best ring lights for videoconferencing

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The 7 best ring lights for videoconferencing

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Whether you use Zoom, Skype, Teams, or any other videoconferencing platform, good lighting equipment can help you create the exact look you want, regardless of how much (or how little) natural light is available in your work setting. The best ring lights for videoconferencing are the proper size for close-ups and have variable settings to suit different environments.

Ring lights are typically between 6 and 22 inches, but since video lighting rings should be set up 2 to 3 feet away from your face for optimal illumination, larger, more powerful rings at this distance may have the potential to cause harsh glares or unwanted eyestrain. An ideal ring light for videoconferencing will have a maximum diameter of 10 inches, which will illuminate your head and shoulders. There are also mini lights designed to clip onto smartphones that are as small as 3.5 inches.

Next, decide how many color settings you need. Light can emit different temperatures, measured in units known as Kelvin. Lower values create a yellowish warmth, similar to the light at sunrise, while higher values cast a white light with bluish tones. Ring lights are normally available in the range of 3,000 to 6,000 degrees Kelvin, but some offer as few as a single temperature while others have adjustable dials that cover a wider spectrum. If you participate in videoconferences at different times of the day, or in different rooms where light conditions vary, look for a ring light with as many color options as possible.

Brightness settings are also important. A ring light that can adjust between 0 and 100% brightness offers you the most control, but lights with low, medium, and high settings are often enough to get the job done.

The final consideration is whether your ring light is compatible with your device. Lights that can be clamped directly on to a computer monitor have a smaller footprint, but others might prefer a ring light with a tripod to adjust heights and angles. If you videoconference from an iPhone or Android, consider a compact ring light that clips onto your phone. Also, be sure that the power source is a match for your needs. Ring lights typically require a USB port, but others use AC adapters or rechargeable batteries.

With that in mind, here are the best ring lights for videoconferencing — and they're all available on Amazon.

1. A best-selling ring light with impressive user ratings

  • Light size: 10 inches
  • Key features: high ratings, 3 temperatures, 10 brightness levels, mounts to included tripod

At 10 inches in diameter, this popular UBeesize ring light is the perfect size for videoconferencing. It’s a popular choice on Amazon, having earned a 4.6-star overall rating after more than 12,000 reviews. Although the Kelvin rating isn’t listed, the LED bulbs can be adjusted between three temperatures — warm white, cool white, and daylight — as well as 10 brightness levels, for a total of 30 settings. Controls can be set using a touch panel on the back of the ring, and the AC power adapter means you’ll never have to worry about running out of battery life during a video call — but you will need to be relatively close to an outlet.

The ring light attaches to a tabletop tripod for stability, and a ball head allows you to swivel it 360 degrees horizontally, as well as tilt it, making it easy to achieve just the right angle. The light doesn't need to be limited to videoconferencing, either — with a universal phone mount and a Bluetooth remote shutter, it's also popular for taking selfies and creating social media content.

Helpful review: “The size of the light is perfect for lighting my face during a zoom call, google meeting, or vlogging. It’s light and so easy to travel with. You can adjust the legs to sit on your desk behind or beside your computer/phone. I love the different settings so it doesn’t have to be so bright all of the time. Everyone in my virtual class compliments the perfect amount of light I have during class. The light lasts way longer than my other ring light because it has a wall block. Other ring lights just have the usb function. Bottom line: for the price and the functionality, this is amazing!”

2. A wallet-friendly ring light with 10 brightness levels

  • Light size: 6 inches
  • Key features: budget-friendly, 3 color temperatures, 10 brightness levels, mounts to monitor

The cheap ring light combines a wallet-conscious price with high functionality. Designed for use with laptops, the 6-inch USB-powered ring attaches to the edge of your screen using screw-on clips with protective silicone pads (but it doesn’t come with a tripod). There are three color temperatures between 3,000 and 6,200 degrees Kelvin, plus 10 brightness settings, all of which can be adjusted using switch buttons on the light's USB power cord. A rotating ball joint allows you to adjust the angle for the best lighting and to eliminate unwanted shadows.

Helpful review: “This light was everything I needed to bump up the quality of my video calls to professional quality. I have done a few interviews with this light on via Zoom and the difference is spectacular, especially when using a blurred background. I feel like giving it this extra studio touch to your interviews could leave a great impression. This is a great purchase and a very versatile little gadget to have around.”

3. A clip-on ring light with an adjustable gooseneck

  • Light size: 3.5 inches
  • Key features:: 3 color temperatures, 10 brightness levels, flexible gooseneck, mounts to monitor

For the convenience of a clip-on ring light with the flexibility of a tripod, the Bekada LED desk light is a clever and well-priced solution. The 3.5-inch, USB-powered light has a built-in controller that allows you to switch between 10 brightness levels and three color temperatures: warm (3,000 Kelvin), warm white (4,500 Kelvin) and white (6,500 Kelvin). Best of all, the 1.5-foot-long, flexible gooseneck allows more freedom than a ball joint when it comes to adjusting the angle and direction of the light. A mounting clip with nonslip pads allows you to secure this light to your monitor and laptop, but there’s no tripod included.

Note that the manufacturer says this USB-powered ring light works best when plugged into a wall outlet rather than a laptop or computer port. However, one satisfied user wasn’t bothered by this, writing: “This light has been perfect for keeping me well-lit during video calls and online meetings... I use an external plug and I'm very happy with it!”

