Lighting is something that can make a stream look more professional and legit. Now with that being said, not everyone has $100 to spend on lighting and so is natural lighting an option?
Is Natural Lighting Good For Streaming?
Natural lighting can be a viable option for good lighting on your stream, provided that you live in a sunny location, you can position the lighting behind your camera and you can stream in front of a window.
Now when I say natural lighting I don’t mean the ceiling light in your bedroom. I am talking about good ol’ natural sunshine.
In this article I will go over what you will need in order to stream using natural lighting and whether or not I think that it’s a good idea to do so.
Living in a Sunny Location
If you are choosing to use natural lighting (the sun) as your main source of lighting then you will want to make sure you are living in a place that is mostly sunny. I am talking about places like California, Arizona or Florida.
If you live in a place like New York for example, which has some of the worst weather in the United States, it may be hard to get away with using natural lighting as your main lighting source.
And the reasons should be obvious. If you are streaming consistently, you can’t not stream certain days because it is snowing or raining and so your lighting will be bad.
You can’t have the weather dictate your streaming schedule because then you might go months without streaming all because of some bad weather. Can’t happen.
So I would say if you live in a place that is sunny, at least for the most part, then you may consider using natural lighting as your main lighting source.
If not, it is still ok to use natural lighting, just make sure that you have a backup plan for when those bad weather days hit so that way you are not having to skip a stream due to weather.
Positioning the Lighting Behind Your Camera
When it comes to good lighting you want to have your main light source behind the camera for best results.
Having your main light source behind the camera, in this case the sun, gives you a nice even light across your face. It will light up both sides of your face evenly and you won’t have a lot, if any shadows.
Now on the other hand if you have your camera facing the light, with your back to the light, you will have a very shadowy video output. It might even look like a giant shadow if it is bad enough.
But if you are going for a weird shadowy look well then by all means do that I guess.
And same goes for having your lighting placed on the side of you as well. It will cast shadows and won’t give your video a nice even light.
For this reason I usually close the blinds to my window when I stream so that way I don’t have any weird lighting or shadows.
My lighting is on the side of me and having the blinds open while I stream gives my face uneven lighting and causes shadows that don’t look good while I am streaming.
Stream in Front of a Window
Lastly, try to stream facing a window with the camera in front of you. This will place the lighting behind the camera like we already talked about giving you a nice, even light on your face.
This means that whichever room you are in, try to position your streaming setup in such a way that it allows you to be close to the window.
This is how you will get the best lighting and will help you to avoid shadows on your stream.
Also, keep in mind that the sun rotates throughout the day and so certain times of the day may be better than others as far as lighting is concerned.
Oh and being close to a window may add some extra noise to your stream so check out this article here if you want help in reducing noise in your streaming room.
Should You Stream Using Only Natural Lighting?
Although you can stream using only natural lighting, it is not a good idea to rely solely on natural lighting to light your stream. Natural lighting is unpredictable and this may cause the lighting on your stream to be inconsistent.
If you could guarantee that everyday the sun would come out and be at a certain brightness and there would be no clouds etc., etc. then natural lighting would be great. But you can’t.
Even in the sunny places I mentioned like California, Arizona and Florida you still can’t predict the weather. Even though those places are generally sunny, there are still rainy days with lots of clouds that you just can’t control.
But don’t worry, good lighting can be cheap! In fact, I just purchased an amazing light for around $40. It’s a Mount Dog Studio Light (click here to see it on Amazon) and it works awesome!
In the end natural lighting can work, but if you are serious about streaming and want a consistent, quality light source then you will have to spend some money.
As always, if you have any questions or just want to hang with me, stop by my Twitch channel here and say what’s up!
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Eric streams 3 days a week on Twitch and uploads weekly to Youtube under the moniker, StreamersPlaybook. He loves gaming, PCs, and anything else related to tech. He’s the founder of the website StreamersPlaybook and loves helping people answer their streaming, gaming, and PC questions.