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Budget Video Lights for Startup


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Hello, 

I own a startup videography company and want to purchase some budget friendly lighting for interior shoots and photography. I am shooting on film and with a Sony F3, and my budget for lights is $1,000 with ideally room to upgrade later on. I am looking for at least a 3-light setup. In the past I've used everything from rented Arri and Mole-richardson tungsten lights to shop lights and clamp lights I got from the trash/home depot. I want to now purchase some video lights that are easier to work with than home depot 500w floods. I know for $1,000 I cannot expect the best quality, but I was considering purchasing either some of the Chinese Arri tungsten fresnel copies or some of the 60-80w LED lights that can be bought on Amazon. I was leaning towards buying 6-8 LEDs because they're easier to work with, easier to replace and I can always clamp 2 or 3 together if I want a stronger source. Just looking for some advice if anyone seasoned with videography experience knows a better option.

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I'm local to NY and have a few Arri and Mole Richardson tungstens for sale, you could get a few and still be within your budget of $1000. They're how I started out with lighting, they still pack a punch.

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It depends on the type of work you shoot when it comes to the lights you should own. If you shoot very soft key corporate videos, then a fresnel wouldn't be ideal. You're better off with a softer source to begin with like a Kinoflo or Litemate.

$1000 is a tight lighting budget, though. You may have to get very used tungsten heads and shoot them through diffusion, but then you have to buy enough c-stands, sand-bags, and flags to control/shape the light. That $1k runs out quick.

This light seems like it can check off a lot of boxes outside of soft light:

https://www.newsshooter.com/2020/11/19/came-tv-boltzen-150w-fresnel-focusable-led-bi-color-review/

It's about as bright as a 650w fresnel but has the added advantage being bi-color. It is $500-ish, but could be a good workhorse light.

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Hey, thanks for the reply! I only knew Came-tv for their tripods, I didn't know they also do lights. I checked out the Came-tv light and it seems like a good light but I really don't have need for DMX control or wifi at the moment. I guess I kind of ended up answering my own question. I'm going to get a few Godox LED lights and some budget C-stands. For $1k I can swing 3 lights, stands, diffusion and carrying case. 

I've used tungsten a lot in the past, while I was originally going to go with tungsten, the fact that LEDs don't run hot, don't need bulb replacement and can be run off a battery just seems like the best solution for me. Especially in weddings, it's nice if I can give the bride and groom some accent lighting without making them sweat through their clothes 😄

Edited by Gabe Agoado
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