Ring lights are common among photographers and individuals that need an extra level of illumination.
Most video creators use them for high-quality videos because they can emphasize details.
There are various benefits of ring lights, but it’s essential to pick the appropriate one for the best experience.
This article reviews the best ring lights to purchase, a considerate buying guide, and other important information.
What Is the Ring Light?
The ring light is a multipurpose tool that helps users get evenly distributed light from the view of the cameras.
Most makers of this tool use a single circular fluorescent bulb or many LED lights linked in a circle.
Ring lights also come with “stands,” which help provide support for the camera and offer the best angle.
What Are the Ring Lights for?
Ring lights are helpful for various reasons. However, the initial purpose of this tool was for dental and medical objectives.
In recent times, ring lights are typically for commercial purposes. Here are some of the uses of ring lights that you should know:
- Macro Photography: Most professionals use ring lights for macro photography, which is also known as close-up photography of tiny objects. Common examples of things suitable for macro photography include insects, flowers, and products in product photography.
- Providing Color Effects: Ring lights typically come with different color effects apart from the typical white light. The presence of color effects is majorly suitable for video creators or photographers to create a reasonable result.
- Video Production: The most common use of ring lights is to provide a good lighting source for video production. It produces an attractive halo shadow that helps in outlining the model in the video shoot. Using ring lights may be effective in creating the appropriate professional appearance for brands.
Does Ring Light Make a Difference?
Ring light makes a lot of difference because it helps cast light on the object of attraction. Using a ring light reduces the shadows in the object.
If you are using them on human subjects, ring lights will help in reducing blemishes and brightening the eye.
If you make videos using digital cameras, you observe that light isn’t always in the appropriate direction.
Apart from videographers, the concept of the direction of light also applies to photographers.
Do Ring Lights Make You Look Better?
Yes, ring lights make individuals look better.
For this reason, most experts use them in makeup applications.
On an overcast day or when there’s no natural light, the ring lights produce a daylight color rating that reaches 54000k.
In most makeup shoots, ring lights can create a reasonable halo shadow that helps in outlining the model.
Note that ring lights are always good for pictures due to the brilliant effect of lightning. Hence, you can get a professional and dramatic look suitable for filming.
The significant reason why a ring light is better is because of the soft and direct light that falls on the subject.
These tools help in minimizing shadows, so individuals can undoubtedly look better.
What Ring Light Do YouTubers/TikTokers Use?
Most Youtubers use the continuous ring light, which is different from the conventional on-camera ring lights for macro photography.
The ring lights usually come with a series of LED lights and a stand that ensures the digital camera or a smartphone’s camera sits appropriately in the middle of the tool.
Like Youtubers, Tiktokers also use ring lights that are compact and rechargeable.
It’s advisable for the device to come with varying levels of lighting depending on the user’s preference.
Both Tiktokers and Youtubers choose ring lights based on the direction and intensity of light and how it makes their skin glow.
Tiktokers may find the ring light essential due to the available three-color light modes, including warm light, warm white light, and pure white light.
If you’re a video creator or photographer, you should consider getting one of the products that come with remote control.
Note that a remote-controlled ring light is not a crucial requirement, but it’s helpful for individuals that need help controlling the three-color light modes.
You can decide to make your pictures or videos appear warm or professional with the various lighting options.
Overall, one of the most important factors that YouTubers and TikTokers observe is the type of lightning that the ring light provides and the firmness of the tripod.
Does the Ring Light Size Matter?
Yes, the size of the ring light you’re using for your shots matters. It determines the intensity of the light and the degree of coverage.
A smaller ring light may be suitable for some video creators, while others may prefer a bigger one.
The main reason why the size of your ring light matters is because broader lights result in softer light, which means a larger light is more suitable for video production.
The commonest sizes available on the market include the 12, 14, and 18-inches ring lights.
If you’re not particular about the perfection of your lightning and you’re on a low budget, smaller ring lights work fine.
Hence, you should always consider the purpose of your ring light before buying a big or small one.
What Size of Ring Light is Best?
The size of the ring light that is best for you depends on the specific purpose.
The common sizes of ring lights are between 10-inches to 18-inches.
Depending on the use of your ring light, the bigger one may be more suitable.
- In most scenarios, individuals prefer to purchase the 10-inches or 12-inches lights for selfies or headshots.
