'Tiny beast' M1 Mac mini drives well-lit workstation [Setups] | Cult of Mac

‘Tiny beast’ M1 Mac mini drives well-lit workstation [Setups]


The lighting's not for everyone, but some people think it's pretty cool.
The lighting's not for everyone, but some people think it's pretty cool.
Photo: DeitySoldier@Reddit.com

If you want a healthy computer setup, don’t just check off the “ergonomics” box and leave it at that. In addition to good posture, straight wrists and so on, you’re going to need good lighting to reduce eye strain. And to look good on video, too, of course.

Today’s featured M1 Mac mini setup throws the switch on a couple of lighting products we rarely see.

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‘Tiny beast’ M1 Mac mini setup features dynamic lighting

Redditor DeitySoldier (“DS”) showcased the workstation in a post entitled, “M1 Mac Mini Desk Setup.”

“I work a blue collar job so it’s hard earned money, well spent,” he said, mentioning he put together the setup over an 8-month period.

It has an M1 Mac mini at its core driving a 27-inch LG 4K display with a short Magic Keyboard and the ubiquitous Logitech MX Master 3 wireless mouse covering input duties. And as for quality audio, it’s provided by affordable, wood-finished Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers, which put out 42 watts of power.

One Mac mini dissenter

But one commenter couldn’t get on board with the Mac mini. “Nice setup, it has the warm vibe to me,” they said. “But the M1 Mac mini left a bad taste in my mouth when I had mine.”

You can read more about the issues faced, involving insufficient RAM, a mother board replaced (perhaps unnecessarily) and epic support calls and visits, at the link above.

“I have no complaints about my Mac Mini, it’s by far the most powerful machine I’ve owned and I don’t feel limited by it,” DS replied. Another commenter called the M1 Mac mini “an absolute champ,” and DS agreed, calling his “a tiny beast.”

Satechi hub broadens Mac mini’s horizons

The M1 Mac mini benefits from the additional ports and storage of the Satechi hub underneath.
The M1 Mac mini benefits from the additional ports and storage of the Satechi hub underneath.
Photo: DeitySoldier@Reddit.com

The Mac mini sits on a Satechi Type-C Stand & Hub with SSD, greatly expanding the desktop’s port options and storage options.

The hub puts the extra ports in front for easy access. They include a USB-C port (up to 5Gbps), three USB-A ports (up to 5Gbps), micro/SD card readers and a 2.5mm headphone jack.

The hub matches and works with not just Mac minis from 2019 and 2020, but Mac Studio, as well.

What’s with the lighting?

Too dimly lit to found stuff on the desk? Not with this setup.
Too dimly lit to found stuff on the desk? Not with this setup. Note the Edifier speakers at the desk’s back corners, too.
Photo: DeitySoldier@Reddit.com

An interesting aspect of DS’s setup is the rather involved and bright lighting that you can see well in the photograph at the top of this page.

“OK, nice setup, but that overhead light contraption closely resembles my own vision of hell,” a commenter said.

DS uses a Godox SL60 video light overhead with a screen/filter that certainly catches the eye. It provides continuous “natural” lighting for video shoots and such. But it also sports eight preset lighting effects and near-silent operation.

Others simply wanted to know more about it and similar choices.

“Do you feel like you should have got the Amaran or a better quality light or do you feel like it’s on par with something like a Aputure 120D?” one person asked.

“It’s definitely a good starter continuous light,” DS replied about the Godox. “I am planning on getting a more powerful light but if had too I could stick with the SL60.”

In addition to the Godox video light, DS has a series of Govee Glide RGBIC LED Wall Lights set up in a sideways L shape alongside and above the monitor. They display up to 57 colors at one time and 16 million colors total, with app control and customization.

Shop these items now:

Computer and dock:


Input devices:


Lighting and furniture:

If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.


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