8 Best Background Lights for Streaming (Buyer’s Guide)


Video producers often take background lighting for granted in shoot setups. Still, it is crucial to produce a consistent and professional quality stream. Without proper lighting, whatever you record can take on a weird color tinge because your camera has to use the available light. With a profusion of selections in the market, you may wonder: what’s the best model to buy? 

The best background lights for streaming are those with the most features: illumination manipulation, flexibility, programmable modes, control via software or app, multiple settings, power sources, and color temperature options. The top brands that streamers use include Elgato, MountDog, and Neewer. 

We have compiled a listing of the most popular background lights for streaming, so you don’t have to wade through the masses of options out there. Read on to see our favorites. 

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Why Is Lighting Vital in Streaming and Video Broadcasting?

The importance of adequate lighting cannot be overemphasized. Streams taken with a basic webcam and professional lighting easily trumps those shot with a quality camera and poor lighting. 

Invest in a professional high-quality light setup from the start. You don’t have to waste time experimenting with ones that don’t illuminate your video stream correctly. 

What Is a Background Light?

A background light illuminates specific areas for a stellar live broadcast. Some streamers use RGB band lighting to create interesting backgrounds. 

You should use a background light to illuminate subjects from behind. Position it above them. 

Hustlr suggests using backlights with your key (main) light if you want the audience to notice the background. An example is if you have trophies, valuable collections, or notable artwork to show off. 

Best Background Lights for Streaming and Video Broadcasting

Whether you produce or direct indoor or outdoor shoots, the superior lighting setups below offer the best-controlled lighting for excellent streams. 

We chose these models (all available on Amazon) because they consistently crop up across various aggregator lists and professional photography sites as some of the best background lighting for streaming: 

Elgato Key Light 2800 Lumens

This model is created specifically for streaming as a key light, but you can also illuminate backgrounds with it. Its metal frame supports a robust 2,800 lumens of light. You can place it on a desk or connect it to a screen as it comes with a handle and stands. 

Its level of customization and flexibility make it a top contender in various applications like: 

  • General shoots 
  • Photography 
  • Video creation 
  • Media streaming 

You can fully customize your setup using the Elgato app. You can also adjust the color temperature and brightness settings without interrupting your streaming.

A cheaper alternative is Elgato’s Key Light Air, which has a lower output, smaller console, and adjustable table stand.

Pros

  • Durable light structure and composition 
  • Effortless in-app configuration and feature/color switch 
  • Adjustable, versatile range of color temperature (from the warmest at 2,900K to the whitest at 7,000K) to fit different scenarios, including background focus 

*K stands for Kelvin, the SI (French Système International) base unit of thermodynamic temperature. Its measurement intervals are identical to those of the Celsius degree scale. 

Cons 

  • This is the priciest model on this list. 
Elgato Key Light, Professional Studio LED Panel With 2800 Lumens, Color Adjustable, App-Enabled, for Mac/Windows/iPhone/Android, Metal Desk Mount Copy
2,017 Reviews
Elgato Key Light, Professional Studio LED Panel With 2800 Lumens, Color Adjustable, App-Enabled, for Mac/Windows/iPhone/Android, Metal Desk Mount Copy
  • App-enabled: Adjust settings via your screen for accurate real-time feedback
  • Ultra-bright and adjustable 2800 lumens and fully dimmable
  • Versatile color temperature: 2900 – 7000 K produces cold through warm white

Viltrox L116T LED Light

This two-item kit’s lighting setup is similar to Elgato’s but costs five times less. You can buy individual lights separately if preferred. This model has adopted the latest LED honeycomb design. The Viltrox VL-200T is one level up and costs more, but it has a larger panel and remote control. 

