Over the course of the last decade or so, streaming has exploded into the mainstream with hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world putting their unique spin on popular content. Apart from a great personality, a streamer also requires a basic set of equipment such as a high-quality camera, a good microphone, and attractive LED lights. Lighting is key to set the ambiance and ensure that you look as good as possible on the camera.
You may be asking yourself what LED lights do streamers use? If so, then the answer lies in a basic understanding of the lighting setup required. You can’t get good lighting with just one source of light after all.
There are many different types of lights and lighting setups such as a key light, fill light and 3-point lighting, loop lighting, backlighting, and so on. Each light has a specific purpose similar to different setups and is often used even if there is more than enough natural light available as it makes the content look more professional and produced.
To figure out the best LED lights for streaming, you need to first have a basic understanding of the above.
What LED Lights Do You Need for Streaming?
Here are some of the most commonly used lights for streaming:
This is the main source of light that is always kept behind the camera. This light will illuminate the scene and bring you into focus as you will be closest to the source while streaming.
If you live in a compact space, a ring light would be ideal to use as you can place it easily behind your webcam without taking up much space.
With only a single source of light, you can’t avoid harsh shadows or glare on your face. To soften up the shadows, you will need what is called a fill light. It essentially fills in the shadows and eliminates the harshness of your key light.
Extra Light Source
This is required mostly if your room is very dark and devoid of natural light. If your room has a lot of light, you won’t need it at all but even if you get a decent amount of light, you can still benefit from having a third source of light. Make sure that this light isn’t as bright or intense as your key light, however.
LED Lighting Setups and Streaming
To get great lighting, you not only need the right type of lights but also need to know how to position them properly. The placement of the LED lights plays a very important role in how the light is distributed and therefore how good the scene looks.
This is one of the most commonly used lighting setups when it comes to streaming. Here your key light, fill light and the extra light is placed at an angle to one another to create an evenly lit scene without harsh shadows or glares.
Your key light will be behind the camera, the fill light at an angle to the key light, and the third light preferably behind you. The backlight is usually kept tilted to form clear contours.
A highly recommended 3-point lighting kit is the Mountdog, Available on Amazon.
This one is mostly used by beginners as it’s very easy to set up and doesn’t cost a lot. Here, the key light is kept to the side of your camera and slightly above your level. Depending on the amount of natural light in your room, you might have to use a fill light to soften the shadows.
Backlighting is used to create unique visuals rather than as the main light source. A lot of streamers use it to either illuminate objects or collectibles behind them or use an RGB strip lighting for setting up a gaming vibe. Another great use of backlighting is when you are using a green screen as you need it to be as evenly lit as possible.
Different LED Lights to Create Unique Lighting
There are many different types of LED lights today that can be used in very interesting ways for specific purposes. Here are some of them.
LED Soft Boxes
Softboxes are essentially light modifiers and used to soften harsh lighting. They use a transparent fabric kept over the lamp to create soft rays of light. These lights are big and will require a good amount of space.
They are divided into two categories namely key light and fill light. They are, however, more ideal as fill lights as they naturally provide soft light and minimal sharp shadows.
Bi-Color LED Lights
These lights come with adjustable lighting and multiple color temperature settings. These lights are handier for the experienced user who has a good understanding of how lighting and color temperature works.
It can be used by beginners too but getting their full potential out will be a bit difficult due to the lack of experience.
Here’s a great Bi-Color LED light on Amazon. It’s fairly inexpensive and has lot’s of positive reviews.
LED Ring Lights
These are shaped in the form of a ring and are compact. They come with small tripods or clips for positioning them on the surface as per your needs. They make excellent key light sources for streamers who are just starting out due to their affordability and compactness.
Lighting is an integral part of video content creation, whether it is for streaming games, reviewing movies, or creating makeup tutorials. It sets the mood and invites people to stay and watch. It can help you make the atmosphere more edgy, balanced, or intense.
While many lights come with traditional bulbs, LED lights are the best ones to use not only for safety purposes but also to conserve power and preserve our environment.
With a little bit of research, you can easily find the best LED lights for streaming suited for your specific needs and get started on your journey.