The best ring lights for remote teaching can make all the difference between a distracting compromised lesson online and an immersive, rich learning experience for students.
Being seen and being heard clearly in the class are important so, if anything, that's even more important when teaching remotely and online. As such, getting light right can be crucial. Your face being lit evenly, with a ring light, can mean all your expressions and feelings are more accurately shared with your students to help them feel as if you're really there with them.
Built-in cameras on laptops and phones are fine but without the proper right light even the smartest ones won't do a great job. LED-powered ring lights are now relatively affordable and offer professional quality lighting to everyone.
But which is the best for your needs? Read on to find the best ring light for teachers.
1. Neewer Ring Light Kit: Best ring lights for remote teaching top pick
The Neewer Ring Light Kit is one of the best available as it is designed for professional-level make-up work. The massive 20-inch ring light uses an array of 352 LEDs to create a broad and even spread of 44W of light that ranges from 3,200 to 5,600K, allowing you to avoid the too-white light that some ring lights deliver.
This is both mains and battery-powered, making it ideal if you want the option to move around, or sit somewhere not close to a power source. The size of this light offers a wide spread that can deliver a more even finish, ideal for any teacher who wants to illuminate more than just their face. So for a science teacher taking a class through a live experiment, for example, this is an excellent choice.
2. Rotolight Neo 2: Best ring light for video classes
The Rotolight Neo 2 is a product built by a company with years of experience creating lighting at the professional level, for photographers and others. As such, it represents a lot of research and experience being distilled into a very small, highly efficient, and super effective form factor. Small enough to sit on a desk, in fact.
Pop this next to your display, laptop, webcam, smartphone – whatever – and it will illuminate you as the subject with a perfectly balanced light that creates the most lifelike representation. We haven't missed the fact this isn't technically a ring light, but it does exactly the same job, just without the option to place your smartphone at its center.
Both battery and mains-powered, this is super portable. Yet it offers a whopping 1,840 lux of bicolor light that is good for clear images at up to three feet, making it ideal for video lessons.
3. UBeesize Selfie Ring Light: Best affordable ring light
The UBeesize Selfie Ring Light is a great option for teachers who don't want to spend too much. This compact ring light, at 10.2 inches, still manages to offer enough power for teachers on a video call with the options of three levels of warmth from 3000K up to 6000K and 11 brightness levels.
Some versions come with a tripod stand while still being super affordable. There is also a USB power cable supplied, which can be plugged into a mains charger, a portable battery, a laptop, tablet, or smartphone – making it very versatile and portable.
The tripod also features a phone holder, perfect if you want to teach a class, see the students while still facing the light and camera, and remain hands-free. For the low price, it comes with a three-year replacement cover for parts, which is even more impressive.
4. Xinbaohong Clip-On Selfie Light: Best for iPhone and laptop
The Xinbaohong Clip-On Selfie Light is a super affordable, mega portable ring light that easily clips to smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other devices. Essentially, anything that's 0.7-inches or thinner, this will clip to it. This makes for a very easy to use device, powered by USB cable, which delivers a powerful 6000K light that's ideal for video class teaching.
This device offers bright and dim modes, however, when used in the bright option, the battery won't last long. Yup, this does work on battery alone, so it's travel-friendly, but since you're likely using it with a USB-capable device, charging shouldn't be an issue. At this price it's so easy to give it a try it's difficult to think of a reason not to.
5. ESDDI 18 Ring Light: Best dimmable and powerful ring light for video
The ESDDI 18 Ring Light offers a large and very powerful ring light for a reasonable price when you consider the padded case, six-foot stand, and phone clip are thrown in, too. The light itself offers a wide range of color, from 3000 to 6500K, as well as the ability to vary brightness from 10 to 100. That's plenty of range from the powerful 432 LEDs that kick out a whopping 48W of light power.
All that makes this equally as capable when lighting a teacher for a remote class lecture or for covering a wider area to show off an experiment. The only downside is you will need mains power as that's the only option on this ring light.
6. Smoovie LED Color Stream Ring Light: Best color light
The Smoovie LED Color Stream Ring Light is ideal for anyone looking to offset the color of a room. That could mean helping to normalize the color but also it could be used as a feature as part of creating a mood for a presentation, say. This also allows you to pick three color modes within the white spectrum to vary the warmth and get an ideal facial covering when needed.
This is USB-powered, however, some versions (at time of publishing) come bundled with a 3,000 mAh battery charger pack too, making it truly mobile. There are 6- or 8-inch size variants, both of which are plenty bright enough for most rooms.
7. Erligpowht 10" Selfie Ring Light: Best value for size
The Erligpowht 10" Selfie Ring Light is a well balanced option that offers lots of powerful features but at a budget-friendly price. This model comes with a 10-inch LED light ring capable of three color modes, ranging from bright white to a softer yellow.
This sits atop a tripod that's capable of extending from 18 inches high right up to 50 inches. It also comes with a smartphone mount attachment. You also get a remote control for use at a distance that connects to the phone via Bluetooth.
This has a lot going for it while keeping the price low, making it an ideal entry level model for anyone wishing to give a light ring a try without spending too much.