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Many wedding ceremonies are held indoors in churches and reception venues with dim lighting.
Without adequate lighting, your video will be noisy, and you may be unable to capture the essential moments to your client’s satisfaction.
Capturing good-quality video footage at a wedding is all about power, portability, and being able to shape the light.
To properly light the scene and create a majestic wedding video, equip your camera with one of the following lights.
1. Aputure Light Storm LS C120D Mark 2 LED
The Aputure Light Storm is a high-end video light with an impressive 7,000 lux output at one meter (with the included reflector). It is a powerful LED light and includes five pre-programmed lighting effects.
The light uses the standard Bowens fast mount for attaching accessories such as softboxes, colored filters, a fresnel, barndoors, and reflectors.
Of those accessories, I recommend you look into the fresnel in combination with the barndoors. The 2x fresnel makes the light extremely powerful at 67,000 lux at one meter! That’s the equivalent of a 1000-watt tungsten light.
That way, you can increase the light output, shape the light to a spot cone, and properly light important events such as toasts and the bridal party entrance.
You should consider adding the Aputure Light Dome II Soft Box if you want a softer diffused light for soft close-ups. The 35-inch deep octagon softbox is specially designed for this video light. But the fresnel and barndoors are more important if you have to choose.
Unlike some less expensive options, the controls and display are not built into the back of the video light.
The Light Storm includes a separate remote and is compatible with DMX equipment.
The combined controller and power box let you dial in your settings, and you can power the light via AC, V-mount, or Anton Bauer batteries.
- Powerful LED video light (especially paired with the fresnel) in a small form factor
- High color accuracy with CRI rated 96+ and TLCI rated 97+
- Bowens mount for lots of standard accessories
- Compatible with DMX equipment
- Expensive video light (compared to some of the other lights on this list, but the quality makes up for it).
2. NiceFoto HA-3300B II Daylight Balanced LED Video Light
The NiceFoto Daylight Balanced Led Video Light is a powerful LED light with a lux of about 60-65,000 at 1 meter with the reflector.
The 330W bright COB LED has a high color rendering index with CRI96+ and TLCI96+.
It features a standard Bowens mount for accessories and – like the Light Storm – comes with a reflector as standard.
Again, I would recommend looking into some standard barndoors and maybe a fresnel to further shape the light and increase the light output.
The NiceFoto light has a wireless 2.4 GHz transmitter, five preprogrammed lighting effects, and a dimmer. The dimmer/power unit can be powered via AC or V-lock batteries, and you get a V-lock battery plate included.
- Powerful LED light
- Has a high color rendition index (CRI) score for more vivid colors
- Includes a wireless transmitter
- Relatively expensive
3. NanLite Forza 300 LED Monolight
The compact NanLite Forza 300 LED Monolight may appear tiny, but it packs a powerful 300W LED light that emits 43,060 lux at one meter (with the reflector) and 108,679 lux at one meter (in spot mode)!
That’s a major step up from the previous options and amazing power output for such a small light.
If this specific light output doesn’t fit your needs, Nanlite also offers the Forza 60 and the Forza 500 video lights.
The NanLite works with a Bowens S mount adapter, which is sold separately, allowing you to add barndoors, a fresnel, a softbox, or other accessories.
The output also provides superior color accuracy compared to most LED video lights. It has a CRI rating of 98, meaning the color reproduction is more precise.
Unfortunately, it does not have a remote control. You need to manually adjust the light settings on the back of the unit. However, you can use the satellite unit (which features the control panel for dimming, AC adapter, and battery plate) as it also serves as the DMX connection point.
The Forza 300 can run off the AC adapter or 2x 26V V-Mount batteries (Batteries Not Included).
- Provides the best value for your money
- The compact design allows for handheld camera operation
- Has one of the highest color rendition index ratings
- Does not include a remote for adjusting the lighting
4. CAME-TV Boltzen 55W High Output LED Video Light
The CAME-TV Boltzen 55W Video Light has an adjustable Fresnel lens for improved focusing and casting a longer throw to illuminate a larger space.
The output of this 55W video light is not as powerful as some of the other lights here at only 4200 lux at 1m, so this is for small rooms. The LED has a high CRI of 96 for high daylight color accuracy.
The main advantage of this LED light is the variety of settings. You can control the light via a mobile app on your smartphone, allowing you to dim or turn on a strobing effect.
When plugged into an AC power source, the light provides a wide angle of continuous light. A battery (optional NP-F970 battery or D-tap-equipped battery are compatible) can last between 60 and 90 minutes.
- The mobile app makes it easy to adjust the lighting
- Includes several lighting effects, including a strobing effect
- Provides a good overall value for its price point
- Does not include a remote, requiring you to use the mobile app
- Not very powerful
5. GODOX SL-60W LED Video Light
The GODOX SL-60W LED video light closely resembles the CAME-TV video light. This video light is the less expensive option, which slightly limits the LED bulbs’ quality.
The color rendering index is slightly lower, with a CRI of 93 and a TCLI of 95 on the GODOX SL-60W.
Like the CAME-TV, this GODOX light is meant for smaller rooms, as it only emits about 4,100 lux at one meter.
This affordable video light includes a remote and has a large LCD panel and control knob on the back. You can manually adjust the settings from the back of the video light or use the remote, which also has a display.