Pros 

  • Dimmable LED lights.
  • Excellent brightness and color temperature accuracy. 
  • Digital control of luminescence and color temperature values 

Cons 

  • Its mini tripods are not extendable.  
Viltrox 2 Sets Photography LED Video Light Lamp with Bi-Color 3300K-5600K, HD LCD Display Screen,CRI 95 for DSLR Table Photo Studio with Tripods
165 Reviews
Viltrox 2 Sets Photography LED Video Light Lamp with Bi-Color 3300K-5600K, HD LCD Display Screen,CRI 95 for DSLR Table Photo Studio with Tripods
  • VILTROX L116T LED light adopts newest LED honeycomb design with 15W 987LM high brightness ,nature and soft lights.Widely used in micro-film MV shooting, news interviews, wedding follow-up shooting, makeup teaching, portrait photography and other lighting scenes.
  • You can adjust the brightness and color temperature steplessly.The brightness is accurate to 1%, and the color temperature is accurate to 100K.(3300K~5600K can be adjusted)
  • HD LCD display .let the operation interface is clear.Digitally accurately control brightness/color temperature value.
VILTROX VL-200T Bi-Color Dimmable LED Video Light with Remote Wireless Control,Ultra Thin 3300-5600K CRI95+ Studio Photography Panel for Photography TikTok YouTube Twitch Live Streaming Zoom Meeting
55 Reviews
VILTROX VL-200T Bi-Color Dimmable LED Video Light with Remote Wireless Control,Ultra Thin 3300-5600K CRI95+ Studio Photography Panel for Photography TikTok YouTube Twitch Live Streaming Zoom Meeting
  • Wide Application: The 10.2”×7.8” LED video light photography panel delivers continuous, non-flickering soft light for video and photo shootings, making it a good choice for TikTok Youtube Twitch live streaming, Video/Photography, Zoom Meeting
  • Wireless Remote Control: It employs an FSK 2.4GHz wireless remote control system with 6 groups(A/B/C/D/E/F) and 19 channels. The remote control can control one or more lights at the same time, so you can adjust the brightness and color temperature of several lights across a room simultaneously
  • Bi-color & Dimmable: With a steppless dimmable knob, you can customize your lighting effects from a range of 3200K-5600K color temperature and 20%-100% brightness. it also employs an LCD screen that shows the accurate readings of brightness and color temperature in real-time

MountDog Softbox Lighting Kit

This softbox kit is fab because it offers the optimal lighting option for video streaming. Plus, its aluminized fabric has multiple functions: 

  • It produces soft, balanced, diffused light. 
  • It reflects light effectively. 
  • It prevents shadows. 
  • It reduces light loss. 
  • It disperses light throughout a large area. 

Pros 

  • A breeze to install. 
  • Foldable, with a carrier case 
  • Energy-saving 
  • Lightweight 
  • Affordable 
  • Suitable for beginners and general photography. 
  • Each bulb is 1,350 watts, and there’s a replacement bulb in the package. 
  • One-year warranty 

Cons 

  • You need space for it. 
  • Some parts don’t last as long as you’d like. 
Sale
MOUNTDOG Softbox Lighting Kit Photography Studio Light 2x50x70cm Professional Continuous Light System with E27 95W Bulbs 5500K Photo Equipment for Filming Model Portraits Advertising Shooting
882 Reviews
MOUNTDOG Softbox Lighting Kit Photography Studio Light 2x50x70cm Professional Continuous Light System with E27 95W Bulbs 5500K Photo Equipment for Filming Model Portraits Advertising Shooting
  • 【2 Softbox】: 2pcs 20 x 28inch MountDog softbox ultimately soften light stream and remove shadow to make perfect shooting; Silver internal face to minimize light loss and maximize light spread, with E27 socket,you can directly connect light bulbs,fluorescent lamps or slave flash to offer the light.
  • 【Energy Efficient Bulbs】: 2 x 95W Energy saving compact fluorescent spiral bulb, in total to save energy up to 80% and life time approx 10000 hours. With 6500K color temperature, providing a good photographic environment.
  • 【210° Rotatable Head & Adjustable Light Stand】: Angle can be 210°adjustable lamp holder, which can suit for different perfect shooting with 1/4-inch Standard Screw Thread Tip. It still comes with 2 adjustable light stand that can be fold to 27'' or expand to 80''. Make you use it better.

For more information, check out which is better for streaming: ring light vs. key light.

Craphy Photo Studio Kit 

This umbrella lighting kit is an affordable complete photography lighting solution. Its photo bulbs offer a 5,500K color temperature. Daylight-balanced fluorescent floodlights give off cool, white constant lighting. Its umbrellas reflect and spread light uniformly and prevent glare.

