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Evolution of My Podcast Video Lighting Setup: From Webcam to RGB lighting

picture of person holding up his hand in front of bookshelf
A pic from my current video podcast lighting setup

As I ventured into the realm of also making videos for my podcasts, I discovered that lighting plays a big part in enhancing the overall visual experience for them. 

In this blog post, I'll take you through the evolution of my lighting setup, from the beginning with a laptop webcam to the updated arrangement I have today.

When I first started:

  • Built-In Laptop Webcam
  • Natural Light

When I first started creating podcast videos, I relied on the built-in webcam of my laptop. The HD quality seemed sufficient, and I bought into the idea that natural light was the best source. 

However, I quickly learned this has challenges with inconsistent lighting – the sun either washed me out on bright days or left me in the shadows on gloomy ones.

picture of person holding up hand sitting in front of bookshelf
My first podcast lightning set up - Laptop cam and natural light on a cloudy day

Step 1: Webcam Upgrade with Ring Light:

  • Laptop webcam with ring light
  • Turned off room lights
  • Closed curtains 

To gain more control over the lighting, I upgraded to an Aluratek webcam equipped with a built-in ring light. 

That way I figured I could close the curtains and I would have a consistent light source for each video. I also turned off most of the lights in the room.

It was better, but the closed curtains and the one light source shining on my face made it feel like I was recording from an underground bunker.

picture of person's face holding up hand
My second podcast lighting setup - Webcam with built-in ring light

Step 2: Adding a Side Ring Light:

  • Laptop webcam with ring light
  • Turned off room lights
  • Closed curtains
  • Large ring light off to the side

I decided to get a larger standalone USB ring light positioned to the side of me. 

This not only eliminated the "bunker" effect but also provided better overall lighting, avoiding the flashlight-in-the-face look I was getting.

Picture of person's face holding up their hand
My third podcast lighting setup - Webcam with built-in ring light plus a large ring light

Step 3: Adding Depth with RGB Color LED Floodlight:

  • Laptop webcam with ring light
  • Turned off room lights
  • Closed curtains
  • Large ring light off to the side
  • RGB LED Floodlight in the background

Now I had a good amount of lighting but it seemed flat to me if that makes sense? 

Seeking to elevate the background, I incorporated an Olafus RGB LED floodlight

I actually use these lights in my band's studio for stage lighting when we do live-stream performances.

picture of two people playing instruments including keyboards and guitar
Picture of RGB flood lights in my band's studio

I decided to shine one on the bookshelf that's behind me. This added a splash of color – in this case, purple – creating depth and transforming the entire setup.

picture of person's face holding up hand
My fourth podcast lighting setup - Webcam with a built-in ring light, another large ring light, and RGB floodlight background

Conclusion:

I'm always trying things to improve my podcast video lighting setup and this is where it has landed so far. From the simplicity of a laptop webcam to the dynamic combination of ring lights and RGB floodlights, each step contributed to refining the visual quality of my videos.


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