A ring light is essentially a bunch of LED bulbs placed in a circular nature in an effort to give off equally distributed light and can come in a variety of sizes, power, and temperatures. While being able to create professional lighting setups, they’re usually relatively affordable too making them a brilliant choice for lighting videos, photos amongst many other uses.
Ring lights, due to their basic design, makes it almost impossible to deviate from. However, as alluded to earlier there are a number of sizes and different features that can influence both how the ring light operates and what situations it can excel in. Therefore, when narrowing down our selections for the best ring light, we focused on three key aspects; ring light diameter, how much light it can output, and lighting temperature both in terms of the out the box color and if this temperature can be adjusted on the fly. We believe these three areas will showcase which are the better devices and those excelling in the majority are certainly the ones to buy.
Best Ring Light in 2021
Great tripod stand
Large light ring
Orange light filter
Light filters are manual
As live streaming is becoming more and more refined, broadcaster’s setups are to a professional standard. The missing link that some overlook however is the power of a ring light to make face cam quality look that bit better. This ring light kit from Neewer is an exceptional choice for those individuals due to its size, bundled in stand, and filter adjustment.
Looking initially at the size of the ring light, its sports an 18-inch design, allowing for brilliant distribution, illuminating a wide-angle shot with ease. Moreover, due to its size, you’re able to fit not only a smartphone within the ring but also a DSLR camera, enabling live streamers to further their camera quality, moving away from the traditional webcam setups. To mount these devices, you can simply screw them onto the attachment making it quick and easy to get started using the ring light as well as swapping them out when necessary.
A deeper dive into the light itself we can see that it utilizes an output power of 55W and temperature of 5500K, creating an astonishingly bright light even for a ring light that is traditionally on the bright side anyway. Additionally, Neewer has included a set of orange filters that clip onto the ring, enabling you to receive dimmed down, softer light for when you require it. You can adjust the brightness too with the handy dimmer switch for those looking for a light source that’s a little less harsh.
Overall, this ring light kit is perfect for you streamers out there. The large light diameter coupled with the space to slot in a DSLR camera will make your broadcast look of professional quality. Moreover, with its dimmable feature and swappable orange light covers, you can adapt it to suit whatever lighting you need, allowing for those softer looks when necessary.
Won't be able to illuminate a room
Professional photo lighting in a portable device? You may think these two don’t go together but with this clip-on ring light from Auxiwa you can take advantage of a nice little lighting setup that will make your phone’s photos and videos really stand out from those who aren’t utilizing it.
Obviously, being our best portable pick this ring light is made for on the go and comes in at 3 x 3 x 1 inches, great for dropping it to your backpack or handbag and having studio-like lighting on the go. Thankfully, it sports an internal rechargeable battery too, so instead of carrying around a bunch of AA or AAA batteries, you can charge it up before leaving and take advantage of its respectable battery life. Furthermore, with its charging port, you can slot it into a portable charger and you’ll be golden for hours on end. On the other hand, while this is a big plus, many are concerned that the light output from this portable ring light will be lackluster. They’d be wrong. While it does only have that 3W output due to the 36 LEDs, you’re certainly not going to be disappointed, showcasing a really bright overall effect. If it’s too bright for you, there’s a 3 brightness level switch, dimming those bulbs slightly for a less harsh effect.
Moving to the way it attaches to your device, the Auxiwa ring light uses a clip that is rubberized removing the worries of it scratching or damaging your phone. It’s also very secure due to that rubberized nature, preventing it from slipping off even on fully glass devices. Additionally, because the ring light isn’t incredibly small, you could even clip it onto a laptop, improving the lighting of your Zoom calls.
All in all, this portable ring light a top pick for those wanting some pretty stellar lighting for photos and videos without having to stay at home and set up a bunch of equipment. The brightness is more than enough for most purposes, especially because you’ll be close to the camera, and the fact that you can drop the brightness down if you want to is a nice touch. The rechargeable battery is similarly great, allowing you to either charge at home or on the go with a portable power bank, and will last a number of hours usage.
Light ring is a little on the small side
For those on a tight budget but want a ring light that not only provides top luminance but also the flexibility to cope with a number of different requirements then this clip-on ring light from CLOOOUDS should be high on your list.
This ring light features a completely different design than the others of this list with its flexible arm allowing it to be a fantastic multi-use product. You’re able to clip it to a number of surfaces including desks, shelves, or even your laptop proving it’s a solid all-round lighting solution. It’s also USB powered so all you need to do is slot it into your device of choice or into a USB plug and off you go.
