Video conferencing has the unique ability to instantly connect teams face to face even when they’re located thousands of miles apart. Whether you’re catching up with business partners or customers, meeting a new client (or potential client) for the first time, or conducting a job interview, a properly lit meeting space can help you present your absolute best self and get the most out of every call. This article details helpful lighting tips to achieving the best lighting for video conferencing.
4 Reasons Why Lighting Matters for Video
Straight-on lighting is best for video calls, especially if you sit facing a light source. This ensures your face is well illuminated and clearly visible. Using natural light from the window to fill in the sides also creates pleasing, accurate skin tones in the camera and renders accurate colors.
Just like our eyes, cameras need light to render a good image. When there’s not enough light, too much light or a light is pointed in the wrong direction, it can cause cameras to render a lower quality image. It’s important to know how to set up and use proper lighting in order to optimize your video calls.
1. Illuminate Facial Expressions
First and foremost, it is important that the lighting in your conference room allows the camera to clearly see the people in the room. Proper lighting eliminates unwanted shadows that may skew a person’s facial expressions or appearance.
2. Minimize Distraction
Harsh shadows, glares and reflections direct attention away from conference call attendees. Lighting that clearly illuminates faces minimizes distractions and keeps everyone focused on the speaker and the meeting at hand.
3. Render Realistic Colors
Colors can be impacted by lighting sources that are too warm or too cool in color temperature. Even with the sophisticated auto white balance features in modern conference room camera systems, unrealistic color values can present frustrating challenges for industries that rely heavily on visual designs. Proper lighting reveals the true colors of objects in the camera.
4. Achieve the Highest Quality Video
High quality images rely on more than just the camera’s resolution. Adequate lighting eliminates any potential noise or “grain” and other undesirable artifacts associated with underexposed digital images.
7 Lighting Tips for the Perfect Video Conference Call
Good lighting goes hand in hand with good video call quality. These tips will guide you through the dos and don’ts of video lighting so you can look professional and well-lit on every video conference call.
1. Sit Facing a Light Source
Sitting with your back to a window or bright light source can negatively impact the quality of the video call by giving you a harsh silhouette effect. Whenever possible, sit facing the window, desk lamp, or other light source to ensure your face is well illuminated and clearly visible.
2. Optimize Natural Light Sources
Natural daylight creates pleasing, accurate skin tones in the camera and renders accurate colors. Setting up your conferencing system in a room with a lot of window light is useful in creating a well-lit, professional setting.
3. Use Soft Directional Light
Avoid using bare bulbs in your video conference room lighting. A lampshade or a diffuser will reduce harsh shadows and soften the lighting in the room. Contrary to popular belief, the closer a source is to a subject, the softer the shadows will play on that subject. So if a lamp is too harsh, bring it closer to you. This may help boost the camera’s exposure on your face as well. Balance natural lighting with properly placed soft white lamps to create a pleasing ambience in the room.
4. Create a Three-Point Lighting Setup
Think of a clock: if you’re facing noon, try to position light sources at 11 and 2. Adding an overhead light rounds out a great three-point lighting setup — the go-to lighting kit for portrait photographers and videographers.
5. Use the Right Amount of Light
It is important that there is plenty of light in the room to get maximum clarity. However, it is possible to have too much light. If your window is too bright, lower the blinds or move away from the window to avoid overexposure. If a light source like a lamp is too bright, walk it away from you or dim it with a shade. If possible, use multiple light sources pointed at your face to fill in shadows and make the overall room lighting as even as possible.
6. Choose Bright Colors for Walls
Use white or light-colored walls and tables in your meeting spaces to brighten up the room with reflected light. White surfaces reflect light, whereas black surfaces absorb it. Using a lot of white or bright surfaces and walls in your conference room will brighten up the space by bouncing light around.
7. Use a Dedicated Video Conferencing Camera System
Purpose-built video conferencing camera systems are optimized for the unique challenges of capturing high-quality video in the conference room. Ultra-high definition 4K video conferencing cameras like the Lifesize® Icon™ series use a much larger sensor than a typical webcam and are able to produce a far greater image in poorly lit situations. And with a great video conference lighting solution, it helps you present your absolute best self with the highest resolutions and highest quality image in the industry.
How Lifesize Achieves the Best Lighting for Video Conference Calls
Lifesize meeting spaces make good use of bright colored walls and natural lighting from external windows. Diffused overhead lighting fixtures help add even lighting across long conference tables and our video conferencing systems are placed at eye level for the most realistic eye contact. Rooms featuring external windows have sheer drapes that can be lowered to diffuse harsh lighting and all accessory lighting is set up with one thing in mind: create a professional environment that keeps the focus on the people in the meeting.
Although often overlooked, good lighting is a big factor in creating a professional look during a video chat. Lighting complements high quality video by helping render a crystal clear image, making you feel like you’re in the same room with the person you’re talking to. With these simple lighting tools in your back pocket, you’ll be ready to set up your video conferencing meeting room or home office to connect on a deeper level with your business partners, clients and potential customers.