- The 18-inch ring lights are great for individuals who want a significant level of flexibility in overall lighting use.
If you’re considering using the ring light for other purposes like zoom, you may need something bigger.
It’s more advisable to use those with inches exceeding 19 or 22 inches.
If you go for close-up lights for makeup and streaming indoors, buy SENSYNE 10″ ring lights.
If you intend to shoot the whole body and require a bright light around the room or for a large space, buy Inkeltech 21-inch ring lights.
7 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Ring Light
When choosing the best ring light, there are several factors that you should consider for the best experience. It’s essential to answer certain imperative questions to make a better choice.
Here are some of the essential points to put into consideration:
1. What Is Your Intention?
There are several types and sizes of ring lights available for different users with various intentions.
Most videographers and photographers use them for emphasizing detail in photographs or videos.
So, if you’re after the photographs, you need to know the size that works best for the kind of photograph you want to take.
Experts who care about specific subject areas, like the head region, can use the smaller ring lights that are typically 10 or 12 inches.
Some individuals may also need the ring lights for macro-photography.
If you fall into the category of individuals with this need, consider getting those that fall around 18 inches or more.
Note that other common intentions for the ring light include streaming and makeup.
2. What Are the Special Designs?
Ring lights come in different sizes and designs. In most cases, the ring light design is always an additional feature and isn’t always an essential inclusion.
Most of the ring lights are either made from several LED lights or one circular fluorescent lamp.
Apart from the light components, some brands ensure that their ring lights come with remotes to control the tool from a distance.
Other special designs may include stands, phone holder, and adjustable color modes, especially when it exceeds the conventional two modes.
3. When to Use?
There are ring lights that may not be effective under certain conditions of photography or videography.
For this reason, it’s important to consider the ring light’s functions and the best time to utilize them.
In most scenarios, the best time to use a ring light should be under low light or at night.
If you need to cast an even light onto the individual behind the device, using a ring light is the perfect option.
It may also be helpful to use them when it’s essential to illuminate the eyes and reduce blemishes on the skin.
4. What Is the Power Source?
There are various power sources for ring lights, including those from batteries (rechargeable) or AC power outlets (plug and play).
For individuals who plan to move their ring lights from a position to the other, the most advisable type is those that use batteries.
Ring lights that use direct AC power outlets are typically less mobile than those that require batteries.
However, batteries are also liable to run down quickly so, using ring lights with power cords may be more suitable under those circumstances.
5. How is the Compatibility?
Before purchasing a ring light, it’s essential to know how compatible they are for your videography and photography purposes.
Some brands ensure that their ring lights are compatible with various lens sizes, phones, and laptops.
Depending on the product, some of the ring lights work well with eight lens sizes, while others are great with lesser sizes.
6. What Color Temperature Do You Prefer?
Standard ring lights come in different color temperatures.
If you want one that gives a healthy glow for pictures, the best temperature is between 2700K and 3000K, which is a soft, warm light.
For individuals that may need a neutral white light, you should go for ring lights that fall between 3500K to 4100K.
Most brands state their color temperature on the product for an easier purchase.
7. Do You Need to Buy a Lightweight Ring Light?
No, you don’t always need to buy lightweight ring lights. The type that you purchase depends on its application for users.
If you’re a mobile makeup photographer, a lightweight ring light is the best option.
However, if your videography or photography is for a studio, a lightweight ring light may not be essential.
A lightweight ring light falls between a couple of ounces to a few pounds of weight.
For instance, a ring light with a weight of 2.80 ounces to one with an overall weight of 3.08 pounds are both lightweight.
At those sizes, it’s very easy to carry your ring lights to any location or put them into a cosmetic bag.
12 Best Ring Lights Reviews
There are various suitable ring lights with unique specifications and features for various individuals.
For the best purchase, you should review the following options from different brands:
1. For Photographs – Neewer Ring Light Kit
18 inch with Tripod Stand
The Neewer Ring Light comes with an outstanding 18-inch length suitable for most individuals, including YouTubers and TikTokers. With the 18-inch length, the product is also very suitable for makeup, macrophotography, and many other applications. The tripod stand is also durable and extremely stable at any required angle.
