If you’re among the many people now working from home, you probably know the struggle of looking good in Zoom meetings. Aside from making sure you dress appropriately, your home office lighting can make or break your appearance. The last thing you want is for others to miss what you’re saying during a presentation because they can’t quite see you. With the Zoom lighting tips in this guide, you’ll be looking clear and snazzy in no time.
What is the best lighting for a Zoom call?
The best Zoom lighting depends on many factors. The lighting best for you will depend on your physical location, the Zoom call’s purpose, your surrounding environment, and the device you’re using. You should also think about the color temperature of your lighting. Color temperature is measured in Kelvin (K), and the following types of lighting typically provide the following color temperatures.
- Incandescent: These yellowish lights are warm in color temperature, at roughly 3000-3500K.
- Fluorescent: These lights are common in office spaces and often shine in bright white, with a color temperature of 4000-4500K.
- LED: LED bulbs can vary in color temperature, especially if you use color-changing LED devices.
Cooler-temperature lights more closely resemble daylight, and that can make them better fits for realistically portraying yourself on Zoom. Similarly, natural light from the sun can add a beautiful glow to your complexion and brighten your surroundings.
Additionally, without proper artificial lighting – or during any Zoom meetings after the sun goes down – you might struggle with dark shadows. The below Zoom lighting tips can help you transform your space and achieve better video lighting.
9 Zoom lighting tips to look your best
Your lighting setup can make a world of difference when it comes to video conferences. With good lighting, you can look professional and confident, and you’ll make it easier for everyone on your Zoom calls to understand what you’re saying. Check out these Zoom lighting tips to look impeccable no matter what.
1. Brighten dark videos for enhancement
When you’re doing virtual conference calls or meetings in dark spaces, your videos may appear grainy and filled with shadows. This can make it difficult for those on the other end of the call to concentrate on what you’re discussing. By brightening these dark videos, your colleagues won’t have to try as hard to see you, and low-quality images won’t confuse them.
To brighten up your videos, move your home office to an area with ample amounts of bright, natural light. This setup is ideal – it gives a warm glow and only requires access to a window – but it’s not always possible. That’s when you should consider artificial light sources to shift your audience’s perspective from dark and grainy to radiant and clear.
2. Find the right lighting setup for your needs
The right lighting setup ultimately comes down to your preferences and needs – everyone’s setup will be a bit different. Before you just decide to go out and purchase the first lamp you see, stop and consider a few factors such as the following.
- Your lighting goal. If you want to improve your video quality during work meetings, a large window with tons of natural sunlight may be just what you need. If you’re more interested in lighting your nighttime family chats, lamps and fixtures might be more important.
- Your role or position (if you’re setting up work lighting). If your role requires frequent virtual meetings with clients, customers, or executives, ensuring your face lighting is balanced and flattering is a must. Using clip-on fixtures or key lights that hook onto your monitor or laptop are easy ways to highlight your facial features in a pleasant way.
- How your video recordings will be used. Sometimes a video meeting is so much more than that. Many influencers and content creators record virtual conference calls discussing various topics and upload them to online video streaming sites. If you’re recording vlogs, training videos, or live content streams, a studio lighting kit can give you the professional transformation you need.
3. Enable the "touch up my appearance" video setting
Aside from adding external fixtures to your setup, you can also elevate your Zoom lighting with the “touch up my appearance” setting. This digital airbrush automatically adjusts your appearance. It smoothes over blemishes such as wrinkles, pimples, and dark spots to give you an extra boost of confidence.
To enable this setting in just seconds on your desktop, open Zoom, then click on your profile picture. Then, click “Settings,” then “Video,” then “Touch up my appearance.” You’ll see yourself in a whole new light – and so will your audience.
4. Add adjustable lights
Even if you sit in the same seat with the same computer every workday, you likely won’t be in the exact same position every time. Whether you’re adjusting for comfort, practicality, or just to refresh your views, you should have a fixture that can adjust with you. Standard lamps typically have only one setting and can’t be angled. Adjustable fixtures can give you more flexibility with a swing arm or gooseneck. These features enable you to bend, angle, and position the lamp just the way you need it. You’ll set your Zoom lighting on your own terms.
5. Set up your lighting correctly
You could have all the latest and greatest lighting equipment, but if it isn’t set up correctly, those fixtures won’t do you any good. Your lighting should be even and steady across your entire face without creating any shadows. If you’re relying on natural lighting, place yourself directly across from the window so the sunbeams shine on you instead of behind you. When adding artificial lights, the best thing you can do is follow the three-point lighting setup. This arrangement uses a key light, backlight, and fill light to bring your video to life.
6. Angle your camera just right
To get the most out of your setup, it’s important to check your camera’s position. Sitting an arm’s length away from your laptop or monitor with a flattering glow can lead to high-quality Zoom video.
Pro tip: Try to center your face on the screen, with the camera either at eye level or placed slightly above you and pointing down. Avoid keeping the camera below you pointing upward – this way, you’re looking directly into the little world in front of you.
7. Shape the light for an even glow
Shaping the light means adjusting where and how the beams are hitting you. This is especially important with natural light. To get an even glow across your entire face, set up your desk so it’s directly facing, or at a 45º angle from, your windows. The sun will illuminate your entire face without casting shadows, leaving you looking professional and sharp.
