Whether you’re new to the game or an experienced YouTuber, you’ve probably realized the importance of lighting in your streams.
The right amount of light brings attention to your face and allows your audience to see your facial expressions and emotionally connect to you.
What Type of Light is Best For Streaming?
There are two types of light: hard light & soft light. The latter is considered a better option for streaming since they don’t create any hard shadows. Instead, they gently wrap around the object, making the additional lighting look fairly natural.
On the other hand, hard lights are highly focused on the object, leading to hard shadows. It makes the objects look highly saturated, and the light almost looks artificial and unappealing.
The hardness (or softness) of light depends on three major factors:
- Distance from the source: The closer the light is to the object, the softer it will be.
- Size of the light: The light from larger sources spreads over a larger area, making them softer.
- Angle: The angle of the light also decides whether it’s hard or soft. Lights with larger angles have lesser concentrations and will appear to be softer.
Considering the benefits of soft light and how it adds to visual appeal, it’s recommended that you only use soft lights for your streaming.
What Products Are Best For Soft Light?
Knowing that soft light should be used for lighting streaming videos isn’t enough. You also need to choose the right product that produces soft light for better performance.
There are three common types of light sources for soft light:
1. Soft Boxes
Softboxes use bulbs instead of LEDs to produce soft light. They’re mounted on tall stands and have a huge surface area. They work on the principle of diffusing light. Softboxes have a second layer of reflection called the umbrella reflector, which diffuses the light and makes it softer.
2. Ring Lights
Ring lights are trendy among video streamers and content creators. These lights use LEDs and are in the shape of a huge ring with a hollow center to place your camera.
The design allows the light to fall uniformly on your face while the camera captures it from the perfect angle to maintain a natural look. Some ring lights also have the option to change the color and temperature of the light.
3. LED Panels
LED panels have several tiny LEDs spread across an entire panel. Their working principle is very similar to ring lights. The only difference is that sometimes they also come with a removal diffuser that can soften the light further.
Which One to Choose?
All three of these lights come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. They each serve their best in certain situations, and you need to select the ideal light type for your streaming.
If you want the light to focus on your face, go for a ring light or LED panel. These types of lights work best when you have a smaller frame with the focus centered on you.
However, if you plan to create a larger frame with a green screen, go for a softbox. A softbox helps you distribute the light uniformly to create a well-lit video for high-quality streaming.
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks For Lighting For Streaming
- Best Overall: Dazzne Desk Mount LED Video Light Kit
- Runner Up: Elgato Key Light
- Alternative: YICOE Softbox Lighting Kit
- BEST STREAMING RING: Neewer Ring Light Kit
- RUNNER-UP STREAMING RING: Yoozon Selfie Ring Light
However, lighting a stream isn’t as simple as using a desk lamp or using sunlight from outside. Professional streamers know that the right live stream lighting setup can make or break a video’s success.
The best lighting for streaming is the Dazzne Mount Led Video Light Kit. It can mount directly on your desk and has customizable brightness and light temperature. This streaming light also features multiple user-friendly settings, which you can set for continual use.
The Studio Genie is dedicated to helping streamers and YouTubers or anyone looking to have their own home studio. The author, Felicity Martinez, have been helping out streamers and YouTubers for years.
The goal is to provide a free resource for anyone looking to build a quality home studio. The reviews below are a result of hours of research and analysis. We provided the pros and cons and ranked each product to help you make a quick decision.
QUICK OVERVIEW: Our Top Picks for Lighting for Streaming
Dazzne Desk Mount LED Video Light Kit
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Elgato Key Light
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YICOE Softbox Lighting Kit
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BEST STREAMING RING
Neewer Ring Light Kit
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RUNNER-UP STREAMING RING
Yoozon Selfie Ring Light
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In this stream lighting review guide, we look at the best lighting for streaming in 2021. We evaluate the pros and cons of each option so you can make an informed buying choice. We also discuss how you can set up your lights for the best overall effects.
So, let’s get into it!
