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Adjust Video Brightness: 3 Best Ways to Brighten Your Videos

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Last Updated: Feb. 05, 2021

Having ideal lighting is essential for video making.

However, in reality, due to the gloomy weather and low budget, you often end up with video footage, either too dark or way overexposed to be used.

That's why it’s so vital to adjust video brightness in post-production.

So, in the post, we will walk you through 3 of the best ways to make dark videos brighter and clear with a free online video lighting editor and apps on android and iPhone and pro video editing software as well, plus 2 inspirational bonus tips.

Content:

Adjust Video Brightness with Free Online Video Lighting Editor--FlexClip

To newbies of video editing, using FlexClip, a free and versatile video lighting editor, to adjust video brightness online is an efficient and worry-free option of all time.

Brighten a video with FlexClip video lighting editor

Best Features of FlexClip Online Video Lighting Editor:

  • No software download needed
  • Move sliders to adjust the brightness, contrast, and hue of a video in seconds
  • 1,000,000+ royalty-free stock assets, 1,000+ expertly-designed video templates, vast free music library, cinematic filters, video transitions, animated text, dazzling visual effects, etc.
  • Both an easy-to-use storyboard interface and timeline editing interface are available for everyone.
  • So, let’s find out how to brighten your video with FlexClip in detail.

    Adjust Video Brightness with FlexClip

    Step 1
    Upload the Video to FlexClip Online Editor

    Open the "Adjust Video Brightness" tool of FlexClip, and drag and drop your clips from your local computer to FlexClip video editor.

    Just drag and drop your video here to upload it

    Just drag and drop your video here to upload it

    Step 2
    Adjust the Video Brightness

    After your video is loaded, the “adjustment” menu will be activated on the left side of the video. So, you can easily move the slider of ‘exposure’, ‘contrast’, ‘brightness’, and ‘shadow’ and ‘highlights’ to the right to brighten the dark video.

    Adjust video brightness with FlexClip video lighting editor

    Adjust video brightness with FlexClip video lighting editor

    Once you are satisfied with the effect, click on the ‘export button’ to export it in MP4 (1080p) or animated gif to your computer. That’s it. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

    Insider Tips
    As you increase the exposure of the video, the highlight of the original video starts to lose its details and becomes too washed out. So, do pull it slightly.
    To achieve the best result, a useful trick is first to bring the brightness slider down a little bit to add more black in the video, then work slowly to retrieve the right exposure by dragging the exposure button.

    Apart from adjusting video brightness, the versatile FlexClip video editor also promises you more eye-catching editing features for free of use, check the 2-min video tutorial to discover more.

    Discover more editing features of FlexClip video editor

    Use Apps to Adjust Video Brightness on Android and iPhone

    If you shot the video with your cellphone, then using apps to lighten a video on iPhone or Android makes things much easier for instant sharing right away.

    We handpicked and tested 3 popular video brightness editor apps for you and hopefully, you will love using them.

    FilmoraGo (available to IOS and Android)

    Filmorago is a user-friendly app that works both on IOS and Android system to brighten an underexposed video on your mobile phone. It also offers you powerful in-built templates, music, stickers, and other editing tools.

    Brighten video with FilmoraGo

    Brighten video with FilmoraGo

    To brighten your video with FilmoraGo in 2 steps:

    Step 1
    Import your video
    Step 2
    Choose the "adjustments" button, then press the sun-like icon and drag the brightness slider to increase the exposure of the video.

    InShot (available to IOS and Android)

    Inshot is a popular video app, capable of trimming, blurring the background, adding music, text, and emoji, and tons of filters, etc. You can use its lightness tool to easily lighten a video on iPhone and Android.

    As an all-round app on a smartphone, including a video brightness feature, it enjoys great popularity and a high-quality video editing experience.

    Adjust the brightness of video with Inshot

    Adjust the brightness of video with Inshot

    To brighten your video with Inshot:

    Step 1
    Import your video
    Step 2
    Press the "adjust" button, choose the "lightness" icon then drag the lightness slider to achieve the effect you want. You may also fine-tune the contrast, warmth, tint, saturation, etc of your video.

    Videoleap (available to IOS and Android)

    Videoleap is a powerful video and slideshow editor. Not only can you use the basic video editing tools like trimming, cropping, but also customize layers, cinematic composition and play with the fonts and filters.

    Lighten video with Videoleap

    Lighten video with Videoleap

    To adjust brightness level on video with Videoleap:

    Step 1
    Add your video to the media library
    Step 2
    Find the "Brightness" button at the bottom, then adjust the slider to either brighten or darken the video.

