With more and more people working from home and conducting meetings virtually over Zoom or another video conferencing service, we might not be getting ready to head to the office. However, we still want to look our best. And part of that includes not only having the right camera angle and business-appropriate attire but also having a favorable background and good lighting. The best ring light for laptops is actually not a ring at all but rather shaped like a rectangle. The Lume Cube Video Conference Lighting Kit offers adjustable brightness, soft lighting, and can run from its extended built-in battery or via USB, making it ideal for working from home and on the go.
Best Overall: Lume Cube Video Conference Lighting Kit
Source: Lume Cube
While it isn’t technically shaped like a ring, po-tay-toe, po-taa-toe. This lighting kit accomplishes the same thing and works in the same way as the others on this list. But it offers some really great features that put it a cut above the rest, including brightness that’s adjustable from 1% all the way up to 100%. You can also adjust the color temperature from warm orange to cool white and use the built-in frosted lens and white diffuser to further create soft and professional-looking light that’s flattering to the face.
Shipping with a computer mount, it has a suction cup on the end to easily affix to any laptop as well as a desktop computer, or virtually any flat surface. The built-in extended lithium-polymer battery lasts for up to 14 hours, but you can also plug it in via USB to use external power if the battery is running low.
Another nice feature is a built-in intelligent LCD that displays the run time, selected brightness level, and color temperature. It’s a perfect light for remote working (it’s lightweight at just 0.9 lbs.), video conferencing, or even virtual school or lectures.
- Lightweight for travel
- 14-hour battery and USB power
- Very customizable settings
- Doesn’t cover portion of the screen
- Not technically a ring
Lighting like a pro
Get professional-like soft lighting for video calls from your laptop with this versatile, adjustable lighting kit.
Best for Using With a Phone: Elitehood 8-inch Small Ring Light
If you tend to use your phone along with your laptop or computer for video recording, webcam chats, live streams, photos, selfies, make-up tutorials, and more, this ring light would be a good option. It includes an 8-inch weighted metal stand with a phone holder on the end that can accommodate almost any phone, with or without a case, holding it securely and rotating 360-degrees as needed. The stand itself can extend from 9 inches up to 16 inches tall.
Available in either white or black finish, you get three color options and 10 brightness levels, each of which is dimmable to get the perfect lighting. It has buttons for power, brightness, and tone switching, but keep in mind that it requires a CR2 battery (included) and has to remain plugged in via USB to work.
With a sturdy metal bracket and round base versus a plastic tripod stand, it’s rugged and hefty at 2.57 lbs. But it will get the job done if you use your laptop and smartphone simultaneously for activities where improved lighting makes sense.
- Holds your phone as well
- Dimmable lighting
- Doesn’t work on rechargeable battery
- Much heavier than the others
- Doesn’t clip on to laptop
Best for Using With a Phone
Secure your phone
Secure a smartphone in the rotatable phone holder behind your laptop and get an ideal recording and lighting solution.
Best for Sleek Look: QIAYA Selfie Light Ring
Finished in white, this ring light is ideal for taking selfies or things like make-up tutorials as well. It’s designed to resemble jewelry with a sleek and elegant look – it even comes with a golden ring-marked gift box, making it a perfect gift for someone special, like a vlogger or person working from home. It’s compact and lightweight at just 0.11 lbs. so you can bring it anywhere.
Thanks to the built-in rechargeable battery, you can keep your computer’s USB port free for other devices and use this ring light on built-in battery only. That said, some users have reported that the battery doesn’t last very long.
You get adjustable brightness with three levels of light settings that can apply to different use cases, ensuring the highlight you while darkening everything in the background. When in a Zoom meeting, for example, your face will look natural and bright versus washed out or darkened.
- Compact and very lightweight
- Rechargeable battery for wireless use
Best for Sleek Look
Designed to resemble jewelry, right down to the classy packaging, this ring light is ultra-compact and lightweight, too.
Best for On-the-Go: GearLight Radiance Selfie Ring Light
If you’re constantly on the go, making videos, on video calls, or doing other activities on your laptop that require lighting from a variety of locations, this ring light might be a good option. It’s a rechargeable mini clip that opens to 1.25 inches wide, easily fitting on your laptop as well as desktop computer monitors, tablets, and smartphones.
