Cheaper Elgato Key Light Air alternative – best lights for streaming

Looking for a cheaper Elgato Key Light Air alternative?

The lights you’ll see in this post are, in my opinion, the best lights for YouTube recording video, streaming or using Zoom on a budget.

They are literally half the price of the Elgato Key Light Air’s and are almost just as capable.

A single Elgato Key Light Air is $130. That includes a stand and a power supply. For 2, that’s $260. And IMO, the stand isn’t great – it has a flat base that limits where you can put it on your desk.

elgato key light air alternative

My setup is $139 for two, including adjustable stands that clamp to the desk and don’t take up desk space.

I’ve had my Viltrox L116T lights for almost 3 years and they are used close to daily – so they have proven themselves.

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Normally I don’t mind spending for quality, but LED light panels have always baffled me. They always seem to be so expensive despite how cheap they are to make.

Tl;dr – buy the gear

  • Lights: $45 ea – Viltrox L116T – Buy here
  • Power Supply: $8 ea – 12V, 2A 5.5mm x 2.1mm – Buy here
  • Stands: $16.50 ea – 1/4″ Tripod Screw – Buy here

Viltrox L116T Review

These are the lights.

As mentioned, I’ve had these for 3 years and haven’t had a single problem.

The build quality seems pretty sturdy.

They have brightness and warmth control. You click in the knob on the back to switch between brightness and warmth.

viltrox l116t review

And of course, they are HALF the price of the Elgato Key Light Air.

Power supplies and stands

A downside of the Viltrox L116T is that they don’t come with a power supply or a stand. That’s because they’re designed to be used on camera and tripods – instead they come with a battery. That’s pretty useless for streaming.

To fix that, you just need to buy a simple 12 Volt, 2A power supply with a standard 5.5×2.1mm connector. These are extremely common and cheap.

Get them from Amazon here.

For the stand, I actually prefer the stand I got to the Elgato one. It clamps to the edge of your desk and has an adjustable arm so you can move the lights to wherever you want them. The Elgato’s are quite limiting because you need to have a flat area right below where you want the light to be.

This is the one I have:

Downsides

Given that the Viltrox L116T is half the price of the Elgato Keylight Air, you’d expect that some things aren’t as good.

The main reason is that they don’t have the ability to be controlled via wifi. The Key Lights can be controlled through your computer or a Streamdeck.

But honestly, how often do you think you’ll be changing the brightness and warmth? You set it up once and you’re good, unless your lighting conditions change a lot.

I made my Viltrox lights semi-smart by adding a $15 TP Link Smart Plug, so I can tell Google to “turn on the studio” and the lights come on.

Wrap up

There you go. I hope that saves you a bunch of money. You’ll find links to all the items below. They’re affiliate links of course so I hope you’ll help support the fact I saved you some coin.

  • Lights: $45 ea – Viltrox L116T – Buy here
  • Power Supply: $8 ea – 12V, 2A 5.5mm x 2.1mm – Buy here
  • Stands: $16.50 ea – 1/4″ Tripod Screw – Buy here
James Rose

James Rose

James is the co-founder of Content Snare - a software platform that helps professionals collect content & files from clients.

Once an automation engineer, his new priority is to help business owners regain their lives, be more productive and get more done in less time.

Learn how to save 25+ hours every week with automation. Get the guide when you sign up for the productivity newsletter. Click here to get it..

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