A unique feature of Craphy is its background support system with three chromakey muslin background variants: black, white, and green—all collapsible. The backdrop is a cinch to set up for any kind of photography and video streaming. 

Pros 

  • Each bulb has a lifespan of 10,000 hours. 
  • It’s 80% energy-efficient. 
  • All accessories are robust and durable. 

Cons 

  • The set occupies a lot of space. 
CRAPHY Photo Studio Umbrella Lighting Kit 1250W 5500K Photography Daylight Umbrella with Muslin Backdrop Kits(9x6FT White Black Green),Background Stand Kit(10x6.5FT)
175 Reviews
CRAPHY Photo Studio Umbrella Lighting Kit 1250W 5500K Photography Daylight Umbrella with Muslin Backdrop Kits(9x6FT White Black Green),Background Stand Kit(10x6.5FT)
  • ★[STUDIO TRANSLUCENT UMBRELLAS]: Made of high-quality Nylon, light-weight and easy to set up; it can reflect and spread light stream evenly to create a better photography lighting effect
  • ★[ENERGY-SAVING PHOTO BULBS]: 5500k color temperature daylight balanced fluorescent floodlights provide cool, white continuous lighting, saving energy up to 80% with an average lifetime of 10000 hours; suitable for E27 socket
  • ★[COMPATIBLE LIGHT STANDS]: Made of Aluminum Alloy,these 2 umbrella flash strobe light stands are lightweight and durable, suitable for heavy duty work. 1/4’’ screw is compatible with all major photo equipment and quick release levers allows full and smooth height adjustments. Height adjustment is from 26.35’’ to 80’’

Neewer Advanced 480-LED Video Light

This product is a budget alternative to Elgato. Though approximately ten times cheaper, it does a stellar job. This bi-color, dimmable LED video light combines the features of Elgato, and Godox SL-60 LED Video Light. Its color temperature ranges from 3,200K to 5,600K, surpassing Godox’s capacity. 

This current Neewer model has: 

  • An LED Panel 
  • LCD screen 
  • Lighted metal U-mount bracket 
  • Barn door

Unlike older models, the Advanced 2.4G has a wireless remote, which allows you to adjust its 11 channels, brightness, and color temperature from a distance of 66 feet (20 meters). Also, unlike its predecessors, it comes with an AC power adapter. 

Pros 

  • It offers an adjustable white balance from tungsten (3,200K) to daylight (5,600K). 
  • Two individual knobs behind the panel allow you to adjust the brightness and color temperature. 
  • The LCD screen lets you view the status of the color temperature, brightness, and the light’s power level. 

