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Lighting 101: How To Use Lights In Your Videos

Putting the right light into your video and making sure that your talent looks great on camera can be hard, but you’ll discover using promo’s online video editor will help make it easy to create the perfect lighting setup for your videos and take all of the guesswork out of creating great lighting effects.

Read on to learn how to use promo’s online video editor to achieve great results with your lighting effects.


When you create videos, it’s important to understand how light works. Many people thought that video editing is too hard for them, but there are many video guides on YouTube on how to do that.

If you don’t use lights in your videos, you’ll notice that your videos are much darker than what you intend the end result to be.

However, when you take time to plan out how to use light in your videos, you can really take things to a whole new level!

By following our tutorial on how to use lighting, you can make your videos look like they were shot by a professional movie studio!

If you haven’t already, check out how easy it is to create professional-quality videos with!

Introduction to Lighting

Lighting is often overlooked by beginners, but it’s one of those details that can really make or break a video.

Good lighting sets up your subject with flattering shadows and highlights, whereas bad lighting can make your subject look flat or washed out.

So what kind of lights should you use? Where should you put them?

The Basics

What are some basic rules of thumb when it comes to video lighting? Let’s find out.

For starters, keep these things in mind. Of course, there’s always more to learn! That goes for any art form—video lighting is no different. However, understanding these fundamental concepts will help get you started on that path. Whenever possible, place one light source in front of your subject at eye level.

It’s important that most videos have one main source of light. This source of light is more commonly referred to as the key light. Its placement is vital to creating interesting effects without overexposing your image.

Using two (or more) lights can create an interesting effect and add drama and depth to your scene. However, it also creates a lot of shadows and unnecessary exposure that could prove distracting for viewers.

And while we’re on the topic: If you must use multiple lights, avoid clamshell lighting; clamshell lighting occurs when both your key light and fill are coming from behind or above your subject. In addition to resulting in shadowed eyes, it generally makes for a duller overall look.

Instead, make sure one of your lights comes from either directly ahead or slightly off-center of your subject. Of course, this will depend on what kind of effect you want.

Set Up Your Office Light Setup

The light setup you use for your online video editor depends entirely on what type of shot you want to create. A standard lighting setup typically consists of three lights. There’s one for key (or fill).  Another as a backlight, and another as a rim or hair light.

In each case, be sure to aim and position the lights about 45 degrees from the subject’s midline. We do this so that, if someone were standing straight up facing a camera with both arms at their sides, one of those arms would be illuminated by each light.

If you don’t have a lot of space to work with inside your online video editor studio, you can go with fewer lights. It’s important to make sure they have ample range. The reason we do this is so that they can reach across whatever area is being lit from edge to edge.

Enhance Each Video With Professional Editing

That being said, having a good camera is still essential—as are some accessories. Any sort of low-end camera will be able to get you started, but you’ll want to invest in a tripod. The tripod allows you to set up your shot and make edits later with consistency and ease.

It also creates smooth pans (side-to-side movement) and zooms (in/out movement). A wide-angle lens is another piece of equipment that can produce a stellar video when paired with good editing skills.

But if all else fails, you can always spend money on someone else to edit your video for you! Once edited, it’s time to upload! Of course, there are hundreds of different places where people can upload their videos. But we strongly recommend using Vimeo as they have a loyal customer base and excel at creating high-quality media.

Final Word

Using lighting to showcase video content, whether you’re talking about whiteboards, live performances, or just streaming your desk, can often feel like a guessing game.

Without much technical knowledge, it’s difficult to know where lights should be placed or how to best use them.

Luckily, there are many platforms that offer an online video editor to help you get the job done.

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