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This post was most recently updated on January 8th, 2023

With remote working rising in popularity, you want to make sure you have the right setup for video conferencing calls at home. Ring lights can improve the visibility for you and the other participants on the call.

They can make a big difference while being very versatile and largely inexpensive.

However, there is a balance to using ring lights during a video conferencing call as they can cause problems. This is largely due to the glare that ring lights can produce which can become a truly unflattering and even perplexing look.

If you and your participants cannot see the screen properly then your ability to present on the video conferencing call can be more difficult. Ring lights can also interfere with the camera lens itself and even distort the image.

Think carefully if you want to use ring lights as they can help your video conferencing calls immensely. They can also hinder them and make the video output difficult to see. You might ask, are ring lights good for Zoom calls?

What Is A Ring Light?

A ring light is essentially a doughnut-shaped light that is made of several rows of LEDs. These LEDs create a halo shape that can diffuse light across a large area like a whole room, like the one you are presenting from.

A ring light also has a gap in the middle which you can use to mount your camera or phone as it can benefit from the even distribution of light that surrounds the lens.

Why You Should Get A Ring Light For Your Zoom Calls

If you work in a typically dark room, you may struggle to be seen on a video conferencing call. Having your participants squinting simply to see your facial expression while you are speaking or presenting is not going to create a great impression.

You will want a video conferencing call to present a realistic and bright image of yourself and the room you are presenting from. In certain rooms, especially at night, having the curtains closed and using a floor or table light may not suffice for illuminating your video conferencing call.

Aside from the quality of your laptop’s camera or webcam, the lighting is vital to ensuring the image quality in your video conferencing calls. That does not necessarily mean a complex and expensive lighting rig for excellent close-ups.

You may simply want a ring light for your remote working, especially if you are a teacher, an influencer, or someone who regularly has to present in front of their fellow employees.

The halo shape of the ring light helps to diffuse light which reduces shadows as well as helps to hide blemishes. If you like to look your best on a video conferencing call then a ring light can help flatter your appearance, even if you are not wearing makeup.

Without a ring light, you and your presentation may struggle to be understood. This is particularly important for any members of your video conferencing call who struggle with hearing loss.

If they cannot see you properly they will also fail to read your lips which can become difficult for them and they may complain.

Why A Ring Light Might Be Bad For Zoom Calls?

Why A Ring Light Might Be Bad For Zoom Calls?

Ring lights come in several different sizes and the bigger the size, the more improved the light output should be. The range usually goes from 10 to 18 inches and you should be careful with the smallest and largest sizes.

For instance, ring lights that are sized at 10 inches, or even below at 8 inches, often come with stands that prop the light up about an inch off the desk you are working from. That can create under-chin lighting which is a weird, unflattering, and unsettling look for you and your participants.

The smallest-sized ring lights tend to be the least expensive though you may find yourself having to stack one up on a few books which can become precarious.

The effect of using the smallest ring light can be that of a light point source that frequently produces hard light and fails to produce the flattering soft light you may desire.

You should try having the ring light at arm’s length where the effect should be softer. For a video conferencing call, you should stick to using a white light mode for a more business-like look, otherwise, it can look unnatural and off-putting.

If you get a larger ring light, you should get a more flattering appearance for your video conference. However, at 18-inches, you may find that the ring light is far too bright and creates an image that appears washed-out unless you use the very lowest brightness levels.

If you are using the lowest brightness levels, there is not much point in paying for the most expensive ring light.

Other Uses For A Ring Light

A lot of ring lights can offer some welcome versatility to be used in various ways other than for Zoom calls. Ring lights are also useful if you use your laptop’s camera or webcam for applying makeup, conducting online business, or using macro photography.

With different color lighting modes then a range of brightness levels you can create different looks for different purposes.
Maybe a dimmable brightness to remove any unflattering shadows for applying makeup or a specific color mode for performing on TikTok.

You could also use a ring light as a light to help you read a book or to live stream during the day and into the night. Ring lights could be used for taking selfies at the most desirable height.

If you enjoy taking photos then you could use a ring light to enhance the highlights in your subject’s eyes which is why a lot of YouTubers, influencers, glamor, and portrait photographers use them.

With so many different uses, you could find that you use your ring light when you need it at work but also during your free time. If you want a simple tool to enhance the quality of your Zoom calls, as well as YouTube videos and social media, you should invest in a ring light.

Final Thoughts

Using a ring light can be good for Zoom calls, but only when used correctly. Find the right size and ensure it is at the right distance from your face and you can have an effective means of ensuring that you can be seen and understood on a video conferencing call. You could also use a ring light for several other uses, including for live streaming, make-up applications, and as a reading light.