Let Customers See You In the Right Light On Video Calls

Ever been in the middle of a video conference and catch a disturbing glimpse of you on the screen? If it’s not the image you wanted to give customers, it might be the lighting. Too little and customers can’t see your facial expressions. Use the wrong kind and it looks like you’re in a police lineup. Get the most from your high-speed video calls with these tips on lighting your business’ most important asset—you.

Tip 1: Cameras are drawn to the light.

It’s your camera, not your eyes, that decides how light appears to your viewers. That lamp behind you might look great but your laptop’s camera focuses on the light it emits. So everything in front of it (including you) appears darker. And your audience focuses on the lamp, not you.

Knowing that, try to position your light source so it’s directly behind your camera. That way the light will shine on the same thing the camera sees. For example, if you’re using natural light from a window, position yourself facing the window with your laptop directly in front of you. Its camera will capture the light coming from behind and focus on how it shines on you.

Tip 2: Face it head on.

What’s the best place to position the light? Keep it in front of you so it lights up your face. That lets you take advantage of nonverbal cues. A smile shows you’re friendly, a raised eyebrow displays surprise, or a nodding head can show empathy. All of these are missed if the customer can’t see your face clearly.

Light placed overhead or to one side can cast undesirable shadows that mask parts of your face. That might be great if you’re shooting a dramatic scene for a horror movie but it can send the wrong message to customers.

Tip 3: Choose supplemental lighting wisely.

Here are several supplemental light sources available to help focus light in the right direction. But stick with one source at a time. The camera won’t know which to focus on so the results can be undesirable.

  • Daylight LED bulbs – These bulbs simulate daylight and create more natural lighting. And they can be used with existing light fixtures. They are also a great alternative to fluorescent bulbs which can make you look like you’re in a sterile office or on the floor of an industrial factory.
  • Stand-alone ring light – This device features a series of small LED bulbs formed in a circle. They can fill in dark gaps and provide more even light. Some have a dimming feature along with a color adjustment. They’re often placed on an articulating arm or tripod so you can move it where you want and position the height.
  • Clip-on lights – Some new lighting options allow you to attach supplemental lighting directly to your laptop or mobile device. For example, the Lumecube is a mini-LED panel light with a suction cup that mounts directly on your laptop. This might be an option if you video conference on the go.

Looking for more information? Lifesize offers pros and cons of several lighting options, some for under $15.

Tip 4: Don’t forget the light from your screen.

Does your face have a mysterious blue glow to it? It might be the light reflecting from your computer screen onto your face. If so, just adjust the brightness level on your device. You’ll still be able to see the screen and you won’t look like you’re radioactive.

Don’t leave customers in the dark on your next high-speed video conference. Use these tips to focus on how and what kind of light shines on you. Then customers will be able to focus on you and your message.