Why use a ring light?
They've been known as glossy editorial doughnuts with lights. However, give this to a police officer – I promise you, they won't be impressed.
Luckily, ring lights are not here to help you get out of a ticket. They're your lighting savour to help you look your best.
So, if you're asking whether using a ring light makes a difference?
The answer is – abso-freaking-lutely.
As the ring light is placed right in front of the subject, it reduces shadows, helps show off your best angles, and provide better video quality. Today, the best ring lights are swiss-army-knife kind of versatile and can be used for various purposes. Makeup tutorials? Check. Vlogging? Check. Streaming, TikTok, videography? Check, check, and check.
Most of the best ring lights have big LED bulbs. However, these can't match the lighting power coming, for example, from a flashgun or strobes, but some of the best ring lights have flash and High-Speed Sync modes that boost their power up to 500%.
Let's dive into the best ring lights out there.
iPhone and ring lights – what should you look for?
When looking for the best ring light for a smartphone, first thing first; is it compatible with your phone? Afterwards, you can think about things such as size, remote controller, and easy setup.
Here's a few examples of the best ring light for iPhone.
ESDDI PLV-R120 10-inch Ring Light
This has a tripod stand, remote controller and a two-way phone grip. Making it an ideal ring light for a phone. And since it's USB-powered, you can run it from a power bank and use it anywhere. Bear in mind, though, that it's not that powerful with only 10W output and isn't dimmable. That said, it's a much affordable model and has ten levels of brightness to choose from, with a range of temperatures.
Xinbaohong Clip-On Selfie Light
This is a brilliant good-for-all-purposes kind of ring light. It's tiny, meaning you can throw it in your computer case or bring it in your handbag for whenever you need a little illumination on the go. It clips onto anything 18mm or thinner – attach it to your phone for the perfect selfie or clip it to your laptop to look coffeed up when going into your zoom meeting.
Smoovie Flexi Selfie Ring Light
A USB powered ring light excellency. If you want to add a bit of sparkle to your videos, Smoovie is your ally. It features 16 RBG colours and nine light modes, including three white tones. It's available in both 6- and 8-inch – either way, it's a great size to use with your smartphone. Its flexible clip arm means you can mount the ring light anywhere – a window sill, a radiator, the edge of a shelf, the list goes on. Most importantly, its second flexible arm can hold your phone.
Finding the best ring light for iPhone is no problem; more manufacturers are coming out with new and better ring lights compatible with your phone. The great thing about this? Your smartphone is the perfect tool for the up-and-coming filmmaker who doesn't have a big budget to splash. Learn much more about iPhone filmmaking.
Photography vs Videography
Whether you're looking for the best ring light for photography or videography, ring lights are a great tool. You'll typically be looking for a continuous ring light for videos, which is a bit different from the on-camera ring lights usually used for macro photography. These are generally LED lights with a stand that allows the camera – your phone or dedicated pro-camera, to sit in the middle of the ring light.
Best ring light videography
- Versatile ring light – with varying light intensity
- 240 individual LED's – boasts a pre-built dimmer
- Designed for daylight-balancing light – ideal for videographers
- For long hours of filming – adaptable brightness to protect your eyes
- 240 individual LED beans – stable white or warm light at 3,000K to 5,800K
- fits most mirrorless & DSLR – for beginning & savvy videographers
- offers colour accuracy – built-in diffuser producing soft lighting
- user-friendly controls – and a hassle-free setup
- comes with two cold-shoe mounts – and a 1⁄4-inch-20 mounting option
- adjust brightness from 1 to 100% – with included dimming knob
- fixed colour temperature of 5500K – and two colour filters
- includes a 61-inch light stand –360-degree rotatable smartphone holder
- 480 daylight balanced LED – and measures 17.5 inches
- Fits both mirrorless & dslr – with an 11.5-inch inner opening
- Adjustable colour temperature from 3200-5500K – including a remote controller
Prismatic 18″ Halo Ring Light
The Prismatic 18" is one of the most versatile ring lights. It features 240 individual LED's and boasts a pre-built dimmer, offering varying light intensity. Are you looking for an ample ring light with a wide variety? This is the one. It designed for daylight-balancing light, ideal for photographers and videographers. Its wrap-around light, enveloping the subject's face, reducing the appearances of wrinkles and blemishes, makes it one of the best ring lights for various purposes, in particular videography.
