Help with basic lighting set up


New member
Hi, I’m new here, and I'm an amature in need of some lighting advice. I’m going to be shooting 2 music videos on a pretty tight budget. I’ll be using a Sony HDR-FX1 (it’s all I have access to). Most of the shots will be indoor hotel room suite and basement type stuff. There will also be some outdoor street, rooftop and/or balcony shots. I know very little about lighting so I wanted to know what would be a good starting set up for my needs.

I can spend $1200 max, but ideally I’d like to be around $800. The most important are that it must be easy to carry around and set up, and it must be usable at 220/240 volts as we will be shooting in Europe. I was looking at some of the Lowel kits since they seemed easy to work with and had a good rep from what I’ve read, but there are just so many different variations of lighting set ups that I have no clue what would be best suited for me. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


New member
Do you want a lighting setup to give yourself 3-point lighting in your shots?

Will you have other lights on (like the hotel room lights)?

One fairly cheap option you could look at is Hallogen work lights (like from Home Depot. I'm not sure of an equivalent store in Europe, but most hardware stores carry them). You get the portable clamp-on ones that just come with a big clamp to put them anywhere. Some work lights are even battery powered so you don't have to worry about being near a power outlet to use them.

Of course, if you had other lights (for example, overhead flourescents), you might have a problem mixing different color temperatures, in which case you would want to buy/build barn doors to gel your lights, but you would have to do that with pro lighting kits in this situation anyway. Gels can be pretty expensive, so even just several work lights and gels could easily eat up a large chunk of your budget (while a pro kit and gels could be over your budget).
Depending on the music video, however, this multiple color temperature shot could be a strength of a shot and really add to it instead of taking away from the visual quality.


New member
This looks like good value... 1800W kit for $370

These are from Britek - I have used them for a couple of years now on over 100 shoots of all types and styles - great value and very reliable (and I have no association with the company)

(6)#HV130070 JP 120V 300W-CN
(2)#HA3428SO-S SOFTBOX 24" X 24" H-130d

Only criticism is the low cost stands aree flimsy - opt for their Pro-Cine stands instead.

They also have some low cost flouro kits if you are concerned about heat in the small room.



New member
One light you might want to pick up is a PAR64. You can get them for as low as $20 bucks and I've been told they're equivalent to a 1K light and you can get both "spot" and "flood " bulbs for them as well. Only real problem is they don't come with barn doors and are made to hang from the celling, but those problems can easily be fixed.