Home Improvements

Set up the Best Lighting for Video Conferencing

The Covid pandemic saw a boom in video conferencing, and even though the world has opened up again, it’s not going anywhere. With 78% of employees using video calls for meetings, they’re officially a permanent fixture of many people’s work and personal lives.

Video conferencing technology is amazing, but the camera quality usually isn’t very good. This means you’ve got to give it all the help you can, by making sure you are well lit. But good lighting also makes a difference in your work: it helps you appear more professional, engaging, and approachable. 

Keep reading to learn some tips and tricks for setting up the best lighting for video conference calls.

Desk with a laptop and iPad displaying a video conference call. The lamp on the desk isn't creating enough light for video conferencing.

Choose the right location

When setting up for your video conference, it’s essential to select the right location. Find a spot in your home or office that is quiet and free from distractions. 

It’s best to choose a location where you have some control over the light source. Never set up with a window directly behind or next to you, as this bright light makes you appear in darkness. 

Over the shoulder shot of someone with a video call open on their laptop and a book open beside it.

Use natural light when possible

Whenever possible, use natural light as your primary source of lighting. Natural light is flattering and helps to create a warm, inviting atmosphere. 

If you’re working during the day, it’s best if the window or light source is in front of you (behind the computer). This will provide a soft, even light that will enhance your appearance. 

The only problem with natural light as a source is that you’re limited. If it’s dark and overcast, or you have the occasional late call with a colleague or client in another time zone, you don’t want to be overly dependent on natural light. So, even though natural lighting is ideal, it shouldn’t be the only source of light you consider. 

Woman sitting on a couch in a room with good natural lighting. Natural light is the best lighting for video conferencing.

Invest in a good lighting setup

A good lighting setup means buying lights for the purpose of video conferencing, rather than using lamps you’ve found around the house. You don’t have to break the bank to find a quality lighting system. 

Ring lights, for example, can be an affordable and effective option. They provide a soft, even light that will illuminate your face and make you appear more polished. You can also look into powerful desk lamps and other small but compact (and portable!) light sources. 

Sound booth with a ring light above the microphone.

Use multiple light sources

To achieve the best lighting for video conferencing, use multiple light sources. This helps create a more natural, balanced look.

For example, you might use a ring light or softbox as your primary light source, and then add a secondary light source, such as a lamp or overhead light, to fill in any shadows. 

This creates a more three-dimensional look, which is more appealing to the eye and makes you come across more clearly in your video. 

The only problem with multiple light sources is an excess of wires. It can make the space feel cluttered and disorganised. Hire an electrician to help you streamline your wire management!

Woman on a conference call. She has natural light coming from the window in front of her, and overhead lighting from light fixtures above her. This is good lighting for video conferencing.

Adjust the colour temperature

When setting up your lighting, make sure to adjust the colour temperature to match the ambient light in the room. The colour temperature of your lighting affects the overall mood and tone of your video. 

You want to avoid using lighting that is too warm or too cool, as this can make your appearance appear unnatural. A colour temperature of around 5500K is generally considered the best for video conferencing.

Boy at a desk in a dark room on a video call. He has adjusted his computer screen brightness to create good lighting for video conferencing, because the video of him on the computer is clear.

Getting the Best Lighting for Video Conferencing

Setting up the best lighting for video conferencing doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. By selecting the right location, using natural light when possible, investing in a good lighting setup, using multiple light sources, and adjusting the colour temperature, you can create a professional and engaging video presence that will help you communicate more effectively with others. 

Next time you have a virtual meeting, take some time to set up your lighting and see what a difference it can make.

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