In this video I’m going to break down the three types of light bulbs and what you need to know about them.
Three things to consider when choosing the right type of light bulb
- Type of bulb
For now, we will only consider white light, since that’s what most people use. White light has a range of colors – measured in Kelvin – from 2700K to 6500K.
2700K is considered warm light – kind of yellow, very calm and soft. On the other hand, 6500K is what you call cool light – it’s more white, and are also called daylight bulbs.
The important thing to remember is just choose one color. If you’re shooting with a lot of daylight coming in, you should add daylight bulbs. But if you’re in a place with a lot of warm lights, add warm bulbs.
The reason for this is your camera can compensate for only one color.
iPhones, Webcams, DSLRs and white balancing
Types of light bulbs
- Incandescent bulbs. These are your old school bulbs that have a filament of Tungsten in it. It uses a lot of energy and gets really hot when you use it for too long, but it’s the cheapest and it’s dimmable.
- Compact Fluorescents. CFLs have a gas that glows when you turn them on. They’re very energy-efficient compared to incandescent bulbs (they use about 80% less energy) and don’t get as hot when you use them. These come in different colors, but the downsides are they are not dimmable, fragile, and toxic if you break them.
- LEDs. My favorite. LEDs are the most energy-efficient of them all (uses 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs); they come in different colors, create very little heat and are mostly dimmable. The downside is they’re pretty expensive compared to the first two, but it’s only a matter of time before the prices get lower.
Brightness can be measured in lumens, but not a lot of manufacturers put this information on their products. Instead, they give the incandescent wattage equivalent.
When making videos, you should only consider using light bulbs with a brightness above 1600 lumens, which is an approximation of what a 100W incandescent bulb puts out.
If you don’t see information about how bright a bulb is in lumens, look for the incandescent equivalent (and make sure it’s higher than 100 watts.)
If you’re shopping around for some lights, here are a few of my favorites:
- Cowboy Studio 2 light kit
- Cowboy Studio 2 softbox light kit
- KAEZI 85 Watt Studio Light Bulb 5500K CFL Day Light
Now that you have all these information at your fingertips, how are you going to apply them? If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them below.