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    My Portable Laptop Desk & Lighting Setup

    Laptop desk lighting

    I do a lot of video calls, and in my place there's a lot of backlighting which causes me to look like this on calls:

    backlit nev

    This lighting makes doing video calls pretty hard, and being brown doesn't help either. But fortunately I found a way to light up my face much better:

    lighted up nev

    I could just sit near a lamp or something, but I had a few more requirements:

    Everyone has their own requirements for a workstation, so this varies by profession.  But I had a very specific set of criteria:

    • I wanted the desk to move around easily (so I can work from any part of the home).
    • I wanted zero wires hanging from it (so it doesn't look all janky).
    • I wanted the desk to go from sitting to standing instantly.
    • I wanted there to be lights to combat the backlighting from the windows.

    Having zero wires, good lighting, and an adjustable sit/stand desk all in one is a tall order, but after a little digging around I found a unique solution!


    Find The Right Desk:

    I wanted to go 100% laptop at my place, and keep the desktop only at the office.  This meant my $2,000 HumanScale desk had to go.  This thing was a beast, and a fantastic sit/stand desk, but for just a laptop it was comically large:

    Desk is too big


    For scale on how big the desk is, it can easily engulf my full 88-key piano:

    Desk Over Piano

    So I dug around for a desk that's specifically for laptops, can easily go from sitting to standing, and rolls around:


    This is a Unique Furniture Adjustable Laptop Desk I found on Amazon:

    Rolling Laptop Desk

    It kind of reminds me of a desk you'd see at a hospital.  But it's super functional:

    It can roll to anywhere, and with the push of a lever it goes up or down, meaning you can use it while sitting or standing:

    Adjustable Height Laptop Desk

    I'm not saying I HAVE done this.....but theoretically you can roll this into the bathroom and work while you....ummm...you know.



    Finding The Right Lighting:

    I do a ton of video consulting calls from home, and it sucks that I look like this from my laptop webcam:

    backlit nev

    This lighting setup is pretty bad, and being brown doesn't help.

    On my old desk I had 3 photography lights on stands behind the desk to brighten the picture during calls:

    Desk lighting for video calls

    ....but if I wanted to move around AND have zero wires, this setup was no longer viable.

    Instead I found these LED lights I could clamp on the desk:

    led light clamps

    It's just two Aputure LED Lights with two Dinkum Systems Clamps.  This makes it easy for me to remove the lights whenever, and also zero wires!

    Just turn a dial and the light adjusts to how bright I want it.  At night the very lowest setting lights up my face big time.  In the daytime I only need the light to about the half-way setting.  So these are more than enough to light my big brown face on webcam!

    laptop desk with led lighting

    If you too would like to work from a hospital desk that looks like it has dildo's coming out of it, you can grab the lights here:

    Without the lights clamped on, it's almost impossible to see me with all the backlighting:

    no lights sillouhette

    With the lights clamped on, everything looks so much better. The webcam can easily see my face AND the cityscape background:

    Laptop Desk Amaran Lighting

    Much better!  All thanks to this desk that kind of looks like an alien:

    the alien desk

    Hope this was useful :)


    Neville Medhora


    P.S. I've nicknamed the desk "The Alien" when the lights are clamped on.  Here's me trying to impersonate The Alien:

    Neville Is A Desk


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