As we knew there would be, there is a huge improvement in video quality when using the Key Light Air. As you can see below, without any lighting (other than our screens and some ambient LEDs), the camera image quality isn’t great, even from a dedicated mirrorless camera.
Even a single panel slightly off-center in front of us greatly improved our color accuracy and image sharpness. And while it did take a little time to get used to a light in our face, the white diffusion panel definitely helped make this much more tolerable.
Adding a second light off to the side and a bit behind created a bit of separation from our background, which adds depth and a bit more professional look to the image.
Aside from improving the quality of our stream image, there isn’t much else to talk about as far as Key Light Air performance. The adjustments and compatibility with the Elgato Stream Deck make these lights much more versatile and easy to use, but by no means is a Stream Deck required to use these lights. Both the app and full Control Center application are just as easy to use to control the Key Light Air.
It’s not often that a seemingly simple product crosses our test bench and provides a marked improvement to our setup. While we are well aware that lighting is a major factor in image quality, we were still impressed by the results we obtained when using the Elgato Key Light Air with our podcasting and streaming setup. We had previously just utilized the glow of our monitors and some ambient RGB lighting to illuminate our face, but we knew we needed an improvement. And sure, there are cheaper ways to get some light into your stream, but where the Elgato Key Light Air stands out is the integration into your system as a whole. Controlling the power to the lights, as well as color temperature and brightness, via an app or dedicated program offers standard customization options, but when paired up with a Stream Deck, these lights can really shine, no pun intended. Putting control functions at your fingertips is very handy if you have never used a Stream Deck.
As far as the build quality of the light and all of its components goes, we were thoroughly impressed. The hefty bases keep the lights exactly where you want them with no worries, and the adjustable stand lets you tweak the height and hide cables with ease. Add on the adjustable ball head and mount, and you get aim these lights right where you need.
Behind good audio quality, good lighting is probably the second most important aspect of a video or stream – outside of the content itself. The Elgato Key Light Air lights make improving your lighting setup a breeze, and offer tons of integration with your system, especially if you are already a part of the Elgato eco-system. At a standard price of $129.99, these lights are available at our favorite online retailer, but expect to pay a bit of a premium right now due to demand for streaming gear due to COVID-19. We found absolutely no flaws with the Key Light Air, and that earns it a 10 out of 10 and the ThinkComputers Editor’s Choice Award.
- Solid Build Quality
- Greatly Improves Image Quality
- Simple Setup
- Easy to Use Control Center
- Stream Deck Integration
- Easy Adjustment
- Unavailable or inflated price due to COVID-19 demand