How I Got Soft Key Light for $29 in my Small Home Office

Do you want to know how to improve the quality of your videos?

Just follow along. I’ll show you how a simple change in lighting can make a big difference. Instead of using harsh overhead lighting, I’ll switch to a different lighting setup.

I know some of you may think this is fake, so to prove it’s not, I’ll turn off the overhead light and turn on the new light.

Watch this video too see the proof

Now, as you can see, just by having a soft key light in front of me, everything changes. – The mood changes.

I use an IKEA lamp, which I already have, and it costs less than $100.

Why you need a keylight

A keylight is a lighting setup used in photography or videography that provides the main source of illumination for a subject.

It helps to separate the subject from the background, creates shadows and highlights to define the subject’s shape, and sets the mood or atmosphere of the scene.

The keylight is the most important light source and is used to illuminate the subject’s face or body, making it the “key” light in the scene.

My key light problem

The problem is, I live in Denmark and there’s no natural light in the winter.

And i have a full time job, – so I can only film videos after work.

The big, bulky lights you see on YouTube are super expensive and massive in size – i mean they’re also enormous. Those are the ones you see from Godox and Aputure. – they are the best, but so so big.

I have been working on minimalizing my work from home setup

I am trying to keep as little clutter as possible in my office.

So i needed another way.

So, I found a way to use LED lights instead.

The problem with LED lights is that they have a harsh light, but I’ll show you a fix for that too.

I chose a small, cheap LED panel light, which I mounted on the wall behind my monitor.

Why Does LED Cause harsh lighting when used as a key light?

LED lights can cause harsh lighting when used as a key light because of their intense, directional and concentrated light output.

This creates hard shadows, stark contrasts and can make the subject appear washed out or unflattering.

Big light domes, can’t be used in small spaces.

Additionally, the limited color rendering of some LED lights can produce a cold and unnatural color cast. To mitigate these issues, some softening and diffusing techniques such as using light modifiers or filters can be applied.

As previously mentioned, i did not want to use filter or light modifiers ( a big dome )

My solution to softer key light with a LED light

I mounted in a way so it reflects on a white wall, and then reflects a soft light on me.

This is a great way to use an LED light, because it’s indirect and much softer.

The panel I use costs about $30 on Amazon and has a battery that lasts for days.

This is how the light looks with both natural light and the LED light as the key source.

Andoer USB LED Video Light Kit, 3200K-5600K Photography Lighting 14-Level Dimmable with 148cm/58in Adjustable Height Tripod Stand, 5 Color Filters Triple Cold Shoe Mount, for Video Live Streaming
  • Dimmable LED Video Light: 120pcs light beads provides 3200-5500K color temperature, Each of 3 colors has 14-levels brightness...
  • Adjustable Tripod Stand: Extendable support rod and tripod stand provides about 20cm-148cm working height, different height...
  • 5 Filter Panels: Interchangeable white/ red/ blue/ yellow/green filter panels are free to mount according to different...

Last update on 2024-07-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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I still think it looks better with the LED light on.

My name is Simon, and this is my website. I maainly talk about camera gear, but also other stuff i own.

This website is an extension of my YouTube channel called: Simon's Danglish Reviews.

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