Let’s face it. 

Streaming is insanely huge in today’s modern gaming world. There are roughly 41.5 million users on Twitch alone, and that figure is expected to rise to 51.6 million by 2024 with streamers now expanding into Facebook Live, Youtube Live, Periscope and more. Many retail brands have tried jumping onto this success by providing all sorts of streaming equipment for PC that could be useful to streamers just like you. 

One such brand that’s becoming more prominent in the streaming world is Elgato. If you don’t know, they’re a German based retailer that sells audio devices, cameras, capture devices, streaming tools, green screens, multi-mounts and most importantly: LIGHTING. 

In some cases, lighting can make or break an aspiring professional streamer. Have too little lighting, and you can potentially discredit your reputation or authority as a content creator. Have too much and well… who wants to watch a screen that’s too bright? 

Most professionals with some serious pocket change are investing into Elgato’s Key Light, a desk-attached extendable light fixture that provides professional quality lighting, a color temperature range of 2900 to 7000 K and comes with an adjustable Control Center application . Not too shabby, if you’re prepared to spend £319.98 (That’s $432.85 US dollars). 

But is there a cheaper alternative? Get On Stream says YES. 

What are the Best Elgato Key Light Alternatives?

1. Samtian Desk Mount LED Video Light Kid

Most Expensive – Best for Larger Studios

  • 💡[Large Dimension] 17.7 inches new version 180°folded LED video light panel built-in diffusers to release softer light and provide ideal light for videographer or cinematographer whether you're shooting stills or video. (L: 37.6cm W: 26.6cm H: 2.5cm, 120°beam angle)
  • 💡[288 PCS Lamp Beads] Equipped with 288pcs lamp beads on each photography tabletop light with high color rendering index(CRI>97), provides a brighter and awesome shooting environment. Our studio lights offer more light for Youtube/Game/Live streaming, Instagram, Tiktok, portrait photography and etc.
  • 💡[2 Ways Control] Bi-color led panel lighting with stand can be controlled by the light body and 2.4G wireless remote helps you to turn on/off the light, switch the brightness/color temperature/channel/group accurately and you can see the results on the LCD-display on the back of studio light. Designed with 40 channels(1-40)and 4 groups(A/B/C/ABC), any led video light panel can be a master to control another light which is with the same channel and group. (Note: Come with 2 remotes for spare)
  • 💡[Dual Power Design] Camera video light can be powered by the power adapter (included) or NP-F series Li-ion battery(not included, recommended NP-F970 and above) caters to various photography shooting requirements. You can take the lighting kit anywhere for photography without any hesitation because of coming with a carrying bag to store video light, C-Clamp stand, and other accessories.
  • 💡[C-Clamp Stand] Stable stands are mounted on the live steaming desks, suitable for desk thickness in 1.4-8.5cm. What you get: 2X video light, 2X C-Clamp Stand, 2X remote control, 4X remote battery, 2X power adapter, 1X carrying bag, 1X manual. 📩SAMTIAN provides 24-hour customer service on business days. Any question about the products, please feel free to contact us.

Kicking off our list is the Samtian Desk Mount 2-Pack which offers two light up LED screens at 16.5” each. These LED screens feature remote wireless control, a multi-angle range of 120 degrees, desk mounting straight out of the box and comes with a carry bag. 

These LED Soft Light panels are a great choice for streamers who are chasing the best streaming lights at a cheaper price. Already you’ll be getting not just one panel, but TWO for a much lower price than the Elgato Key Light, and almost all of the same quality and functionality. 

That’s a bargain. 

Pros

  • 2 Panels
  • Adjustable Brightness
  • Remote wireless control
  • Multi-Angle 120 degrees
  • Desk Mountable
  • Carry bag

Cons

  • Not a lot of specs available online
  • Still pricey
  • Double the handling
  • Batteries not included

2. Dazzne D50 Desk Mount Video Light

 Moderate Expense – Ideal For Streaming

  • [Excellent LED Studio Light] 45W high-quality bulbs; adjusting brightness from 0% to 100%; regulating color temperature from 3000K/warm to 8000K/cold; 15.4 inches super lighting panel with 120° beam angle
  • [LCD Display & Wireless remote] Every parameters are visible on the LCD Screen, which makes your to professionally operate the light; without moving from your seat, you can simply control the lights just by the helpful wireless remote controller
  • [Desk Mount & Soften Diffuser] Saving your space by mounting the light on your desk with a useful c-clamp (fit thickness 0.8-3.1 inches (2-8cm); with a build-in diffuser, softing and diffusing light in a balanced way, the panel light allows you to capture every beautiful moment.
  • [Dual Power Modes] A power adapter ensuring stable power supply; you also can use the panel light for outdoor shooting just by 2 pcs of rechargeable Li-ion batteries (Compatible NP-F series batteries are not included)
  • [Package includes] 1x LED panel light + 1x C-clamp stand (fit thickness 0.8-3.1 inches (2-8cm)+ 1x Power adaptor+ 1x wireless controller (1pc CR2032 included)

Next up is the very popular Dazzne D50 Desk Mount Video Light  which offers a single 14.5” panel screen with adjustable brightness, a color temperature range of 3000K to 8000K and uses 45W of power. 

