Better, Cheaper DIY Lighting Setup for Filming

Better, Cheaper DIY Lighting Setup for Filming


Hey guys welcome to Make Anything, I’m Devin… hold on, it’s a little bit dim in here isn’t it? Lights! Oh yeah that’s better
Light is great and as a content creator here on YouTube it’s very important for me to get
well lit shots. It’s something that can’t be ignored. Unfortunately, building up a whole lighting
setup can get a bit pricey, but today I’m gonna show you something that’s pretty exciting
because I’ve figured out how to make this fantastic, very well lit lighting setup at
a fraction of the cost of what I was using before and I think it actually looks better. If you’re making videos yourself definitely
check out this video. It could save you a lot of money, and otherwise,
you still might want to watch because this is a fun example of clever design. So let’s get right to it. Cool! So for the past year or maybe a year and a
half all the shots that have been done in this room have been lit with lights like these. This is an LED panel light. It’s got about 150 LEDs on it, I believe,
and it’s by Neewer, which is kind of a budget brand that’s available on Amazon. So this light with the stand and everything
comes in a 2-pack for about $140. I actually have been using 3 of these to light
myself when I’m sitting at the desk. On this side we’ve got my new setup, which
definitely looks different and it’s kind of wacky but it works so well. So, here we go. I guess through the lens of the camera there
both of these lights seem to be about equal brightness, but clearly this one is a lot
larger and so it’s producing more light. And the shot that I did just before this was
actually lit using only two lights like this instead of three lights like this. So, you can buy a 3-pack of these and get
pretty good lighting for $200 or you can build two of these and have equally great lighting,
if not better, for maybe $100. Maybe even a little bit less. Basically, if you haven’t figured it out this
is just a task lamp. The same hanging lights that you normally
have in shops. The same one’s I used to create my really
cool Albatross desk lights that are right behind you. But in this case I’ve mounted the task light
onto a tripod and there’s also a ball joint here so that I can quickly and easily rotate
it, lock it back into place, and I can also use the tripod, you know, lift it up and down,
use it light you would control any tripod but it’s got a massive light on it. This gives me a lot of control and the whole
reason I came up with this is cuz in the corner there you can see I’ve got a little bit of
a green screen curtain peeking through and green screens require really even and more
than adequate lighting so that’s why I decided to come up with these and they ended up being
better than what I already had. Yeah, this is a very interesting lighting
setup. I’ve done a fair bit of research on lighting
for videos and I haven’t found anything quite like this system that I’ve come up with so
I’m excited to share it with you. Alright, let’s do it. The first component we’ll be using is our
light stand, and any old stand should do. This is the Amazon basics stand, which is
sold in a 2-pack for $20, but so long as it has this standard 1/4-20 thread any tripod
or light stand should do. We’ll also be using a mini ball head mount
from the Colorado Tripod Company. I hadn’t heard of this company before but
I found these tripod heads on Amazon and I was really impressed by the quality of these
especially a the price. They’re among the cheapest ball mounts you
could find on Amazon but the quality is just really nice and robust. It’s got a 360 degree swivel. It’s got the ball mount, of course. And it’s also got this removable plate on
the top which is gonna help with the installation of our light. As I mentioned, there’s also one small 3D
printed part. Although, this part could actually be made
with a laser cutter or even more traditional means. It’s nothing super crazy but it’s basically
just this little plate which is gonna give us an additional point to mount the tripod
to the light and the way that it works is that it fits right around our mounting plate
for the tripod just like so. It’s a nice snap fit and this is gonna keep