Despite being an affordable light, Bowens S-mount is compatible with various light modifiers and accessories, such as the included reflector, fresnels, softboxes, and more.
- Affordable video light for outdoor use or small indoor spaces
- Includes a large LCD panel and control knob on the back
- The remote has a display screen
- Not as high build-quality compared to the other lights.
6. Aputure Amaran AL-MX LED Video Light
Now, let’s look at some powerful lights for portability that can be used both on-camera and on a lightweight tripod for weddings.
The Aputure Amaran MX on-camera light features 128 SMD LED bulbs and weighs just 278 grams.
It fits directly on the camera without adding unnecessary weight or bulk. It has a built-in rechargeable battery with about an hour of life on the highest light setting.
Designed by Aputure, the Amaran MX on-camera light is a durable, reliable product with a surprising amount of light output. The small light panel can emit 3,200 lux up to several feet using the boost mode.
The color temperature range is also superior to other small LED light panels. Instead of the typical 5,600K color temperature output, the Aputure MX can output up to 6,500K to produce a whiter light.
- Includes a built-in rechargeable battery
- Produces more light compared to other USB-powered lights
- The design is compact, durable, and lightweight
- The heatsink makes it a bit heavy and clunky on top of your camera.
7. VILTROX L116T Key Light
The L116T Key Light from VILTROX is a small video light for close-ups of smaller subjects or headshots. It has an in-built diffuser screen for soft, flattering lighting and high color accuracy for perfect skin tones.
The light measures about 7.5x5x1 inches and weighs slightly over half a pound. It also has a built-in rechargeable battery with about 60 minutes of life on a full charge.
The output is relatively limited, which is expected for a camera of this size. However, it is helpful for specific situations. You may use it for handheld shots when filming messages from the wedding guests. It may also be used to augment your existing lighting equipment.
The back of the video light has a small LCD screen that shows the current settings, including brightness, color temperature, and battery life.
- One of the smallest, most affordable LED video lights
- You can mount on a camera or tripod
- Easy to use, thanks to the LCD screen on the back
- Offers limited light output compared to other options
- Large on top of your camera
8. Core SWX TorchLED Bolt
The last light on this list is TorchLED Bolt 300, which can be used on-camera and on a tripod.
This little light uses a patented Refractory Lens Technology, which gives this little light an equivalent of 300W light output. That’s pretty impressive, considering it only draws 13W of power.
The light also includes a wireless remote that lets you control the Bolt 300 from up to 250 feet away.
The nine-channel remote control and magnetic diffusion filter allow you to switch the light on and off, dial in the perfect color temperature, and adjust the light intensity.
The Bolt 250 allows users to bank up to 10 lights per channel, meaning you can control more lights simultaneously.
On the light, you find a knob for color temperature that lets you switch between tungsten (3200K) and daylight (5600K) and a knob for dimming.
The light accepts Sony L-Series batteries, or you can power the light via the PowerTap cable for DC powering off a standard 14.4V brick battery.
- Powerful light in a small form factor
- Dedicated knobs for color temperature and dimming
- Can be powered in several ways
- More expensive than the other on-camera lights on this list
Tips for Choosing the Best Video Light for Wedding Videography
When choosing a video light for weddings, you need to think about power, portability, and shaping the light.
Power and shaping the light
If you need to light up an entire dance floor, you need to have enough power to do so with a light that is placed away from the floor while also being able to flood the light to capture all the guests dancing.
When you have to capture the toast, you need to be able to shape the light into a spot and cast a light on the person giving the toast without blinding the rest of the dinner guests sitting at the table.
This is where a fresnel and barndoors come in handy, and again you need to have enough power to light the subject from afar since nothing can ruin the atmospheric setting like a video light in the middle of dinner.
Pro Tip 1: Only turn on your video light, when needed, such as when the couple leaves the church, during the cutting of the cake, the tossing of, the bouquet, when the bride enters the party, during toasts, formal dances, and a bit from the dance floor.
Let the party know that you’ll only keep the lights on for these special critical moments, and they can enjoy the rest of the evening in the atmospheric lights at the venue.
You should use a light stand that is both stable and tall, such as the Manfrotto air-cushioned 1004 BAC. It’s great to have the key light up high when filming the dance floor and capturing the formal dance. You can then use the smaller lights as fillers.
It would be best if you also considered sandbags in case some of the staff or guests accidentally trip over it.
Movability and mobility
Weddings are dynamic events where you must always be on your toes in case something fun or unexpected suddenly happens.
That’s why I also recommend having on-camera lights like the Aputure MX (which you can also mount on a light-weight light stand), which lets you move around and film your subjects – e.g., a couple dancing – from several angles while capturing good video quality all the time without too much noise.
Pro Tip 2: For the small lights, use a lightweight light stand like the Cheetah stand C8, which is easy to pick up and set down without you having to tighten or loosen anything (the feet collapse automatically).
That way, you can move a light from one place to the next in a few seconds without missing a crucial moment. Also, it has a small footprint when unfolded and folded, when you move it from one place to another.
You should also consider how the light is controlled. If you will not be standing near the light, ensure that it includes a remote or is compatible with your lighting gear, such as DMX equipment.
For those lights that don’t let you control the color temperature, you should consider bringing some tungsten-colored sheets or filters to match the color temperature at the place.
However, it’s okay to use daylight settings on your main subjects, as the background will often be warmer due to the atmospheric lights at the wedding venue.