The Neewer ring light comes with a knob for making crucial adjustments related to the intensity of light. Users can adjust to the brightness of the ring light by turning the knob that ranges from 0% to 100% of adjustability. Hence, in daylight, the light intensity should be lower and higher at night.
The Neewer Ring Light comes with two different color filters, which are orange and white. Depending on your planned result, either of the filters are useful. Most experts use the orange filters for makeup photographs, while others use the white light for product photographs.
2. Ultra Lightweight – USB Selfie Ring Light
Adjustable Mini for Selfie
The size of the USB Selfie Ring Light makes it very suitable for taking pictures of various moments. It comes in three different color models, which also allow for brightness adjustments. Since the ring light is primarily for selfies, it’s also compatible with various smartphones, including the Apple iPhones and Android devices.
Lightweight and Portable
The USB Selfie Ring Light is lightweight, and it’s also very portable. Its mini-design makes it fit into pockets and handbags. As a ring light with an outer diameter of 90mm/3.54 inches and an inner diameter of 56mm/2.2 inches, you can take it anywhere at any specific time of choice.
Users don’t need to worry about affecting the environment negatively when using the USB Selfie Ring Light due to its materials (ABS). It comes with a rechargeable battery that prevents individuals from disposing of batteries on a regular basis.
3. Bluetooth Controlled – Mastten Ring Light for Laptop and Phone
Clamp Stand for Phone/Laptop
The Mastten comes with a clamp mounting clip that keeps the ring light in balance. With this feature, it’s easier to place the light on the table without the use of an extensive tripod. You can also clip the device on your laptop, phone, bed headboard, or any other suitable position for the best experience.
Adjustable Brightness and Color
Individuals can adjust the brightness of the Mastten Ring Light by using the available knob for the ten various brightness levels. Since the brightness is adjustable, you can use a lower intensity during the daytime and a higher one for the nighttime. There are three available color lightning modes for the product: cool light, warm light, and natural light.
Available USB Power Source and Remote
The LED ring light is controlled by a USB power supply rated 5V 2A, similar to power banks, USB chargers, or select AC adapters. It has a power cord with a full length of 200cm that is useful in most locations. The remote control helps users in controlling their phones while making videos or taking pictures.
4. For YouTubers – UBeesize 10″ Selfie Ring Light
The UBeesize is extendable to a reasonable level. You can extend the ring light from 15 inches to 50 inches. The tripod legs can also unfold up to 30 inches wide. Due to the build, the stable tripod can extend to any suitable height that you require. Note that the height can be short enough for a tabletop and tall enough for the user’s height.
Thanks to the three-way pan head, you can conveniently tilt the ring light to any suitable angle. Some of the commonest angles with the ring light include the portrait and landscape positions. With the adjustable angle, it’s easier to target the appropriate position of the subject behind the ring light.
The UBeesize 10″ Selfie Ring Light comes with a Bluetooth remote that makes it easier to control from a distance. In other words, users don’t need to touch their smartphones before taking photographs or videos.
5. For Outdoor Streaming – Inkeltech Ring Light with Stand
The Inkeltech Ring Light is a high-tech ring light that allows users to adjust the brightness through the various available brightness levels. You can adjust the ring light brightness from 0% to 100% and change the color temperature from 3000K to 6000K, which gives an amazing experience.
Suitable Wireless for Outdoor Applications
Thanks to the available batteries in the Inkeltech Ring Light, users can enjoy them for outdoor activities. Note that it’s advisable to use SONY batteries for the ring light, but they are typically not included in the kit after purchase.
LCD Screen and Charging Port
Thanks to the LED screen, you can monitor parameters like the device’s brightness, color temperature, and battery condition. With this feature, users can know the battery level of their smartphones when taking pictures or making videos to avoid a flat battery.
6. With RGB Colors – EMART Upgrade 10″ Ring Light
The RGB feature creates a significant level of flexibility for individuals who need different colors for shoots. There are more than three original lights of warm light, white light, and conventional natural light. Upgrade 10″ Ring Light also includes 13 RGB colors, making it easy to switch between 16 total colors, allowing maximum creativity.
Various Tripod Options for Various Possibilities
Photography or videography experts can enjoy extendable tripods from 16.3 inches to 53.7 inches. The tripod comes with 180 degrees neck rotation and a standard 360 degrees head rotation for an amazing shoot angle for the best final results.
