4 Tips for Lighting Your Next Zoom Call

April 11, 2020

Now more than ever impressions are being made online instead of in person. Having a quality video setup for those important Zoom calls can make a difference in the connections you make. Here are four tips to help you be better prepared for that next call.

1. Improve your equipment

Most of us are using the camera that comes installed on our laptops because it’s easy and free but these cameras are not always the best quality and may be contributing to your low quality video and lighting issues. One way you may be able to improve your lighting is by investing in better equipment. Here are a couple camera upgrade options to consider:

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

Featuring a built in mic and 1080p for $49-$89 this camera can give you a high quality video that works in all lighting conditions and may be what you need to provide that professional look on your video calls.

https://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-T3H-00001-LifeCam-HD-3000/dp/B004ETQHDM/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Microsoft+LifeCam+HD-3000&qid=1586589784&sr=8-2

Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam

This camera combines a quality lens for video along with a small ring light to give you an all in one package that can solve your Zoom call needs. It is quite a bit more expensive at $174.99 but if covering all your bases in one purchase is important, this could be the way to go.

https://www.amazon.com/Webcam-Autofocus-Computer-Online-Streaming/dp/B086G9YJMJ/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Razer+Kiyo+Streaming+Webcam&qid=1586589892&sr=8-1

2. Use additional lighting

If upgrading the camera isn’t the best option for you, adding some additional lights may do the trick. Here are a few add on light options to consider:

Lume Cube Review

This light is getting a lot of attention and seems to be a compact powerful light but perhaps not ideal for lighting your video calls at its price point of $79.99. If you’ve heard about this light and are considering it, this review goes over the pros and cons in good detail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfcQ9yCA4iI

Aputure AL-M9

Another compact light that is recommended is the Aputure AL-M9. This is a bit cheaper at $45.00 and actually has some advantages over the Lume Cube. Its super compact, light weight, and comes with gels and a magnetic defuser to tint and soften the light. These features make it a good option for lighting yourself on video even when you are on the go. This review provides a good demo of the light in a dim setting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYU2HnAav3k

Flashpoint 13″ 600W 5500K Fluorescent Ring Light

A popular option for Youtubers and others are the ring lights that provide even soft lighting and a cool circle around your pupil. In general ring lights range in price from $50 to $300 but a budget friendly option is the Flashpoint 13” 600W 5500K Fluorescent Ring light at just under $50.

https://www.amazon.com/UBeesize-Ringlight-YouTube-Photography-Compatible/dp/B07GDC39Y2/ref=sr_1_2?crid=Z717FDSWNWQ9&dchild=1&keywords=flashpoint+13+600w+5500k+fluorescent+ring+light&qid=1586583117&s=electronics&sprefix=flashpoint+13%22%2Celectronics%2C216&sr=1-2


3. Try a different room

A room that may seem lit to the naked eye can show up quite different when you start up that video chat. At times you may look like you are sitting in the dark giving your partner on the other end a terrible experience and perhaps a bad impression of you. Simply finding another room in your place, perhaps near a well lit window can do the trick. Make sure you are facing or to the side of the window for a good angle on the light coming in. Having the light behind you can make you turn into a shadow. If it’s a nice day, you might consider taking your call outside if you are able.


4. Bounce Light

If purchasing equipment is not in your budget, and you’ve tried a new room, consider bouncing light off a white or light solid surface. This can be done with a number of things around your home such as a white wall, light cardboard box or some project board from the dollar store. Watch this quick video to see a good example of this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoJjYId97Ig


I hope these tips help you light up your next video call giving you a bright more professional look.

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