Different Types of Lighting Systems

Posted By Tom Cropper on 07 May 2014

Posted in Used Equipment Buyers Guides

Lighting for film and broadcast involves equipment systems that can be used in collaboration with each other to create a unique kit for a certain project, or as stand-alone pieces. Here is a list of the most common lighting systems used.

Soft Lights

Featuring a large diffused surface area to produce soft light, the soft light systems are typically used in a studio setting; Lightbank systems are well known as the best equipment to convert hard light into soft lighting, creating a washed over feel. However, soft lighting can also be achieved by using an umbrella or reflector to invert the hard light; this is a very inexpensive option.

LED Lighting

Available in the form of PAR, open face, Fresnel and twin lens lights, all LED lighting options produce hard lighting.  Open face tends to be the cheapest option of LED light system whereas Fresnel and twin-lensed dedo give an exceptionally clean shadow quality, and output evenly over the focus range.

MSR Lighting

Often used for outdoor filming due to their hardwearing, weather proof options and rugged capability, MSR lighting converts from open face, PAR, and Fresnel to bare bulb.  

Fluorescent Lighting

Fluorescent lighting is a popular choice for studio work or on-location filming, as it gives less heat than most other forms of lighting and produces a natural effect of soft lighting.

Camera Top Lights

LED top lights attach directly onto the camera and produce good stable colour temperature, rendition, and provide an excellent budget option for cheap lighting. This is also a great choice of lighting for filming that requires extreme portability of lighting equipment for working in small difficult to light spaces.