Looking at the brightness of the light itself we can see that it sports a 7W output making it brighter than our portable option by double. This will provide better lighting overall, especially if you’re going for a wider shot. If you want to focus this light in a more concentrated fashion, the design of the ring itself allows this as it’s a relatively tight circle and with the bendable arm, you can put it closer to the subject. A top tier feature CLOOOUDS has been able to pack into this ring light is the ability to change its color on the fly. You’re able to switch between the bright white and more orange hues instantaneously with the easy to reach button as well as the ability to dim the LEDs if you so wish.
Summing this value for money ring light up, it’s clear to see that it has the flexibility and power to cope with a variety of situations. You can potentially take it on the go for use with your laptop or simply incorporate it into your home setup. Similarly, you’re also able to either set it back and get a larger lighting spectrum but also focus it closer due to the arm’s mobility. Finally, thanks to the different lighting options both in terms of color and brightness, you have a bunch of functionality to suit the look you’re going for, also allowing it to be flexible in that aspect.
Multiple brightness levels
Three color temperatures
Great tripod stand
No DSLR mount
UBeesize has a range of ring lights that do the job and do it well. This 8-inch variant is no different and gives you luminance aplenty considering the ring light is on the smaller side. It has 11 different brightness modes as well as 3 different color temperatures; warm light, daylight, and cool white which can be changed in an instant with no additional parts required. It’s fully dimmable too, allowing you to customize those brightness and color modes to suit the exact lighting setup required to make your images and videos look the best they can possibly be.
This one comes with a solid tripod stand and a phone mount inside the ring light for attaching your required device. You can extend this tripod incredibly high, more than most, up to a lofty 51-inch height, great for those individuals looking for high angle lighting. The whole thing is powered by USB, enabling you to ditch the need for a plug socket and slot it directly into your PC or laptop.
Unfortunately, there’s not enough room for a DSLR to fit in this one which is a downside but not a deal-breaker for most.
Overall, a solid ring light with an added extra of that tripod which can be useful especially at large heights. The 3 color temperatures are a great feature and something that most others don’t support, cementing the 8-inch variant of UBeesize’s ring lights place on this list.
Multiple brightness levels
Three color temperatures
Great tripod stand
No DSLR mount
As alluded to earlier, UBeesize has a bunch of ring lights that are worthy contenders. This 10-inch option is a great choice, firstly for its size of ring as well as the features it offers. You’ll get a similar overall approach compared to the 8-inch option we listed above including the 3 color temperatures as well as 10 levels of brightness, again allowing you to have full customizability over your lighting setup.
You’ll also receive that top tier tripod which comes with the mount for your phone. Again, however, you won’t get that DSLR mount so no camera attachment for you non-phone users out there.
Summing up, this is basically the bigger brother of the 8-inch UBeesize ring light and will provide you with that little bit more power and spread illuminating your shot even more. Again, you’ll receive those stellar color temperatures and brightness features which are a big plus and something that might sway you away from our top picks for streaming and value.
Things To Consider
Ring Light Diameter
The diameter of a ring light is a huge factor in determining which is the best one for you. A larger diameter widens the spread of light and can illuminate larger areas whereas a smaller diameter offers up a more concentrated light source potentially great for those looking to focus on small, closeup details. Moreover, if you’re looking to either start live streaming or recording YouTube videos, a ring light with a larger diameter could enable you to mount your camera or phone inside, creating the perfect lighting required to make your content stand out.
With light sources in general, not just ring lights, you’re going to need to take a look at the output you’re getting. It’s usually measured in wattage and the put it simply, the more wattage, the brighter the light is going to be. With the picks we’ve listed above, you can see that there is a wide range of wattages and you essentially get what you pay for but the general rule is the bigger the ring light, the more wattage you’ll get. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a lower wattage is bad, especially true in portable ring lights like the one we’ve mentioned in this buying guide. It’s only 3W but for a portable ring light that’s sitting on top of your phone, it gives off more than enough light.
The temperature of the light-emitting from your ring light doesn’t mean how hot it’s going to be, it’s more in relation to the color. Primarily, ring lights give off a bright white light which is fantastic for many reasons but if you’re looking for a softer lighting style, you’re probably going to need a ring light that can adjust its light temperature to match. It is limited, but if you do go for a ring light with an adjustable temperature, you should be able to get a more orange or yellow lighting effect, servicing those softer lighting needs. These types of ring lights sometimes come as a premium however so always worth noting when purchasing.
Choosing the best ring light is ultimately down to the purpose you’ll be using it for. If you’re wanting a ring light for taking those selfies and shooting video on the go, then the Auxiwa Clip-on ring light is certainly the way to go. However, if you’re wanting a home-based lighting setup, we’d suggest opting for or best streaming option – Neewer Ring Light Kit 18″. This is because it gives you the most professional overall lighting, and with those little added extras of the orange filters and large tripod stand, you can tailor the ring light rig to suit your specific requirements.