How to Create the PERFECT Under-$100 Video Lighting Setup (Full Guide)

Learn how to set up the PERFECT video lighting for your YouTube videos on an under $100 budget. In this video I share my best secrets for making your video lighting really good, including what gear to buy, how to use it, and where to position it for the best video lighting effect, no matter your recording space.

Products I used in this video (affiliate links):
Mount Dog 3 Softbox Kit: (Best for beginners, simplest setup)
Yicoe 2 Dimmable Softbox Kit: (Upgrade with ability to control temperature)
Govee Bluetooth Bulbs: (Can be used with almost any mount/softbox)
Spotlight (for hairlight):
Video I made choosing my favorite RGB light:

What do you think of this video? Let me know:

Check out my YouTube program!
This is why I made the program (and what’s in it):

I use vidIQ on my channel:
This is why I use vidIQ:

0:00 The 2 Lighting Questions
0:46 Building Your Lighting Setup — Light #1 Key
2:41 Building Your Lighting Setup — Light #2 Fill
3:31 Building Your Lighting Setup — Light #3 Hair
4:59 Building Your Lighting Setup — Lights #4-#6 Background
6:52 What Video Lights to Get and Why
9:59 Where to Position Your Lights

#videolighting #growonyoutube

Legal Notice: Channel Makers is a product of Income School LLC. The “Channel Makers” name and O logo mark are trademarks of Income School LLC. Income School LLC is a limited liability company headquartered in Idaho, USA. Results mentioned not typical. No business is guaranteed to succeed, in fact, most new businesses will fail. It takes hard work, skill, and time for a new business to grow. The name “Project 24” is not a guarantee of success in 24 months, but refers to those who have a goal of creating an online business in 24 months. Some will succeed, others will not—just like any business.

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i have a lot of stuff going on in here