Pixel 19″ Bi-Colour LCD Display Ring Light
A vast ring light designed for long hours of filming. This best ring light is dimmable, as its brightness adapts to protect your eyes when being used for many hours. It has 240 individual LED beans to provide a stable white or warm light at 3,000K to 5,800K. Its 74.8-inch light stand, wireless remote controller, tripod head, hot shoe adapter, phone holder, and universal adapter for US and EU plug has made it popular among both beginning and seasoned videographers and YouTubers. Videographers will be glad to learn its bundled shoe adapter works perfectly for keeping most mirrorless and DSLR cameras in place for a fast and durable setup.
Westcott 18-inch ring light
This ring light deserves it ranks among the best ring lights and can power light for 70 minutes at full power. The Westcott 18-inch best ring light offers colour accuracy and a built-in diffuser producing soft lighting. Meaning it fills in shadows on your subject's face with an iconic catchlight in the eyes and includes a light stand and batteries. It's an excellent build and comes from a respected brand among professional photographers and videographers. Whether you want to use it for vlogging, live streaming, videos, or shooting stills such as portraits, products, and many other genres, the Westcott is a perfect choice. This best ring light comes with user-friendly controls and a hassle-free setup. It can be used together with your phone or nearly any other type of stand-alone camera, as it comes with two cold-shoe mounts and a 1⁄4-inch-20 mounting option.
Neewer 18-inch 55W 5500K Dimmable LED Ring Light
Neewer is known for making some of the best ring lights; their upgraded 18" version is no exception. The dimming knob lets you adjust its brightness from 1-100%. It has a fixed colour temperature of 5500K and two colour filters, white and orange. So you can switch colour from 5500K to 3200K fast and easy. The ring light includes a 61-inch light stand and a 360-degree rotatable smartphone holder. It includes a Bluetooth receiver so you can control the ring light remotely.
Savage Luminous Pro LED Ring Light Plus
This best ring light is one of the most savage ring lights when it comes to your video setup (you get it?). It consists of 480 daylight balanced, cool-running LED chips and measures 17.5 inches in diameter with an 11.5-inch inner opening that is enough to fit both mirrorless and DSLR cameras. Its LEDs have 3200-5500K adjustable colour temperature and a power level that can be changed from 10-100%. With its front diffuser, close-ups shots are easier on the subject's eyes. It includes a remote controller, a padded carry bag, two Sony NP-F750 batteries, and can charge on the go.
Suppose you're going to create professional-looking footage with a ring light. In that case, you'll also need a camera that can provide you with that professional quality. Rent camera equipment – suited for your ring light project.
Best ring light for photography, makeup, selfie & portraits
- weighs around 5 pounds – can extend up to 61-inches
- numerous accessories – colour filters & remote controller
- bright & accurate lighting – at 36W with 180 LED
- Provides plenty of coverage – can be fixed onto a 36-inch to 78.7-inch stand
- gives a beautiful soft light – with its 44W of output from 532 LEDs
- Includes a 6'5" light stand – vertical/horizontal phone holder, wireless remote and more
- Bright and accurate lighting – for taking high-quality shots
- reliable & high-quality build – excellent results in various shooting situations
- 5400K LED bulb dimmable down to 20% – comes with a diffusion cloth
- adjustable colour temperature – for both warm and cool lighting
- dual colour setting – which can be adjusted from 3200K-5800K
- 480 LED bulbs with a wide dimming range from 0% to 100% – with high colour rendering
- versatile ring light – with varying light intensity
- 240 individuals led's – boasts a pre-built dimmer
- designed for daylight-balancing light – ideal for videographers
Neewer 20" Dimmable Ring Light
Hands-down, this is one of the best ring lights for makeup tutorials. First of all – it's enormous, with a 20-inch diameter; I'd say it's big enough to fit around Saturn. Meaning the Neewer 20-inch certainly provides enough coverage and can be fixed onto a 36-inch-78.7-inch stand. Its size, together with its 44W of output from 532 LEDs, provides a beautiful soft light. The Neewer 20" offers battery power in addition to mains, compatible with the versatile NP-F550 / F970 family. Its advantage is also its disadvantage, its size. As this is a vast ring light, it is less portable and flexible than some of the others you'll find here. However, if you're not moving too much around and want the best ring light for makeup, this is the one. It also comes with a 6'5" light stand, ball head adapter and vertical/horizontal phone holder, wireless remote, and carry case.
