Finding good lighting isn’t always easy. It’s the reason the task of production usually involves giant lights, accessories, and teams of people to set everything up.
Generally, increasing the amount of lighting (using LEDs or energy-efficient bulbs) can work miracles in presentation. View a video of someone speaking in a warmly-lit environment, then view one where the presenter’s only source of light is the reflection from a computer monitor. If both presenters are equally talented, chances are you will like the well-lit presenter more at first sight.
The lesson from this is to ensure that you have at least 800 lumens per 400 cubic feet (37.5 cubic meters) of volume in the room where you are filming. That translates to having the equivalent of two 9-watt LED light bulbs in one room measuring 15 square meters. If you want the best lighting, we’d recommend at least 1350 lumens in that same space (3×9-watt light bulbs).
The typical home will have incandescent, halogen, compact fluorescent (CFL), or LED lighting. Different types of light bulbs have different colour rendering abilities so trialling a few options will help you see what makes your face look luminous and enhances your natural skin tone.
The Colour Rendering Index (CRI) refers to how accurately artificial light shows colors of the objects (or people) under them. Low CRI lights may be advantageous for people with faces that have imperfections on the skin, since it makes them easier to mask. High CRI lights will work well for people with darker skin tones, since it helps reveal the nuances in pigment that would otherwise have been glossed over with a simpler incandescent bulb.
The colour temperature of a light bulb refers to how “warm” or “cold” a light is and can be used to set the scene for the type environment you want to show. Cold lights are typically slightly blue in their hue, while warm light is more yellow.
For something that resembles a chat by a fireplace, you should go for warmer, incandescent light. Sunlight emits light at around 5,900 K, which is towards the cold end of the scale. With properly-balanced lighting, you could actually make it look like you’re presenting yourself in a sunlit room even in the middle of the night.
If your light source is too bright, it can wash out your face and make it difficult to concentrate on your facial features. To fix this, try moving your lighting source further away from your face and let your camera automatically adjust the balance. If that is still too bright, try diffusing the light with a professional light diffuser or make your own with at home with materials like wax paper or tissue paper.