Creating a Small Studio, Part 2 - Lights!

In continuing the short series about turning small spaces into "usable" studio space (last episode was about improving sound), today's video is all about simple area lighting. One of my goals for any sized studio was to have lights preset and ready to go, no matter when I needed to shoot. Creating even lighting was an issue, as was a window in the room.

Area lighting covers your shot more evenly (and thus, flatter) than something like three-point lighting which provides more modeling and nuance. The trade off is that area lighting can be very simple and much easier to setup, giving you decent lighting for little cost.

As shown in the video, the main component for my setup is the frugal "bug light". This consists of a light stand, compatible light fixture with standard socket, dual socket "Y" adapter, and two LED bulbs that are close enough to daylight color temperature. I go into more details in the video, but it's safe to say that these work just fine for small studio purposes.

I have two of these units raised off of the floor (they are sitting on other objects), which brings them pretty close to the ceiling. Placed in opposite corners of the room puts them in optimal positions and the white surfaces they are near help to reflect light back into the studio. The dual LED bulbs on each stand not only provide plenty of light, but also run cool to keep the "laundry room studio" from becoming an oven.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with my new lighting. The best part is that it completely eliminates almost any setup/teardown time required when I had no space at all. It's functional, frugal, and fast.