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Guide to lighting for video calls

Lighting for video calls is a vital aspect of remote work and online meetings, particularly in today's environment when virtual communication is becoming more common. In this article, we will focus on all you need to know about video call lighting, including its importance, basics, lighting options, general tips, and specific setup to light the video call properly.

COLBOR pocket light is a good choice for laptop lighting for video calls.

Why lighting matters in video conference calls?

Good lighting for video calls brings the following benefits:

Enhances image quality: Good lighting can improve the clarity and quality of your video calls, making your image more visible for others to perceive your expressions and body language effectively.

Boosts professionalism: Adequate lighting contributes to a more professional appearance, particularly in business settings, helping you exude confidence, credibility, and trustworthiness.

Reflects personal brand: Your choice of lighting in video calls can mirror your personal brand and style. Opting for cooler or warmer color temperatures can convey different tones, enhancing your overall presentation.

Reduces distractions: Proper lighting eliminates distractions such as shadows and glares, ensuring that the focus remains on the conversation without interruptions.

Affects mood and energy: Adequate lighting can positively influence your mood and energy levels during video calls, presenting you as alert, engaged, and dynamic, ultimately improving the conversation's outcome.

What are its basics?

When it comes to lighting for video calls, three key factors to consider are intensity, color temperature, and direction. Optimal lighting plays a crucial role in enhancing the quality of your video calls, especially with the increasing number of people working remotely.

Intensity: To ensure a well-lit face without harsh shadows, it's important to adjust the brightness of the light source. Ring lights or LED lighting are popular choices as they provide a gentle, diffused light that is easy on the eyes.

Color Temperature: Color temperature refers to the hue of the light, ranging from warm to cool. For video conferencing, aim for a color temperature between 5000K to 6500K, which simulates natural daylight. Some webcams and lighting accessories offer adjustable color temperature settings for achieving the desired lighting conditions.

Direction: The direction indicates the angle at which light falls on your face. Properly positioning your webcam and lighting source is essential to avoid unflattering shadows. Position the lighting source at a 45-degree angle to your face for the best results. This creates a pleasing three-dimensional effect that is more flattering when captured on camera.

What is the best lighting for video calls: 3 types to use

Having the right lighting is crucial for looking your best when working from home or attending video conferences regularly. You can choose from a range of cost-effective lighting options for video calls, including LED lights, ring lights, and DIY lighting setups.

LED Lighting

LED lights are available in different shapes and sizes, suitable for mounting on either a tripod or desk stand. They offer a range of color temperatures that can be customized to suit your surroundings. Compared to conventional lighting, LED lights are more energy-efficient and durable, making them an eco-friendly option with an extended lifespan.

Here are 3 picks at COLBOR.


COLBOR PL8B LED light for video calls is a small LED panel.

The COLBOR PL8B is a 8W LED light for video calls. Beyond being a simple LED panel, it doubles as a power bank, allowing you to illuminate your surroundings while simultaneously charging your smartphone—an incredibly convenient feature. While it may not entirely replace a dedicated power bank due to its limited capacity, it remains a useful addition. Without utilizing this dual functionality, the built-in 5000mAh Lithium battery can power the light for approximately 125 minutes at full brightness—a commendable duration.

The adjustable color temperature complements the impressive brightness, enabling you to integrate with your room's ambient lighting seamlessly. A color OLED display on the back enhances the user experience by facilitating easy navigation through the various menu modes of this compact LED panel. With two 1/4 threaded holes, you can mount the light on a stand or tripod or use the provided cold shoe adapter to attach it above your DSLR or mirrorless camera for added flexibility. Its magnetic back allows it to be attached to the laptop conveniently, making it an ideal option for best lighting for laptop video calls.


COLBOR CL60 is a professional studio light for video calls.

The COLBOR CL60 is a versatile studio light designed to enhance lighting for video calls. Here are some of its key benefits:

  • High CRI Rating: With a CRI rating of 97+, the CL60 ensures accurate color rendering, making it ideal for presenting true-to-life visuals during video calls.
  • Bi-Color Range: It offers a variable color temperature from 2700K to 6500K, allowing you to adjust the lighting to match your environment or other light sources.
  • Ultra Compact and Portable: The light’s aerospace-grade aluminum body is lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport and set up anywhere.
  • Powerful Output: Despite its size, the CL60 delivers a strong output of light, with the ability to create a powerful cubic lighting matrix when combined with the PowerCube accessory.
  • Noiseless Operation: The Hummingbird-Intelligence Cooling System ensures the light operates quietly, which is crucial for maintaining a professional atmosphere during video calls.
  • Mobile Power Solutions: It can receive power supply from PD adapter, PD power bank, and other mobile power solutions, ensuring you can use it even when on the move.
  • Bowens Mount Compatibility: The CL60 can be used with standard Bowens-mount light modifiers, offering flexibility in how the light is shaped and controlled.
  • App Control: Adjustments can be made through the COLBOR Studio™ App, and the light can be upgraded with OTA updates, providing a user-friendly experience.
  • Built-in Lighting Effects: It comes with 10 built-in lighting effects, such as Fire, CCT Chase, and SOS, adding dynamism to live streams or creating atmospheres in micro-filming.

