One of my biggest pieces of advice for people getting into video (or even doing virtual talks) is, “Have good lighting.” This will make you look better, and your webcam won’t have to work as hard, meaning a better picture. There are some simple solutions, but I wanted something a little more automated. Here’s what I’ve got!
I just recently updated this and I’m still experimenting, but I’m happy with how it’s turned out so far. More photos at the end of the blog post.
On the Desk
On the desk, “Behind the camera” are two key lights: one regular Key Light and one Key Light Air. They provide my primary lighting to make sure my face is well-lit. I like the Key Lights because they are wifi connected and I can control them from my Stream Deck.
They work super well together – I can control them in unison so that I have even lighting on either side. I can also temperature control the lights, making the lighting warmer or cool.
Improvement: I’d like to automate these lights a little more, like turn them on or off at a specific time, set them to specific settings when an app loads up and more. I’m working on setting up Home Bridge in my house soon!
Surrounding Area Lights
The stage right (my left) lights provide ambient light off-camera and make a big difference. They’re great for “changing” the setting/mood of the video, and I can adjust them based on the natural light that comes into office.
The stage left lights are actually behind me during the stream, and are more “mood” setting, but also provide back lighting so I’m not just a silhouette.
Finally, I have a box light behind me when I need a little extra back lighting. This is a Philips Hue color bulb. I’ll usually have that set to a white/whiteish light. The result is usually something like this:
Improvements and Optimizations
Like I said earlier, I’d like to automate the Key Lights a little bit more, either through Home Bridge or Keyboard Maestro.
I’d also like to find an ideal setting for the lights when I stream. Right now I’m just messing around and see what works. Finally, I need to adjust the lights behind me. Instead of giving a “glow” effect, they just kind of look blown out.
The Whole Shebang
If you’re interested in any of the lighting, here’s a Kit with everything. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below!