If you angle your desk at a 45º angle from the window, you can achieve a dramatic effect where the sunbeams drape across your face. While this does create a small shadow on one side of your face, it also adds depth and dimension. The one setup you want to avoid is placing windows directly behind you. Webcams will try to adjust for the bright light from the window, and that can leave you in darkness.
8. Bounce your light
Adding a bounce is a simple technique that bounces light back across your face to brighten any shadows. To bounce light, just hang a large piece of white foam board on your side. It should be far enough to the side that your camera won’t pick it up. The surface of the white foam board can act as a diffuser to soften the light around you. It can help you appear more present in the moment on any Zoom chat.
9. Check your background for distractions
Working from home can be great – no commute, the comforts of your room. But when it comes to video call meetings with other professionals, a poster of your favorite band in the background might be best hidden. Stay aware of your surroundings – the camera may show more than you want. The color of your walls can also affect how you appear. The darker your room, the more lighting you’ll need.
A neutral background will keep the focus on you and won’t call attention to your location. This background can enhance your image while not distracting others. Try placing your desk in front of a neutral-colored wall with minimal decorations. While a nice piece of artwork or a shelf with a few display pieces can be classy, too many sights can be overwhelming.
The best artificial lights for Zoom calls
Certain types of artificial lights can work better for video meetings than others. If you’re not sure which ones to use, the below list of the best fixtures can help you brighten up your web calls.
1. LED light strips
Instead of just turning on a lamp, you can make your work-from-home space – and Zoom videos – pop and sing with LED light strips. These strips are more versatile than regular bulbs since they’re long, flexible, flat ropes you can stick to any flat surface for an instant transformation. They can light your space while adding a mood-setting glow. You’ll have both the illumination and inspiration you need to get your work done.
Most strip LEDs have an adhesive back, allowing you to just peel and stick them to your desired location. You can place them beneath your desk, under cabinets or shelves, behind bookcases, around a computer monitor, or around the ceiling. They won’t take up extra space on your desk, freeing up space for desk accessories and decorations to give your office that personal touch. They can also complement your overhead lighting and sparkle some joy into the work tasks you enjoy the least.
The BlissGlow LED strip light can turn your home office into a mesmerizing wonderland. With the BlissGlow, you can switch up the effects and set the mood with a few taps in the BlissLights app. You can also sync the lights to your office music. Plus, with the BlissGlow’s custom color settings, your light can shine in up to 12 colors at once. Just peel and stick the strip, then tap around in the app to fill your Zoom video with a vibrant, inspiring glow.
BlissGlow Multicolor LED Strip Light
Refresh your space with a modern glow.
2. Ring lights
Ring lights aren’t just for influencers on TikTok and YouTube. These special fixtures are the perfect solution for casting away Zoom video shadows that come from overhead lighting. Their circular design distributes the light evenly so they can best emphasize details and hide shadows, while their soft glow can mask blemishes and wrinkles. Many vloggers and content creators use ring lights to enhance their facial features and accentuate their eyes.
Ring lights come in many sizes and styles, giving you plenty of choices to find which one works best for you. For example, let’s say you don't have a designated home office and like to move around for your video conferences. In that case, a ring fixture that clips onto your laptop may be the right fit. If your computer monitor is on a desk and you want something more stable and durable, a stand ring light can transform your Zoom lighting.
3. Task lights
A single overhead light is fine for walking around a room without bumping into any furniture. But it might not do you that much good when you need to be seen on a Zoom meeting. That’s where task lighting comes in. With the addition of a desk lamp, you’ll have some extra illumination to brighten up your face where your overhead lights can’t reach. A desk lamp can focus your camera’s attention on you and focus your perspective for everyone else to see.
4. Studio lighting
Just because you’re working from the comfort of your own home doesn’t mean shying away from office-level professional lighting. Budget-friendly studio lighting kits can bring high-quality features right under your own roof for your next Zoom meeting. Most studio kits come with three fixtures – one key light, one fill light, and a backlight or additional fill light – to create three-point lighting. These fixtures can help you control lighting effects such as mood, depth, and intensity to add more dimension to your surroundings.
5. Ambient lights
Ambient light, also known as general lighting, is the most common type of illumination in any home. It’s the foundation of your mood and tone in any room or Zoom meeting. If the room is poorly lit, you’re less likely to be productive and get things done. Poor ambient lighting can also cast dark shadows in the corners of the room. If your desk is in a dark spot, you’ll likely find yourself apologizing to your Zoom audience for your shaded appearance.
Although most ambient lighting is yellow or white, some ambient mood fixtures offer unique and stimulating colors. The BlissRadia smart ambient mood light allows you to choose any rainbow color for a vibrant yet gentle, exciting yet calming glow. You can use the BlissHome app to customize your experience – color gradients, brightness levels, timers – right from your phone screen. In just a few taps, you’ll create your own Zoom lighting world and become the talk of your Zoom chat. More than lighting, you’ll create an experience to share with others.
BlissRadia Smart LED Mood Light
From desktop to bedside, light the way to concentration, stimulation, or relaxation.
Attend Zoom meetings in style with BlissLightsZoom meetings require much more thought than just what you’re going to wear. The lighting around you can elevate your Zoom conferences, giving you the extra boost of motivation you need to succeed. With BlissLights, you can illuminate your home office so that, for your next webinar, virtual conference, or remote interview, you bring out your best self. Browse the BlissLights collection now to bring your Zoom lighting to a whole new world.
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