May 10, 2014

If you’ve watched a few of my videos, you probably know how important I believe lighting is. Sure, in hollywood they may shoot on an Arri Alexa, but they also have tons of lighting equipment in order to get the best out of it. It’s even more important with cheaper cameras. So if you’d like to get started with a lighting kit, what are the first things you should buy?


Check out the full video here for more details:

Lighting (US Links)

Lighting (UK LINKS)

*Fluorescent Light Fixtures (85W) 2 x Fluorescent Light Fixture (85W)
 **OPTIONAL: 85W Replacement Bulbs 8 x PhotoSel 85W Replacement Bulbs
Aputure AL-528S LED Light Aputure AL-528S LED Light
Small LED 160 Light Small LED 160 Light
4 x NP-F970 Battery for LEDs 4 x NP-F970 Battery for LEDs
Dual Battery Charger Dual Battery Charger
40″ C-Stand 20″ C-Stand
2 x Heavy Duty Light Stand Heavy Duty Light Stand
Lightweight Light Stand 2 x Lightweight Light Stand
Pack of 4 Sandbags 4 x Sandbags
2 x ConviClamp 2 x ConviClamp
Reflector Clip Reflector Clip
2 x Five in One Reflector (43″) 2 x Five in One Reflector (43″)
2 x Manfrotto Swivel Head 2 x Manfrotto Swivel Head
Gaffer Tape Gaffer Tape
Black Wrap Black Wrap



 Flag Kit  Flag Kit
 C-Stand  C-Stand


If you are in the US:

Fluorescent Light Fixtures (85W)

85W Replacement Bulbs
**So while the above fixtures should work brilliantly with expensive bulbs, I hadn’t been able to try this, like I have with the UK version. Similarly, while I can confirm that the UK bulbs are great, the ones I have linked to were chosen because they are “Full Spectrum” bulbs, and have positive Amazon reviews. I haven’t tried these bulbs. 





Simon Cade

Filmmaker, and host of DSLRguide. Since I was making my first film age 11, I have always been fascinated by the way films are produced, and the effect it can have on the audience.

  • Ryan

    Another great blog. I definitely need to add a few more lights to the arsenal, but more importantly need all new stands. I’m currently using lightweight stands, and while they’re better with sandbags, they still flex too much. This is especially true when used to hold a boom pole or Scrim Jim. Do you think replacing my light stands with the heavy stands, and the Scrim Jim and boom pole holders with the Kupos solve my problem? Thanks.

    • Thanks Ryan! I’d have to recommend that you keep you light weight stands, they have so many uses, and are far more portable!

      But, as soon as you start booming things, it gets very heavy. I’ve seen a lot of flex even on a C-stand, when a boom isn’t properly balanced. Try the heavyweight lightstands, and see what you think, I really don’t think you can have to many stands, and it’s good to have the options depending on how heavy your stuff is.

      Generally though, just make sure you have plenty of sandbags / counterweight and you’ll be fine! And grip heads / grip arms really are versatile.

  • Ryan

    I’ll do that. Thanks again for this posting. Again you’ve done all the work for me. Would have taken weeks to research all of these components. Wasn’t even aware of the Aputure 528 (although I’ve since seen your review), may have to pick up a few of those, assuming the flicker issue has been resolved for speeds over 1/48. I assume the color correction is easily correctable through proper white balance adjustment?

    • Awesome Ryan, that’s exactly the sort of response I’ve been hoping to get with these Kit videos! Yeah, everyones telling me the flicker is gone! (have I ever even wanted to use a higher shutter speed indoors though..?) White balance works great if only use the 528s, but obviously if you bring in a flourescent to light one side of someones face, it will have a different colour, so you have to decide which one can be ‘neutralised’ by the white balance.

      That said, I’m usually very happy to white balance for my key light, and let everything else be a bit off. Theres nothing wrong with having a slightly warmer rim light, or a cool background etc etc. Good to be aware of though.

      Sure, we all want perfect colour from all of our lights, but you have to take what you can get, and these lights hit a great price point, with lots of great features.

  • Ryan

    Unfortunately I have to use higher shutter speeds. I’d love to have everything at 24p, but it doesn’t work out so well for events. If I have just one camera at 60p (for the option of using slow motion later), then everything else has to be at least 30p or else it doesn’t combine right in post. I love the look and extra light at 24p, but rarely get the option. Must be nice in the UK to only have to worry about 25p and 50p, haha.

  • Ryan

    Thanks for recommending the 40″ Kupo C Stands. Only ordered one so far to test out, but wow! They are unreal for the money. Haven’t received the other stuff yet, but I hope they’re just as good!

    • That’s great, I’m so glad it worked out well for you. And of course thank you very much for using those amazon links!

  • The 85W Replacement Bulbs you posted for the U.S. version, why would those be prefurable over what comes with the Fluorescent Light Fixtures (85W). I noticed the color temp was around 4100k, which would be more for indoor shooting.. I guess that’s why? just want to make sure I’m not missing anything, thanks!