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Understanding Softbox Lighting: Fluorescent vs. LED

Softboxes (or soft boxes) are one of the most popular lighting modifiers in photography and videography, but did you know you now have the choice of LED or fluorescent softbox lighting? 


LED panels in softboxes create a flicker-free, continuous light source, while fluorescent continuous lights are the more traditional option. Both soft box lights are suitable for photo and video, but this article will help you decide which one is right for you.


What is a Softbox Light?



At the most basic, a soft box is generally a non-rigid box that fits over your light source. It has a soft, fabric diffusion panel at the front of the box, and the sides and top are generally made of some kind of reflective material. This means that the light comes out of the diffusion panel at the front, which is generally bigger than the light source.


Softboxes come in a range of shapes and sizes for different effects, and the larger they are, the softer and more diffused the light is.


Most professional photographers use softbox lighting because they are so versatile when it comes to providing soft light. You’ll find them used in fashion, portraiture, product, food, and video shoots.


Soft boxes don’t just take the role of main light - they can be used for fill light, background light, edge light - the possibilities are endless.


Why Use Softbox Lighting for Your Photos?



Soft box lights are so popular because of the diffused light they produce. One great use for them is to replicate the soft, cool daylight that you get from a north-facing window. North light has been favoured by portrait photographers from the invention of the camera onwards, and with a soft box you can produce that soft light anywhere and at any time you want!


These lights are also easy to put up and take down, as well as transport to different locations, which is handy for those on the go.


Soft boxes make great lighting choices for content creators, photographers, video bloggers, and YouTubers, as they provide easily-controllable, soft light for different photography and videography scenarios.


How to Use a Softbox


You should consider using a LED softbox set like the Spectrum ‘Kreator Kit’ Double Rectangle Dimmable LED Softbox Bi Coloured Lighting Kit, the LED Spectrum PRO 'S-Beam 150' LED Octagon Softbox Lighting Kit, or the fluorescent light Spectrum 'Illuminate Mate' Double Rectangle Softbox Continuous Lighting Kit as your lighting modifier any time you want soft instead of hard lighting. Soft lighting is when your light source is large, and closer than your subject, which gives lighter shadows and less harsh contrast.


Hard lighting, on the other hand, is typically when you have a smaller light source that is further away from your subject. This gives deep shadows and harder contrast between the light and dark areas.


The most flattering light for portraiture, fashion, video interviews, food, and products is soft light (unless you are trying to create a certain effect). Softbox lighting will give you that soft and flattering light, but you need to know where to place them for best effect.


Here are some basic and effective softbox lighting setups:

One Light Portrait Setup



This setup gives a good mix of light and flattering shadow on the side of the face away from the softbox. It’s a classic portrait setup, and the softbox is level with your subject’s face, or just slightly higher.

Two Softbox Shadowless Setup


This is another classic light setup for portraiture or video. The lights at either side are angled at 45 degrees to the subject, giving an even light across the whole face. Good for beauty shots where you need mostly shadowless lighting.


Key and Background Light Setup



This setup involves the main light at 45 degrees to the subject, with the second light angled towards a backdrop roll or cloth. The second light is at a lower power than the main light, and gives your subject a good separation from the background. This is often used in portraiture and video shoots.


One Light Food or Product Setup



Lighting your food or product shots from the side with a softbox is a good way to replicate window light. The softbox should be close to your subject, and level with the table or whatever you are using to stand the items on.


Difference Between LED and Fluorescent Softbox Lights



The main difference between the two is the type of light source used. Both are continuous softbox lights (as opposed to flash), but the Spectrum ‘Kreator Kit’ Double Rectangle Dimmable LED Softbox Bi Coloured Lighting Kit, and the Spectrum PRO 'S-Beam 150' LED Octagon Softbox Lighting Kit are both made with LED light panels that give off less heat than fluorescent lights. They also last a very long time, and are energy-efficient.


The Kreator Kit has an adjustable colour temperature that can be changed with the remote control. The ability to change the colour temperature of a light is very useful, as you can warm it up (think of candlelight) or cool it down (think of daylight) to suit various skin tones.


Fluorescent softboxes like the Spectrum 'Illuminate Mate' Double Rectangle Softbox Continuous Lighting Kit use fluorescent bulbs instead of LED panels. Fluorescent bulbs are cheap and efficient to run, but don’t tend to last as long as LED panels.


Which One is Right for You?


To decide which type of softbox lighting is right for you, you need to look at the type of photography or videography you do.



The Spectrum PRO 'S-Beam 150' LED Octagon Softbox Lighting Kit is a very powerful single light that comes with an octagon softbox, and is ideal for professional photoshoots that cover fashion, portrait, product, food etc. LED lights are also good for creating video.



The Spectrum ‘Kreator Kit’ Double Rectangle Dimmable LED Softbox Bi Coloured Lighting Kit comes with two lights and rectangular softboxes that can be used to create a variety of lighting setups. Again, they are great for a wide range of photography, and have the bonus of the adjustable colour temperature.




Last but not least is the  Spectrum 'Illuminate Mate' Double Rectangle Softbox Continuous Lighting Kit . These soft boxes can also be used in photography, and are useful for lighting videos such as makeup tutorials or YouTube videos. 


Conclusion



Here’s a couple of final tips to keep in mind when you’re lighting with softboxes:


  • The larger the softbox, the softer the light. 
  • The nearer the softbox is to the subject the softer the shadows. When it’s further away they become harsher.
  • Softboxes come in a range of shapes to determine how the light looks. You can get rectangular ones, long, narrow ones (strips) and eight-sided ones that are called octaboxes. You can also get fabric grids to go on your softbox to give a harder type of light.

We hope this rundown on LED vs. fluorescent softboxes has answered any questions you had, and given you an idea on how you can use softbox lighting to create many different looks for your photography or videography.


If you’re in the market for softbox lights, why not have a look at our whole range of soft box lighting options?


If you want to find out more about the benefits of using softboxes, then take a look at our blog post on the subject.


5 Tips on How to Take Insta-Worthy Beauty Client Photos with Ring Lighting

Before-and-after beauty photos are a great way to show what you can do on social media, and they often convince clients to book you because they can see the quality of your work.

Because your brand and your skills are often judged by the quality of your social media beauty photos, it makes sense to use the best lighting for the job. Ring lights can make all the difference between a poorly-lit, unflattering beauty shot, and one that is slick, professional, and attention-grabbing. 

This guide is going to give you the lowdown on getting Insta-worthy beauty client photos, and advise on the best lights to have in your kit.

1. Use a ring light to light up your client

 

Many salons rely on daylight for lighting their photos, but direct sunlight can be harsh, colour temperatures can shift, and shadows can be tricky. Also, what happens if you need to do a photo shoot after dark, or you have to travel to a client’s home that has very little good daylight?

Investing in a ring light will allow you to get the perfect lighting and the best shot every time, regardless of the weather or time of day. Spectrum has ring lights to suit all needs and budgets, from the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II 19" ring light kit, which is the flagship of the range, the mid-range Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe II ring light kit, or the small-but-perfectly-formed Spectrum Aurora 14” Mini Pearl II ring light kit

Ring lights help you create clear, well-lit before-and-after shots for your clients. This is due to the shape of the light, and the even spread of light across the face. This reduces shadows and flatters the skin. Ring lights are ideal for hairstylists, makeup artists, eyelash and eyebrow technicians, and the Spectrum Aurora range comes with adjustable brightness and colour temperature controls for the perfect lighting effect.

2. Use a coloured paper backdrop



Solid coloured paper or muslin backdrops provide a smart look for your beauty photos, and you can change the colours to give your work a fresh feel every so often. Plain coloured backdrops make your photos look so much slicker and more professional than the background of a client’s home or your salon.

The Spectrum photography backdrop collections are available in half and full sizes to suit your space, and come in seamless paper rolls or easily transportable cotton muslin backdrop cloths.

They come in a big range of colours, and it can be a good idea to choose colours that fit with your own branding. For instance - if your branding is pink, you can choose pink backdrops to work with it, such as baby pink, paradise pink, or cherry blossom pink.

3. Shoot from the best angle

Ever seen those before-and-after makeup photos on social media that are shot from an unflattering angle? Yep, us too. You want people to look at your amazing makeup shots for the right reasons, so you need to make sure your photography skills are on point.

Try to avoid taking shots from the same angle every time, and get a mix of close-up and whole face shots. One of the nifty things about the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II 19" ring light kit and the Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe II ring light kit is that they come with a bendable gooseneck that allows you to adjust the light angle for the best shot.

The Spectrum Aurora 14” Mini Pearl II doesn’t come with a bendable gooseneck included, but you can buy the bendable gooseneck to go with it.


