If you want to get into streaming, make yourself look better on Zoom or Microsoft Team calls or perhaps add some better lighting to your office, you need good lighting.
I am no lighting or videography expert but ask any photographer/videographer how important lighting is, and you will get your answer: light is everything.
I have been using lights for a while now, and before I purchased the Elgato Key Light Air, I was using these affordable Absestudio Softbox lights from Amazon. If you are on a budget, softbox lights like these can make a world of difference.
The issue I have always had with these softbox lights is my space is small, and because they’re lights mounted on stands, they require a bit of space to set up properly. I made do, but I hated how cramped they made the room feel.
The Elgato Key Light Air retails currently on Amazon for 205 Australian Dollars. For some, $200 on a light might be a hard sell, and this definitely puts Elgato into a category slightly above affordable. If you’re a lowly streamer, who isn’t making money, investing this much might be a lot.
Where the Key Light Air justifies the steeper price is the control you have over it. If there is one thing that Elgato knows, it’s their customer base, and the Key Light Air connects via WiFi and can be controlled by an application on your computer or even via your smartphone. Cheaper lights are manual and don’t really offer customisation.
You can adjust not only the brightness but also the colour temperature as well. If you are new to the world of lighting, specifically subject lighting, you want lights with adjustable colour temperature. Think of the Key Light Air as a Phillips Hue light, except that the colours can’t be changed.
For me, the upside was I already used (and love) the Elgato Streamdeck and as to be expected, the Key Light Air works perfectly with the Streamdeck allowing you to assign functions light brightness and temperature adjustment to your buttons. This helps make adjustments on the fly during a stream, but control will be all you care about for most desktops and smartphones.
The colour temperature is adjustable between 2,900K to 7,000K. The max brightness output is 1,400 Lumens (which is bright). It’s not as bright as some other LED lights for video production, but the Key Light Air is a specific product for illuminating a single subject sitting at a desk, not a room.
For many, the question is going to be: is the Key Light Air worth the price? The answer is yes.
I’ve used this for a while now. The small form factor, adjustable height, wireless controls, and even diffused light distribution make this the perfect light for single subject illumination. The price goes up with the inclusion of wireless, but you will soon realise how great the wireless controls are.
You could roll the dice and buy a cheaper LED light off eBay or Amazon, but the quality will pale in comparison. I love the metallic stand that it sits on and the design of the light itself. It’s an upgrade from using bulky softbox lights and great for streams, Zoom calls and recordings.
My only advice with this light is if you wear glasses. This is more of a general lighting issue, but if you wear glasses and don’t want glare, illuminate yourself from a 45-degree angle. When I followed the initial instructions of sitting it right in front of me, the glare was super obvious on my glasses.
You can find the Elgato Key Light Air on Amazon here.