The Role of Lighting in Quality Film and Streaming

No matter if you’re planning to host a live event on Twitch or shoot a full feature film, quality lighting is essential to your success in video production. Lighting in film and streaming has taken a priority practically from the beginning.

In this article, we’ll look at why lighting is so important and how it plays a role in the success of a film, video production, or stream. As a result, you’ll understand how the best lighting for cinema and the best lighting setup for streaming are accomplished.

Why Lighting Is So Important

Lighting Is So Important

Lighting is crucial for all video production services or live streamers, as cameras don’t respond to lights the same way eyes do. As a result, cameras can’t process the finite details and light contrasts that our eyes can. Therefore, good lighting is needed to bring the video production or live stream to the same, or similar, quality as seeing it in person. Not to mention, lighting can determine the mood of a scene and even evoke certain emotions from viewers watching your video content. Therefore, every successful film, video content, or stream has significant thought in the lighting setup. So, whether it’s a video production company, streamer, or casual videographer, lighting plays a critical role in their production process.

Understanding the Basics of Lighting

When you’re beginning a video production or live stream, you’ll need to consider multiple elements that affect the shoot, such as location, ambient light usage, changing conditions, shadows, and natural light.

The perfect lighting system to start with is three-point lighting. This lighting setup consists of a key light, fill light, and backlight. This lighting system has been one of the most used techniques in cinematography history and can help you understand the full scope of good lighting.

Key Light

Key lights are usually used first in video production. A key light is the most direct source of light illuminating the primary subject in the scene. Fill lights and backlights are essential as well, but they act as supplemental lighting. The most critical factor is to place the key light on the same side of the camera your subject is facing, then you can make adjustments as needed. Even a minor adjustment to the key light can change the overall scope and mood for the entire scene.

Fill Light

Fill lights are generally placed after the key lights in video production are installed. Fill lights illuminate the unnatural shadows or darkness created by the key lights. The best way to achieve perfect lighting with the fill lights is to ensure they’re not overly strong or overly light. If the fill lights are too strong, they’ll create additional shadows, which is the problem they’re there to fix. If the fill lights are too light, they won’t do their job. So, the primary purpose of using fill lights is to rid your scene of unnatural shadows or darkness.


Astutely named, a backlight is always placed to the back of your main subject. A backlight creates contrast so your subject doesn’t blend in with the environment too much by illuminating the subject’s silhouette so it can stand out. When using a backlight, ensure that it’s not too bright, as it can separate your subject from the scene entirely. In addition, a backlight should never flash directly into the camera, as it can distract your audience or cause technical issues with the visual effects, such as creating a glare that results in losing the entire scene.

The Benefits of Good Lighting

Benefits of Good Lighting

At first, understanding the planning and usage of lighting for filmmakers, Twitch streamers, or any other video production company may seem tedious and complicated, but it brings nothing but benefits. So, the more time invested in proper lighting, the less time is needed in the editing stage. Not to mention, the overall live stream or video appearance will be of a much higher quality. The boost in quality may sound trivial, but it always results in more views and higher ratings when you implement the best lighting in your video production services.


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