4. Ask your clients to strike a pose!

To get the best range of photos, you will have to ask your client to be patient and bear with you as you ask her to look in different directions.

  • For makeup artists - ask you client to look straight ahead with open eyes as you take a shot, then close their eyes so you can photograph the full effect of the makeup. If you’re really proud of the lips or the eyes, then take a close-up shot of that area too.
  • For hair stylists - fluff your client’s hair up as you want it, and take some shots from the front, side and back to show off the colour and style.
  • For eyelash technicians - shoot a close-up with the client looking straight ahead, and shoot another close-up with their eyes closed.
  • For eyebrow technicians - take a range of close-up shots of your brow work from different angles.

The versatility of the Spectrum Aurora New Ring Light Range will help you to nail the shot every time. You can also use ring lights to give you video lighting if you want to make a tutorial or collage of before-and-after shots.

5. Don't forget to take a before photo!

Most clients will be happy for you to take a before-and-after photo, as they love seeing the full transformation your makeup creates. Have a look at NikkieTutorials’ #ThePowerofMakeup to see how much people enjoy seeing their everyday face turned into something special.

Some clients may be reluctant to let you photograph them for the before shot without any makeup on, but the majority will be fine with it once you’ve explained the importance of taking a before photo. In fact, once you’ve shown them their after photo, they’ll probably be dying to show their family and friends!

Conclusion

Many small businesses can gain or lose clients through the power of social media photographs. As a member of the beauty industry, you need to be able to show straight away exactly what you can do for clients - that’s one of the reasons why before-and-after beauty photos are very important for your brand.

Hopefully you found the tips and advice in this guide helpful, and it’s inspired you to create truly Insta-worthy before-and-after makeup photographs for your social channels.


Best Professional Ring Lights for Beauty Photography

Why are ring lights so popular with beauty photographers? Because they give shadowless lighting that makes skin look great, and can be used for photo and video shoots. There are many ring light options out there, so we’re going to take a look at the best professional ring lights for beauty photography to help you find what you need.


The benefits of using professional ring lights include:


  • Even, flattering light on the skin
  • No hard shadows
  • Easy to set up and takedown
  • Very portable
  • Reflect colours accurately
  • Shoot directly through the centre of the light or to the side

Ring lights are a continuous lighting source as opposed to flash, so you can see exactly how your lighting is going to look before you press the shutter. You can shoot beauty photographs without professional ring lights, but you will struggle to get the soft, even lighting and may have problems with shadows on your subject’s skin.


Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II 19” Ring Light



The Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II 19” Ring Light is the flagship of our range and offers professional, flicker-free lighting with an adjustable colour temperature of 3000K-5500K to go from warmer light to daylight-balanced light with the turn of a switch.


The Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II also comes with a bendable gooseneck included. Goosenecks like this allow you to move and position your ring light to exactly the right angle for the job you’re doing. Moving the gooseneck also lets you control how much shadow you want in your images if you are doing creative shots.

 

 

The brightness is also adjustable from 0-100%, so you can adapt the brightness of your ring light to match the ambient lighting conditions, or to give you the creative effect you are looking for.


Other accessories that come with the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II lighting setup for beauty photography include a light stand, advanced smartphone L-bracket, smartphone bracket, DSLR camera bracket, a half mirror, welcome pack, and die-cut carry bag.



Spectrum Aurora Diamond Luxe II 18” Ring Light



This ring light costs less than the Gold Luxe II because it’s slightly smaller, but the Spectrum Aurora Diamond Luxe II 18” Ring Light is no less versatile, and it’s a great ring light for those looking to stick to a budget.


This ring light also has an adjustable colour temperature knob that can be used to change the light to suit different skin tones or adapt to any lighting conditions that you may be in.




The Spectrum Aurora Diamond Luxe II ring light also comes with a free bendable gooseneck for adjusting the angle of your light just the way you want it. As well as the gooseneck, it also includes a ring light stand, smartphone holder, 180-degree swivel-design mirror, shoulder carry bag, welcome pack, and camera ball mount.

Spectrum Aurora Mini Pearl II 18” Ring Light



The Spectrum Aurora Mini Pearl II 14” Ring Light would be a great addition to any lighting setup for beauty photography. Especially good for DIY beauty photography, this ring light is portable, compact, and easy to set up as well as takedown.


The compact nature of this light means it’s especially good for small area photography, such as brows and lips, as well as mobile work. Like its larger cousins, it also features an adjustable colour temperature dial.


Other accessories include a ring light stand, smartphone holder, 17 cm mirror, shoulder carry bag, camera ball mount, and welcome pack.


Spectrum-PRO Eclipse 10” Ring Light


The
Spectrum-PRO Eclipse 10” Ring Light is from the PRO range, and is the most powerful single-continuous light we stock (Batteries sold separately).


Great for both personal and commercial photo and video lighting, this professional ring light has a padded bendable gooseneck letting you direct the light exactly where you need it.

 


This light also comes with adjustable brightness and colour temperature, as well as a 15mm camera rail mount that’s compatible with most professional rig systems.


Beauty Photography Tips & Tricks



As well as having a professional lighting setup for beauty photography, you need to take other factors into account if you want to get the best out of your lighting and photography.


  1. Use coloured paper backgrounds - a smooth and flawless paper background can really take your images to another level. Our coloured paper backdrop collection has all the hues of the rainbow to make your photos stand out.
  2. Make sure your light stands are safe and stable - It’s all too easy for your light stands to get knocked over during a photo shoot, which can damage your lights - or worse still, injure a client!  For your peace of mind, secure your light stands with the Spectrum Heavy Duty Sandbag.

Conclusion

As well as the above, you need to do some planning in advance so that your beauty shoot will run smoothly. It can be helpful to take some of these things into consideration:


  • Mood boards - collecting photos and other inspiring things of the look that you are going for can help when planning a shoot. You can share them with others who are involved so that everyone knows what you’re trying to achieve and is on the same page.
  • Have a concept - if you want to shoot pastel makeup looks, for instance, work out styling and lighting that compliments this look. Pastels tend to work well with brighter, more diffuse lighting than stronger colours.
  • Shoot from different angles - photographing your subject from only one camera angle and height quickly becomes boring. Change the height of your camera, as well as the angle you are shooting from. Don’t forget some close-ups of eyes and lips too.

These days, it’s become more important than ever that your beauty photos are evenly and professionally lit if you want to showcase your work on the internet to land more clients. There are so many great beauty photos out there that you really can’t afford to just get by with daylight anymore.


Spectrum Aurora ring lights are powerful, professional ring lights that are budget-friendly. All of them have adjustable colour temperature and brightness controls, which makes them extremely versatile and great value for money.


Hopefully, this article has given you a bit more insight into the best lighting for beauty photography, and has inspired you to pick up your camera and get shooting!





Spectrum Aurora Ring Lights takes over Beauty Expo Australia 2019

Spectrum Aurora Ring Lights hosted a stall at the 2019 Beauty Expo Australia, at the ICC Sydney on the weekend of the 24th-25th August, and we’d love to share our experiences with you.

We had a fabulous time at the Beauty Expo 2019, and so enjoyed networking and meeting other exhibitors, and we premiered the biggest ring light in the world - the 47”
Aurora Max!

spectrum aurora max ring light

 

As well as revealing the Aurora Max to everyone, we showcased our new Spectrum Aurora ring light range:


We also set up an AMAZING Photo Booth for visitors to our stall, which had a golden balloon arch, props, and featured the Aurora Max! (see if you can spot yourself in our album here).

As well as the fun we had with our Photo Booth, we had a brilliant time getting great deals on makeup from our fellow exhibitors, like MODELROCK lashes, Inglot, and more.

Two lucky winners also scored in our giveaway by winning an ultimate content creator kit, which included:

 

  • 1x Spectrum Aurora Mini Pearl II 14" Ring Light Kit 
  • 2x Spectrum Soft Box Lights 
  • 1x Spectrum Backdrop Stand 
  • 1x Spectrum Aurora Firefly Phone Light
  • 1x Spectrum Half Paper Rolls (2 Colours)
  • 1x Spectrum Smartphone Bracket 
  • 1x Spectrum iPad Holder
  • 1x Spectrum Camera Ball Mount 
  • 1x Spectrum Desk Stand

Reasons Why You Should Attend a Beauty Expo

1. Great Deals on Makeup and Supplies for Your Beauty Business

makeup palettes beauty expo australia 2019


Not only do you get to see everything beauty-related in one place, but it’s also your chance to find out about new products and services, grab some inspiration and fresh ideas. There’s also the opportunity to learn new skills in the many workshops and education sessions on offer.

spectrum aurora gold  luxe ii ring light on display

You can also pick up some great bargains on makeup and supplies for your business - such as grabbing some great lighting from our stall, like the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II Ring Light, which is the flagship of our range. This ring light features a dimmable control for both colour temperature and brightness, as well as an adjustable gooseneck for ultimate position control.

