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If you’re getting serious about recording videos for YouTube, TikTok, or professional-looking pictures for Instagram, you’ll need to invest in decent lighting. Next to your camera, lighting can have the biggest impact on how your video looks. Low light can lead to grainy, unusable images, which means you need to waste time reshooting.
Ring lights (occasionally called halo lights), are circular, and have a cutout in the middle. This shape has two big benefits over a regular lighting rig. First, it diffuses light over a wider area rather than sending a beam directly at you your face, which reduces glare.
Second, a camera can be positioned in the middle of the ring so it can absorb as much light as possible. Because you don’t have to worry about glare, you can get a well-lit image from almost any angle. Most of of the ring lights we’re recommending sit on top of a tripod, which keeps them stable, and require limited adjustments once they’re set up.
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Keep in mind ring lights only provide enough light for one person, or a small area. If you’ve got a big, elaborate set or backdrop, it’s probably best to get several LED light strips, and position them at different points in your room. Still, if you want to add some dramatic flair to your face in dim lighting conditions, or add a little extra glow during a day shoot, our guide can help you out.
What Are the Best Ring Lights?
There are many factors to think about when choosing the right ring light with tripod stand for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Size: Ring lights come in a number of sizes, but the ones in our guide fall between 4.6 and 18 inches. The larger the ring, the more light it’ll create, so think about where you’re planning on recording videos or taking pictures, and what time of day your shoots will take place. Our baseline for tripod height was 51 inches, so you’ll be able to get the right images whether you’re standing or sitting.
Color Temperature: A light’s color temperature impacts the way you look tremendously. “Cool” light is more white, “warm” light has more of an amber tint. Playing with color temperature can help you get a shot that matches your clothing, skin tone, or the aesthetic you’re looking for without any post processing. Color temperature is measured in Kelvin (abbreviated to K), and we’ve chosen ring lights with different levels of warmth, so you’re not stuck with one.
Extras: We considered ring lights that have extras — a built-in mount for your phone, wireless receiver to take photos from a distance, etc. — that make getting the perfect picture or video as easy as possible.
1. Lume Cube Cordless Ring Light Kit
Lume Cube’s Cordless Ring Light Kit contains everything you need to improve the lighting in your room, and set up a permanent, professional video setup in any room.
The 18-inch light can be adjusted between 2300K and 5600K, so you can find the sweet spot that’s easy on your eyes, and matches the natural lighting in your room. We found it easy to adjust the light’s height, tone, and brightness, which made it possible to make micro-adjustments shortly before video calls.
This ring light has a center-oriented mount, which allows your camera or smartphone to get the maximum amount of light to ensure a clear picture. A mount on top of the light can be used for accessories, like a microphone to improve your audio. Another key feature of Lume Cube’s ring light is its ability to run on battery power for about an hour depending on your brightness settings.
Lume Cube’s kit includes the ring light, two batteries, power cables, a camera mount, a camera stand, and a carrying case. Breaking down and setting up the ring light only takes a couple of minutes, which makes this a mobile lighting rig. The ring light’s overall performance and bundled accessories make it the best lighting solution available right now.
2. Ubeesize Selfie Ring Light With Tripod Stand
There’s never going to be a one-size-fits all product in any category, but Ubeesize’s Mini LED Camera Ring Light gets pretty close.
The light itself measures eight inches in diameter, which puts it in the middle of the pack for our recommendation; It has three color temperature settings: 3000K, 4500K, and 6000k. Each setting has 11 levels of brightness, which gives you extremely fine control over your lighting.
Its tripod extends between 17.5 and 51 inches, which makes it the shortest one in our guide. If you’re tall, or like to use the ring light for overhead lighting, it may not be the best fit. The tripod does have a mount for your phone, though, which is a nice addition.
On the technical and extras front, Ubeesize’s ring light performs pretty well. It’s powered by USB, which means you don’t have to plug it into an outlet to work. The ability to use the ring light connected to a computer or external battery pack allows you to take it on outdoor shoots very easily.
You can control its brightness and color temperature through a remote attached to a USB cable, or start recording and taking pictures with a wireless remote, which can act as a shutter button. The remote can stop recordings when you’re done, too.
Its 11 modes of brightness, three levels of color temperature, wireless remote, USB power solution, and smartphone mount make it a pretty good pick for most situations.
3. Neewer Advanced Ring Light
Neewer’s Advanced Ring Light lives up to its name because a couple of accessories that allow you to control it remotely.
The light’s color temperature can be adjusted between 3200K and 5600K and its brightness can be changed between 10% and 100%, which is a decent amount of control for a ring light. These settings can be tweaked by pressing buttons on a forward-facing touch pad that sits beneath the ring light’s camera mount.
If the ring light is out of reach, you can make those same tweaks using a remote, which communicates with the ring light wirelessly has a screen that shows its current brightness and color temperature levels. Neewer also includes a Bluetooth remote with a shutter button, which can be paired to a smartphone to start and stop recordings, an essential accessory for vloggers.
This ring light is bundled with a camera mount, phone mount, power cables, and a carrying case, so you can start using it right out of the box, and take it with you anywhere. If you’re setting up more complicated shoots, the remotes that come with Neewer’s ring light make it the right pick.
4. Selfila Ring Light Clip
If space is limited, but you want to improve your video quality on conference calls, Selfila’s Ring Light Clip is a smart solution.
The miniature ring light can be adjusted between 3200K and 6500K, and is built into a clip that attaches directly onto the top of your laptop’s lid or external display. The light is powered via USB, so you can plug it into a computer, use a power back, or any USB charger plugged into the wall. This ring light’s settings are located on a controller built into its power cable to save space.
Selfia’s Ring Light Clip isn’t as high powered as the other picks in this guide, but it’s substantially more portable without sacrificing any significant features. If you only need a ring light for work, this is the one to get.