with lighting because i wanted to show

you the

simplest way i have found to light your

youtube videos on a budget howdy howdy

everyone nate here so there are two


you should take into consideration when

you’re deciding what lighting to get and

how to set up the lighting for your

youtube videos the first

is how much light or how big of a light

can i get within my budget restraint

and the second is how many lights can i

get within that same

budget because i’m going to show you in

this video how you position your lights

can make a big difference on how

it looks in the final product and the

best part here is everything that i’m

going to show you in this video you can

get for under a hundred dollars

so let’s build out our lighting setup by

first i’m going to turn off everything

in here except for the overhead can

light so you can see the progression

of building out the ideal lighting setup

on a budget you can immediately see

this is the baseline that we’re working

from this is kind of

the typical webcam look right

so what many people think at this point

is i just gotta get i’m just gonna

find a lamp around my house and just

point at my face i’m gonna show you what

that looks like

so i got this as an example it’s a

cheapo it’s a little spotlight lamp got

it from amazon

and when i turn it on it’s got a very

single focused location that it points

at ah that’s bright so what i’m gonna do

is show you what it looks like on the

camera and why it may not be the best

to just do a single spotlight okay so if

i take this single spotlight and i point

it at me

we’ve got we’re eliminating the circles

under my eyes right the dark spots under

my eyes but

if i turn off the light which in most

cases you want to do because you have

control over the lighting immediately

we’ve got some really stark

stuff going on and no matter where i put

it i’ve got some very sharp

shadows and this happens because this

light is

very small it’s a small singular focal

point and because it’s so small

every shadow that will show up in my

video is very stark so if i turn back on

the light it does help with the circles

under my eyes but i still have very

sharp shadows which is why in almost

every case

it makes sense to get a bigger light

which is what i said at the beginning

we’ve got a single

tiny focal light here contrast that with

a soft box

it’s got a single light within it in

fact i’ll show you what this looks like

there’s just a single bulb in there

right but because of the nature the


here and this diffuser here it’s

actually diffusing the light over a much

larger surface now why does that matter

you ask well let me show you the


okay so here is the lighting i’ve got

the same cam lights above me

but watch what happens when i just do a

single softbox in front of me and there

we go

immediate very big difference i turned

off the can lights i just have a single

softbox on me

the diffusion of light is far superior

to a smaller singular light source all

right so we’ve taken the first

important step and that is getting the

diffuse light on my face now what needs

to happen next if you look behind me

my background is very dark there’s you

can kind of see texture

but it it’s like me and then everything

else is dark so what do we do we take

another light and we

fill the background so if i can show you

here i

what i’ve done here is i’ve taken a soft

box this is not traditional but i’m

using the most basic setup i can

i’ve taken the soft box and i’ve pointed

it directly at the ceiling

and what that’s going to do is cause

light to diffuse and spread

all over here and fill in a lot of the


spots behind me so let me show you the

difference all right so this is before

and this is after it’s a very subtle

difference but can you see how behind me

i’ve got it more illuminated

there’s more visibility which makes it

not so stark of

here’s nate and here’s the rest of the

video so at this point we’ve got our

main light we’ve got our fill light

filling in a little bit of background a

bit a little bit of the ambiance behind


what’s next what you can see or maybe

you’re just now going to see because i’m

going to point it out to you is because

i have dark hair

i’m blending into the background even

with the fill light going on so what i

need is a hair light it’s a third light


over here so let me show you how to set

this up if we go over here

this again i’ve just used another soft

box because it’s so simple

in many cases you’ll use actually right

here you would want to use a smaller

more focused light

like this one i have over here the

problem with this one

is it’s so cheap there was no way to

mount it unless i jimmy rigged it

until one of these stands but in this

case i’m going to show you the simplest


right here i took the diffuser off

because i wanted it to be more focused

and what i’ve done is i’ve positioned it

so i’m at a diagonal from my main or my

key light so let me show you what this

does for my lighting so as a reminder

this is what it looks like before i have

my hair light turned on

and this is what it looks like

afterwards it’s a subtle difference

again but what i’ve got is more


around my hair and i’ve got a little bit

of a more 3d dynamic look that makes me

stand out from the background and makes

it much more interesting looking now one

subtle way to

improve this look that i will say is if

i did use

one of these lights that i was showing

you earlier

it would be more focused and i could

focus it a little bit better because

this is a broader wider light behind me

you are getting a little bit more bleed

on the side of my face but in many cases

this is still

very very sufficient okay so we’ve got

our primary light or a key light right

here we’ve got our fill light right here

and then we’ve got our hair light over

here what’s next

at this point i guess it’s time to say

if this is being helpful to you so far i

would love it if you would boop the like

button so this video can spread to more

people i really appreciate it thank you

so next we’re in the bonus rounds when

it comes to lighting i look in my

background i’ve got a fairly interesting


what can i do to spice it up a little

bit more and this is where we add

what are is often referred to as ambient

lighting and there are a few options we

can use here the first is this lamp

right here it’s got a very warm glow

adds kind of a nice

background look to my video the second

is this window right here actually if i

were to open the curtains but leave the

blinds close that adds a bit more

interest in the lighting in the

background okay the third is if you add

an rgb light behind you and i’m going to

show you how you do this which by the

way if you haven’t seen my rgb light

video my battle of the top rgb lights

you should probably go watch it after

this i’m going to put a card for it up

here but this is an rgb light that i

could put

behind me i’m going to show you how i do

this so if i turn this on

it’s pretty bright very blue back here

so if i turn it to 50

and then i go and i’ve got this chair

over here if i take it

and i set it just on the ground pointing