Suitable for Multiple Applications
Due to the overall features of the ring light, it’s useful for common applications like producing YouTube videos, TikTok content creation, makeup live streaming, and other social media applications.
7. Great for Beauty Bloggers – IVISII Makeup Ring Light
Kit for Video
The full kit of the ring light is highly suitable for video shooting. It includes one 19 inches outer 55W 5800K LED ring light, 74.8 inches light stand, one white filter set, tripod head hot-shoe adapter, universal adapter with US plug, smartphone holder, and a carrying bag.
Heat Dissipation System
One of the most unique features of the ring light is the heat dissipation system that is available at the back of the device, preventing it from overheating during video shoots.
180 Degrees Rotation Light
The ring light is very flexible and adjustable for up to 180 degrees for the best lighting effects. Users can adjust the ring light both vertically and horizontally.
8. With Phone Holder – Pixel 19″ Bi-Color LCD Display Ring Light
High CRI Rating
Individuals can enjoy a high color rendering thanks to the CRI rating. The ring light has CRI ≥97 and TLCI ≥ 99. Due to the high color rendering, users can benefit from the high color reproduction that makes pictures more attractive and engaging.
The ring light varies from a warm color temperature of 3000K to white 5800K without color change filter. It’s also possible to adjust the brightness of the device from 1% to 100% for better illumination.
Thanks to an LCD display, users can read the brightness and color temperatures of the ring light. For this reason, it’s easier to monitor the state of the ring light when it’s in use.
9. For Zoom Call – Cyezcor Video Conference Lighting Kit
One of the best applications of the Cyezcor Video Conference Lighting Kit is for laptops and PC monitors. With the available features, individuals can use them on the computer screen by clamping the clip to the edge of the computer. Thanks to the build of the ring light, it can’t easily fall off clipped surfaces.
The Cyezcor Video Conference Lightning Kit comes in five different brightness levels for users. It also includes three different color temperatures, which are white light, warm light, and natural light, for various applications.
Portable and Stable
The size of the ring light makes it easy to transport from a specific position to the other. Its total weight is 7.8 ounces, and its dimensions are 5.12 x 5.12 x 2.36 inches.
10. For Webcam Chat – Neewer Table Top 10-inch USB LED Ring Light
The brilliant features of the Neewer Table Top 10-inch USB LED Ring Light make it suitable for zoom meetings, video calls, webcam streaming, and self-broadcasting. Thanks to the size of the Neewer Ring Light, you can enjoy the best direction of light on you as a subject.
The soft and circular tube is adjustable and allows for a significant level of flexibility in video shoots or photographs. Inside the tube, there are 120 LED beads that allow for maximum illumination.
Compatible with Multiple Devices
Thanks to the use of a USB plug, users can enjoy the ring light with other devices like USB chargers, mobile power, personal computers, or any other significant equipment.
11. For TikTokers – IVISII 18 inch 5500K Dimmable Ring Light
The IVISII Ring Light is a 55W 5500K dimmable device that is suitable for makeup application due to its high-intensity illumination capability. Since the LED ring light panel is adjustable, using the IVISII Ring Light for makeup photography is very advisable.
Lightweight and Compact
The overall weight of the IVISII is 5.5lbs, which is highly portable, especially with the available carry bag. Due to the dimensions of the ring light, it’s also very compact and takes little to no space in most locations.
Quality Color Rendering
Individuals can enjoy a high color rendering, which adds to the image effect. A high color rendering of CRI ≥97 and TLCI ≥ 99 creates a real and natural color.
12. For Food Photography – VWMYQ Ring Light with Clip and Tripod Stand
With the heart shape of the ring light, it’s very suitable as a gift to a loved one. The shape of the ring light also adds a bit of creativity because it’s different from the conventional “ring” shaped ones.
You can extend the length of the tripod from 3.5 inches to 13.0 inches. The flexibility of the tripod makes it possible for users to connect it directly with the webcam ring light for ultra-low position lightning.
Multiple Brightness Levels
There are ten different brightness levels and three-color lighting modes in this ring light. Impressively, the lightning modes are controllable via remotes for a comfortable experience.
Ring Light vs. Softbox: Which Is Better?
If you’re a photographer or video creator, you may ask what differentiates the ring light from the softbox since they both provide lightning.
