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Oct. 13th, 2017 @ 08:57 am Webcam lighting
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
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I play a fair amount of RPGs through video chat. It’s ideal: you don’t have to leave the house, and you can play with people you otherwise wouldn’t even be able to play with due to distance!
However, I have been struggling with the lighting situation at my desktop. Our study gets quite dark: we never turn on the ‘big’ lights for the whole room, because the dimmer makes a very irritating buzzing sound — as if there are large flies swirling around your head. But we don’t need that much light ourselves anyway: we have desk lamps that take care of that, and the monitors are bright enough. But if you’re using a webcam and the only lighting is your monitor, then you get this sickly pale blue hue in the face. And part of a good roleplaying game is to be able to see the expressions and mannerisms of the other players as they portray their character.
So the search was on for a light that is bright enough to illuminate my whole face, but also diffused enough not to blind me. I got a LED desk lamp with adjustable brightness and both ‘cool’ and ‘warm’ light, and that helped a bit — but not wholly.
So when I saw that Ikea was selling LED panels, I was interested. And looking at them in-store convinced me that it might be the right solution for this particular problem. So we bought the smaller one (the 30×30 cm Floalt) along with a cord that would allow us to hook it up to a wall socket. All that was needed was to find a way to get it onto my desk, above my monitor.


We had part of a panel left from when our kitchen was installed (also Ikea) and we used that for its decorative effect. We made a little ‘stand’ at the bottom and drilled a hole to get the cord pass out on the back.


With the panel installed. The set also comes with a wireless control unit. The big button in the middle is on/off, the vertical buttons are to control the brightness and the horizontal buttons are to control the ‘colour temperature’.


Me behind my messy desk with the panel turned on.


Crappy selfie to show what it looks like without the panel on.


And this is with the panel turned on. Not full brightness, but bright enough to give good light without blinding.


Daytime shot to show how the panel is elevated above my monitor and webcam.

I’m quite pleased with it!

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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Glowing LED
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From:changeling72
Date:October 13th, 2017 11:56 am (UTC)
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Nice solution. Well done.
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From:fub
Date:October 15th, 2017 07:41 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!
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From:ashmedai
Date:October 13th, 2017 08:07 pm (UTC)
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I don't game or RPG, but I have to say that's a very cool panel! :)
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From:fub
Date:October 15th, 2017 07:43 pm (UTC)
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It is! You can hook up to ten of them together, and control them with the one remote. That's pretty cool if you want to light up a whole room in one go. Apparently the 30x30 cm fits in certain ceiling tiles system too.
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From:silverthief2
Date:October 13th, 2017 11:43 pm (UTC)
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Creative idea! I need to do better about thinking through our various home lighting situations and how they can be improved.
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From:fub
Date:October 15th, 2017 07:43 pm (UTC)
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Good lighting improves any home.
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From:spiral_meter
Date:October 14th, 2017 01:05 am (UTC)
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wow, very impressive and creative.

b
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From:fub
Date:October 15th, 2017 07:44 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!
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From:resonant
Date:October 14th, 2017 07:45 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, I shall check that out at IKEA.
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From:fub
Date:October 15th, 2017 07:47 pm (UTC)
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The panel is called Floalt. The link is to the small, 30x30 cm version, but there's also a much larger version.
They're designed to be hooked up to mains power like a regular ceiling lamp, but you can also hook it up to a wall socket with an Ansluta cord (which is what I did).
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