Our other ring lights are the Spectrum Diamond Luxe II Ring Light, which features adjustable colour temperature so that you can go from a warm light to natural daylight to suit your client’s skin tone. The Spectrum Aurora Mini Pearl II Ring Light is the ultimate portable ring light, and also has an adjustable colour temperature dial.

2. Partake in Beauty Competitions

face 2 face makeup competition at beauty expo australia


If you’re looking for some exposure for your talents, entering some of the beauty competitions is a great way to showcase your skills.

The Sydney Beauty Expo had two competitions running - one for makeup, and one for nails.

The Face2Face Makeup Awards featured an impressive industry judging panel, and fabulous prizes. This type of competition is a great way to launch your career, or take it to the next level. 

nailympia nail competition beauty expo australia


Nailympia Australasia
was the competition for nail artistry, and again boasted a panel of top-class industry insiders as judges, and more great prizes. This prestigious competition provides a fantastic platform to get yourself recognized, and there is a range of categories for all skill levels.

3. Network and Have Fun with Other Like-Minded Attendees

Beauty Expo Australia and other beauty expos give you a great opportunity to expand your professional network, and perhaps make some new friends!
 

There are a huge range of large and small businesses all under one roof, including suppliers and manufacturers from global brands, so it’s a valuable chance to make new connections. You never know - great things may happen in years to come because of a collaboration or new industry connection that you made.

4. Ring Lighting for Your Business

ring light for your business

Many beauty professionals swear by ring lighting to give the best results in their work, and it’s easy to see why.

 

Ring lighting gives a soft, even and flattering light due to the circular shape, and it makes skin blemishes and fine lines even out to give a better appearance in photographs.

 

They are great for close, detailed work, especially ring lights with bendable goosenecks, like the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II Ring Light. The gooseneck allows you to position your light exactly how you want it, and it is very easily adjusted.

Ring lights with dimmable brightness and adjustable colour temperature, like the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II Ring Light, Spectrum Diamond Luxe II Ring Light, and the Spectrum Mini Pearl II Ring Light are very handy for working in different lighting conditions, as well as being good for clients who can be light-sensitive.

The adjustable colour temperature from bright daylight through to warm light will suit every skin tone, and allow you to see exactly how your makeup, nails or lashes will look before your client steps out into the daylight themselves.

Investing in good ring lighting will pay for itself many times over in the course of your business. If you’re still not sure why you should use one, have a look at some of the ways they can be used:

5. Before/After Photographs

ring light before and after

As a beauty professional, you probably have several social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram etc. You know how important it is to have great before and after photographs of your clients to showcase your skills. 

 

Professional, clean, clear lighting is important in creating a quality photograph that will catch the eye and make people stop scrolling. Ring lighting was originally designed for photography, and the unique circular shape casts a very photogenic light on your subjects. It also gives them an amazing circular ‘catchlight’ reflection in the iris of their eyes.

You can use your mobile phone or a camera with a ring light - simply point the lens through the centre of the ring light to get a clear shot. Make sure that the ring light is fairly close to your subject, and level with their face for the best results.

6. Video Lighting 

ring light for videos

 
If you have a YouTube channel to showcase your beauty business, you can also use a ring light to illuminate your video tutorials, like many of the top beauty vloggers do.

Conclusion

women taking selfies in front of ring light


We had a fab time at the Beauty Expo Australia 2019, and met lots of great people. Watch the vlog of our weekend by playing the video below. We hope to see you at the next one - don’t forget to pop over and say hi!



Best Ring Lighting for Eyelash Extensions and Eyebrow Tattoing

If you’re a lash artist, you might be wondering why you need to use a ring light for eyelash extensions or for eyebrow tattooing. Buying professional lighting may be more expensive to start with, but it will soon pay for itself as the quality of light is better, and allows you to do your job more effectively and professionally.

 

This article is going to look at 5 great reasons to use a ring light to effectively apply lash extensions or tattoos, and give you the lowdown on the best ring lighting for this kind of work.

 

1. Bendable Light to See Your Clients Better

bendable ring light for eyebrow technicians

 

Good old natural light is great, but it’s not reliable! Plus, unless your workstation is right next to a huge window, you’re going to struggle.

 

A light with a bendable gooseneck such as the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II 19" ring light is ideal for positioning in just the right place to see what you’re working on clearly, as is the Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe II ring light.

 

These two pro-spec ring lights have bendable goosenecks included in the kit, but you can buy a Spectrum Aurora Bendable Gooseneck for ring lights, such as the Spectrum Mini Pearl II ring light.

 

For extra stability and peace of mind, you should use a sandbag on the legs of your light stand such as the Spectrum Heavy Duty Sandbag for Boom Arms and Light Stands so you can be sure that your light won’t topple onto your client!

 

2. Natural Light Wherever, Whenever

natural ring lighting for eyebrows

 

If you travel to clients, you can’t guarantee that there will be plenty of natural light for you to work by, and what happens if you need to work after dark?

 

This is one of the reasons good lighting for eyelash extensions and eyebrow tattooing is necessary. Another is to provide you with better clarity for detailed work, as well as helping to reduce eye strain. 

 

The best ring lighting is balanced to look like daylight instead of artificial light, and both the Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe II and the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II 19" ring light can be set to 5500K – daylight balance. This allows you and your clients to see what the results will look like in daylight when you set the ring light to daylight colour mode.

 

The smaller Spectrum Mini Pearl II ring light is also daylight balanced for your convenience.

 

 

3. Adjustable Brightness for Sensitive Clients

adjustable brightness ring light

Having an adjustable brightness level is a bonus in lighting for eyelash extensions and eyebrow tattoos. It allows you to dim the light down to a comfortable level if your client has a sensitivity to light. It also lets you make the light brighter if you are working in a very dim area.

 

Our  Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II 19" ring light, the Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe II, and the Spectrum Mini Pearl II ring light all come with adjustable brightness levels from 0-100.

 

4. Lightweight and Portable

portable ring light

Having a ring light that is light and easy to transport makes life a great deal easier! If you travel often to clients, having a ring light with a carry case like the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II 19" ring light, Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe II or the Spectrum Mini Pearl II ring light really makes a difference. 

 

Even if you are just moving your light around the studio between appointments, a lightweight one that you can pick up and carry easily is a must.

 

5. Perfect Before/After Photos for Social Media Content

ring light for before and after photos

Social media is the perfect way to promote your work, and ring lights make it easy to create brilliant before/after photos of your clients.

Our Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II 19" ring light, Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe II and the Spectrum Aurora Mini Pearl II ring light are great for giving soft, shadowless lighting. Ring lights are one of the best choices for minimizing blemishes and skin imperfections, while allowing for amazing close-up detail. 

The circular shape casts a soft halo of light all round your subject, as well as giving pleasing circular catchlights in the iris of the eyes. You can also shoot hands-free with either a phone or a camera if you have a bracket to fit them on.


The light won’t get in the way of your photos either – you just point the lens right through the middle of the ring and shoot!

Conclusion

ring light for eyelash and eyebrow technicians

Having good lighting is an important part of your beauty business for the reasons above, but ring lighting is also great for creating videos as well as photos if you decide to create some promotional material.

Here’s a couple of extra tips for you:

  • Don’t forget you can use a magnifier in the middle of your ring light to make it much easier to isolate the lashes. If you wear glasses, then you can buy handy magnifier glasses that clip on to your own glasses.

  • When you are photographing client’s lashes, put a little sticker on the ceiling and get them to look at it while you are shooting. It gives much more accurate and better-looking photos.

  • Get in close to the eyelashes or eyebrows, and crop after the photo has been taken. Going in so close to your client’s face may be a bit uncomfortable at first, but the closer you get your lens, the sharper and more detailed your photo will be, as opposed to cropping close after taking the image. Just warn your client what you’re about to do first so they’re not freaked out!

  • If you are taking a photo that shows part of the background, make sure it is clean, tidy, and looks good. You don’t want to put potential clients off!

  • Take some photos from different angles and change the distance, to show the lashes or brows from another perspective.

Whatever lighting for eyelash extensions and eyebrow tattooing you choose, the choice will come down to your personal preference, as well as budget and space considerations. I hope this article has helped you decide which ring light to choose – whatever you do, a ring light is a great buy to give you a professional lighting setup.

 


Best DIY Home Professional Photography Setup with a Baby or Child: Know how on Newborn, Cake Smashes and More!

Babies and children are unpredictable creatures, but one thing is for sure – they grow up so fast that they are teenagers before you know it.

