A very basic and quick guide to lighting.


This example only covers lighting one person and a small background.  However, larger lighting designs, are often simply larger version of this.

However for larger designs please read the note at the end of this page.


For more complex lighting designs, we will be pleased to introduce you to an entertainment lighting professional who is experienced in your line of production to prepare a detailed lighting plot for your specific requirements.

We do not charge for this service, our role will be to introduce you to each other and let you agree the rest.


With basic 3-point lighting the heights should be enough to allow the lights to be angled between 30 and 45 degrees down. The distance from the subject will be determined by studio conditions, but ideally should be around 2-3 metres. The Key and the Fill can be swapped depending on which side looks best with the presenter. More than 1 cyc light is required to evenly light the background spaced at approx. 1.5 metres. Fine tuning of the positions will be required to obtain the best image when viewed through the camera lens.



The basis of most lighting for television,video, film and photographic lighting is formed around 3-point Lighting.



1. Backlight - To separate the subject from the background and add some depth.

2. Fill Light - This is used to raise the general lighting level on the subject.


3. Key Light - This is used to add some shadow and definition to the subject



The Key light needs to be a harder source, such as a Fresnel lens luminaire or a Radiant Soft Spot.


Lighting the background also helps to add separation of the subject from the background and in some cases, such as Chromakey work, is absolutely vital to ensure good keying on the background. Fluorescent soft lights are ideal for this purpose.


More than 1 person?


You do not need to simply add three lights per person.  For example, if two people will be close together and talking to the camera, it may be possible to use only 4 lights: 1 back light for both, one fill light for both and 1 key light each.


If two people are sitting opposite each other and talking to each other, it may be possible to use one person's back light as the other's fill light and vice versa.  This can be achieved using half scrims in a tungsten light.


But I have a large production to light!


It is impossible to give a full description of how to light within the limited space of this web site but hopefully the above will assist you to get started.


It is always worth engaging the services of a professional lighting designer or director.  Although lighting may be considered easy, incorrect lighting can ruin your production and good lighting can win you all sorts of awards and comments.


Check out our links page for some places to find lighting professionals.


Tel +44(0)1525 850911

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