Diva Ring Light Super Nova 18"
Bright and accurate lighting is vital for taking high-quality shots. That's where the Diva Ring light enters and has over the years become massively popular use for makeup, selfies and portraits. It brings accurate, bright and ample lighting to your shot. Its reliable and high-quality build allows you to get excellent results in a wide range of shooting situations. The 5400K LED bulb is dimmable down to 20%, and if you don't think its default lighting is soft enough – no problem, it comes with a diffusion cloth. What's more – this best ring light includes an adjustable six-foot stand, useful for whether you're filming videos or taking a selfie.
ESDDI 18-inch 100W LED Dimmable Ring Light
The ESDDI 18-inch offers, with its adjustable colour temperature knob, both warm and cool lighting to your shot. Its dual colour setting can be adjusted from 3200K-5800K freely without the need for colour filters. It contains 480 LED bulbs with a wide dimming range from 0%-100%, allowing you to set the scene with ease. This best ring light comes with high colour rendering LED bulbs to help bring out your natural skin tone. It reduces the appearance of harsh shadows, making it the ideal ring light for photography, makeup tutorials, portraits, or the regular selfie for a night out. It includes a 75-inch light stand, soft tube, hot shoe, smartphone holder and a shockproof bag.
While this best ring light is a little smaller than some of the previous ring light we've looked at, don't let that fool you. It weighs around five pounds but can extend up to 61-inches. It contains the same accessories as its larger sibling – everything from colour filters to a Bluetooth remote controller. However, its lighting output isn't as strong as some of the larger models. Still, at 36W with 180 LED, it offers very bright and accurate lighting.
Prismatic 18″ Halo Ring Light
This best ring light is a very versatile tool. It features 240 individual LED's and has a built-in dimmer, offering varying light intensity. Are you looking for an ample ring light with a wide variety? This is the one. It designed for daylight-balancing light, ideal for photographers and videographers. Its wrap-around light, enveloping the subject's face, reducing the appearances of wrinkles and blemishes, makes it one of the best ring lights for various purposes. It also includes a hot shoe camera mount for up to two pounds.
Best ring light for Vlogging, YouTube, TikTok & Streaming
- wide colour temperature range – from 2700K to 6500K
- more than 360 colours – excellent for live streaming
- built-in wireless remote controller – and touch sliders
- excellent for vlogging, and TikTok – adjustable brightness to protect your eyes
- provides stable white or warm light – at 3,000K to 5,800K
- Compatible with most mirrorless and DSLR cameras – for a fast and durable setup
- packed with excellent features – great for various purposes
- easily adjustable colour temperature – with stand sturdy knob & IR remote control
- Plenty of coverage for most purposes – with its 480 LED bulbs
- adjustable bi-colour temperature – from 3200K-5500K
- wireless remote controller – to adjust the brightness from 0% to 100%
- convenient USB charging port – compatible with most DSLR cameras & smartphones
- numerous features and accessories – for a complete ring light package
- Includes a smartphone clamp, hot shoe adapter – light stand, Bluetooth remote and more
- Adjustable brightness – for accurate lighting output
Pixel 19″ Bi-Color LCD Display Ring Light
The Pixel 19" is excellent for vlogging, and TikTok purposes, as this best ring light adjust its brightness to protect your subject's eyes when used for many filming hours. It has 240 LED bulbs, providing a stable white or warm light at 3,000K to 5,800K. Its 74.8-inch light stand, wireless remote controller, tripod head, hot shoe adapter, phone holder, and universal adapter for US and EU plug has made it popular among both beginning and seasoned streamers and YouTubers. Its bundled shoe adapter works perfectly for keeping most mirrorless and DSLR cameras in place, ensuring a fast and durable setup. It includes a carrying bag, making it easy to transport and carry around.
Inkeltech 18" Ring Light
An honourable mention when it comes to the best ring light – the Inkeltech 18-inch. It's packed with excellent features making it great for various purposes, including your YouTube videos and your upcoming live stream. Control this best ring light with a stand sturdy knob and an IR remote control to easily adjust the colour temperature from 3,000K to 6,000K without turning to colour filters. Its 480 LED bulbs provide you with more than enough light for all your photography purposes. The Inkeltech 18" is one of the best ring lights for vlogging, YouTube and whenever you're busting a move in a TikTok video.