Cons 

  • While you can also power this Neewer model with a Sony NP-F550 or a Sony NP-F970 lithium-ion battery, both are not included. 
Neewer Advanced 2.4G 480 LED Video Light, Dimmable Bi-Color LED Panel with LCD Screen and 2.4G Wireless Remote for Portrait Product Photography, Studio Video Shooting with Metal U Bracket and Barndoor
183 Reviews
Neewer Advanced 2.4G 480 LED Video Light, Dimmable Bi-Color LED Panel with LCD Screen and 2.4G Wireless Remote for Portrait Product Photography, Studio Video Shooting with Metal U Bracket and Barndoor
  • DIMMABLE BRIGHTNESS AND 2 COLOR TEMPERATURE: With 240 White and 240 Yellow LED long lasting bulbs, this light illuminates a variable white balance from Tungsten-Daylight 3200-5600K; 2 separate knobs on the panel back for adjusting color temperature and brightness; Clear LCD screem can show the brightness, color temperature and power status of the light
  • PREMIUM MATERIAL AND U-MOUNT BRACKET: Made of excellent quality aluminum alloy showing simple elegant appearance; U-mount bracket enables the photographers to adjust the lighting angle according to the shooting environment
  • 2.4G WIRELESS REMOTE CONTROL: It can easily adjust brightness, Channel and color temperature from within 20 meters distance. Designed with 11 channels (1-10 Channel and "88" Channel) and with the remote control, this light allows you to control one 480 light or control multiple 480 lights at the same time by setting the channel No. of the remote as "88" to achieve more creative work
Godox SL-60 LED Video Light (Daylight-Balanced)
90 Reviews
Godox SL-60 LED Video Light (Daylight-Balanced)
  • Godox SL Series SL60W 60W White LED Video Light - Reflector - Lamp Cover - Power Cord - Original Box
Sony NP-F550 Digital Camera Battery Replacement (2200mAh, 7.2V, Lithium-Ion) - Compatible with Sony HXR NX5U, HDR FX1, NEX FS100, HDR FX7, HVR V1U, HVR Z1U, HVR HD1000U, HDR FX1000, HVR Z5U, DSR PD150
24 Reviews
Sony NP-F550 Digital Camera Battery Replacement (2200mAh, 7.2V, Lithium-Ion) - Compatible with Sony HXR NX5U, HDR FX1, NEX FS100, HDR FX7, HVR V1U, HVR Z1U, HVR HD1000U, HDR FX1000, HVR Z5U, DSR PD150
  • Replacement Battery for Sony NEX FS700, HXR NX5U, HDR FX1, NEX FS100, HDR FX7, HVR V1U, HVR Z1U, HVR HD1000U, HDR FX1000, HVR Z5U, Neewer CN 160, DSR PD150, DCR VX2000, DSR PD170, DCR VX2100, NP F330, NP F550, GV HD700, NP F570, DCR TRV900, NP F770, DCR TRV310, HVR DR60, HVR Z1, MVC FD95, MVC FD91, MVC FD200, MVC FD73, DCR TRV320, CCD TRV65
  • Battery Capacity: 2200mAh, Voltage: 7.2, Type: Lithium-Ion
  • Lifetime Warranty
Sale
Sony NPF970 Rechargable Battery Info Lithium L
154 Reviews
Sony NPF970 Rechargable Battery Info Lithium L
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack designed for Handycam camcorders
  • Provides up to 18 hours of continuous recording time
  • 6600mAh storage capacity without the memory effect found in other batteries

Fovitec 3-Light Fluorescent Studio Lighting Kit

This studio softbox continuous lighting kit with a boom arm has three socket heads and three softbox lights. The triple setup eliminates shadows and encompasses the left, right, and top zones of a scene. 

This kit has: 

  • Multiple adjustment options 
  • 1000-watt bulbs 
  • Fluorescent lights 
  • A carry bag 

Pros 

  • Adjustable 
  • Energy-saving 
  • Creates bright highlights. 
  • Individually-controlled bulbs via the control panel 
  • You can use it in both small and medium venues. 

Cons 

  • Hard to configure. 
  • Priced higher than most lighting kits. 
  • Perplexing instructions 
Fovitec 3-Light Fluorescent Studio Lighting Kit w/ Boom arm, 20'x28' Softboxes, 11 45W Bulbs, Light Stands, & Carry Case for Portraits, Product Photos, Vlogging, Video Conferencing, & Live Streaming
511 Reviews
Fovitec 3-Light Fluorescent Studio Lighting Kit w/ Boom arm, 20"x28" Softboxes, 11 45W Bulbs, Light Stands, & Carry Case for Portraits, Product Photos, Vlogging, Video Conferencing, & Live Streaming
  • Contains 2 5-socket heads, 2 20" x 28" softboxes, 1 single-socket head with a built-in softbox, 11 45W fluorescent lamps, 3 7'6" light stands, 1 4.5' boom stand, and 1 carrying bag
  • Suitable for a wide variety of photo and video applications such as live streaming, interviews, online tutorials, and more
  • Offers easy-to-use lighting controls for maximum versatility and light quality

For more information, check out how many lumens you need for video lighting.

Falcon Eyes SO-28TD and SO-68TDX II

These models sport two types of high-caliber “flapjack” panels: the SO-28TD and SO-68TDX II. (Flapjacks got their moniker from their round, flat structure, which resembles a vanity mirror.) 

The SO-68TDX II is the newer version of the SO-68TD. It boasts no-step dimming, 2.4G mutual control, and a new dual-color control system you can manage with the RC-5B remote. Its on/off button has two options: one for the AC adapter and the other for the V-mount battery. 

These bi-color LED edge lights are more expensive than Viltrox lights, but they span a larger surface and last longer. 

The Falcon Eyes brand’s superior standard and ultra-bright light output are why it’s the preferred choice of many live and video broadcasters, YouTubers, and movie directors.

