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Perfecting your video conferencing set-up might seem like a lot of work, but poor lighting can cast a shadow on even the most well-prepared video calls, making you look tired and washed out.
In every video conference, you want to look vibrant and professional. After all, you could be meeting a client, your boss, or a new business partner. To help you put your best face forward, we've curated a list of the best lighting for video conferencing and a few simple tips.
By the end of this article, you'll have a list of the 7 best lighting options for video conferencing and the know-how to set them up for a flattering effect. Read our guide to video conferencing for more.
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From ring lights to desk lamps, clip-on lights, portable lights, and light bars, there are many options to choose from when looking for home office set up ideas.
Here's our selection of the 7 best lighting options for video conferencing:
Whellen Selfie Ring Light is an easy-to-use clip-on light. This ring light attaches directly to your phone making it the best selfie light for video conferencing. It's also rechargeable via USB, so you don't have to worry about batteries. It has three levels of brightness and three color temperatures: warm light, cold light and warm-cold light, which can be adjusted with a simple touch.
Lume Cube is a small, powerful, and portable light. It's USB-rechargeable with up to 14 hours of battery life. This can be mounted directly onto your computer monitor, or you can attach it to a stand. It has a built-in diffuser so you can get soft, even light. You can also adjust the brightness from a range of 1% to 100% and change the color temperature from warm to cool making, giving you the right kind of professional lighting for video conferencing at home.
The Pixel GOs Zoom Light is suited for those who don't have much space on their desk. It's small and lightweight, with a fully adjustable stand from 5″ to 16″. Made from aluminum alloy, this desk light is portable. It comes with a built-in frosted lens and a white diffuser. You can also choose from a wide range of color temperatures and brightness levels.
With 352 LEDs, the Neewer 20-inch LED Ring Light Kit comes with a rechargeable battery and USB port. The stand is adjustable from 90cm to 2 meters and has a strong base. Extra accessories that come with it include a phone holder which lets you go hands-free if you're attending a video conference on your phone. The color temperature ranges from 3200K to 5600K.
The Logitech Litra Glow Premium LED Streaming Light comes with a USB-C cable, compatible with USB-C and USB-A ports. The three levels of brightness (high, medium, and low) can be adjusted with a simple touch. The soft-white light gives you a natural light for video conferencing.
The Hioume light bar can be used with any laptop or monitor with a USB port. It's lightweight and portable, making it easy to take with you on business trips. Best suited for monitors up to 24 inches, it comes with a white diffuser to soften the light. It has 10 dimming brightness levels. The light bar eliminates reflective glare off the screen so it only illuminates your desk which makes it the best monitor light for video conferencing.
The Hanerdun Bright LED USB Lamp Light comes with a 180-degree flexible goose-neck, so you can position it in any way that's comfortable for you. This is a reading-style laptop light that's ideal for those who want a USB light for video conferencing. It plugs into a standard USB port and doesn't require any batteries. The LED light is flicker-free and has touch-sense adjustable brightness levels.
The most flattering light for video conferencing is soft, diffused light so your face looks evenly lit. There are three types of lighting that you can use to achieve this:
Let's see how they're different and how you can use them to get the best lighting for video conferencing.
Sitting near a window during a video call will give you the best natural light for video conferencing. The daylight will brighten up your face and make you look more awake.
Be sure to face the window because having the light source behind you will cause a glare for others in the call. If the light is too bright for you, slightly close the curtains or adjust the blinds to diffuse it.
Light bulbs give off a brighter light than natural light, so they're ideal for those who want a well-lit face during a video call. The best light bulbs for video conferencing are LED bulbs because they don't produce as much heat as other types of bulbs. They also come in a range of color temperatures, so you can choose one that complements your skin tone.
3-point lighting is a type of professional lighting that's often used for big events, webinars, and webcast set ups. It uses three light sources:
Each light is usually placed on a stand so it can be moved around easily. This kind of lighting is not often used for video conferencing because it requires a lot of space and professional equipment.