Overall, the COLBOR CL60 is a powerful tool for improving the lighting for video calls, providing professional-grade lighting that is both adaptable and convenient.


COLBOR W100 is a portable light for video calls.

The COLBOR W100 is a good choice of lighting for video calls at home. Here’s why it’s well-suited for this purpose:

  • Compact and Lightweight: The W100 is small enough to fit in an everyday bag, making it highly portable and easy to set up for video calls anywhere.
  • Wide and Uniform Illumination: It features a flat panel shape with an in-built optical design that provides a broad and even lighting area, which is essential for clear video call visuals.
  • Adjustable Color Temperature: With a range from 2700K to 6500K and a high CRI of 97+, it ensures natural and flattering skin tones during video calls.
  • Flexible Powering Options: It can be powered by a COLBOR power grip, DC adapter, or PD Type-C fast charging, offering versatility in various scenarios.
  • Active Cooling System: The W100 has an intelligent air duct and heat pipe cooling system, ensuring it remains efficient and durable over long video calls.
  • Easy Control: The light can be controlled via onboard controls or remotely through the COLBOR Studio App, allowing for quick adjustments during calls.

Overall, the COLBOR W100’s design and features make it a practical choice for enhancing the lighting quality of video calls, providing professional-level illumination in a user-friendly format.

Ring Lights

In recent years, ring lights have gained popularity for their unique design and practicality. Positioned around the webcam, ring light for video call illuminates the subject evenly from all directions, effectively eliminating shadows. They frequently have adjustable color temperatures, allowing you to tailor the warmth or coolness of the light to your surroundings.

DIY Lighting for video calls

If you're on a limited budget, you can make your own DIY video call illumination. One popular technique is to use a white foam board to bounce light onto your face. You may also design your own lighting system with ordinary objects like lamps or desk lights. While DIY options may not offer the same coverage as professional lighting equipment, they are great for beginners looking to experiment with different lighting techniques.

What to look for in the best video light for zoom calls?

When deciding on the lighting product that best suits your needs and budget, it's important to consider a set of features. The following list can assist you in your search:

  • Changeable brightness
  • Various color temperature modes
  • Diffuser or frosted lens
  • Adjustable height, positioning, etc.
  • Secure mounting options (such as suction cup, clip, etc.)
  • Compatible with tripods and other stands
  • Long-lasting battery life or reliable power source (e.g., USB plug)
  • Appropriate size (compact for smaller office spaces, yet sufficiently tall to provide adequate lighting)
  • Portable and lightweight (ideal for frequent office setup relocation)

Video call lighting tips: 4 general tips for common uses

Good lighting plays a crucial role in video conferencing. To ensure your lighting is optimal, consider the following advice:

Adjust Color Temperature: The color temperature of the lighting for video calls significantly influences your appearance on camera. Lighting that is too warm or too cool can alter your skin tone and give you a washed-out look. Aim for a color temperature around 5600K, which is widely regarded as ideal for video conferencing. This temperature will provide a natural and visually pleasing look.

Position Your Light Correctly: The angle of your lighting setup also affects how you are portrayed on camera. Place your light directly in front of you at eye level to minimize shadows and unflattering angles. If you lack specialized lighting equipment like a ring light or LED lights, try using a lamp with a white shade or a diffuser to soften the light.

Utilize Lighting Tools: Elevate your lighting game by considering the use of lighting accessories. A ring light offers even and soft lighting, while a softbox or diffuser can provide a more natural appearance. These accessories can enhance your setup and contribute to a professional and standout presence in your video calls.

Optimize Webcam Placement: Ensure your webcam is appropriately positioned for the best results. Ideally, place your webcam at eye level to maintain direct eye contact with the camera. Incorrect webcam positioning, either too low or too high, can lead to unflattering angles and distortions. Use a webcam stand or stack of books to adjust the camera to the correct height for an improved visual presentation.

COLBOR CL60 can be combined to light video calls with powerful lighting.

Video call lighting setup for specific lighting scenarios

The aforementioned general tips are helpful in most cases, but you need some adjustments according to the specific lighting conditions. Here we will focus on 3 different scenarios.

If you have video calls in a dark room

In this part, we will explore lighting for video calls in dimly lit spaces, covering aspects such as the light source, its positioning, accessories, and the placement of the webcam.

