Grab These Low-Budget Lighting Accessories For Under $10
Do you need some budget-friendly lights for your next video project? Check out these handy practical lights for under $10.
All Images via Amazon.
“Low-budget” and “lighting” are two words that do not normally yield impressive results together. While you won’t be able to recreate Deakins-esque lighting setups with just $10, you can add low-budget lighting accessories to your scene to accent the compositional space and practical lighting. Let’s take a look at a few options.
Battery-Powered LED Fairy Lights
Christmas lights have always been a favorite for low-budget productions because the out-of-focus lights create beautiful bokeh. This is perfect for the music video production in your garage — or for a romantic scene that needs a little more sparkle.
However, Christmas lights, at least a few years ago, would often come in lengths ranging from a few feet to a dozen, and they required a mains power supply. Fast forward to 2017, and you can get a strip of battery-powered LEDs that fit in your pocket.
You can get these LEDs for less than $6 (shipped), and they are a great accessory to keep in your toolbox. They can very easily pull your subjects away from a dull background, especially when shooting with a shallow depth of field.
You can purchase a string of battery-powered LED lights for $5.99.
Paper lanterns hanging from the end of a boom pool or C-stand are a very viable way of lighting your subject with a warm, diffused glow. You’ll see this technique on anything from DIY productions to feature films. (You can actually purchase professionally produced lanterns that offer a variety of lighting options.)
If you’re filming an interior scene at night, and your set is full of practical lamps, adding a paper lantern to your kit is a great way to boost the luminance on an actor’s face while maintaining your overall lighting approach.
You can pick up a lantern for $5.
However, a lantern, of course, needs a lightbulb, which brings us to the next recommendation.
Clip-On Lamp Extension
If you watch any film or TV series, there’s a high probability that interior scenes will include lamps and other lights that don’t actually serve a purpose for the characters in the shot.
Image via Netflix.
Those practicals serve two purposes: to pull the actor away from the background and create a sense of compositional space, and to provide backlight or side lighting.
While lamps are relatively inexpensive and shouldn’t break the budget, there may be a circumstance when you want a patch of background lighting, but the lamp won’t fit — or perhaps you just want the light but not the lamp itself. With a clip-on bulb holder, you can place the light almost anywhere — and then you have a lightbulb extension for your paper lantern.
You can purchase a lamp extension for $6.49.
If there’s one element of lighting that looks better than out-of-focus fairy lights, it’s out-of-focus candles. The glimmering firelight is perfect for a range of genres and styles. However, when it comes to lighting the set with practical candles, it can be a nuisance keeping the candles lit and at consistent heights throughout shot changes — not to mention making sure they are providing adequate illumination in the first place. You can take the stress out of candle lighting (at least for the background candles) with battery-powered candles.
Ultimately, if you get close enough, it’s obvious that these lights are artificial. However, out of focus, the candles look realistic, and they provide a beautiful, flickering bokeh.
You can buy a pack of 12 battery tea light candles for $9.99
Looking for more practical lighting tips? Check out these articles.