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Equipment DIY lighting options

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by silk186, 1 May 2020.

  1. silk186

    silk186 Derp

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    The current situation has grounded my wife's business plans and she decided to get into social media "influencing"? I'm not really sure what the best term is. Maybe blogger. Anyways, she made an account on Douying (Chinese TikTok) and started making content. She recorded on her Huawei P30 Pro and did pretty well from the start so I started buying her equipment:
    • Rode SmartLav+ w/ USB C to 3.5mm Adapter
    • Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand PRO
    • JOBY JB01550-BWW TelePod Mobile
    After 6 weeks she reached 100k followers so I decided I should investigate upgrading her lighting setup. To make my job easier, she has decided that she only likes recording at the dining room table, which is also where we eat dinner and where my desktop lives. It is a crowded multiuse space. Obviously, this means no chance of softboxes and a need for something that can stay up without making my living room look like a movie set.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I've tried posting on Reddit but it seems most people are in the US and product availability and pricing don't translate. Making matters worse, I'm not from the UK and I'm not familiar with lighting standards and terminology. I just know that these pronged lightbulbs are annoying.

    Chinese Lanterns: the is one idea that's interesting. I get a Chinese lantern, a light cord with a dimmer and a high CRI LED bulb. I try to hang two or three from the ceiling without causing damage to the rented flat.

    Clamp Lights: I got the idea from this video. I search eBay for clamp light with aluminium reflector and they are all shipping from the US. This is a common issue with lighting recommendations from Youtube. Anyways. I'm thinking that two of these clamped to the bookshelf behind me would shine some decent light on her with the right bulbs.


    Keylight options: I could buy an LED light panel but I'm sure it would live on the table and be an eyesore.
    [​IMG]
    Next option is an LED light ring, these seem to range from 10" to 20" but again where would I put it. It seems that 18-20" is ideal with a tripod and the camber mounted inside the ring.
    [​IMG]

    The last option I can think of is a versatile desk lamp
    [​IMG] upload_2020-5-1_17-29-8.jpeg [​IMG]

    In the end, I feel that I have too many options and don't know how to implement most of them. I even had trouble trying to find high CRI bulbs. Do we have any video/photography lighting guys on here?
     
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  2. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

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    In my experience a lot of the DIY option add complications to things and especially if your not electronically minded rigging up your own can be a exercise in frustration at best.

    I know your thread is titles DIY but I think if she's looking to invest time to this venture, sticking a bit of money into lighting might not be such a bad thing as its one of the things which can make the most impact on the overall video.

    These ain't cheap but they get pretty good reviews. Elgato Key Light - https://www.elgato.com/en/gaming/key-light, They come with a clamp system so would be easy to take off the table when not in use.

    High CRI bulbs are very expensive to get hold of in the UK. I was looking for a couple and couldn't find anything which offered neutral coloured 95+ at all. I ended up building my own light panel based on the very popluar guide here: DIY Perks -
    I made mine much smaller then in the video and although as a modding enthusiast it was a good little project to play with, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is purely just needing some good lighting.
     
  3. silk186

    silk186 Derp

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    I know I said DIY, but I meant in the broad sense, I could try an LED pie dish mod but that is the most I would be willing to do. Generally, what I meant is not professional studio lighting like the "popular" Aputure LS COB 300D II LED £1,078.80 each.
    [​IMG] £1,078.80 + [​IMG]£129.99

    A professional lighting setup would involve 2x Aputure lights + a key light.
    Maybe if she starts rolling in sponsors and we buy a bigger flat, as opposed to our "cosy" rented flat.

    The Elgato key light isn't crazy expensive, compared to studio lighting, but one key light isn't sufficient for proper lighting.
    [​IMG]

    If my wife was a steaming video, especially on a platform like Twitch, Elgato gear is great.
    upload_2020-5-1_23-29-22.jpeg [​IMG]

    I've heard that Elgato lights have very nice stands, though I could put something together for less. I'm not sure if a single key light would give good overall lighting without a back and fill light.

    When I posted on Reddit I received several recommendations for Chinese lanterns, but it seems the gear is really easy to buy in Canada/US. It seems this lighting design has been used in a lot of movies, especially in HK (based on comments).
    That said, I still need to buy the hardware.
    [​IMG] upload_2020-5-1_23-32-51.jpeg upload_2020-5-1_23-33-34.jpeg

    The main issue, my wife is VERY lazy and messy. She is not going to put things away after filming. Hence, why I'm thinking about handing lanterns from the roof, clamp lights on the bookshelf of maybe an articulating desk lamp with colour and brightness control.
     
  4. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

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    haha well I wasn’t suggested to buy just one, rather just a product which isn’t going to break to bank which I know it widely regarded by the streaming community. I would go at least two, you can use something more generic for a back/hair light. I used a fish tank led lights for ages as a general use photograph light, cost me about £20 and it does a great job of lighting up the backgrounds. There are a lot of cheaper led panels too like in your first post which would be fine for fill work.

    It would be great to get a link to her content now so we can see how things look now and then how things are as you upgrade :)
     
  5. silk186

    silk186 Derp

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    Can anyone direct me to a suitable UK video/photography
    Sadly, it would be very difficult for you to view without being able to read Chinese. If you search for Douyin in any of the app stores you will be offered TikTok, which while it looks identical it uses different servers. Basically, TikTok is international and Douyin is exclusively for the Chinese mainland market. The photo in the OP is where she films and current lighting conditions. The nearest window is pretty far away and she often films around 5-6 am with the curtains closed.

    The main issue of using an LED panel like the Elgato is that it is going to live on the same table as my desktop, wife laptop, tripods, papers and where we eat dinner. An LED lamp with colour and brightness controls would be a compromise as it has a function outside of shooting video. Preferably, I would like a lighting solution that doesn't take up space on the table. This is why I'm considering a clamp light 2m away from the subject or Chinese lanterns as possible options. The main issue I'm finding is that all the guides I find are based around a US audience.
     
  6. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

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    Well best of luck sorting it mate, sure you’ll find something out there
     
  7. silk186

    silk186 Derp

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    Thanks, things would be easier if I could actually go to an IKEA, wren, etc, to physically see light fixtures and light bulbs. I watched a video about Ikea Ledare LED bulbs with a 90+ CRI but CRI specs aren't listed on the UK site.

     
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  8. silk186

    silk186 Derp

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    These could be a good source of advice as a lot of content is filmed on a budget, including art house and documentaries. This is where I got the recommendation of using paper lanterns which were popular in HK movies.
     
  9. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Chinese Lanterns just look like a paper lampshade. Easy to swap out the existing room lampshade with.
    Key lights can be clamped to bits of furniture and pointed as needed, friction arms / 'magic arms' would work well (e.g.). Cheap battery powered LED panels (the ubiquitous Viltrox/Godox/etc panels that take Sony F batteries, like the L116T) would make the whole rig easy to set up or put away (untwist the clamps, shove the whole lot in a basket, put the batteries back on charge).
     
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  10. silk186

    silk186 Derp

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    The room currently only has a single light source and ugly ceiling like the loves blowing lights. One night has exploded, sending glass every here and another has a loose connection the frequently goes out until you nudge it. I would need to wire my own lighting, potentially running one or two wires up the wall and using something to temporarily secure them. The paper lantern part is easy enough, it's finding a suitable length wire with dimmer, bulbs and knowing what UK socket type is appropriate. If I was in Canada, I could walk into homedepo and have it sorted in a few minutes.

    That is a good point about wireless LED panels being easier to put away.
     

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