Helpful review: “Decided on a whim to purchase this and for the price I'm kicking myself for not getting it sooner. Have it mounted behind two 27" displays and it clears them without issue. The settings ensure that you can make yourself look good without burning your eyes out of your head during an hour long meeting. I've used it for a few longer calls and doesn't generate heat or get warm at all, the adjustability really makes this an ideal, economical solution. Will recommend this to my colleagues for their WFH setups.”

4. A versatile ring light with a flexible tripod

  • Light size: 6.3 inches
  • Key features: 5 color temperatures, 5 brightness levels, mounts to monitor or the included flexible tripod

The Acmezing videoconference lighting kit has a generous list of features considering its compact size. The 6.3-inch ring light emits five distinct color temperatures — warm yellow, warm white, natural white, daylight, and cold white — between 3,200 and 6,500 degrees Kelvin — and has five levels of brightness for each setting. Adjustments can be made using a push-button controller that's built into a USB power cord. The ring light easily attaches to your monitor using a metal clamp with anti-slip foam pads, and a swiveling ball head makes for easy angle adjustments. Lighting can also be tailored using flexible tripod legs that can wrap around objects or sit flat on a desktop. If you’re looking for the best ring light with tripod and clip-on versatility, this is your best bet.

Helpful review: “This thing is super bright and has plenty of adjustment settings to not only control the brightness but the color of the light, from a soft yellow to a warm orange, to a bright blue-white. [...] The material all feels light, but strong and definitely has a quality feel to it. I am super impressed by this light.”

5. A compact ring light that clips onto your laptop or monitor

  • Light size: 4.5 inches
  • Key features: 3 color temperatures, 5 brightness levels, simple design, mounts to monitor

If you want a simple design without any bells and whistles, this ring light kit by Cyezcor is a great option. The compact, 4.5-inch ring clamps directly on your monitor with a padded clip (no tripod included), and a wired cord can be plugged directly into your computer's USB port. The ring has three temperatures — white, neutral, and warm — and five brightness levels for a total of 15 settings, but the degrees Kelvin aren’t provided. Adjustments are made using a push button controller on the power cord, while the light itself can be spun 360 degrees and tilted to achieve the best angles.

Some Amazon reviewers noted that the clip, which opens to a maximum width of 1.35 inches, is too narrow to clamp onto some monitors. However, others described it as “sturdy” and “substantial,” and a few resourceful reviewers clipped it to nearby objects like shelves and desks with satisfying results.

Helpful review: “This is perfect lighting for my video calls and virtual meetings. It's easy to setup and I like the customizable light as it relates to warmth and magnitude. I face a window so this is particularly handy when adjusting for different lighting conditions throughout the day/evening. [...] Overall, I am very pleased with this purchase.”

6. A pocket-sized ring light that also works with smartphones

  • Light size: approximately 3.5 inches (according to a reviewer)
  • Key features: portable, rechargeable, 3 color temperatures, 4 brightness levels, mounts to monitor or phone

One of the best ring lights for phones, this convenient, pocket-sized pick makes it easy to jump into a virtual meeting from your phone, but you can also use it with laptops and external monitors. Most importantly, the ring is rechargeable, and on a full charge, lasts for up to two hours, according to the brand (although some reviewers found it lasted up to three hours, which is considerably longer than other selfie lights on the market).

At 3.5 inches in diameter, the ring emits a warm light, white light, and natural light (degrees Kelvin not listed) and has four brightness settings, all of which can be adjusted on the ring itself. Although the size of this ring light is designed for close-ups shot on phones, with a clip that opens to 1.2 inches, many Amazon reviewers found that it was just as effective when used with laptops and PCs (but keep in mind that it doesn’t come with a tripod). This is a great pick if you’re looking for something compact, portable, and budget-friendly.

Helpful review: “Whether for Zoom conferencing or a virtual date or a quick photoshoot with your phone, this is the best ring light out there for under $20 and doesn't come with the fuss of needing to get a special stand for it or anything like that. Just clip it on your laptop, phone, or tablet and go. The 3 warmth options (cold, neutral, warm) + levels of brightness make it perfectly adjustable for a wide range of skin tones and whatever the lighting setting you're in.”

7. A premium ring light alternative with bonus accessories

  • Light size: 4.8 x 2.6 inches
  • Key features: stepless color temperature adjustment, stepless brightness adjustment, frosted lens, rechargeable, mounts to monitor or included tripod

While not technically a ring light, this Lume Cube Broadcast Lighting Kit is a popular option that provides optimal conditions for videoconferencing sessions. The LED light has an adjustable output that varies between 3,200 and 5,600 degrees Kelvin, while brightness can be adjusted between 1 and 100% for total customization. Both settings are controlled using push buttons and are clearly displayed on an LCD screen. To ensure soft, even effects, the light has a built-in frosted lens and includes an additional white diffuser.

The adjustable desk tripod extends from 12 to 30 inches high, and the ball head swivels 360 degrees for easy adjustments. However, if portability is a priority, a separate suction cup monitor mount eliminates the need for the tripod and helps you pack light. The ring light runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and one Amazon reviewer reported that a full charge results in up to four hours of use. But if you want a continuous power source, you can use it with the USB-C cord that’s included with the kit.

Helpful review: “Really like this product. Lots of bright and warmth options to customize how you want to appear on your call. Also love the two options of mounting...one of the back of laptop and one is a multi height stand. The battery is easily charged and lasts a long time...longer if not on max bright. I looked [at] many lights and am VERY happy to have landed this one.”

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