It comes with a three-foot cable that you can use as a back-up to gain power via USB should the battery die: the 600mAh battery runs for up to two hours per charge on high, though, which should be long enough for a make-up tutorial or Zoom meeting.
Choose from three dimmable lighting modes – daylight, white, and warm lighting – to get the perfect lighting, enhancing images in otherwise unflattering shadows.
- Rechargeable battery
- Easily clips on to a variety of devices
- Super affordable
- Battery doesn’t last very long
Best for On-the-Go
Radiant lighting anywhere
Move from laptop to desktop, phone, and tablet with this simple, clip-on ring light that runs on a rechargeable battery.
Best for Two Or More People: Evershop Dual 8-inch Computer Selfie Ring Light
Ideal if you have two people using one laptop screen for a video chat or vlog, this ring light actually includes two lights on a tripod holder with a stand for a phone between 2 and 3.4 inches thick, supported by gooseneck arms.
Made of premium aluminum alloy, it’s durable and flexible, able to twist 720 degrees to meet your desired angle. It is, however, quite heavy at 4.33 lbs. But it offers a maximum height of 24 inches with a center of gravity that keeps it stable.
Each LED ring has three light modes (cold white, warm white, warm yellow), nine mixed-light modes, and 10 levels of brightness, with a color temperature that is adjustable from 2,700K-6,000K. Even if it’s just one person using it, the dual lighting can help provide even light, enhancing the sense of layering and eliminating dark shadows. USB-powered, it requires a separate QC 2.0 or 3.0 adapter that is not included.
- Great for multiple people
- Lots of adjustable lighting options
- Even lighting from both sides
- Heavy; not great for on the go
- Requires an adapter that isn’t included
- Doesn’t run on rechargeable battery
Best for Two or More People
Get two ring lights on one gooseneck, ideal for two people or for even lighting for one.
Best for Value: Auxiwa Clip on Selfie Ring Light
With a total of 36 LEDs around the perimeter of this ring light and three brightness levels, you get a maximum 100mm focal length and 1mm minimum, offering soft illumination without harsh lighting for video calls, making videos, and more.
A neat feature is a small scratch-resistant sponge on the back that prevents the ring light from scratching your laptop, as well as from falling off. It is powered by a 250mAh rechargeable battery, though users say it doesn’t last that long. But it’s suitable for short videos and video calls, or keep it plugged in using the included charging cable.
Ultra-lightweight at just 0.09 lbs., this ring light is small and compact enough to keep in your backpack, briefcase, or purse and use as an emergency light when needed.
- Very lightweight and compact
- Scratch-resistant sponge is a nice touch
- Battery doesn’t last very long
- No adjustable color temperature
- Only three brightness levels
Best for Value
Does the job
While you might have to keep it plugged in for long sessions, this simple ring light will get the job done.
Why buy a ring light?
The other day, my friends and I had a Zoom video Secret Santa “party,” and we joked that our one friend looked like he was Mr. Robot from the popular USA Network series because his lighting was so dark, completely washing out his face. Imagine looking like that during a business call or virtual meeting? So many people worry about having a suitable background when making video calls from their laptop or shooting videos but forget about another important factor: lighting.
When it comes to lighting, there are lots of ways you can make it better, including webcam lighting. One category in particular, however, is ring lights, and it’s totally worth investing in.
The best ring lights are a simple way to enhance the lighting, so your face looks natural and soft without harsh lights or darkened tones. And while the best ring light chosen in this guide isn’t technically shaped like a ring, it functions in the same way as the others. Not only is the Lume Cube Video Conferencing Lighting Kit designed specifically for use with laptops. Simultaneously, most ring lights are made primarily for use with a phone or for improving selfies and vlogging, but it has a ton of useful features. You can adjust brightness by choosing from a wide range of lighting options, use it for up to 14 hours on the built-in battery, and take it with you because it’s small and lightweight.
Sure, it’s more expensive than some of the others. But if you are doing a lot of video calls and meetings, vlogging, or other activities that require great lighting with your laptop, it’s a no-brainer investment. If you’re on a budget, though, or have less frequent lighting needs, any of the other options on this list are worth considering.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Christine Persaud resides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has been working from home for six-plus years. In addition to tech, she loves TV, cooking, baking, wine, and her eight-year-old son.
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