Lighting for Streaming – Reviews & Recommendations For 2021
Best Overall: Dazzne Desk Mount LED Video Light Kit
The Dazzne Desk Mount LED Video Light Kit is the overall best lighting for Twitch streaming. It has a giant LED panel that measures 15.4 inches (39.1cm) across and delivers powerful LED light.
We love how adjustable the light is. You can control the brightness from 0-100% and also adjust the temperature. These settings allow you to create a mood and light level that brings your streaming sessions to life.
The light has a durable aluminum mount that can connect to your desk. It is suitable for desks that measure between 0.8 and 3.1 inches (2 and 8cm) and can sit directly behind your monitor.
The main disadvantage of this live stream lighting is its remote control. The settings are a bit touchy, so trying to make adjustments can be a challenge. Some users have also reported issues of one light randomly switching on without them touching the remote.
Additionally, the lights do not include any software, so you need to make all changes manually. You also need to switch off the lights at the power source. This is especially important because of the issue mentioned above of one light turning on at random.
We like the Multiple Control feature, which is handy if you have more than one of these lights. One light can be the default setting for all of the other lights, so any changes affect the entire group. This can save a lot of time.
The lighting system also has two forms of power. You can use the extra-long power cord or batteries.
If you’re looking for value for money in your streaming lighting setup, you can’t go wrong with the Dazzne Desk Mount LED Kit. It provides a lot of customizable light and a simple mounting design that saves on space.
Runner-Up: Elgato Key Light
The Elgato Key Light is the runner-up for the best lighting for gaming streaming. It has a huge LED light display with 2800 lumens. You can also fully dim the light if you need to reduce the brightness levels.
It has a sophisticated and durable design that is long-lasting and resistant to damage. The face has an opal glass construction that helps to balance the diffusion of the light. The body of the light has a metal mount that can attach directly to your desk and save space.
One of the drawbacks of this stream lighting setup is the price. This is particularly significant when you consider that it is a single light, so you will need to purchase additional lights. However, it is worth the investment for the quality and durability of this lighting system.
Some users have also had issues with connectivity. It can be challenging to connect the light to your WiFi, and the connection drops out at times. You can fix this problem with some tech knowledge, but it can be frustrating.
The light’s mount has an extension that allows you to customize the height. It also sits flat against your wall, so it takes up the least amount of space possible and lights your face perfectly.
We also like that you can customize the temperature of the light. It allows you to control over a range of 2900 to 7000K, which produces anywhere from cold arctic blue to a sunset glow. The LED is also resistant to overheating, so you won’t feel any heat from the lamp.
The Elgato light connects to your computer via WiFi, where you can adjust settings with the software control panel. You can also use the Stream Deck for easy use.
If you’re looking for professional-quality lighting for streaming, you should consider the Elgato Key Light. It has a sophisticated and durable design that can enhance the quality of all your streams.
Alternative: YICOE Softbox Lighting Kit
The YICOE Softbox Lighting Kit is the best softbox lighting for streaming. It features two lights on extending stands that can reach a maximum of 28 inches (1.98m). You can also rotate the lights a full 210 degrees, allowing you to achieve optimal lighting in larger rooms.
The softbox design allows a soft diffusion of light that is less harsh and more natural. You can also adjust the temperature from 2800K to 5700k and dimmer settings from 1 to 100%. In this way, you can set the mood and brightness that best suits your gaming streams.
The main drawback of the YICOE lighting kit is the remote control. If you want the two lights to have different settings, you cannot achieve this with the remote control. It uses the same settings on both units, which can limit your options.
Furthermore, the softbox design produces more heat than a standard LED panel light. While it’s not dangerous, you can notice it after extended use. Therefore, it may not be the best system for the middle of summer or if you live in a generally hot climate.
We like that the lights include built-in color modes. You can choose between warm white, yellow, and white. This could be a timesaver if you don’t want to play around with the temperature and dimmer settings of the lighting.
Another highlight is the simple but effective design of the tripod. It comes in three pieces that you can assemble with ease and extends without a fuss. It has a durable aluminum alloy construction that is resistant to damage but still lightweight enough to transport.