our light from rotating. You’ll see exactly what I mean in just a minute. We’ll also use two 1/4-20 nuts as well as
one 1/4-20 bolt. The exact length isn’t important as long as
it’s a full thread bolt and that’s basically our mounting hardware. Now let’s just go ahead and prepare the light. Here’s my LED task lamp. I got this from Hykolity on Amazon as well
and I really trust this brand by now. I’ve bought maybe twenty of their lights and
I’ve had a few fail but they’ve got a great five year warranty. They replaced my failed lights right away
with no questions so I really appreciate that warranty. So what I’m gonna do here is measure the top
with a tape measure. These are about four feet across and I’ll
mark the center point with this highlighter or just any marker. I’ll mark the center in this direction as
well and that will indicate our first mounting point. So what I’ll do is start with this small drill
bit and I’m gonna drill a pilot hole right through that mark. There we go, just a small hole to help mark
the center and if you look at the other side you’ll see there’s plenty of space in the
center here without having to worry about hitting the lights themselves. So now that I’ve got that pilot hole I’ll
switch my drill bit for the 1/4″ bit and that’s gonna create the final hole that we need. So we’ll go right back over that pilot hole
and it’s gonna help us stay centered while we drill this larger hole. As you saw I didn’t use much pressure, I just
went ahead and patiently let the drill do it’s work and now I’ll go ahead and take this
mounting plate and put it through that hole. With that in place we’ll flip the light over
and on the other end here we’ll just screw on one of our 1/4-20 nuts. I’ll hold that nut on the inside while turning
this tight until we have a nice strong connection. Next I’m gonna take my printed part and snap
it into place making sure that this arrow is pointing away from the side that has the
electrical cord since I’m assuming we want the cord to be hanging down towards the ground. We’ll press that all the way down and then
that will actually serve as a template for our second pilot hole. There we go. Now we can remove the plate and once again
switch to the 1/4″ bit to drill the larger hole. One last time we’ll snap the plastic part
into place, feed this bolt all the way through and then fasten the nut on the other side. There we go. So now with this extra part we have a second
bolt connecting to the light and that makes sure that none of these parts can rotate. Now we can go ahead and connect our tripod
head to that lighting stand and we’ll also adjust this mounting plate so that it’s perpendicular
to the ground. Just like that. Finally we’ll open up this mounting mechanism
and then we’ll just slide the other part into place. We’ll tighten that up and we’ve got our securely
mounted light. Now we can just plug it in and it’s ready
to use. All those functions of the ball mount are
still accessible. We can swivel it. We can rotate it. We can tilt it towards the ceiling or use
it however we’d like. You’ll notice the electrical cable is a bit
short, so you’re probably going to want an extension cord for this, but that’s basically
all you need. It’s super versatile, you can orient it every
which way and for their size these lights are surprisingly lightweight so everything
is really easy to move around and adjust. Another thing I really like is that these
stands can nestle together like so and take up very little space, so when you’re not using
the lights they can be easily moved out of the way. Overall I’m very happy with how these work. Look at that! That is an insanely powerful set of lightsand
they cost me less than the stuff I found online. I hope you guys enjoyed this video, it was
kind of something that I started for my own sake of having better lighting and the solution
that I wanted just didn’t happen to exist and I created it and I thought it was cool
so that’s why I made this video. As I mentioned everything you need to build
this yourself will be linked in the description and, yea… I hope you liked it. Until next time, I’m Devin, this is Make Anything. Don’t forget, to stay inspired!


