Updated: Feb 18, 2021
Well, it looks like we’re stuck with “remote-ing” for the forseable future. One of the biggest challenges is maintaining a professional look while on those Zoom or FaceTime calls. One of the biggest pitfalls? Light.
Home lighting is not designed for video presentations. They generally come from the ceiling, or corners of rooms. Windows can be excellent - assuming the time of day is right, and your room is configured to let face one while you chat. Doing nothing at all can lead to you just looking dark and featureless.
A simple addition is a video light. They come in all shapes in sizes, and at all price points. Some are large, some small, and some more complex than others. My go to solution is a product from a company called Lumecube.
Their "Video Conference Light for Remote Working" (yes, the marketing department was on a lunch break when this got named) makes up for its less than creative moniker with its quality and design. Consider:
* The light is LED, and comes with a nice diffuser cover that helps spread the light around for coverage.
* It's fully battery operated, but can run off computer power via its included USB cable. It can also be plugged in via a wall bug.
* The light is fully adjustable for not only brightness, but also for color temperature. This allows you to make the light yellow (like indoor lighting) or blue (like daylight) to help you blend your look with the background in your room.
* The vacuum mount is sturdy, and clamps to your laptop or monitor by suction cup. This may be the most important feature - not only is it easy to install, but the light stays out of the way and doesn't risk damaging your screen.
At $60, its not the cheapest light out there. But it's a quality light, built by (and for) professional photographers, and its designed to last. You can find it here:
A less expensive alternative that uses the same concept can be found on Amazon - I have not tested this unit, but Amazon is ever-forgiving with it's return policy.
NOTE: Whatever you do, DO NOT BUY A LIGHT LIKE THIS!
NEVER clamp anything to a laptop or flatscreen monitor. It is unbelievably easy to crack a screen with a pressure clamp of any kind - and the only fix is replacement. (yes, and that's every bit as expensive as you would expect.)
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