Affordable Lighting - Low budget and indie filmmaking

January 25th, 2021  |  by amaliehluthra

Affordable film lighting:

Affordable film lighting falls under the radar as most filmmakers look at the most expensive lights and think, “That’s far too expensive,” and opt-out of using any at all.

Lighting is an integral part of film production, helping to shape the perfect shot, and lends itself to creating a mood.

However, lighting doesn’t have to cost a fortune. We have broken down affordable, quality lighting to help you take your film production to the next level.

Scroll down to see why lighting is an integral part of the filmmaking process and the best affordable lighting options out there! You may also like Our top screenwriting tips for writing a better movie

Why is lighting important in filmmaking?

Lighting is essential in film production. The light set up can determine a scene’s mood, and it adds another dimension to your scene. Multiple types of light can determine the light setup. These include:

  • Key lighting
  • Natural lighting
  • Side lighting
  • Bounce lighting
  • Hard lighting
  • Soft lighting

Find out more about lighting techniques here.

The top affordable lighting options for all filmmakers

Here is our overview of the best performing, affordable lighting options for all filmmakers:

Neewer LED Lights with Adjustable Tripod Stand

Affordable Lighting - Low budget and indie filmmaking

These are incredibly durable and produce quality light at a fraction of the price. The lights come as a 2-pack, with two tripods and two lights. This is incredible value for a product that costs around $56.

They are perfect for shooting all types of scenes and creating an excellent soft light setup with the diffuser. Another significant aspect is the weight of the lights. The lights are pretty lightweight, so easy to carry around - especially for the low budget film sets.

One negative we found with these Neewer lights was the fact they can be quite flimsy. They’re perfect in a controlled environment (Studio/indoor set) but are not as stable outdoors if it is windy. So, be sure to bring some weights to help stabilise them on an outdoor shoot if there’s medium to high wind.

Big Softi

Affordable Lighting - Low budget and indie filmmaking

The Big Softi is up next - the most significant selling point is that the light has an adjustable temperature setting, oh, and it’s only $65.

It has three light settings:

  • Daylight - perfect for nighttime and outdoor shooting
  • Clean white mix - a medium-light that’s perfect for any shoot needing to achieve a balance in their lighting setup.
  • Tungsten - ideal for indoor shoots as it produces a warm light

The lightweight nature of the Big Softi is another selling point, easy to carry around on shoots and transportation. The battery life is pretty decent too, spanning from 90 minutes to 240 minutes, depending on the settings you have on.

However, it doesn’t come with a stand or any clip mounts. You have to buy these separately, but you can find those on the Big Softi site to attach to your preferred device.

RX-8T Light with Softbox Diffuser by FalconEyes

Affordable Lighting - Low budget and indie filmmaking

The RX-8T is durable, flexible, and lightweight. It’s perfect for all lighting setups and comes into its own in the studio.

The versatility comes from the fact you can bend the light to narrow your source or widen it depending on what you need for the scene. It also comes with additional diffusers and a softbox too.

The cost is a little higher at $75, but the offerings outweigh the cost. Overall, one of our favourite low-cost lights that provide quality as well as versatility - one to consider for sure.


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