Throw in a multi-angle setting of 120 degrees, power cable, remote wireless control, heat reduction, and desk-mountable straight out of the box and you’ve got a solid contender. 

Already we can see the Dazzne D50 rivals Elgato’s Key Light in terms of premium features for less than ⅓ of the price. 

Pros

  • Adjustable brightness
  • Remote wireless control
  • Multi-Angle 120 degrees
  • Desk Mountable
  • Heat reduction design

Cons

  • No carry bag
  • Smaller Panels
  • Batteries not included

3. Neewer Desk Mount LED Kit

Moderate Expense – Best for Streaming

  • LED Lighting Kit: This 288-LED panel light delivers soft, continuous, and flicker-free lighting for game streaming, video shooting, and photography. Mount on your live stream desk using the desk-mounted light stand with adjustable height ranging from 13.8”/35cm to 23.6”/60cm. Fits desk thickness from 0.47”/1.2cm to 3.46”/8.8cm
  • Customizable Lighting Setup: Featuring a high 97+ CRI, dimming control (from 1% to 100%) & adjustable color temperature (from 3200K to 5600K), the LED panel light allows you to have total control over photography lighting
  • Remote Control: Easily control the light settings and switch between 40 channels and 4 groups (A/B/C/ABC) with the 2.4GHz remote
  • Dual Power Options: Just plug in the AC power adapter or use two Sony NP-F batteries (not included) when you’re on the go. Keep shooting and never worry about running out of power
  • Package Contents: 1× Neewer NL-288ARC 45W LED Panel Light, 1× Desk-Mounted Light Stand, 1× Power Adapter, 1× Power Cable, 1× Carrying Bag for the Light, 1× 2.4GHz Remote Control, 1× User Manual

The crème de la crème of our choices. Coming in at number three is the Neewer Desk Mount kit which features adjustable brightness, a color temperature ranging from 3000K to 5600K across 2 18” LED screens and remote wireless control.  

Like our previous entries, the Neewer kit offers 120 degrees in multi-angle settings, desk mounting straight out of the box and its own carry bag and power supply. This contender is slightly cheaper than its Dazzne D50 cousin, and you get an additional LED screen, again, for less than ⅓ of the asking price for Elgato’s Key light. 

If this is still above your price range, don’t worry. Get On Stream has a few more ideas. 

Pros

  • 2 LED Screens
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Remote wireless control
  • Multi-Angle 120 degrees
  • Desk Mountable
  • Larger 18” Panels
  • Carry Bag

Cons

  • Batteries not included.
  • Double the handling

4. Raleno LED Soft Light Panel

Cheap Expense – Perfect for a Small Studio

  • [Soft and Uniform, No Glare] This video light is equipped with 192 SMD lampe beads and uses an acrylic light guide plate, which can disperse the glare, make the light soft and uniform, and not hurt the eyes. Ideal for interviews, baby photography, conferences and YouTube
  • [Built-in Dual 8000 mAh Rechargeable Battery] Built-in rechargeable battery can provide continuous lighting for 90 to 110 minutes at maximum power. The studio lighting comes with an adapter and a 2-meter-long power cord, which can be used when charging to meet your long-term work needs
  • [High-Resolution LCD Display] With LCD display, it can intuitively display the current brightness, color temperature and battery power information. And has a storage function, you can easily set the required parameters to improve work efficiency
  • [Adjustable Color Temperature and Brightness, CRI 95+] Using 2 easy-to-adjust buttons, you can adjust the brightness (0%-100%) and two colors (3200K-5600K) as needed. CRI> 95 can achieve true color reproduction and clear images
  • [Wide Compatibility] The camera light with 1/4 inch hot shoe mount, compatible with any digital SLR camera, camcorder, tripod and light stand. And adjustable at 180° front and rear, easy to install and fix, can effectively prevent shaking during use

If you’re looking to keep things cheap and basic then this entry is just right for you. The Reno LED Soft Light Panel is everything you need for lighting – adjustable brightness, color temperature ranging from 3200K to 5600K and a nice wide 18” in line with our premium options earlier. 

This LED panel comes with two 4000 mAh batteries and power adapter, with the battery life ranging from 90-110 minutes of use. 

You’ll need to purchase a compatible adapter in order to attach the Raleno LED to your desk or studio. In saying that, you do have the flexibility of attaching a much larger mount if you prefer. And at the end of the day, the smaller price tag is worth a little bit of extra work too. 