If you’re looking for an affordable and versatile softbox lighting system for streaming, you can’t go wrong with the YICOE setup. It is reliable and suitable for beginners, with straightforward controls and construction.
Best Streaming Ring: Neewer Ring Light Kit
The Neewer Ring Light Kit is the best streaming ring. It has a robust and durable design, including a 61-inch (1.5m) stand made of resistant aluminum alloy. It is strong but flexible, allowing you to rotate the light and create the best lighting angles.
This stand supports the 18-inch (48cm) ring light, which features 5500K LED bulbs. You can adjust the dimmer between 1 and 100%, creating the ideal brightness to highlight your face.
The main disadvantage of the Neewer light is that its included carry case can only fit the tripod and its accessories. You will need to transport the actual ring in another format, which can be annoying if you travel a lot.
Some users have also had issues assembling the lighting system. There are limited instructions, so it could be frustrating if you’re not very handy. Thankfully, there seem to be many YouTube videos that can walk you through the assembly process.
The light comes equipped with white and yellow light filters to create a specific mood. These filters are made of plastic that allows a lot of light to pass through while tinting it to a warm or cool tone. This can be helpful to avoid adjusting temperature settings through your camera.
It also includes a hot shoe adapter, which you can use to attach your DSLR camera or smartphone. This is helpful if you are streaming activities other than gaming, where you need to use your arms and stand at a distance from the camera.
If you are looking for a large and powerful ring light for streaming, you should consider the Neewer model. It is bright and powerful, with handy light filters and dimmer settings to control the mood of your Twitch videos.
Runner-Up Streaming Ring: Yoozon Selfie Ring Light
The Yoozon Selfie Ring Light is the best budget lighting for streaming. It is very affordable and surprisingly versatile. You can mount your smartphone directly in the light for superior light quality. You can also adjust the lamp a full 360 degrees to find the best angles.
We like how simple and easy the light is. It doesn’t need batteries or electricity, and you can simply plug its USB charging cable into your computer. This avoids annoying wires and makes it highly portable if you travel a lot.
The main disadvantage of the Yoozon unit is that the tripod is relatively short. It also doesn’t extend or adjust, so you have a fixed position. You may need to play around with other stacking options to get your face entirely in the frame.
The overall design is also not the most durable. It is very lightweight, so you will need to be careful not to overbalance the phone holder. You will also need to take care not to drop the light or knock it as it can easily break.
You can adjust the temperature and brightness in the LED ring light. It allows you to control the dimmer settings from 1-100% and has three different color settings: warm light, warm white, and white. Each of those settings has ten different levels so that you can find the perfect option.
We like how many different ways you can use the light. It has a durable tripod, adjustable ring light exterior, and allows you to mount your device in the lamp. You can play around with different setups to get great lighting for your streams.
If you’re looking for affordability and versatility in streaming lighting, you should take a closer look at the Yoozon Selfie Ring Light. It is friendly on the wallet and allows you to customize light settings and setup.
Lighting for Streaming FAQ
How to set up the streaming lights?
Once you have your streaming lights, you will need to set them up. Specific setups will depend on the size of your filming space, the size of your lights, and the kind of lighting you want.
Thankfully, it’s effortless to set up streaming lights:
- Put your lights where you want them in the room. You may need to play around with different positions until you find the one that you like.
- Turn on the lights and make any adjustments to angle. You could use a second person to give you feedback.
- Turn on your computer monitor and see what impact that additional light has on your face.
- Open the settings of your webcam or another filming camera.
- Turn off any automated settings so you can control the light levels.
- Play around with the temperature and brightness settings until you are happy with the overall effects.
- Shoot a test video and show it to a friend for feedback on the lighting.
- Make adjustments as necessary.
In the next section, we will look at the different positions you can use for your live streaming videos.
Best live streaming light position
You have a few different possibilities for live streaming light positions. The options are 3-Point Lighting, Loop Lighting, and Back Lighting.
Each setup depends on how many lights you have and the effect you are looking for. Let’s take a look at each option in depth.