Pros 

  • You can manipulate multiple lights at the same time. 
  • You can adjust the color temperature from 3,000K to 5,600K using the touch screen. 
  • You can power the unit with either an AC adapter or battery. 
  • You can adjust the U-bracket to 360 degrees. 
  • Dual-color temperature 

Cons 

  • The kit does not contain the battery nor the remote control. 
Falcon Eyes SO-28TD Kit 28W LED Dimmable High CRI95 3000-5600K Soft Lighting LED Edge Light Film Continuous Lighting
61 Reviews
Falcon Eyes SO-28TD Kit 28W LED Dimmable High CRI95 3000-5600K Soft Lighting LED Edge Light Film Continuous Lighting
  • Bi-color temperature from 3000K~5600K, CRI and TLCI of 95+
  • Output power 28W, With LCD touch screen control.
  • Step-less Dimming, With 2.4G Mutual Control Technology in 4 group control channels(A/B/C/D) to adjust multiple lights simultanerously. Support RC-6 Remote control.(The remote is not included)
Falcon Eyes New Version SO-68TDX II 360pcs 68W Soft Led Bi-Color Edge Light with 9 Scene Effect Mode
28 Reviews
Falcon Eyes New Version SO-68TDX II 360pcs 68W Soft Led Bi-Color Edge Light with 9 Scene Effect Mode
  • Ultra-Bright, Power 68W, Bi-Color LED Edge Lights.
  • Color Temperature can be adjust from 3000K-5600K through Touch Screen.
  • Step-less Dimming, 2.4G Mutual control. The SO-68TDX II is built with a new bi-color control system, compatible with RC-5B remote controller (2.4G)(The remote is not included)

Aputure 120D Mark 2

The 120D is a new video light model more durable than its predecessors. Rated at 5,500K, it can be used in numerous devices. It has a universal Bowens mount, wireless remote control, temperature control, and transport case. Its flexible cable system is color-coded.

Its all-in-one power box means minimal cabling and power elements and an easier, faster setup. 

High-standard studios appreciate it for its 1,000-watt tungsten bulb, making it more powerful than older models. It has a wide array of applications and shooting settings. You can program it to produce lighting effects like pyrotechnics. 

The 120D’s built-in power supply and remote control can switch the video light from 1% to 100%. Its structure allows the light to be angled up to 330 degrees and pointed in your desired direction. 

Pros 

  • Easy to install 
  • Its aluminum composition makes it lightweight and portable. 
  • Its smart fans have advanced internal thermometers that change speed according to system temperature. 
  • This new model has a locking mechanism that makes it safer than previous ones. 

Cons 

  • Pricey
Aputure 120D Mark 2, 120D II LED, 180W Daylight Balanced Led Video Light, 30,000 lux@0.5m, CRI96+ TLCI97+, Support DMX, 5 Pre-Programmed Lighting Effects, Ultra Silent Fan, W/PERGEAR Soft Diffuser
90 Reviews
Aputure 120D Mark 2, 120D II LED, 180W Daylight Balanced Led Video Light, 30,000 lux@0.5m, CRI96+ TLCI97+, Support DMX, 5 Pre-Programmed Lighting Effects, Ultra Silent Fan, W/PERGEAR Soft Diffuser
  • 🌿 |Accurate Color Rendition|: CRI 96+ TLCI 97+ offers Natural, Pristine Color for Broadcast Video, Photography, Television Production and Studio Filmmaking
  • 🌿 |Supports DMX Lighting Function|: The C120D II's DMX system is also pre-programmed with special lighting effects (i.e. thunder, fireworks, etc.) and allows users to input their own effects
  • 🌿 |Combined Controller-Power Unit|: The C120D II is now powered by a single, all-in-one power box, which means less cabling and power components, less time setting up the light

Conclusion

Your choice of streaming lights for vlogging platforms depends on the type of video shoot you specialize in and your spending power. We hope that this list will help you choose the appropriate lighting setup for your purposes. 

Check out whether ring lights are good for Zoom calls.

Sources

Last update on 2021-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Vinnie

I'm Vinnie, and I'm here to support you to create your own studio at home, whether it’s for photography, recording audio, podcasts, or videos!

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