The shape of the ring light is unique and different from that of a softbox. As their name implies, a ring light has the shape of a ring, while a softbox looks like a box.
Like a ring light, you can also place the softbox in any suitable position. They are responsible for delivering a source of soft and directional light to the subject.
However, a softbox may cast a shadow on the direction of a subject, unlike a ring light.
Most experts that use a softbox are typically after flat lightning that includes highlights and shadows. You can determine the type of shadow you want to cast on the subject, a minimal shadow or a deep one.
The ring light is different from the softbox because it doesn’t cause flat lightning.
Unlike the softbox, the ring light creates a conventionally bright and evenly distributed donut of light through the picture.
Individuals who capture headshots for makeup purposes may find the ring lights more suitable.
Overall, both the ring light and softbox are great options for photographers and videographers.
However, the ring light is more portable and produces high-intensity light with minimal to no shadows.
How Much Does a Ring Light Cost?
The price of a ring light depends on the brand, functionality, and overall features.
Ring lights with the basic functions and specifications are typically between $12 to $24. In most cases, those types of ring lights come with small diameters and average tripod stand qualities.
If you’re a professional photographer or videographer, a ring light with those basic features may not be suitable.
For this reason, you should consider more pricey ones between the price range of $30 to $120.
Most of the more costly ring lights come with various light modes, stronger tripods, and a lighting kit.
Ring lights within that price bracket also have wide inches for different purposes.
2 Popular Brands to Make High-Quality Ring Lights
There are various ring light brands with different types of products in the market.
Due to the high number of these brands, it’s essential to shortlist them for the best choice.
Here are two of the best brands for ring lights.
Digitek has a good reputation for producing some of the best ring lights in the market.
Their products are typically LED, which has a lower tendency of causing any kind of eye damage.
Digitek has mastered the art of producing ring lights that provide various features, including dials for intensity and color temperature.
Neewer produces professional ring lights for photographers, videographers, and other experts that use ring lights.
The brand has the reputation for producing lightweight and portable ring lights that help in making the best videos at different locations.
One of the notable products from Neewer is the dimmable ring light, which helps give you more control over light intensity.
Some of their products also come with the option of mains or batteries for their power source.
What is the Best Way to Use a Ring Light?
Using a ring light requires a significant level of precision and understanding. The method to use a ring light depends on your level of expertise and its purpose.
If you focus on makeup photography, using the orange ring light color setting makes the subject unique.
Ensure that you use the tripod appropriately at a reasonable distance from the subject to get the best angles and the right direction of light.
Without the tripod, it’s less possible to place the phone in a position where it sits properly for shoots.
The ring light is also useful for product photography, but the best setting for this purpose is the white light.
Using a ring light to provide adequate lighting for products like creams, perfumes, and other objects makes them more appealing to potential customers and highly marketable.
In terms of the distance of the ring light from the subject, ensure that it’s within two feet.
With that distance, you can achieve a clear, bright, and crisp video.
Note that you may need to move your ring light further behind or forward depending on the scenario and prospective result.
One of the most important things to consider when using a ring light is the camera lens. It’s essential that the lens focuses on the eyes for the most suitable shots.
1. Will Ring Light Hurt Eyes?
A ring light shouldn’t have extremely adverse effects on the eyes, especially when you don’t have an underlying eye condition.
However, some improperly constructed ring lights may cause temporary pain in the eyes due to their sharpness.
2. How Far away Should a Ring Light Be?
The approximate distance of a ring light from the subject should be around two feet.
You should get the best results for your picture or video at that distance, depending on the situation.
As a video creator, you should consider making adjustments when you require them.
3. Can You Leave a Ring Light on Overnight?
Most ring lights may stay intact when you leave them on overnight, but it’s not advisable.
The ring lights can consume electricity, which adds to the bills over time.
In terms of safety, there’s no problem leaving them on, especially as low-wattage LED bulbs.
4. What Size Ring Light Is Best for Zoom?
Zoom requires an averagely sized ring light that should stand between 19 to 22 inches in height. It’s very important that the ring light is level with your face and rotates half of 360 degrees (180 degrees).
Ring lights are essential, especially for professionals who need the best lighting for their subjects.
Due to the number of ring lights in the market., it’s advisable to go for the best from any of the top brands.
Ring lights with several options or features are also very suitable, compared to those with little to no additional functionalities.