits

Many people won't buy LED lights because they are much more expensive than other more conventional forms of lighting. The reason for this is because the technology is still new. However there are a number of benefits. Firstly they use a lot less power than a conventional lighting rig. On average they use 75% less power than their conventional counterparts. The lights also last much longer because they do not rely on a filament which gets hot. Both of these reasons provide a clear environmental benefit.

Another benefit of the reduced power consumption is that they can be run from a fairly small battery. This makes them very portable and makes them much more convenient. The lights were used in the filming of James Bond the Quantum of Solace and these were even run off the car battery for the moving shots.

Another major benefit with LED lights is that they do not generate anywhere near as much heat as incandescent lights. They also produce a stable light as soon as they are switched on rather than needing to warm up like fluorescent lighting.

Step 2: Setting up the Lights

The lights come in a number of different forms. Some of these are fixed onto ceilings and shine the light down. Others are more compact and designed to be mounted onto tripods. Actually setting up the lamps should be relatively easy. They can be powered from electrical outlets or batteries.

Step 3: Settings

The settings of the LED lamps are much easier to control than with other types of lighting. It is possible to add filters and adjust the brightness of the lights. Most of the lamps feature on board dimmers which can regulate the amount of light output easily. These lights also feature interchangeable lenses and filters which can be used to create different effects with ease. It's possible to change the color temperature from indoor to outdoor simply.

When dimming most types of bulbs the color will also change as well as the brightness. In the case of LED lights however the color will remain the same.

Step 4: Testing

Once your lights are set up for the first time you will need to test them. Some LED lights can distort the colors. This ca normally be corrected by adjusting the white balance.