86 thoughts on “Better, Cheaper DIY Lighting Setup for Filming

  1. Did you consider using stepper drills? It's easier and requires a lot less pressure, and it has many sizes available so you don't have to store so many drill bit sizes. But limited to the sizes of your material thickness.

  2. "the same ones I used to create my really cool albatros desk lights, which are right behind you"

    What? how did you know I'd started making my own and they are just behind me 😉

  3. Hi il your vids theyre the best i love watching them even though i dont have a 3d pen or 3d printer
    Edit: i always wanted one but don’t know where to get one

  4. Be aware that cheap LEDs usually have a bad / low CRI … the Color Rendering Index. That Index goes up to 100 and is a way to express how well the wavelength spectrum is covered. Almost all white LEDs are using a trick of only mixing blue and yellow light with no red! That is because red phosphor is probably 100 times more expensive than yellow. As a result rendering red color with cheap LEDs will not give good result. Professional video LED lighting compensates this problem – with varying degree of success.

  5. Is there any specific reason to use a raft for that part? (4:23) It seems like it should have enough surface area to hold its own, am I wrong?

  6. Interesting. I tested a more basic version of that setup with 1 lower power light, velcro and a tripod. White balance is a good thing, along with more lights. Nice setup!

  7. You may want to get some diffuse fabric for those lights, the first shot where you're showing off the lights in use has a very uneven, unpleasant look.

  8. As kind of a side question to this, how do you get used to staring at the brightest lights without either A: squinting or B: being unable to see anything when you look away? Even if they're far enough apart to only be in your periphery, how are you not blinded every time you turn your head?

  9. On your 3D printed part, you can add a block aligned to the rectangular cutout in between the cutout and the bolt hole. This will act as a stop when you are sliding the plate onto the tripod head, allowing you to tighten the lock without needing to hold up the light. Alternatively, you can position the 2nd bolt at just the right spot to do the job of the plastic plate and act as a stop. That would eliminate the need for the 3D printed part, which would then not give you a reason for this video. 😛

  10. Three Point Lighting.. There is a reason why you need 3. Wide flood is not two points, it is one diffuse area. You can add them after your 3 points are set, floods are best at backgrounds, that is their main task. The more diffusion you can add to lights with large area, the better… It is inefficient but compared to the type of lighting that uses reflectors and lenses is going to be much, much cheaper. Acrylic sheet, thin, milk white does the job well.

    CRI, color index is SUPER important. It is not about cool or warm, it is about the spectrum of color: our eyes are not cameras and vice versa…

  11. I would somehow secure the power cable near the center – that way the cable will be almost the same length in every orientation and wouldn't just somehow hang there. Even if it actively shortens the cable

  12. If you got an extension cord, you could run the cable from the light up to the ball joint (maybe add a cable clip to the 3d printed piece?) and then down the tripod to the wall. It'd give you a lot more range of motion and it'd look a lot cleaner

  13. You need to route the electrical cable so it exits the lighting unit from the centre (and not from one end), the means you would be able to run the cable down the tripod – out of the way of snagging – and when you rotate the light from vertical to horizontal the cable won't move . . . even taping the cable to the outside of the light unit with tape would work.

  14. Thanks for useful the tip Devin!
    I've been using HarborFreight swing arm magnifier lamps for my videos. They work fine, but the light often shows up as a ring of bright light on my desk/project. Do you have that issue with the super bright shop lights?

  15. Can you review the HE3D EI3 Tricolor because it is a good quality 3D printer that has triple extruders and is under $500 also if you do can you give some
    modeling as slicing software that works well with it since I just got one and I am confused. Also love all the vids🤙🏼✌🏼👌🏼

  16. I do love a bit of functional ghetto engineering and if it's a bit of a janky set up but works better or as good as the previous set up, who cares!?

    Saluted!

  17. Wait can you 3D print anything out of metal if so can you do it or not and if so can you please do it it will be cool

  18. Great video! Is it possible to reroute the power cord to the middle to the light so you don't have to worry about it flopping around when you adjust the light to the horizontal position?

  19. Run the cord to the pivot point and down a leg of the tripod. Less chance to trip over it and you don't have to wrap up the cord or get it tangled. Stops it from swinging in the breeze or making shadows. Get a power bar for each light. You always need an extra socket near by. Those lights also need a removable light box for diffusers.

  20. I need some more lighting and I’ll be going this route.

    Fun fact: In the early 1900s Nikola Tesla developed fluorescent bulbs such as these and powered them completely wirelessly.

    During his demonstration in New York, he took the audience by surprise and wielded these wirelessly lit bulbs like light sabers, to which a panic and was caused. Several were injured in the resulting stampede.

  21. I would also recommend using washers on your fasteners to disperse the stress more over the thin sheet metal, so that it lasts longer.

  22. if you put a diffuser over the lights, then you get a more even lighting, which is especially good for greenscreen

  23. thought about doing this as well, would be nice if they had a dimmer. have you figured out a soft box solution for these? I think I'd like to have a soft box on my over head lights like these

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