3 Ways to Use Fluorescent Light Fixtures for Photography Lighting

Studio lighting solutions can be terribly expensive and can be a gating solution for most amateur photographers. Fluorescent light fixtures, however, provide a good alternative to traditionally expensive lighting equipment, such as a soft box. Here are three ways to use fluorescent light fixtures for photography lighting.

1. Obtain Even Lighting

Fluorescent lighting is one of the best ways to produce evenly balanced lighting conditions in a room or on a set. This makes your model and subjects look great by creating a soft ambient light. You must, however, be careful about the colors in the fluorescent light (they contain mostly blues and greens and a very low quantity of reds). This can throw the colors off if you are using a colored film. For black and white photography, the fluorescent light is the most ideal.

Depending upon your lighting needs, you will need to procure tubes that are either “cool” or “warm” or “daylight” marked. Warm ones will look like a light shade of orange, while the cool ones will appear bluish. Daylight marked tubes give out a balanced while light.

2. Create a Cooling Light

A fluorescent light can be used to create a cool ambience for the photograph. Using it in combination with reflectors and diffusers provides a very soft and cool light that can be filtered through gels or lens filters to create the desired effect in a product or portrait shot. A popular way to use it is by placing it just above a model’s head.

3. Create a Soft Box Replacement

Coupled with basic photography techniques, such as a fade in and fade out, fluorescent lighting provides cheap and effective replacements for expensive lighting equipment like a soft box.