Talking tech since 2003

If you stream often, you should definitely have a key light. It can help improve your streaming experience a great deal. Whether you stream from a DSLR or webcam, your key light will determine the kind of experience that you will enjoy.

With so many key lights in the market, choosing the right one can be quite daunting. Here, we are going to share a few key points that can help you get a good key light.

We shall look at the following:

  • Check the K Rating of the key light
  • Lumens
  • Wattage of your key light
  • Color Rendering Index – CRI

Check the K Rating of the key light

K means the Kelvin rating of a light source. It means how close the hue of the light is to the color of the sun. Thus, the higher the Kelvin rating the closer its light will be to that of natural sunlight. Bulbs that have lower K rating will have different hues, one of them being the amber hue.

For a good key light for streaming, the closer the k rating of the light is to 6700k, the better it is. For streaming in daylight, you can get a light with k rating of 5000. However, for the best experience, get one that is as close to 6700k as possible.

The best K rating is recommended because it enhances the color accuracy. You want your stream to have a color that is as close as possible to the natural one.


Lumen is a measure for brightness. The more the lumen rating the brighter the bulb will be. However, if the lumens are too high, you will need to diffuse the light some more so that it can be safe for your eyes.

Many people ask how many lumens they need for their key lights. It must be balanced with the K rating of the light. For example, a 5000-Kelvin light such as we recommended above should have at least 1250 lumens. If the lumen rating is too high, the light intensity could hurt your eyes.

Wattage of your key light

While wattage was used for the incandescent bulbs, which we no longer use, it is still an important consideration for your key light. The lower the wattage is the better because it can also help you save money. High wattage bulbs draw a lot of power, therefore consuming more than their LED counterparts.

While you need a bright light for streaming, the wattage should never go beyond 40 watts. Buy an LED bulb. It is energy-efficient, has a soft light that you may, or may not need a diffuser for. LED bulbs can be very bright, so you need to choose carefully. Since these bulbs last a long time, they give better value for money.

Color Rendering Index

The higher the CRI is the better it will be for streaming, but not too high. CRI imitates the sunlight so the higher it is the closer it will be to the natural sunlight. The best CRI for streaming brings the vivid details in color. CRI is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. For your key light, you will want to get a CRI between 80 and 90. 

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