 

Creating a record of those precious moments in photographs is a fantastic idea, and you don’t have to pay a fortune to have a special photoshoot done – you can create professional baby and child shots at home with a little equipment and some tips on how to best capture those stages along your child’s journey.

 

This article is going to give you some ideas on the best DIY home professional photography setup, and advice on baby and child photography, as well as cake smash photography.

 

What Will I Need?

 

Many people waste a lot of money on expensive props and equipment for taking photos of newborns and children, but you really don’t need to. There are a few essentials that you will need, however.

 

Lighting

 

While you can use natural light if you have plenty of it, it can be difficult to get enough of it indoors to make it easy to shoot without needing a tripod and slow shutter speed. Using a lighting and softbox kit such as the Spectrum ‘Kreator Kit’ Double Rectangle Dimmable LED Softbox Bi Coloured Lighting Kit, or the Spectrum 'Illuminate Mate' Double Rectangle Softbox Continuous Lighting Kit will give you much more control over the lighting, and the softbox light modifiers give a gentle, even light that is ideal for baby photography.

 

If you are looking to upgrade your existing lighting, or need a more pro-spec lighting kit, the Spectrum PRO DUO 'S-Beam 150' LED Softbox Lighting Kit will do an excellent job. It’s currently the most powerful single-continuous lighting kit of the Spectrum range, and is ideal for all kinds of studio photography, including newborn, child, and cake smash shoots.

 

spectrum twinkle kit baby photography lighting kit

 

For those who would like an entry-level kit, the Spectrum DIY Newborn & Baby Photography Lighting 'TWINKLE' Kit is ideal. It has two reflective and two diffuser umbrellas as well as a backdrop stand to create versatile lighting setups.

 

Backdrops

 

Backdrops are necessary to set the scene for your baby or child photography, and you can choose from many different colours or textures, as well as paper rolls or cotton muslin backdrops.

 

Cotton muslin backdrops such as the Cotton Muslin Backdrops Range by Spectrum are washable, easily transported and stored, as well as coming in several sizes and a range of colours.

 

paper backdrop baby photography lighting kit

 

Full paper backdrops come in rolls, and when one piece gets torn or soiled, you simply cut that bit off and pull the fresh paper from the roll. The Spectrum Full Paper Backdrop Collection comes in a range of colours so if you have a specific theme in mind – nautical, for example - you can choose a backdrop to suit, such as Caribbean Sky Blue or Baby Blue.

 

spectrum half paper backdrop baby photography lighting kit

 

Spectrum’s Half-Paper Backdrops are an ideal size for newborns, and are available in 24 different colours, so you are sure to find something to suit your theme.

 

1. Newborn and Baby Photography


baby photography lighting kit


If you want to shoot newborns and babies, one of the most important things you can have is a warm, comfortable space to do it in.

 

Equipment

For newborn photography, you’ll need several soft blankets and something to put the baby on. You don’t need to buy expensive beanbags for this, but you do need something soft, such as a large sofa cushion. It’s also wise to have some waterproof sheets underneath the layers of blankets!

 

Lighting Setup

baby photography setup softbox kit

 

If you use a lighting kit such as the Spectrum 'Illuminate Mate' Softbox Kit, you have much more versatility than relying on window light – plus, you can move the lights around while you work, without disturbing the baby by moving him/her to catch the natural light.

 

Newborn and baby photography tend to be all about the dreamy, soft-focus glow, so you will need softboxes or diffusion umbrellas to achieve this look.

 

Place your softbox fairly close to the baby, and at a 90 degree angle for softly feathered light and beautiful shadows:

 

Props

You can buy a variety of props for newborn and baby shoots, from baskets to little themed outfits. You can also decide to shoot the baby simply natural, without any extra props.

 

Important Tips

 

Try to fit the shoot around your baby’s schedule, and when they are most relaxed. With newborns, they are easiest to shoot whilst they are sleeping, with perhaps some soothing tunes playing in the background.

 

2. Toddler Photography

toddler photography setup

 

Toddlers are constantly on the move and into everything, so you’ll need to have your wits about you!

 

Equipment

 

With toddlers, shooting them whilst playing outside in a park or garden is probably the easiest route to go, but if you want an indoor shoot, you’ll need studio lighting and a backdrop.

 

Lighting Setup

toddler photography lighting setup


Toddlers look good with bright, even lighting from each side, as in the diagram below. You will need to drop the lights down on the stands so the tops of the softboxes are just above the toddler’s head height.

 

Props

 

Toddlers get bored very easily, so props they can play with are a great idea. Artificial flowers, soft toys and toy musical instruments are just a few ideas.

 

Important Tips

 

Get down to toddler level and shoot from there – your photos will look much better than if you shoot looking down from above. Don’t try to force toddlers to pose – you’ll have a tantrum on your hands! Let them play and try to make a game of the photoshoot.

 

3. Family Photography


family photography

 

Shooting groups can be challenging, as there is always someone with their eyes shut or looking away!

 

Equipment

 

Full-size backdrops are a good idea for family groups, as you’ll need to fit everyone in. However half-size backdrops are a cost-friendly and space-saving option that can still fit a father-son or mother-daughter duo. Studio lights such as the Spectrum-PRO Duo 'S-Beam 150' Softbox 2-lighting Kit will ensure that you get good illumination of everyone in the photo.

 

Lighting Setup

 

Try lifting your light up as high as you can, and tilt it slightly forward, so it is shining down on the group from the front and side:

 

family photography lighting setup

 

Props

 

props for family photography

 

A chair of a stool is a good prop, as one family member can sit, and you can group the rest around them.

 

4. Cake Smash Photography

 

cake smash photography

 

Very popular, and very messy!

 

Equipment

 

Cake smashes are great when done outdoors, due to the mess, but if you want an indoors studio setup, you’ll need a large backdrop and studio lighting kit to capture all the action.

 

You’ll also need plenty of stuff to clean up with – paper roll backdrops are probably best for cake smashes, as you can simply cut off and dispose of the messy part of the backdrop, but muslins can be put through the washing machine.

 

Lighting Setup

cake smash photography lighting setup

 

A three-light setup is a good idea like the Spectrum Photography Lighting 'LITTLE FASHION LOOKBOOK' Kit, as it enables you to position both lights a good distance from the cake action to avoid splatter!

 

Props

 

Cake smash photography is all about the child and the cake, but if you want you can add some balloons, streamers and bunting to the backdrop.

 

Important Tips

 

cake smash photography

 

Get some photos before the cake gets smashed, when both child and cake are pristine! Take shots from all angles, including some close-up ones too.

 

Conclusion

diy home professional photography setup with a baby or child

 

These setups are great for taking photos of your baby and child, but they do have limitations – you can’t do massive group shots, for example. However, it still beats propping your baby up on the sofa for those same-old, same-old shots that you see all the time on social media.

The little amount of time and outlay you need for setting up your home studio will ensure your images are something to be proud of in years to come.



How to Create Backdrops for Video Production

Whether you’re thinking about diving into vlogging or creating stunning content for your brand, it might be time to review your video setup to ensure you present a professional and engaging aesthetic that will appeal to your audience.

 

One important aspect of videography that is often overlooked is the video backdrop. Your video backdrop will have a huge impact on how your story is told and the mood you want to create. Backdrops provide a smooth, uncluttered background to your videos which can eliminate distraction and complement the message you are trying to convey.

 

Creating a video backdrop doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are a few ways to create your own backdrop that are both affordable and professional.

 

Use Your Natural Surroundings

natural surroundings as backdrops for video production

 

If you have an office, studio, bedroom or permanent space where you’ll be recording content, a natural video backdrop may be just what you need. The simplest and most cost efficient solution for your backdrop is to use your natural surroundings. A tidy bookshelf, table and chairs, a plain or carefully decorated wall or a collage are all fantastic backdrops for video production recordings. Alternatively you might want to shoot your video outdoors. Beautiful city scapes and beach locales provide excellent backdrops for video production particularly travel vlogs, which try and capture the essence of the location in which they’re filmed.

 

Curtains or Fabric

Are there curtains in the room already? Try drawing them closed and using pins or clips to prevent any light from slipping through the gaps. Not ideal, but it can definitely work if you’re looking to save a few bucks. Alternatively, fabric backdrops are great for small spaces and easy to set up and break down. Beware, though, of textured fabric which can look very out of date. Choose your fabric carefully and ensure it resonates with the mood you are trying to create. Be sure the curtain or fabric is pulled tight and smooth for a professional and clean look in your videos.

 

Add a Layer of Paint

DIY backdrops for video production

 

If you have a plain wall that you want to spruce up before shooting your next video, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint. A plain wall has endless possibilities and with a little time and effort, a dash of paint can transform your wall into a fabulous backdrop. After a quick trip to Bunnings and a $50 hole in your wallet, you’re all ready to go!