This is the most popular lighting setup and needs the most lights. It allows you to highlight your face as well as your background fully. You will need to play around with the angle positioning of each light until you get the desired effect.
You need one light directly behind the camera. This light is called the Key Light. It puts brightness on your face and allows the audience to see your expressions.
The second light is called the Fill Light. It sits underneath the Key Light. It helps to eliminate shadows and reduce any glare. Essentially, it softens the intense light that you receive from the Key Light.
The last light should sit somewhere behind you. It highlights the background and adds extra brightness to your streaming setup.
Loop Lighting is another popular stream lighting setup. You need to place one Key Light on one side of the camera. It should also sit above your eye level.
This is a simple setup but doesn’t always have the best effects. If you notice too many shadows or glare, you may need to add a Fill Light that hits your face from another angle. That way, you won’t have uneven brightness during your stream.
If you also want to highlight your background, you will need a light pointing directly behind you. This could be as part of another lighting setup or a standalone light. It all depends on what you want your streamers to see.
Best capture settings for face streaming
Depending on whether you use a webcam or a proper camera for your face streaming, there are various settings that you can change:
- White Balance: It affects the temperature or level of warmth of your streaming. You can have more of a blue or an orange quality to the light or a neutral tone. What you choose depends on your personal preference and the mood you want to create.
- Exposure: Exposure controls the amount of light in your image. Overexposure will make the image white, whereas underexposure will plunge your face into shadows. You need to balance exposure levels, so the picture looks natural and well-lit.
- Aperture: If you are using a proper camera, you can change the aperture setting. Aperture is how much your camera lens opens and how much light it allows to pass through. This affects brightness, exposure, and depth of field.
- Flicker Reduction: Some webcams allow you to use a flicker reduction setting. This can be useful if you are using a lot of fluorescent lighting in your streaming studio. Reducing flicker can lead to a cleaner video.
- Resolution: Both cameras and webcams allow you to choose the resolution. If your internet and computer can handle it, you should opt for 1080p. This increases the level of color and detail in your streaming videos and makes them more visually striking.
Trial and error will be your best friend when changing settings and controlling the amount of light in your streaming videos. We recommend trying different combinations of settings and seeing the effects. You can also shoot test videos and ask for a second opinion.
Are bright lights better for streaming?
In general, very bright lights are not suitable for streaming. This is because they create a lot more shadows, which you will have to offset with Fill Lights.
Softer lighting is a better option with fewer shadows. However, you will still need enough brightness to highlight your face.
LED bulbs allow you to choose between warm white and cool daylight options. The former is softer and adds a warm glow to your room, whereas the latter is brighter and whiter with a bluish tinge.
You want to achieve the perfect balance where you have enough brightness to highlight your face and enough warmth that it looks natural.
Does stream lighting get hot?
All lighting produces heat, but the amount will depend on the kind of bulb that you have. LED lights typically produce less heat than other types, so they may just be warm to the touch. If hot stream lighting is bothering you, there are a few things you can do.
Increasing ventilation in your recording room can help to reduce the temperature. This could mean opening a window, using an air conditioner, or fans. If you choose fans and have long hair, take care that they don’t blow directly on you. This could look a bit strange in your videos.
You should also wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid overheating. If you wear makeup in your streams, take care that the lights are not hot and close enough to melt the makeup and make it run. You may need to use blotting pads to reduce the appearance of sweat.
Especially if you live in a hot climate, it’s important to choose LED lighting that doesn’t heat up too much or position it far enough away that you won’t feel the effects.
In conclusion, having the correct lighting in your streaming studio is crucial.
It allows your viewers to see you and connect with your emotional expressions. It also makes for more engaging streams overall.
The best lighting for streaming is Dazzne Mount Led Video Light Kit. We love its large and adjustable LED panel, with user-friendly settings that you can control from anywhere. Overall, it is reasonably priced and durable.
When setting up your streaming studio, you may need to experiment with the placement and angle of lights. By doing this and adjusting settings on your camera or webcam, you can create the perfect lighting conditions.
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