    Use Pro Video Editing Software to Adjust Video Brightness

    For more advanced editing features and the full control of adjusting the brightness, contrast, and hue, and saturation of your video, then Adobe Premiere Pro and Camtasia would be the ultimate choice for you.

    The only drawback would be that both two software are not free and occupy tons of space on your local disk and it also takes quite a while for you to learn to use it. So, they are more suitable for the avid V-bloggers and filmmakers.

    Brighten Your Video with Adobe Premiere Pro

    Brighten the video with Adobe Premiere Pro

    Brighten the video with Adobe Premiere Pro

    Brighten your video with Adobe Premiere Pro in 3 steps:

    Step 1
    Choose the video clip you want to brighten.
    Step 2
    Then click on the "Effect Control" window on the left from the top.
    Step 3
    Choose the "Brightness" option and drag the slider to brighten your video.

    Lighten Dark Videos with Camtasia

    brighten the video with Camtasia

    brighten the video with Camtasia

    Brighten a Video with Camtasia in 3 steps:

    Step 1
    Choose the clip you want to brighten
    Step 2
    Right-click and choose Add Effects> Visual Effects > Color Adjustment
    Step 3
    Now, you can change the brightness, contrast, and saturation of your video. Look for more options? Check for 5 Best Free Video Editing Software.
    Insider Tips
    In fact, for most of the video editing software, there will be an " effect panel" in which the "brightness and contrast" control button can be found. So, no worries.

    Two Bonus Tips to Adjust Video Brightness of a Video

    Well, in reality sometimes even if you increase the brightness of your video, the overall effect remains unsatisfactory.

    That is largely because you fail to look at your video as a whole and ignore the underlying rules that govern the hue, saturation, and brightness (luminance), etc. in your video.

    So, before you brighten or darken your video, keep the following two pieces of advice in mind:

    Brighten the Video by Thinking as a Whole

    Is a brighter video always better than a dark video? Well, it depends. If your videos are made to convey the feeling of hope and peace, positivity, and love and happiness, etc, then a brighter video with warmer ambient light does fit in.

    Video with bright lighting

    Video with bright lighting expresses hope and harmony (source from Hideaki Hamada)

    Conversely, if your clips are created to heighten the mood of loneliness, fear, honor, etc. Then, it would be absurd to show up the details of messy shadows and brighten the gloomy clouds.

    Meanwhile, highlight, mid-tone, and shadow are an integral part of an image and video. Because of their fine combination, you can sense an object in 3 dimensional way. So, shadows aren't always the enemy of brightness. They live side by side, harmoniously.

    Different lighting creates different images of the same object

    Different lighting creates different images of the same object.

    So, as you brighten a video, do think of the bigger picture than a few isolated clips.

    Balance the Hue, Saturation, and Brightness in Your Video

    The Basics You Should Know:

  • Hue: different categories of colors, such as red, blue, green, cyan, pink, yellow, purple, etc.
  • Saturation: vibrancy or of colors, how rich your color is, say from black and white to natural and over-saturated colors.
  • Brightness(or luminance): how bright or dark your video or image is.
  • HSL in adjusting video brightness

    HSL in adjusting video brightness

    In reality, the tricky thing is that as you adjust any of these three elements in your video, the other 2 elements will automatically change.

    Normally, as you increase the brightness or exposure of your video, the video would become less saturated and the details of your highlights will be gone. You end up with an overexposed video that has little taste and character.

    While you darken your video, the video would be much saturated and looks oily and filthy and whereas the highlight starts to reveal more details and the hue remains unchanged.

    Adjust video brightness without overexposing the highlights

    Adjust video brightness without overexposing the highlights

    So, we do recommend that as you adjust the video brightness, do keep an eye on the subtle change of hue, saturation, and contrast of your video.

    In many cases, to get a balanced brightness change, you need to bring down the brightness and then slowly pull up the exposure and adjust saturation accordingly. Only by thinking of the video, theme, mood, etc. as a whole, can you find the appropriate brightness of the video.

    The Bottom Line

    Adjusting video brightness, either brighten or darken the video, is a crucial step for video post-production. For beginners, it’s highly recommended to use a free online video lighting editor FlexClip to lighten a video in minutes.

    If you love shooting videos with iPhone, then 3 of the recommended video brightness editor apps shall do the job. While for advanced users, just go for the adobe premiere pro.

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