 

Not into painting? Another budget friendly alternative is peel n stick wallpaper. Not only is it inexpensive, it’s becoming increasingly more popular meaning the options for colours and designs are plentiful.   

 

However, if you’re regularly needing to change your backdrop, consider another alternative. Painting and changing wallpaper can be quite time consuming and costly if done often. 

 

Card Stock or Foam

A large piece of card stock or foam can work perfectly as a backdrop. A small foam board from a craft store can cost between $5-$10 and can be covered with fabric or peel n stick wallpaper if desired. Card stock and foam are both super lightweight and portable. If you regularly shoot in different locations and require a backdrop whilst on the road, a sheet of cardstock or foam in the boot of your car is your ultimate companion. The only downside is that both materials are extremely delicate, so you’ll want to take caution when handling them.

 

Paper Backdrops

paper backdrops for video production

Paper backdrops for video production have some great advantages. They are versatile for almost any shooting space and offer endless colours and designs. Do you want a white background for you next video? Just roll down some white paper. What about a green screen? Roll down some green paper.

 

Spectrum paper backdrops are high quality, seamless, studio-grade backdrops suitable for all film scenarios. Used by videographers, film makers, influencers and media agencies, they are available in over 34 colours in full length 2.7m x 10m or half-length 1.35m x 10m, which are great if you’re working in a small space. They are among the most cost-effective studio backdrop options available.

 

This setup requires some extra gear which comes at a cost, but if you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks you won’t be disappointed. Spectrum backdrop stands are a huge 3.0m x 3.1m in size and are easily adjustable to create the perfect backdrops for video production. Match with heavy duty clamps to keep the paper secure and you’re ready to shoot!

 

Ensure you store paper backdrop rolls vertically in a dry place to minimise wrinkles and misshaping. The benefit of using paper is that it is easily recyclable! We definitely recommend recycling your end sheets instead of trashing them.

 

Cotton Backdrops

cotton backdrops for video production

If you’re looking for a more durable alternative, consider Spectrum cotton muslin backdrops. Muslin is a reusable fabric that can easily withstand normal wear and tear. Every Spectrum piece is finished along the edges of the material to prevent them from tearing. They are easy to store and transport and there is no need to fold muslin in between uses. Simply stuff it into a bag and away you go!

 

Muslin is non-reflective meaning light sources won’t distract from the subjects being filmed. Its non-reflective properties makes it useful in creating green and blue screens for video production. It can be draped or hung to hide props or unnecessary distractions and can be easily dyed as it holds onto colours exceptionally well.

 

It’s best to have a stand for your cotton muslins like the Spectrum backdrop stand but with a bit of creativity, you can improvise a way to hold them up in a pinch.

 

Furthermore, muslin backdrops for video production can be washed and reused with warm water and gentle soap.

 

If you’re considering a long-term backdrop solution and require a one that is more durable and portable than paper, a cotton muslin backdrop is definitely a worthy investment. If treated properly, muslins will last for many years. Imagine all the amazing video content you can make in that time!

 

Shop now for our full range of Backdrops for Video Production


Spectrum Aurora Firefly Selfie Phone Ring Light Comparison: What’s the Difference?

How do you get amazing, virtually shadow-free, and even lighting without everything looking dull and one-dimensional?

 

A ring light, of course!

 

Our Spectrum Aurora Ring Lights have become a key part of many YouTubers and vlogger’s lighting setups, and they are also beloved by photographers and makeup artists.

 

The simplicity of a ring light is part of its beauty – it’s a circle of light with an open centre through which you point your camera lens. There are also selfie phone ring lights that are specially created for mobile phone photos and videos, and that’s what this article is going to look at today.

 

Why Choose A Selfie Phone Ring Light?

spectrum aurora firefly selfie phone ring light

 

The simple answer is because they’ll make your selfies look so much better. Ring lights reduce harsh shadows and even out your skin tone while reducing the look of blemishes. The also give your eyes a spectacular catchlight in the iris – a perfect circle of light that really opens up the look of the eyes.

 

If you’re a selfie-holic, an influencer who always needs to look their best on camera, or you need to show off your makeup or hair artistry, there’s a Spectrum Aurora Firefly Selfie Phone Ring Light that will suit you. No longer will you have to rely on natural daylight to shoot, or the flash on your phone camera that makes you look washed-out and highlights every little blemish.

 

These little lights pack enough of a punch to give you perfect portrait lighting, whatever the surrounding conditions, and they are small and lightweight enough to fit in a handbag or pocket.

 

Here is a Spectrum Aurora Firefly Selfie Phone Ring Light comparison, so you can see at a glance what each one can do and decide which will suit your needs best.

 

Range

Spectrum Aurora Diamond Luxe Firefly (Winter White)

Spectrum Aurora Diamond Luxe Firefly (Gold Rush)

Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe Firefly (Winter White)

Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe Firefly (Gold Rush)

Product

spectrum aurora diamond luxe winter white selfie phone ring light

spectrum aurora gold rush diamond luxe selfie phone ring light

spectrum aurora winter white gold luxe selfie phone ring light

spectrum aurora gold rush gold luxe selfie phone ring light

General Description

Great for selfies on the go, this mobile phone selfie ring light stores easily in your handbag

Great for selfies on the go, this mobile phone selfie ring light stores easily in your handbag

Great for selfies on the go, this mobile phone selfie ring light stores easily in your handbag

 

This ring light also features an adjustable cool-to-warm colour temperature for natural daylight shots or giving a golden glow to skin

Great for selfies on the go, this mobile phone selfie ring light stores easily in your handbag

 

This ring light also features an adjustable cool-to-warm colour temperature for natural daylight shots or giving a golden glow to skin

Great For

Selfies in low light, eyebrow/ eyelash/makeup clients, Instagram stories and Facebook Livestreams

Selfies in low light, eyebrow/ eyelash/makeup clients, Instagram stories and Facebook Livestreams

Selfies in low light, eyebrow/ eyelash/makeup clients, Instagram stories and Facebook Livestreams.

 

Adjustable colour temperature suits all skin types and lighting conditions

Selfies in low light, eyebrow/ eyelash/makeup clients, Instagram stories and Facebook Livestreams.

 

Adjustable colour temperature suits all skin types and lighting conditions

Adjustable Colour Temperature

No

No

Yes – warm orange to daylight white

Yes – warm orange to daylight white

Adjustable Brightness Levels

3

3

3 for warm orange, 3 for daylight white

3 for warm orange, 3 for daylight white

Power Supply

USB Cable

(Included)

USB Cable

(Included)

USB Cable

(Included)

USB Cable

(Included)

Use in Low Light Conditions

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Luminance at 1 Metre

40 Lumens

40 Lumens

40 Lumens

40 Lumens

Size

8.5 x 8.5 x 3cm

 

8.5 x 8.5 x 3cm

 

8.5 x 8.5 x 3cm

 

8.5 x 8.5 x 3cm

 

Weight

60 grams

60 grams

60 grams

60 grams

Compatible Smartphones

iPhone XS / X / 8 / 7/ 6s / 6s Plus / 6 /6 Plus / 5s / 5c / 5 / 4s / 4, Samsung Galaxy Series like Galaxy S6, S6 Edge Plus, Note 5, LG Phones, Moto, Huawei, HTC, Sony, and other Phones.

iPhone XS / X / 8 / 7/ 6s / 6s Plus / 6 /6 Plus / 5s / 5c / 5 / 4s / 4, Samsung Galaxy Series like Galaxy S6, S6 Edge Plus, Note 5, LG Phones, Moto, Huawei, HTC, Sony, and other Phones.

iPhone XS / X / 8 / 7/ 6s / 6s Plus / 6 /6 Plus / 5s / 5c / 5 / 4s / 4, Samsung Galaxy Series like Galaxy S6, S6 Edge Plus, Note 5, LG Phones, Moto, Huawei, HTC, Sony, and other Phones.

iPhone XS / X / 8 / 7/ 6s / 6s Plus / 6 /6 Plus / 5s / 5c / 5 / 4s / 4, Samsung Galaxy Series like Galaxy S6, S6 Edge Plus, Note 5, LG Phones, Moto, Huawei, HTC, Sony, and other Phones.

Conclusion

spectrum aurora gold luxe ring light

 

You may be wondering which selfie ring light will suit you best – the answer is to look at what you need or want to use your ring light for, and if you would be best suited with one colour temperature or would need the adjustable colour temperature version.

 

make up artist selfie phone ring light

 

If you’re a makeup artist, for instance, you may be shooting in different lighting temperatures, or working with different skin tones, so a variable colour temperature would probably suit you. If you’re someone who loves taking selfies for social media, you might be happy with the daylight balanced selfie phone ring light.