Neewer LED Ring Light 14"
Albeit not one of the biggest of the best ring lights, the Neewer LED 14" is still excellent. With 30W LED and adjustable bi-colour temperature from 3200K-5500K, you can set the ring light in whichever suits your video. Brightness can be changed from 0%-100% with its wireless remote controller, giving you complete control. The LED SMD design and 240 bulbs provide you with plenty of lighting, excellent for vlogging, live streaming and YouTube. This best ring light comes with a convenient USB charging port, compatible with most DSLR cameras and your smartphone. It includes a soft tube, cold shoe ball head adapter and a smartphone holder – compatible with most smartphones out there.
Neewer 16″ Dimmable Ring Light
Many Neewer's on this list – for a good reason, though (plus, I like the name). This best ring light comes with a whole list of features and accessories. A smartphone clamp, a hot shoe adapter, universal power adapter, a light stand, a Bluetooth remote and of course, a carrying bag – truly a complete ring light package. Adjust its brightness to ensure your handsome appearance goes through to the people sitting in their living room watching your YouTube video.
With impeccable features, this best ring light is suited for multiple uses – beauty vlogging, makeup vlogging, food vlogging – did I mention vlogging? As well as live streaming sessions and YouTube. With a wide colour temperature range from 2700K to 6500K – more than 360 colours to choose from, this ring light is excellent for live streaming. Well, that and multiple other video purposes. It comes with a phone bracket, so you can use its built-in wireless remote to control the fixture from your phone. However, there's no light stand, no camera mount, and no battery support. This best ring light does have other tricks up in its sleeve, though. It contains touch sliders on the side when you're sitting in front of the ring light. One slider controls brightness, going from 0%-100%, and the other slider controls colour temperature or RGB colour.
What to look for in a ring light?
With so many ring lights available at so many different price points, how do you choose which model is the right one for you?
When it comes to buying a ring light, there are several things to consider. Here's a quick breakdown of what you have to look out for when finding the best ring light for you.
Charge time: How long does it take once you plug the cable into a wall outlet before the ring light is fully charged? If you want to use it frequently, but it takes forever to charge, this can be a big hurdle in your YouTuber dream.
Battery life: How long can it supply lighting without dropping in light output or completely die? Now, suppose you're showcasing the "Renegade" TikTok dance to your followers. In that case, you might not need more than a couple of minutes. Still, if you're doing a longer "Meghan Markle tells all" kind of YouTube video, you might need much more than a couple of minutes.
Again, what purpose do you need the best ring light for? Different purposes will require different features. Some will need to adjust the colour temperature and brightness. In contrast, others depend more on powering the ring light from an AC adapter or spare batteries.
A low colour temperature around 3200K produces a warmer, more orange looking light. In comparison, a high colour temperature around 5600K has a cooler, more blue-looking light. Some of the best ring lights go beyond the standard colour temperature by offering red, green, and blue colour control, either through clip-on diffusion panels or with RGB LEDs built into the light itself.
Warmer, natural colours are suitable for standard use cases or streaming, while white, more balanced light is excellent for professional photography and videography purposes.
While most of the best ring lights will deliver excellent colour accuracy, you need to pay special considerations if you're looking for genuinely accurate colour reproduction. In that case, you need to look for the highest CRI in the best ring light you can find.
Size & compatibility
Smaller ring lights have their advantages, as well as bigger ring light, have their benefits. In general, the bigger ring lights will provide soft light from far away, while smaller, on the other hand, is much more flexible and portables, perfect for the creator on the go.
The size of the ring light you need will depend on your usage. If you need a professional setup, an 18-inch, perhaps even 20-inch ring light will be the best choice. A 10- to 16-inch ring light is excellent for more portability, as it's not big enough to weigh you down but will still offer plenty of features. If all you have is a phone, there are simple phone-mounted options as well as camera-mounted options.
While some are (almost) cheap enough to buy with the money you find in an old coat, others will be expensive enough to require you to punch a hole in your saving banks.
Think about how you want to use the ring light. Are you capturing casual photos on your phone? Or are you looking to produce a high scale video podcast or episode for your YouTube channel?
You can, of course, always buy the best ring light. However, if you're not sure which one is the best ring light for you or you're not ready to spend a whole lot of money. Consider renting or subscribing to the best ring light.
Ring light might not be "the one" for you. All creators have different purposes and so different lighting needs. Not convinced that ring light is worthy of a rose? Explore the best lighting for your next YouTube project.