Pros

  • Adjustable brightness
  • Larger 18” panel
  • Batteries Included
  • Cheap

Cons

  • No desk-attachments provided
  • No remote wireless control
  • No carry bag.

5. ViltroxL-116T LED Panel

Cheap Expense – Perfect for Start-Up Streamers

  • Brightness&Color Temperature adjustment--- 20%-100% brightness adjustments. 3300k-5600k color temperature adjustments. Only this one light can already meet the daily shooting needs.
  • Super lightweight to carry ---The dimension: 192x 128 x 25mm, only 2cm thick, Net Weight: 260g. That's lightweight and portable . You can put it in your camera bag and take it anywhere.
  • Easy to use ---Very easy to use the light .You can switch brightness mode and color temperature mode by simply pressing the adjustment button, rotate it to change brightness percentage and color temperature parameter. Another point , the l116t light remembers previous setting when you turn on again . this function is too excellent than other brands .
  • LCD display screen--- shows clearly about the information of brightness, color temperature and the battery.which makes your to professionally operate the light.
  • Soft diffuser surface--- People had a hard time with the harsh light from LED, VILTROX l116t has the Honeycomb diffuser surface , offer you enough brightness ,but don't harm your eyes . you can use it for your gril/baby/pets/.

An even cheaper alternative to the aforementioned Raleno is the ViltroxVl-116T which features adjustable brightness and a color temperature of 3300K-5600K, but not much else. 

This 12” lightweight panel is a cheap, yet dependable, option for streamers and content creators working on a tight budget. You will also need to buy a compatible desk mount and power cable in order to use the VL-116T. 

The small price tag, in some eyes, definitely justifies the extra bit of legwork to get this set-up rolling. 

Pros

  • Adjustable brightness
  • Lightweight
  • Very Cheap

Cons

  • No desk-attachments provided
  • No remote wireless control
  • No carry bag
  • No power cable

6. Enegon 6” Selfie-Ring Light Kit

Cheapest Expense – Perfect For Start-Up Streamers

The well renowned ring lights. You’ve seen them all over Youtube, TikTok and Instagram, and we have to say, they’re pretty useful for lighting.

 

Enegon’s 6” Self Ring Light Kit features adjustable color and brightness, a color temperature of 3000K to 6000K, 360 rotation, a power bank, an adapter and a 2m long USB cable. If you’re wanting to give streaming a try, but don’t want to invest all of your money, then this lighting option may just be the choice for you. 

Despite its small functionality, the Enegon Selfie-Ring is a perfect tool for those looking to get started with video and literally 1/10 of the price of a high-end lighting system. 

Pros

  • Adjustable colors
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Easy handling
  • Very cheap
  • Monitor/Laptop/Phone Mountable

Cons

  • Only 6”
  • No remote wireless control

7. DIY

The final entry to our 7 alternatives is simple: do it yourself. A home-made lighting system using whatever resources you have from home could save you some serious dollars. Can you just rely on natural lighting? Have you got any outdoor lights sitting at home you could use? Maybe a family member has something you can share. Whatever helps you get acceptable lighting for your streaming is a perfect start. 

And while there is a never ending wealth of tutorials and How-Tos on the internet, we here at GetOnStream recommend YouTube. You can watch and follow step-by-step and perhaps find information you weren’t expecting. 

What Now?

So, you’ve just discovered the best streaming lights for your home studio. If you haven’t settled for a desk-mountable option, then you may be in the market for different kinds of lighting stands. Don’t worry, we’ve already done the legwork. Keep reading for Get On Stream’s best 3 lighting stands for your home studio. 

The 3 Best Light Stands

1. Neewer PRO 9-FT Studio Light Stand

The Neewer Pro Light stand is made from aluminum alloy for tough work and boasts an adjustable height from 113cm to 260cm with a max load of 5kgs.. Most importantly, the PRO supports all major brands of photo equipment such as lighting, reflectors, softboxes, umbrellas and background material which opens the use of this lighting stand to film, modeling and more. 

When it comes to lighting stands, you can fall prey to ridiculously overpriced vendors. 

Our recommendation is: stay cheap.

  • The light stand is made of aluminum alloy, making it strong for heavy duty work.
  • Made by the industrial standard, it supports all major brands of photo equipment such as reflector, softbox, different lights, umbrella, background, etc.
  • Height is adjustable from 3.18ft to 8.53ft.
  • Max. load capacity: 15 lbs
  • Spigot: 1/4 (need adapter to convert to 3/8)

2. Neewer Mini Backlight Stand

More suited for a desk home set-up, the Mini Backlight is the perfect, cheap option for a simple lighting stand fixture. Featuring a durable Aluminum material, a max height of 50 cms and a max load of 2 kilograms, we believe this option is perfect for streamers on a budget. 