 

spectrum aurora firefly selfie phone ring light

 

Remember, selfie phone ring lights do what they were designed to do brilliantly, but if you try to use them for a different lighting purpose they won’t do so well. If you like what a ring light can do, but want to light a larger area, you would be better off looking at the Spectrum Aurora Ring Light range that features larger, more powerful versions.

 

Whatever ring light you eventually choose, you’ll have made a great choice, and will join the growing ranks of photographers and videographers who have discovered how awesome ring lights can be.


Spectrum Aurora Ring Light Comparison: What’s the Difference?

If you’re looking for the best lights for enhancing portraits, selfies, make-up or hair shots, macro and product photographs, look no further than our Spectrum Aurora ring lights.

 

The soft and even light given off by ring lights lets you illuminate your subjects in a variety of ways, and there are different sizes of lights – from large studio ones that need stands, to the compact types that you can attach to your phone.

 

Ring lights give a slick and professional look to your images and video, but they do have some limitations – they’re great for lighting single subjects or small and medium objects, but not so good for group shots or larger items.

 

WHY CHOOSE A RING LIGHT 

before and after using a ring light

 

LED ring lights are one of the most versatile lighting tools that you can buy, and the quality of light, as well as their portability and convenience, makes them worth the cost. Because they give continuous lighting, you can see what your image is going to be lit like before you press record or click the shutter.

 

Unlike traditional flash head units and softboxes, ring lights don’t get in the way of your camera – you can shoot right through the centre of the ring, as well as move the lights to the side.

 

You can also team two or more of our Spectrum Aurora ring lights together to create a totally unique and different lighting aesthetic for your work, as well as team them with reflectors to lift any small amount of shadow.

 

Portrait photographers love them because their circular shape gives the subject’s eyes that beautiful ring of light around the iris. (If you want to know how a portrait was lit, just look at the model’s eyes – you’ll see a reflection called a catchlight there, which shows what type of lighting modifier was used).

 

They don’t heat up like conventional tungsten lights, which means you can pack up straight away at the end of a shoot without waiting around for your light to cool down.
 

SPECTRUM AURORA RING LIGHT COMPARISON

This article is going to look at the Spectrum Aurora Ring Light Comparison table, so you can see which one of the new range of ring lights suit you best.

 

FEATURES   MINI PEARL   MINI PEARL II DIAMOND LUXE V1
DIAMOND LUXE II
GOLD LUXE I GOLD LUXE II
 
spectrum aurora 13" mini pearl ring light
spectrum aurora 14" mini pearl II ring light
spectrum aurora 19" diamond luxe ring light
spectrum aurora 18" diamond luxe II ring light
spectrum aurora 19" Gold Luxe Ring Light
spectrum aurora 19" Gold Luxe II Ring Light
Light Source
180 SMD individual LED lights
240 SMD individual LED lights
240 SMD individual LED lights
512 SMD individual LED lights
240 SMD individual LED lights
512 SMD individual LED lights
Colour Temperature
5400K (natural daylight)
3000-5500K
5400K (natural daylight)
3000-5500K
3000-5500K
3000-5500K
Approx. Lifespan
80,000 hrs
80,000 hrs
80,000 hrs 80,000 hrs
100,000 hrs
100,000 hrs
CRI+ Colour Rating 
95+
95+
95+ 95+
95+
95+
Power Cable Australian Plug
Australian Plug (Also UK, US & EU Available)
Australian Plug
Australian Plug (Also UK, US & EU Available)
Australian Plug (Also UK, US & EU Available)
Australian Plug (Also UK, US & EU Available)
Ring Light Diameter
13"/34cm
14"/34.5cm
19"/50cm
18"/44.5cm 19"/50cm 50cm
Dimmable Control Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Colour Temperature Control No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Luminance @1m
2600 LM
3000 LM
4200 LM
6000 LM 6000 LM 6000 LM
Attachable Mirror Yes – Included
Yes – Included
Yes – Included Yes – Included
Yes – Included
Yes - Included
200cm Light Stand Yes – Included
Yes – Included
Yes – Included Yes – Included
Yes – Included
Yes - Included
Phone Bracket Yes – Included
Yes – Included
Yes – Included Yes – Included
Yes – Included
Yes - Included
Camera Bracket Yes – Included
Yes – Included
Yes – Included
Yes – Included
Yes – Included
Yes - Included
Goose Neck No
No
No Yes - Included
Yes – Included
Yes- Included
Carry Bag Yes – Included
Yes – Included
Yes – Included Yes – Included
Yes – Included
Yes - Included
Diffuser Panels Yes – Included Yes - Built In Yes – Included Yes – Included
Yes - Built In
Yes - Included

 

SPECTRUM AURORA FIREFLY SELFIE PHONE RING LIGHT COMPARISON

 
SPECTRUM AURORA DIAMOND LUXE FIREFLY
SPECTRUM AURORA GOLD LUXE FIREFLY
Colour Temperature
Daylight White ONLY
Warm Orange, Daylight White, Warm Orange + Daylight White
Brightness Levels 3
3 for Warm Orange, 3 for Daylight White, 3 for Warm Orange + Daylight White
Luminance
40 LM
40 LM
Smartphone Compatibility
iPhone XS / X / 8 / 7/ 6s / 6s Plus / 6 /6 Plus / 5s / 5c / 5 / 4s / 4, Samsung Galaxy Series like Galaxy S6, S6 Edge Plus, Note 5, LG Phones, Moto, Huawei, HTC, Sony and other Phones.
iPhone XS / X / 8 / 7/ 6s / 6s Plus / 6 /6 Plus / 5s / 5c / 5 / 4s / 4, Samsung Galaxy Series like Galaxy S6, S6 Edge Plus, Note 5, LG Phones, Moto, Huawei, HTC, Sony and other Phones.
Physical Colour
Gold Rush, Winter White
Gold Rush, Winter White
Power Supply
USB Cable
USB Cable

 

THE NEW SPECTRUM AURORA RING LIGHT RANGE

spectrum aurora ring light range

 

As a general rule, the larger the area you want to light, the bigger the ring light you’ll need. If you’re just starting out, the Spectrum Aurora 14" LED Pro Ring Light Kit - Mini Pearl II is a budget-friendly choice, as well as being a compact size for travelling. MUA’s will find it great for lighting brows or lips.

 

spectrum aurora diamond luxe ring light

 

Photo booths require a larger, more powerful ring light like the Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe II Ring Light , which is also great for MUA’s and beauty professionals, as it provides flawlessly lit images that show off your work to the best advantage, as well as keeping the colours true to life

 

spectrum aurora gold luxe ii ring light

The Spectrum Aurora 19" Gold Luxe II Ring Light certainly doesn’t come in cheap, but it’s an investment in your future. If you are looking to move up from entry-level or mid-range ring lights, then this is the one for you. It provides enough light to illuminate flat lays, and also to give shadowless light for interior design photographers, MUA’s, vloggers, social media influencers, portrait photographers, still life and food photographers etc.

 

CONCLUSION

 

As our Spectrum Aurora Ring Light comparison table shows, each ring light has different strengths and capabilities.

 

It will stand you well in the future if you buy the best ring light you can afford now, and one that will be powerful enough for your needs in a few years’ time without you having to buy a more powerful one.

 

At the end of the day, the type of ring light you choose will come down to personal preference and the type of photography or videography that you do, but hopefully, this ring light comparison will help make your decision easier.

 

Instagram

 



Top 5 Best Lighting Equipment For YouTube Videos

Why do you need your lighting for YouTube videos to look the best it can be?
 
There are several reasons:

  • Good lighting makes you look professional. If you want your audience to keep watching, you need to look like you know what you’re doing. Poor lighting doesn’t just make it hard to see, it gives a bad impression of your skills.
  • If you are demonstrating makeup or doing a tutorial, good lighting is essential for your viewers to see colours and techniques clearly.

  • You want to create a mood that is in line with your message. Different lighting styles and light intensity can give your audience subtle cues, and make them feel how you want them to.

  • Good lighting draws the viewer to what you want them to look at. Contrasty lighting can make people or objects stand out.

This article is going to look at the best lighting equipment to help you create perfect, professional YouTube lighting that will keep your viewers watching time after time – even if you are a complete beginner.

1. Softbox Lighting


Softboxes are translucent boxes that come in different shapes and sizes, and they fit over a studio light.

A softbox is a great tool for YouTube lighting, because they diffuse and filter the harsh glare from the lightbulb inside them. This gives a soft, even and mostly shadowless light on your subject.

Most softbox kits such as the Spectrum ‘Illuminate Mate’ Double Rectangle Softbox Lighting Kit come with two softboxes, so you can position one on each side of your subject for even lighting. These large softboxes are perfect for covering larger areas, and you can add ringlights to your lighting equipment setup for even more control.