Lighting Source: LED lighting is an ideal option for video conferencing due to its ability to produce a steady, bright light that is gentle on the eyes. They are energy-efficient, generating minimal heat and boasting a long lifespan. Additionally, they come in a variety of colors, allowing you to select the color temperature that best suits your requirements.

Lighting Angle: It's important to ensure that the light is shining directly onto your face and not from behind you, as this can create a silhouette effect. A ring light is a popular choice because it evenly disperses light around your face.

Lighting Accessories: There are other accessories available to enhance your video call lighting. For instance, a diffuser can soften harsh light, and a reflector can bounce light back onto your face, creating a more balanced lighting effect.

Webcam Placement: It's crucial to position your webcam at eye level so that you are making direct eye contact with the camera. This will contribute to a more natural and engaging video call.

If you use natural light for video calls

Window Placement: The positioning of your window is vital for achieving natural light during video calls. If your window faces east or west, it's best to position your video call equipment to face north or south. This prevents hard light from directly hitting your face, which can lead to unwanted shadows and glares. If relocating your video call equipment isn't feasible, consider controlling the natural light by using blinds or curtains.

Time of Day: The timing of your video calls can significantly impact the lighting for video calls. Early mornings and late afternoons are generally optimal for natural light video calls, as the light is less intense and direct. When scheduling midday calls, consider supplementing natural light with a ring light or LED lighting.

Lighting Tools: In addition to natural light, you can enhance your video call lighting with accessories. Utilize a ring light or LED lighting to achieve even illumination and eliminate harsh shadows. Pay attention to the color temperature and light angle when using lighting accessories, as these factors can influence the overall tone and shadow effects of your video call.

Webcam Placement: Proper webcam placement is crucial for achieving favorable natural light during video calls. Position your webcam at eye level to achieve a natural and flattering angle, preventing unflattering shadows and awkward angles on your face.

If you have a window behind you during video calls

Inadequate lighting during a video call can leave a negative impression and detract from the intended message. In this part we will explore optimal video call lighting solutions for situations where windows are behind you. It will also provide insights on lighting placement, the use of curtains or blinds, and various lighting accessories to help you present your best self during video conferences.

Optimal Lighting Placement: It is crucial to avoid positioning the light source behind you, as this can result in a backlight effect that darkens your face. Instead, place the light in front of you, preferably at eye level, to achieve uniform and flattering illumination. Consider utilizing a ring light or LED lighting for this purpose.

Curtains or Blinds: When dealing with a window located behind you, employing curtains or blinds can help regulate the incoming natural light. Natural light can be unpredictable, causing harsh shadows or overexposure on your face. By closing the curtains or blinds, you can establish a more consistent and controlled lighting environment.

Lighting Accessories: Enhance the lighting for video calls by utilizing various accessories like diffusers, color temperature filters, or light angle modifiers. A diffuser can soften the light, creating a more natural-looking glow, while color temperature filters allow you to adjust the light's warmth or coolness to complement your skin tone. Light angle modifiers help direct the light effectively and prevent harsh shadows.


What lighting is optimal for video calls?

The ideal lighting for video calls is gentle and uniform, avoiding harsh shadows and eye strain. LED lights with a high color rendering index (CRI) are preferred for their accurate color reproduction. It is essential to place the lighting in front of the individual's face rather than behind them to prevent backlighting and silhouettes. Opt for a light source with adjustable brightness and color temperature for personalized lighting adjustments.

How to improve lighting for video calls affordably?

Enhancing your video call lighting on a budget can be achieved through simple techniques. Utilize natural light from nearby windows or a lamp with a white or light-colored shade to diffuse the light evenly. Another option is to use a white poster board or reflector to bounce light onto your face. Adjusting the settings on your device to increase screen brightness can also reduce the need for additional lighting.

What methods can I use to eliminate shadows in video calls?

To eliminate shadows during video calls, position your lighting in front of you, not above or behind you. Employ a soft light for video calls, such as a lamp with a white or light-colored shade, to create uniform illumination. If shadows persist, consider moving the light closer to your face or using a reflector to bounce light back towards you.

Is it suitable to use a phone flashlight for video calls?

While using your phone flash to offer lighting for video calls is acceptable in emergencies, it is not recommended due to the harsh shadows and potential eye strain it may cause. For better results, consider utilizing a lamp with a white or light-colored shade to diffuse the light or incorporating a reflector to redirect light onto your face.

How should I arrange lighting for group video calls?

For group video calls, set up a larger light source, such as a softbox or umbrella light, positioned behind the camera and facing the group to ensure even illumination for all members. Additional lights can be placed on either side of the group to create a three-point lighting setup, enhancing depth and dimension in the video frame.