A potential downside to the Backlight is desk-space which is why our third and final option should solve all your problems. 

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Max height: 50cm/20in
  • Max. Load: 2kg
  • Weight: 12.23oz
  • Easy way to set up, quick release and lock system fitted for the fast and easy used.

3. Neewer Tabletop Light Stand Clip 

Combine this bad boy with one of our cheaper Lighting panel options from earlier and you’ve got a winner. The Neewer Tabletop Light Stand has everything you need for a home studio – adjustable height, durable material, adjustable table clamp, and versatility, meaning you can use this lighting stand for just about anything from lighting rings, cameras, smartphones, and more. 

If you’re looking for an insanely cheap lighting combination, then the Neewer Tabletop Light Stand must be part of that equation.

  • ADJUSTABLE STAND: The stand height can be adjusted from 12.5inches/31.8centimeters to 20.6inches/52.4centimeters through fixed knob; It is a convenient support stand for lighting equipment; Note: Only the tabletop stand is included, other accessories in the pictures Not Included

  • STANDARD 1/4INCH SCREW: Designed with standard 1/4" screw, it supports most photography lighting equipment such as, ring light, led video light, smartphone holder, DSLR cameras etc

  • STABLE AND DURABLE: Made of aluminum alloy material which ensures a long time use without getting rusty, making it strong for heavy duty work and preventing deformation

  • ADJUSTABLE TABLE MOUNT CLAMP: The clamp is adjustable for fitting different table through adjust the knob and screw. The clamp can support the table thickness from 0.4inches/0.9centimeters to 2.4inches/6.0centimeters

  • WIDE APPLICATION: This tabletop light stand with adjustable height is great for supporting ring light, camera, smartphone, video light etc, which can be perfectly used in make up, interviews, lighting, live streaming, video shooting

How to Position Lights in Your Streaming Set-Up

Lighting can be very complicated for the uninitiated, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, with a little bit of knowledge from our tech wizards, you’ll be fully set up and streaming like a professional in no time. So let’s recap on some facts you may or may not know. 

We categorize lighting based on how we apply them to our sets and studios. For example, the most common 2 lighting terms you’ll hear are Key Light and Fill Light

Key Lights are our primary lighting source that makes the magic happen. 

Fill lights cover everything in between like shadows and glare. We can achieve this by positioning the Fill Light in a way that softens the Key Light’s light.

Confusing, right? 

Let’s explain this further. 

You can stream with just one light source placed in front of your face or to your side, but not directly in your eyes. This works fine. But what you may notice, depending on your lighting quality, is that shadows and glare can appear. If you’re just starting out as a streamer and content creator, this is completely acceptable. 

Mess with your brightness settings and positioning to eliminate at least some of these issues. 

But if you’re already a bonafide streamer with some money to spare? We recommend getting a second lighting option. But how do you set up lighting for streaming? Well, these helpful graphics from restream.io are a great example. 

Source: Restream.io
Source: Restream.io

Key Things to Remember

  • You can just stream with 1 Key Light. 
  • When using two lights, your Key Light must be brighter than your Fill Light. 

Do I need More than 2 Lights in my Streaming Setup?

The short answer: yes and no. The complicated answer: well keep reading. 

Your Lighting will depend on your circumstances, your budget and more importantly, what kind of content are you producing and at what production level? Start-up streamers and even some content creators can get away with using just one lighting source alongside natural lighting. 

Like we suggested earlier, if you’ve got cash to spend, a minimum of 2 lights are the best strategy when producing quality level content. But what about 3 or more? When would you use this much lighting?

Again, that depends on your situation. You have to make that call, you’re your own boss. If you feel like 2 lights just aren’t cutting it, then it’s time to introduce a concept called 3-Point Lighting. 

A three-point lighting setup utilizes three lights for a home production set: 

Key Light

Fill Light

And an exciting new lighting term called Back light. 

A back light is generally situated behind and facing the point of focus in order to eliminate any shadows that still remain from your key and fill lights. The positioning will depend on your needs, however restream.io offers a useful graphic for 3-Point Lighting beginners. 

Source: Restream.io

You could take this journey a step further and introduce a 4th Background Light, a lighting source that faces away from the point of focus and illuminates your background. In all honesty, not every background requires lighting, especially if you’re pursuing some sort of cool lighting aesthetic, but just in case, here’s one final graphic from restream.io to keep you informed. 

Source: Restream.io

Wrapping Up

You’ve got a premium selection of affordable lighting sources, alongside the 3 best lighting stands to boot and NOW you know all the funky lighting terms and positioning strategies. Seriously, why are you still here? Go and get amongst the infinite world of streaming! 

We’re looking forward to seeing you make it big out there! 

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Author

James is a marketer by day and gamer by night. He loves sharing his Marketing background in the world of streaming. When he's not working on campaigns he's likely to be spotted in Verdansk.

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