If you want a softbox kit with dimmable lights, the Spectrum 'Kreator Kit' Double Rectangle Dimmable LED 3000-6500k Softbox Bi Coloured Lighting comes with three different lighting options: warm, white and daylight lighting temperatures, so you can match your lighting to the mood you wish to convey in your video. This lighting kit also comes with a handy remote control, so you can adjust the lighting without moving from your spot!

Lighting Equipment List

To use softboxes in your YouTube lighting setup, here’s what you’ll need:

 

  • Softboxes (two is best to start with)

  • Light stands – these are sturdy, adjustable stands that hold your lights and softboxes safely so they don’t fall over.

  • Lights – you need continuous lighting for shooting video. Choose from LED panels or tungsten bulbs.

How to Set Up Your Lighting Equipment 

To get the best, most professional-looking YouTube lighting, you’ll need to know how to set up your lighting equipment.

A good, basic starting point is to have your subject in the middle of the two lights, which should be placed at a slight angle – think of a shallow triangle, with your subject at the head, and the two lights each forming the other point. Here’s a diagram:


 

This is just a guide, but this should ensure your subject is lit from the front and sides evenly.

Approx. Cost

A good, basic kit with all you need costs from between $200-300 AUD

2. Ring Lighting



This style of YouTube lighting is the go-to setup for beauty and makeup vloggers. The ring light is a lightbulb or panel that is created in a ring shape, and it’s popular because it creates an even, flattering light all around your face. The shape of it also allows for you to point your camera directly through the centre of the ring to film.

Ring light kits such as the Spectrum Aurora 13" LED Pro Ring Light Kit - Mini Pearl, the Spectrum Aurora 19" LED Ring Light Kit - Diamond Luxe V1, and the Spectrum Aurora 19" LED Ring Light Kit - Gold Luxe contain all the lighting equipment you need to get started.

Lighting Equipment List

 

  • A ring light (you can change the colour temperature of the lights by adding a snap-on filter).

  • A ring light stand. These stands will hold your ring light safely while you film, and some have adjustable goose necks so you can hold the light at the perfect angle for your subject.

  • Softboxes and lights for extra lighting. This is optional, as you can film with just a ring light, but for even, all round lighting you need extra softboxes to give light from the side or back.

How to Setup Your Lighting Equipment

If you have a single ring light, you will need to place it directly in front of your subject’s face, so it casts an even light over the whole face. Don’t have the ring light too far away from your subject.

For a ring light and softbox setup, have the ring light directly in front of the subject as above, but add two softboxes – one on each side, like in the diagram below:



 

Approx. Cost

Between $200-400 AUD

3. LED Lighting

LED panels like the Spectrum Crystal Luxe 9" Dimmable LED Side Fill Light (3200-5500k), and the Yongnuo YN300 Air Double Colour Adjustable Professional Video LED Light Kit are quickly becoming very popular for YouTube lighting setups.

They consist of a single panel with lots of individual LED bulbs set into it. They are very easy to set up and take down, and can be easily transported. They also have the advantage of staying cool (which tungsten lights do not!) while you’re using them, which is a big bonus.

Lighting Equipment List

 

  • Two LED light panels.

  • Modifiers. LED light panels are best used with a lighting modifier, such as a softbox.

  • Two light stands. These are needed to safely hold the light panels while you shoot, and can be adjusted to different heights.
How to Setup Your Lighting Equipment

If you have a kit with two LED panels, the best way to light is to do the same setup as you would for a two-softbox kit. (see diagram in the Softbox section).

Approx. Cost

Between $200-400 AUD

4. 3 Point Lighting (Ring Light and LED Lighting)




A good setup for YouTube lighting is called “3-point lighting”, because it’s made up of three lights – the main light, the fill light and the background light.

 

  • The main (key) light – This light should be stronger than the two other ones, and the one that points directly at your subject’s face, just above eye level.

  • The fill light – this light fills in any harsh shadows left by the key light, to give a more pleasing look.

  • The background light – point this light towards your background, and you will get some light that separates your subject from what’s behind them.

The ring light would be your main light, and the LED panels the fill and background light. The Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe Ring Light 3 Point LED 'YouTube Pro Kit', the Spectrum Aurora 13" Mini Pearl Complete Studio Ring Light Softbox Kit, the Spectrum Aurora 19" Diamond Luxe Complete Make Up and Beauty Studio Ring Light Softbox Lighting Kit and the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe Pro Ring Light 3 Point Crystal Luxe LED Youtube Kit contain all the lights you need to create professional 3-point YouTube lighting.

Lighting Equipment List

 

  • Main light – ring light

  • Fill light – LED panel (or Softbox)

  • Background light – LED panel or (Soft box)

  • Light stands

    How to Setup Your Lighting Equipment

    This diagram below shows how to set up 3-point lighting:




    Approx. Cost

    Between $300-$800 AUD

    5. Natural Lighting (With a Reflector)

     

    Natural lighting is a simple way to get good video lighting (and it’s free!). Use a window as your key light – the biggest window you have that doesn’t get direct sunlight. It creates a beautiful light that wraps around your subject naturally, especially if the glass is frosted.

    Lighting Equipment List

    How to Setup Your Lighting Equipment 

     

    Set up your camera close to the window, and position your reflector so that it bounces back the window light to fill the shadow areas on your subject’s face:

     

    Approx. Cost

    Less than $30

    Conclusion

    It’s not as hard as you think to create professional YouTube lighting for your high-quality videos. Here’s a few extra tips to help you make your videos the best they can be:

    • Get rid of any and all shadows on your subject’s face for a professional look

    • Spend some time preparing your shoot, and have all your lighting set up and ready to go before you begin

    • Watch out for glasses glare! Glasses have an unfortunate tendency to catch the lights, resulting in reflections in the lenses. This can usually be fixed by moving either the lights or the subject so that you can no longer see reflections in the glasses.

    Why Social Media Influencers Are Using A Phone Selfie Ring Light

    Why are social media influencers using a phone selfie ring light? The simple answer is that it gives a beautiful, flattering and professional lighting setup for both images and video shot on a phone camera.

     

    Advances in technology mean that the photos from bloggers and social media influencers are better than ever before, and this means that the bar is being raised constantly in picture quality.

     

    It’s not enough these days to simply use natural light or your phone camera flash to create images that are both eye-catching and professional-looking – you need to follow the lead of the social media influencers and start using a phone selfie ring light.

    WHAT IS A PHONE SELFIE RING LIGHT? what is a phone selfie ring light?

    For those of you who aren’t aware, it is a circular LED light that fits around your phone’s camera lens.

     

    Why should you consider using one? Because, much like a traditional DSLR ring flash, it gives you beautifully, evenly lit images on your mobile phone without any harsh shadows or dark areas, which have always been a problem with built-in mobile phone camera flashes.

    WHICH ONE SHOULD I CHOOSE?

    which selfie ring light should you chose?

     Credit: Lana Tarek  /  Instagram / @lanatarekbrows

     

    There are different colours of LED lights available to match the light temperature to the best one for your subject. For instance, the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe Firefly phone selfie ring light is fully adjustable from cool to warm light temperatures and is ideal for low-light situations. Whereas the Spectrum Aurora Diamond Luxe Firefly ring light gives three levels of brightness with LED lights that mimic daylight. We have constructed a comparison below to help you see the differences between these two models of phone selfie ring lights.

     

     

    Spectrum Aurora Diamond Luxe  Phone Selfie Ring Light

    Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe Phone Selfie  Ring Light

    Colour Temperature

    Daylight White ONLY

    Warm Orange, Daylight White, Warm Orange + Daylight White

    Brightness Levels

    3

    3 for Warm Orange, 3 for Daylight White, 3 for Warm Orange + Daylight White

    Luminance

    40 Lumens

    40 Lumens

    Smartphone Compatibility

    iPhone XS / X / 8 / 7/ 6s / 6s Plus / 6 /6 Plus / 5s / 5c / 5 / 4s / 4, Samsung Galaxy Series like Galaxy S6, S6 Edge Plus, Note 5, LG Phones, Moto, Huawei, HTC, Sony and other Phones.

     

    iPhone XS / X / 8 / 7/ 6s / 6s Plus / 6 /6 Plus / 5s / 5c / 5 / 4s / 4, Samsung Galaxy Series like Galaxy S6, S6 Edge Plus, Note 5, LG Phones, Moto, Huawei, HTC, Sony and other Phones.

     

    Physical Colour

    Gold OR White

    Gold OR White

    Power Supply

    USB Cable

    USB Cable

     

    This makes both phone selfie ring lights suitable for a wide range of applications in many different lighting situations.

