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This tutorial covers lighting basics for Zoom calls and recommends at-home lighting gear.

The Basics

Improve Your Lighting

The industry standard studio lighting set-up is 3 point lighting using 3 dedicated lights. At home, the same technique applies, even as the 3 lights become 3 light sources of various types. Whenever possible, ensure the light sources are 45º angles above the subject (you). 

High Contrast + Low Light

Keep lighting in mind when choosing shooting locations. Having bright light behind a subject will be distracting and will discolor or “backlight” what you aim to shoot. A camera with auto exposure will compensate for the bright backlight and will leave your subject in the dark.

At Home Lighting Gear

LED Light RingLED Light Ring (Reading Light)

This clip on light offers ten levels of brightness in warm (incandescent), cool (natural) and mixed options, allowing you to adjust your key light source to offset or match the lighting in your home office, living room, etc. An in-line remote makes changing lighting on the fly simple.

The light is powered by USB, meaning it can be plugged into an open port on your computer or into the wall using a regular iOS or Android phone adapter that you have on-hand.

Cost: $20-25


LED Selfie Ring Light (with Stand)

This rotatable ring light also offers ten levels of brightness in warm (incandescent), cool (white), and natural (mixed). This ring light is mounted on an adjustable-height stand and is larger, producing more light, and can act as your Key light. This light also features an in-line remote.

The light is powered by USB, but requires a power block (such as a regular iOS or Android phone adapter) to plug it into the wall which is not included.

Cost: $47-50


Looking for a more sophisticated, affordable lighting set up? Get both and use them as your key and fill lights!