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Factors like color, brightness, and position of your light source can impact how you look in a virtual meeting. But you don't need to be an expert to get it right. Just follow these steps:
Let’s take a look at these factors in detail.
The position of your desk, camera, and light sources can impact the quality of your video. If possible, set up your desk so that you're facing a window. This will give you the best natural light for video conferencing. If your desk is away from the window, you'll want to use an artificial light source to help illuminate your face.
Positioning your light source at eye level, or at a 45-degree angle will create the most flattering light for video conferencing (and help you avoid the dreaded "double chin" effect). The goal is to avoid having any harsh shadows on your face.
When a natural light source isn't an option, you’ll need artificial solutions to get the best lighting for video conferencing. If you take video calls at home or in an office, you can use a ring light, clip-on light, desk lamp, or light bar.
If you host large hybrid events, you might consider 3-point lighting, where three professional lights are positioned around the room to create even, flattering light for photography, and filming. The key is to find the lighting solution that works best for you, your space, and your budget (more on this below).
Lights like bright white LEDs or fluorescent bulbs can be harsh and unflattering on video. Instead, look for light bulbs with a warmer color temperature. These "soft white" bulbs will help create a more natural look on video.
Avoid yellow or "candle light" bulbs, as these can make you look pale on camera. Similarly, bright colors like red or blue can cast an eerie glow on video and make it difficult to see your face.
Temperature is the measure of how warm or cool a light source appears. This is measured in Kelvin (K). For example, lights with yellow, orange, or red tint are considered "warm" lights and can make you look flushed on camera. These have a color temperature of 2700K-3000K.
At the other end of the spectrum are "cool" lights with a blue or white tint. These have a color temperature range of 3300-5300K or higher and can make you look washed out on video.
The best light temperature for video conferencing is a "daylight" or "natural" white which has a balance of cool and warm tones. This type of light will have a temperature of around 6500K. Some light bulbs will even have a "daylight" or "natural white" setting.
A cluttered background can be distracting. If you don't have a tidy space to set up your camera, you can use a virtual background. The best virtual meeting platforms let you add a professional looking background or blurr your current surroundings.
Online meeting software like Livestorm offers a library of 100+ best virtual backgrounds to choose from. You can also upload your own image or video as a virtual background. This is a great option if you want to add some personality to your video call or hide any mess in the background.
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Once your room is set up, test everything out so you can avoid any stressful or last-minute scrambling during your meeting.Open up your video conferencing software to do a test call and adjust your lighting or position as needed. You can even record yourself on a conferencing platform like Livestorm to see how you look on camera.
If you're looking for a simple, portable and easy-to-use solution, a clip-on light might be the best option for you. If you want something that's more versatile and can be used in different settings, a ring light might be a better choice.
Whichever lighting you choose, make sure it's flicker-free and has adjustable brightness levels to get the perfect lighting for video conferencing. And if you're looking for a video conferencing solution with a customizable virtual background Livestorm is the perfect choice.
Livestorm is a powerful, yet simple video conferencing software that comes with a wide range of features to make your video conferences more efficient and fun.
The best lighting for Zoom or Livestorm meetings is a ring light with color temperature controls that match the lighting of your room. This type of light is bright enough to illuminate your face evenly without being too harsh.
For Zoom (or even better, Livestorm) calls, your light should be in front of you so there are no shadows on your face. If the light is behind you, it will create a halo effect while casting a shadow on your face, which can be distracting for other people on the call.
For video calls, a light with a warm color temperature will make you look more natural on the call. A white light can be too harsh and make you look like you're under a spotlight.
Professional lighting for video conferencing at home can be beneficial if you want to look your best on calls. However, it's not a necessity. You can achieve good lighting for video conferencing with a few well-placed lamps or by facing towards a window.
Ring lights and circular lights are the same things. They use ring-shaped bulbs to emit an even light. Ring lights are often used in photography and videography to create a flattering light on the subject's face.