There are several things to keep in mind when buying a video light. Here are the most important aspects to consider:
Strength of the light
The light strength is measured in lumens. Usually, basic video lights have between 500 and 1000 lumens. A medium-range light has 2000 to 3000 lumens and the most powerful ones can go up to 30 000 lumens.
The beam angle
This is the width of the beam. This influences the size of the area lit up by the beam. The type of lights you can choose from include flood-only lights (that cover a wide area); spot-only lights (that act as a spotlight); and variable lights. There are also add-ons that you can buy to change your light beam from spot to flood, or from flood to spot.
The light beam should have the same strength of light throughout the beam. Having irregular dark spots in the beam will affect your subject’s appearance.
Modes and levels
One light could have several modes of light available. The brightness or power of the light itself could also be adjustable. Make sure about this when you’re looking for the right video light.
This refers to which controls (buttons and dials) the light has in order to operate. This varies between twist-on lights, push-button lights, sliding levers and even remote controls. You can test out a few of these when looking at video lights, and see which one you’re most comfortable with.
How the light is mounted. Make sure that the light is compatible with your housing. If you can’t mount it onto your camera housing or arm, you’ll have to buy an additional attachment or extension.
How long batteries will last, its charging speed, and whether you can interchange the batteries. It’s best if your light has interchangeable batteries, so you can switch them once one runs out of power. It goes without saying that the longer the battery life of your video lights, the better. You can then spend more time filming underwater.
One or two lights?
It’s best to get two video lights, as it will light up the subject from both sides and cover more of the area you’re filming. However, if you’d like to use only one light, then you can look at one with a wide beam and a high number of lumens. This will ensure that the scene you’re filming is still lit properly.