There is a huge difference between backlight and background light. Backlight is simply “illumination from behind.” Whatever the subject is, it’s literally taking a light and pointing it at the subject from behind. Having a really powerful backlight can result in creating a silhouette.
Background lighting is using light to illuminate your background. Virtually any light that is turned on in your background is a background lighting. Sometimes your background light can hit your talent or subject. A good practice is learning how to match those lighting scenarios to your backlight so your backlight is motivated. That helps the scene feel more real and less artificial.
Using both of these techniques will definitely help with creating more depth in your projects. Here are a few examples:
Hopefully this stops any confusion you may have had between backlighting and background lights. It seems simple enough but I’ve had a few people i’ve had to mention the difference to, so I thought this was a great topic for a post. Keeping it short and sweet