A big part of making video conferencing feel as real as a physical meeting is good visuals. Here’s how to get the best lighting for virtual meetings.
Video conferencing was a growing aspect of work life pre-pandemic, but is even more prevalent now. People are logging into Zoom meetings to communicate with collaborators on the other side of the globe. But also, regular daily team meetings are being hosted virtually.
Working from home, for many, has meant the need to focus on a decent home office set up. This could be a fancy new webcam, like the PowerConf C300 from Anker, or even a more ergonomic swivel chair. One thing that is important if you’re constantly on calls, but may not yet have considered, is great lighting. Poor audio from a dodgy microphone can have a negative impact on meetings. Bad lighting and visuals can equally impede your video conference performance. Getting the best lighting to ensure excellent presentations or knockout appraisals doesn’t have to be complicated or super pricey, either.
If you’re not already familiar with this circular bit of kit, it’s a firm favourite amongst the vlogging community. A ring light is just as you’d imagine, a ring of lights, and they come in varying dimensions to suit different needs. The beauty of a ring light is that it throws out evenly distributed soft, diffused light on its subject. This means that no harsh shadows are created and nothing is blown out by intense beams of light. The AIXPI 10″ Ring Light is a good option for desktop lighting, as it is very affordable and doesn’t take up a heap of space.
Of course, external lighting equipment loses its value slightly if the actual webcam you are using has terrible image quality. If you’ve got some money you’re happy to invest in your home office equipment, there are lots of good options available to you. Many tech companies have reacted to the fact that working from home is becoming a more permanent arrangement than originally anticipated, and are releasing home office equipment ranges.
One webcam previously mentioned is the PowerConf C300 from Anker, which is a 1080p camera that performs brilliantly in both day and low light. Having an HD webcam is a strong foundation to start with before you think about improving your lighting game. Microsoft recently announced its new webcam, the Modern Webcam. This is another 1080p cam, but with 30fps as opposed to Anker’s 60fps. The price tag reflects this though, as it will be available for just $69.99 in June.
Natural Lighting can be the Best Lighting
If you don’t particularly want to spend any money on extra equipment, or if you just like to keep your gadgetry to a minimum, utilising natural light is a great way to enhance lighting for video calls. Some of the best lighting is created by the natural rays of the sun. It can often just be a case of knowing how to harness and manipulate this natural resource, in order to get the best results.
Something as simple as hanging a gossamer curtain over a window where sunlight streams in can soften and diffuse the light. Think about your positioning as well. You want to make sure the natural light source is either beside you or behind your computer. If you sit directly in front of a sunny window, you’re just going to become a difficult to look at silhouette. Great if you want to protect your identity, not so great if you’re presenting a breakthrough idea to your team.
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