GAMING

Lighting for Streaming: Best Lights and Techniques

YouTubers have been honing their lighting game since 2005, but streaming is a different beast and requires a slightly different approach. Without the luxury of being able to stop and tweak the lighting for every shot, streamers need versatile and reliable illumination that can deliver the perfect look whether they’re chatting casually with their audience, sweating from an intense battle royale match or trying out a new recipe in the kitchen on stream.

In this article, we’ll walk you through creating a beautifully simple and effective lighting setup for streaming, show you how to expand it for additional flexibility and provide tips for refining your look, including some of the aspects that make livestream lighting unique. With these stream lighting tips, you’ll be well on your way to a professional look.

Litra Glow is our recommendation for soft, even lighting with all the flexibility you need for streaming.

HOW TO SET UP LIGHTING FOR STREAMING

When setting up your stream lighting, think of it more like a live TV broadcast than a film set. Since you can’t stop to frame up each shot and apply touch-ups in post, your lighting needs to be consistent as you move around in the frame and switch camera angles. Your setup can be as simple as one or two lights to illuminate your face, or a full multi-light setup with three, four or more sources illuminating you from different angles. No matter what your budget or technical skill, we’ve got the strategies you need to achieve the best lighting setup for streaming.

Keep It Streamlined with a Single, Versatile Light

If you’re a casual streamer looking to get set up as fast as possible, you may be tempted not to use a dedicated light—especially if you have a Logitech webcam like the C920 or StreamCam, which have built-in features to help compensate for low lighting. While these features are great in a pinch, you can improve your appearance much more with even a single streaming light. Since you likely use just one camera for your face, one high-quality light should be all you need to achieve professional lighting with minimal setup and no extra clutter on your desktop.

For the ideal single streaming light setup, we recommend mounting Litra Glow to your monitor, right next to your camera. Litra Glow gives you soft, even lighting without harsh edges, and it’s easily adjustable so you can get the perfect angle quickly. Simple button controls make changing brightness and color temperature on the fly super easy, and Litra Glow integrates seamlessly with your other Logitech gear via G HUB. Plus, rigorous testing has ensured that it’s easy on the eyes and safe for those long streaming sessions where you end up playing “one more round” more than once.

Go for a Pro Look with a Multi-Light Setup

If you don’t mind getting a little more involved with your live stream lighting setup, using multiple lights will help you achieve a more professional look with better coverage at different angles. Adding just one light to your setup can completely change your look, but it doesn’t stop there–it’s not uncommon for streamers to use three, four or more lights at once.

Start by placing Litra Glow fixtures on either side of your camera, forming a roughly 90-degree angle that converges at your face. If you use a dual-monitor setup (or one ultrawide monitor), you can use the integrated monitor mounts, or simply remove them and mount Litra Glow on any standard camera tripod. Either way, set one light (the “key light”) a bit brighter than the other (the “fill light”) to emphasize your features without washing out your face with too much light.

Adding a third light to illuminate you from behind—called the three-point lighting technique—is a trick that photographers have used for decades to great effect. Although it doesn’t make you appear any brighter, the back light (sometimes called the rim light or hair light) provides a subtle halo effect that makes you stand out from your background, drawing the viewer’s eye to focus on you. You can even add a fourth light just for your background, which is especially effective if you use a green screen.

Keep RGB lighting in the background and use a dedicated light for your face.

LIGHTING PRO TIPS

Placing your lights is just the first step, and there are still a lot of factors to consider when dialing in the optimal illumination. Here are a few additional tips to help you get the best performance out of your streamer lighting setup.

Consider Color Temperature

White light comes in a spectrum of hues ranging from “warm” (like the orange-y glow of candlelight) to “cool” (like the bluish hue of moonlight), measured in degrees, kelvin, or the symbol K. Try out different color temperature settings to find the best look for your skin tone and environment. Litra Glow lets you control color temperature via onboard controls or within Logitech G HUB software—either way, you don’t have to mess around in software to get your lighting right.

Don’t Rely on Natural Light

You might have some wonderful afternoon light coming into your streaming room—until you don’t. While natural light can look great at times, it’s just too unreliable for streaming. Our advice is to draw the shades while streaming and rely on your trusted setup for consistent illumination, rather than having to adjust your lighting every time a cloud passes.

Keep RGB Lighting Behind You

Colored RGB lighting is all the rage these days, and thanks to Logitech’s Lightsync technology, streamers are creating some really cool vibes with rich hues and coordinated color schemes throughout their streaming rooms. However, you don’t want to get lost in the wash of color, so we advise saving the mood lighting for your background and keeping the focus on your face with traditional lighting.

Account for Screen Light

Unlike most video creators, streamers usually have one big light source right in front of them: the screen. If you’re gaming, the light coming from your screen can change a lot, causing strange effects on your face from the extreme variations in brightness and color. To account for this, you may need to turn your screen brightness down a bit. On the other hand, a bright white chat window off to one side can supplement your primary lighting, effectively giving you an additional light source!

READY TO GO LIVE?

While setting up lighting for your stream, remember that streaming is supposed to be accessible and fun—not complicated and frustrating. We hope these tips help you dial in a great look quickly and get back to what you do best: streaming for an audience.

For more streaming tips and resources, check out some of our other blog articles on topics like how to set up a green screen, how to start streaming with Melon and our complete guide to live streaming.