i’m going to have a glow going on and

let me show you what this looks like

final product so this is what it looks

like without any of my fancy ambient

lights going on behind me i’m gonna go

turn those on so you can see the


okay and here they are all turned on i

opened the curtains i turned on the rgb

light got a nice little blue glow going

on back here and then i’ve got the


desk lamp type warm light behind me on

this side

so the question here is are these three

necessary no in a lot of cases but if

you’re looking to up your game

in professionalism chances are you can

find a desk lamp lying around your house


or you can go and buy something similar

to this that has kind of the artsy

stylistic look or you can go the rgb

light route and add that extra pizzazz

to your backdrop or you can be like me

and just do all of them

so let’s talk next about the products

used and then the positioning the

strategic positioning of each of these

lights in this room okay so first off i

got a couple of versions of soft boxes

these two this mount dog and this one

came in a set you can also get a set of

three which if you are

an absolute beginner that’s the one i’d

recommend because you can get all three

of them and the third softbox comes with

a boom arm which is quite useful it’s a

very simple setup

i’m gonna put links to all of these in

the description which by the way if you

do end up buying any of them it’d be

awesome if you use my link to support

the channel thank you

alright so we’ve got these two mount dog

soft boxes here my issue with these

is actually this light bulb if i turn

this off it comes with this light bulb

but the thing is i can’t adjust the the

color temperature

warm or cold or dimness with these light

bulbs built in

so you can fix that by getting something

like this

this is a govi rgb bluetooth

light bulb so i can actually stick this

in here goes into any normal thing and i

have an awesome app

that will allow me to choose the color

the brightness the

warm to cold it can sync with music it

does all sorts of things these are

really cool the main issue

i had with these was they didn’t end up

being very bright which was a bit of a

concern especially if i’m using my main

light the main light needs to be bright


and also that’s probably because i don’t

think you can see how big these are this

is like a standard

light bulb look how much bigger that

light bulb is

i have never seen a fluorescent curly

light that big it’s insane so i’ve got

the two mount dogs i would recommend if

you’re getting just a

single purchase get the three mount dog

option where you have the three

soft boxes because you can do this same

setup with the three soft boxes

now this one over here is interesting


it’s a different brand it’s a yiko why

co i don’t know how to pronounce that

the thing here that’s different about

this one is

oh if i can show you if i turn this off

i’m going to open this up i showed this

to you earlier

but this one has a very different light

bulb in here you can see it’s

it’s got a heat sink it’s actually

pretty warm in there the advantage of

this one is it’s a lot brighter

than what comes with the mount dogs but

it also comes with a remote so i can

actually control

it right here i can control brightness i

can control kelvin

i can control if it’s warm or cold that

turned out to be very handy with this

option now as far as accent lights go

over here this you can just find at your

local garage sale just kidding i’m

pretty sure that’s where i found this


find something similar the unique thing

about this is the bulb has got a very


glow to it which is that’s the vibe you

want for the background of your video

then definitely look for something like

this and then as far as rgb lights go

just go watch my rgb light video next

because that will tell you exactly which

rgb light to get so all in all i have

two recommendations on the gear if you


the simplest setup get the mount dog in

the three

light variant and with that as of

current pricing you’re going to be right

at 100

for those three and you will be good for

many many videos

if you wanted a slight upgrade i would

go with two

of these soft boxes and then a single

other light similar to this one i used

here for your hair light

the main advantage of that being the

ability can to dim or brighten your


as well as control the color temperature

so like i said i put links to all of

those in the description of this video

which if or when you decided to get

those it would be awesome if you did use

my link but let’s talk about the final

vital element here and that is

positioning of these lights so let me

show you the rules here

first one your main light your key light

this is the one that’s probably most

naturally going to get right

is you want to position this right next

to your recording device i have my

camera right here

i’d have the settings on auto and i’ve

got this

just right next to me i had my chair

let’s see if i could put it right back

where it was

my chair is right here my light is right

there it’s right

off center if you position your light

straight on you’re going to get a more

stark look

on your face and that is good if you’re

doing more beauty tutorials or things

like that

if you position it slightly to the side

it tends to be more flattering

on the face all right i’m going to talk

about fill light here in a moment let’s

talk about the hair light this

i mentioned this earlier you want to be

at a diagonal with your key light your

primary light

if you’re sitting here this light is

there and this is at a diagonal from

that light if i were to move my main


over to this side of the camera i would

then take this light and put it

over here for fill light the idea here

is you want to fill in the dark areas

behind you without giving any definite

shadows and without interfering with

your key light

so that’s why in many cases pointing it

upwards adds

a bit of light but you’ll notice by

looking at this wall over here there

aren’t a lot of stark

shadows because i pointed it at the

ceiling now as far as positioning of


you’re gonna have to work with your

recording space to decide where it looks

best but wherever you decide to do it

make sure that it doesn’t appear in the

background of your video

and lastly accent lights this one i

positioned just to the side because it

creates a nice hue on this beautiful

artwork on the wall

another option could be putting it more

directly behind me

so that when i look at myself i don’t

see the light directly but i do see a

nice hue around me which is kind of what

i’ve done

with this rgb light over here alrighty

so you got all that if this was helpful

to you there are two ways that you could

probably help me out most

one would be using my links in the

description to support the channel and

the other would be if you are looking to

uplevel your youtube or

increase your reach or grow your channel

then go ahead and watch some of the

other videos on my channel thank you so

much for doing that and nate out


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