Online teachers and video creators need excellent lighting for their videos. You have a lot of options when it comes to video lighting for an online class. What do you specifically need and what can you ignore? That’s what we’re going to cover in this best video lighting ideas for online class.
Side note, something to also consider is upgrading your webcam. A quality external webcam has way better low light performance and produces higher video quality. See our guide (click the previous link).
For online teachers based in the US and Canada an issue arises when teaching early mornings. Lighting. Most of use teach a few classes at sunrise, but during those times when you don’t have natural light, you’re going to need a proper light source for your video class.
The best lighting sources should have a few characteristics that we want when looking to improve our video lighting.
Stick to white light
As we covered in our teacher background ideas post, it’s a good idea to get colored lighting for your background. It makes your online class more visually interesting an professional. But what about the lighting for yourself? Stick to white.
White light will give you a fresh, natural appearance. We’ll look at various lighting options but one thing remains consistent – white light that can be dimmed or turned up is the way to go.
Small and affordable
Ideal lighting for teaching online in a video class should be small and affordable. We will look at a range of options of courses, but here at Teach and GO our goal is to show you what is essential and what is optional.
As with any video lighting setup, you could build out a full studio with professional lighting. This is ideal if you’re also going to be making videos in addition to online teaching. But if online teaching is all you’re going to be doing, we’ll cover the best options.
Designed to light your face
Some will suggest getting a lamp that has a flexible head. Lamps like this are costly but more importantly, they are not designed to light you. They’re designed to light the whole room. This is bad because you want to look fresh and vibrant.
You don’t want to have raccoon eyes because the lighting is not hitting your face in the right way.
The Best Video Lighting Options For Online Teachers
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the best (and most affordable) video lighting options for online teachers and potential video creators. If nothing else, our favorite option to use is a simple ring light. Here are our favorite lighting options:
- Small Ring light
- Razor Kiyo Webcam
- Julius Panel light
- Mount Dog Softbox lighting kit
- Neewer Ring Light
- Fovitech Standing Light
Small Ring Light – Best Option For Online Teachers
Our essential item on the list, all online teachers should have this small, helpful ring light. Particularly if you’re looking for the best and most affordable lighting option.
It is compact in size, has a tripod and different lighting settings to help you have a bit of flexibility with your video lighting needs. The tripod is not adjustable, but the native height does pairs perfectly with a laptop.
lastly, you can adjust the brightness as needed. This ring light is wonderful for so many various applications. Video creation, online class, putting your makeup on in the morning.
- Small affordable ring light.
- White light that can be dimmed or turned up.
- Handy built in tripod to make setup easy.
- The tripod is not adjustable in terms of height.
Razor Kiyo Webcam – Improved video and built in LED Light
This webcam records at 1080P and is a vast improvement over your built in webcam in terms of audio and video. In addition this webcam comes with a built in LED light for your face.
While it’s designed for video streaming it’s actually and excellent webcam for an online teacher. It’s a plug and play install and mounts to any desktop or laptop with ease.
- Superior video over a built in webcam.
- Improved audio.
- A very useful LED light for brighten your face.
- A bit expensive but it’s a 2 in 1 combination.
Julius LED Panel Lighting – The flexible, portable option
If you’re wanting an alternative to a ring light that is equally portable but has a bit more options in terms of usage, consider getting a panel light. Panel lights are small little boxes that can attach to a camera with ease or be uses as the main lighting source in an online class setup.
What’s helpful about this panel light are the colorful overlays that come with it so you can mix up the color as needed.
If you need soft LED lighting for your online class or videos but are not interested in getting a ring light, take a look at using an LED panel light. You can adjust the brightness to make it as soft or to make it more bright and even as your needs require.
- Ideal for simple video production.
- Perfect for online class and casual use.
- The ability to mount on a camera as well as the colored overlays gives this panel light some needed flexibility.
- Not for professional use. If you’re a videographer, I would skip on this.
Mount Dog Softbox Lighting – Excellent professional setup
A softbox is a professional lighting setup used for photographers and online content creators. Most softbox lighting kits come with daylight bulbs, the actual softbox, and an adjustable stand.
The advantage of a softbox is that it creates a nice even, natural lighting tone. For professional purposes it may create a flat looking background which is why a lot of video creators and photographers also use a stage light or a reflector.
For the purposes of online teaching, we love this beginner softbox lighting kit. Affordable and it works perfect when you need a bit of extra light.
- Excellent budget softbox lighting option.
- Small compared to other types of light boxes.
- Gives a nice even tone and the stand is adjustable.
- As it’s a beginners kit, the quality is lacking for professional use. For our online teaching purposes though it’s excellent.
- The stand could be a bit more sturdy, but again we’re not moving it around so this is a non issue for most online teachers (and video makers).
Neewer Ring Light – For professional use
This is one of the most popular lighting options for YouTubers. Professional quality, not to expensive, good lighting that is dimmable and a stand that is adjustable.
If you want the best overall option for online teaching this is it. The adjustable stand has a wide range in terms of height. So you can be sitting at your desk with the light above you shining down. It also comes with 3 settings: low, medium and high intensity.
Lastly, this light has a lovely case to pack everything up into so when you’re on the go or if you want to put it away in a closet you can do so with ease.
- Excellent professional lighting.
- Adjustable stand to help you get the lighting right in a convenient way.
- Comes with a nifty storage bag to pack it up and take with you on the go.
- You need to be near an outlet as this ring light can only be turned on by being plugged in.
Fovitech Standing Box Light – The Heavy duty lighting solution
This is far and beyond what you need as an online teacher for lighting. But to make this list complete, we need to mention the best video lighting solution available. Is it affordable? No. Is it what every professional photographer or videographer wants? Yes.
The Aputure AL-528 by Fovitech is a powerful professional lighting solution. What we liked most about this video lighting solution was that you have the option to battery power it or to plug it in. This great as you don’t need to worry about being close to an outlet for power.
The light is quite powerful so professionals may want to consider getting a diffuser in order to make the lighting more even an stunning for video work.
It’s also quite small and compact and comes with a carrying case for storage or to take with you when traveling. You also have a variety of lighting options with regards to the color temperature. You can set it to daylight (most practical) or various other settings depending on your lighting needs.
Lastly it comes with a built connector for both a horizontal or vertical stand connection.
- Professional grade lighting solution for video and photography.
- Battery powered or AC powered.
- Carrying case and an overall compact size.
- A bit over-kill for an online teacher, but if you’re making videos as well as teaching this could come in handy.
Video Lighting For Online Teaching Conclusion
So that wraps up this buying guide for video lighting. If you need a lighting source as an online teacher we strongly suggest you get a simple light ring. It’s small, cost effective and designed for consumer use.
Again though, if you’re in the market for something a bit more advanced then check out the options on this list.
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