If you’re creating video or photographic content, whether professionally or not, light is one of the most important factors no matter the quality of your camera. Here are two Elgato lighting solutions that will absolutely brighten your day.
Elgato makes an impressive array of high-quality professional gear for content creators, including the Wave:3 microphone, Stream Deck, and HD60X video capture unit.
The company also provides a range of lighting solutions. Two of its top-end models are the Elgato Key Light and the Elgato Ring Light.
Sure, you may have overhead lighting in your office or studio, but a professional lighting source can make a huge difference, even when video conferencing or using webcams. In fact, I asked ChatGPT what some of these are, and it produced this list.
- Improved visibility: Professional lighting can help to illuminate the face and reduce shadows, making it easier for people on the other end of the call to see you clearly.
- Reduced eye strain: Proper lighting can help to reduce glare and harsh shadows, which can cause eye strain and fatigue during long video calls.
- Increased professionalism: Good lighting can help to create a more professional appearance, making you look more polished and put-together during virtual meetings.
- Enhanced mood: Using a well-lit room can create a more pleasant and inviting atmosphere, making it more comfortable for both you and the people you are communicating with.
- Better colour representation: Professional lighting can help capture more accurate colours and skin tones, making the video look more natural and lifelike.
No doubt you’ve seen such lighting yourself, whether from having your own family photos taken or from the myriad of selfie ring-light options that now abound.
Yet, not all lights are equal; Elgato has constructed high-end durable, robust lights which keep heat impressively low – and thus stop you from breaking into a sweat – while having a massive range of brightness and colour temperatures.
Additionally, they’re ready to run from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone – giving you instant control at your fingertips while your lights rapidly respond over Wi-Fi. What’s more, you can control them from the Stream Deck and chain up a series of actions all at the press of a button.
Both lights have solid metal telescopic poles with clamps to mount to your desk and stand flush against the wall out of your way. They both work with the same Elgato Control Centre software – for desktop and mobile – and they both use the same power plug and use standard-sized screws to connect your lights and cameras and other items. An optional floor stand is also available.
Also, they both connect to your Wi-Fi network with ease. In fact, it was super easy. Turn the lights on, go into your phone’s Wi-Fi settings, and the lights show as accessories rather than Wi-Fi networks. Click on them, and your phone prompts you to set the light up on your Wi-Fi network. Click, and done. Now the lights are connected. There’s no need for you to connect to an intermediate Wi-Fi network, or struggle with obscure apps; it literally just works.
The Elgato Key Light brings 2800 lumen of light through 160 premium OSRAM LEDs, and has a colour temperature range of 2900 to 7000 K, producing hues from arctic blue through sunset amber. It has an opal glass face which guarantees balanced, glare-free diffusion.
Forget the white box of your typical family photo photographer; the Elgato Key Light is a light you can sit under for hours and hours without any discomfort, lighting up you and your scene as long as you need.
It can be mounted in portrait or landscape, and, of course, pivoted and angled as you need on its mount.
Meanwhile, the Elgato Ring Light provides a huge 17” inner diameter for you to mount your camera or phone. It brings 2500 lumen of brightness and a colour range of 2900 – 7000 K, and also uses premium OSRAM LEDs. It gives a flicker-free soft and even glows in stark contrast to many ring lights on the market.
The box includes a camera ball mount and a phone holder, as well as, of course, the telescopic pole, desk clamp, power supply, and the ring light itself.
In this video below I unbox both cameras, and then set them up and test them out at night. My initial assumption was that the Key Light would suit me best for a desktop, with the light above and behind my monitor, slightly off to the side, while the Ring Light would be far better suited for directly shining on your face. Yet, the Ring Light also proved to be a tremendously illuminating light source for a desktop while still having the versatility to be used directly with a camera or phone inside its ring.
Either way, both lights give you the ability to transform your content creation with amazing lighting no matter your situation.
You don’t need to plug them into your computer, either, so they can be positioned wherever your subject is. The only catch is they are Wi-Fi-controlled devices, which means you can’t use these lights without being connected to an existing Wi-Fi network. This is because you control them via your desktop/laptop or mobile, which must be on the same network. So, if you are shooting out in the open air, or in an unusual location, you either need to carry your own cellular Wi-Fi router or accept the lights will turn on and stay on the one setting the whole time.
That one item aside, these are magnificent lighting solutions that will absolutely take your videos and photos – and even your regular old daily webcam meetings – to the next level.