     

    The Firefly lights are widely used by bloggers, social media influencers, cosmetic technicians and food photographers to light up their subjects in a continuous, even light. Pretty cool, huh?

    HOW IS IT USED?

    There’s a wide variety of uses for the phone selfie ring light:

    1. MAKEUP SHOTS AND MAKEUP APPLICATION

    using a phone selfie ring light for makeup application and photography

    You can use the ring light to help you apply makeup in poor light conditions, and also for creating that flawless beauty shot afterwards. Ring lights also give your subjects lovely circular catchlights in their eyes (the reflection of the light in the iris of the eyes).

    2. ‘FOODIE’ PHOTOGRAPHY 

    using a ring light for foodie photography

     

    Food bloggers can use Spectrum Firefly for taking the perfect art shot of their meal. You can even take the ring light out and about, as it’s small enough to fit in a handbag or pocket, and simply clips onto your phone when you need it.

    3. BEAUTY AND EYE SPECIALISTS

    ring light for beauty and eye specialists

    Credit: Emma / Instagram / @aestically.luxe

     

    Lash or eyebrow technicians can use the lights for taking those all-important ‘after’ images.

    4. SELFIES OR GROUP SHOTS

    phone selfie ring light for selfies or group shots

    Credit: Jasmin Shojai / Instagram / @jasminshojaimodel

     

    This is what the phone selfie ring light was invented for, after all!

    5. FACEBOOK LIVE OR INSTAGRAM FEED

    using a ring light for facebook live or instagram feed

    Use Spectrum Firefly for your Facebook live or Instagram feed. It makes a great light for video as well as still photography. The growing popularity of video content on social media has made good lighting a must when creating videos.


    6. FLAT LAYS 

    how to use a ring light on your phone for flat lay photosflat lay photography with ring lighting

     

    Use in your E-commerce work for flat lay images. The Spectrum Firefly will give your products an even light and help highlight the small details.

    WELL, HERE WE ARE!

    using a phone selfie ring light for social media blogging

    The ring light has taken the world of social media content production by storm, and the phone selfie ring light has brought the power of the ring light within reach of everyone.

     

    It may seem dramatic to claim that ring lights can transform your images, and of course, they won’t make a bad photo good, but the truth is that these lights really do lift a well-composed image to the next level.

    Why not try one out and see for yourself?


    Professional MUA Essentials: Creating Tutorials Using A Ring Light With Stand

    When you’re considering in creating MUA tutorials, it’s essential to have the equipment that will help you create professional-looking tutorials to showcase your talents. Let’s look at why and how you should be creating your tutorials with a ring light with stand.

     

    Why Use a Ring Light?

     

    creating tutorials with a ring light and a stand

     

    Ring lights are perfect for makeup tutorials, because they cast an even, gentle light that removes shadows on the face.

     

    what is a ring light and why does it benefit you?

    There are ring lights with adjustable brightness, like the Spectrum Aurora 19” Diamond Luxe Ringlight, which gives flawless, continuous and flicker-free lighting so you can accurately see the colours you are applying without awkward shadows getting in the way.

     

    video tutorials used with ring light with flexible stand

    The ring light’s goose neck and light stand is fully adjustable, allowing you to place the ring light exactly at the angle you want it.

    getting the perfect picture of your makeup with a ring light with stand

     

    This ring light is daylight balanced, to help you avoid unnatural colour casts, and if you wish to warm the light temperature up (for instance to suit darker complexions without the skin looking washed out), you can add snap-on filters to give the light a warmer glow.

    photography with ring light stand

     

    If you don’t want to mess around with filters, you can get the Spectrum Aurora 19” Gold Luxe Ring light, which allows you to adjust to the colour temperature that you require, from daylight balanced through to warm orange with just a turn of knob – this is the main difference in controls between the two lights.

     

    This ring light also has adjustable brightness control so you can adjust it to suit the brightness of the place you are creating your tutorial in. Again, it comes with an adjustable ring light stand that is fully portable and sturdy.

     

    Do I Really Need a Proper Stand?

     

    vlogs with ring light with adjustable stand

     

    “Yes” is the short answer! You can’t just prop your ring light up against a wall or book – not if you want it to give you the best light you can get. An adjustable ring light stand is essential to get the best out of your light, and also to hold it safely without the risk of it toppling over.

     

    ring light with a stand is the best way for mua to display their makeup

     

    A ring light with stand can be adjusted to any height, and you also have the option of adjusting it so the light is shining straight down. A desktop option is also available that can be placed on your dressing table or desk here.

     

    You may be tempted to follow one of the many tutorials out there on making your own DIY ring light, but however good they may seem, they are a false economy as they are just not up to scratch, and you will end up with disappointing results and a less-than-stellar tutorial.

     

    I Want My Tutorials to Look Amazing!

     

    creating the best tutorial with a ring light

     

    A ring light with stand is brilliant and essential tools to have, but for the most visually amazing tutorials, why not go for broke and buy a complete “3-point” lighting kit? (“3-point” means there are 3 lighting sources and in this case it’s the Spectrum Aurora ring light and the 2 Spectrum soft boxes”)

     

    Softboxes are great at providing even, diffused light, and if you place one of the lights in the softboxes to one side of you, and one at the other with the ring light in the middle, you’ll have the most even and beautiful lighting for video or photography.

     

    a ring light with a stand can help capture the best picture of your subject

     

    The Spectrum Aurora 19” Diamond Luxe Complete Makeup and Beauty Ring Softbox Lighting Kit includes the Diamond Luxe Ringlight, plus two Rectangle Softboxes.

     

    This type of “triangular” lighting is often used in beauty tutorials. If you always remember to form a triangle with your lights - put yourself and the ring light in the centre, with the softboxes to the side at an angle to form a triangle (bit of unintentional poetry there!) you’ll master this lighting style in no time.

     

    The lights in the kit are all balanced at 5500K, meaning that there will be no ugly colour casts on your video or images.

     

    The heavy-duty ring light stand also has a mounting bracket for your camera or phone, so you can shoot directly through the centre of the ring light for a flawless beauty look every time.

     

    What About the Tutorial Itself?

     

    ring light with a stand can help you see your makeup in clear light

    If you’re new to creating MUA tutorials, there are a few things to remember other than lighting.

     

    1. Planning

    vlog planning with a ring light

     

    Plan what you are going to do and say before you start filming, so that you always look like you know exactly what you are doing. Download video planning template HERE and a story board template HERE. Determine whether you would like to film with a camera or smart phone. Smart phones are great for beginners and are convenient especially for traveling. It’s really helpful to explain why you are doing something, as it helps your viewers gain a deeper level of understanding. It can also help to explain any possible mistakes that could happen when applying makeup, and how to fix them.

     

    This is just skimming the surface of how to create a tutorial, but I’ll leave you with one last tip that I’m sure you all follow anyway – make sure your makeup brushes are clean and that your fingernails are too – ring lights show up the smallest details, (which is one reason why they are so popular with beauty vloggers) so be sure they are details that you want your audience to see!

     

    2. Audio

     

    portrait photography with a ring light with a stand

    How is your audio sounding? You can have great lighting, but if your sound is letting you down, you should consider upgrading to the best mic you can afford such as the Boya lapel microphone. You’ll also need to remember to speak up, and keep the volume of your voice consistent throughout.

     

    • Audience Engagement

     

    To keep your audience engaged, you’re going to have to do more than just apply makeup and style your hair. You need to be able to entertain, so keep the dialogue going when filming or practice beforehand. If you already have a following on Instagram or Facebook you can check your insights and find out the demographic and age of your audience. Also you can check your followers and who they’re following to find out their interests.  This way, you can determine the tone and content that is appropriate for your audience.

     

    3. Editing

     

    capturing the perfect image with ring light stand

     

    If you’re using a smart phone, there is a lot of good quality apps which is especially great for beginners. These can range from free to $5 USD. One free app which has raving reviews is called Inshot that is available for iPhone and Android phones. If you’re using a desktop computer, apps such as iMovie or Adobe Premiere are super user friendly and have many editing options such as cutting, filters, frame transitions and many more.

     

    When selecting music, it needs to fit the theme of your brand and your audience. Popular ways to find free music is by searching “copyright free” music on Youtube. There are thousands to choose from. Another popular option with a wider range of music is called Epidemic Sound. It’s easy to use interface and quality music is worth doing a free 30 day free trial ( after the 30 days it’s a small fee of $11 USD per month to download and use the music).

     

    …And there you have it! 

    There are many ways you can level up your vlogging or blogging game by playing around with your ring light with stand – you’ll soon learn to master it and maximise its potential.-

    The improvement in lighting quality will hopefully bring many more views and likes your way. One last thing – practice, practice and practice some more before going live so that your tutorials are as flawless as your makeup and hair!




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