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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. All 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.
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 six and 14 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. 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 recommendations. It has three color temperature settings: 3000K (warm light), 4500K (cool light), and 6000k (daylight). 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.
2. EEIEER Ring Light Stand
Ring lights aren’t a replacement for a full-sized lighting rig, but if you need a decent amount of illumination for headshots or a vlog, this one from EEIEER will work just right.
It has a six-inch light, with three levels of color temperature: “white light,” “neutral,” and “warm.” The company doesn’t give exact Kelvin numbers for each setting, but says the range is between 3200K and 6500K.
There are five levels of brightness per temperature setting, so you’ll likely find a sweet spot for your shot; if you want more control, consider the other lights in our guide. The light’s brightness and temperature settings are controlled via a remote attached to its USB power cable.
While the light itself is a little smaller, its tripod extends to a maximum height of 61 inches, which makes it a very good option for overhead shots. Its minimum height is 18.11 inches, which makes it easy to stow away when not in use. The tripod doesn’t have a phone mount built into it, but the company includes a mini one that you can use instead.
This choice is a little confusing, because you can’t attach the phone tripod to this ring light, but it’s better than nothing. Beyond that, this ring light doesn’t come with any extras. There’s no remote shutter button, which is a little disappointing, but not a deal-breaker.
Although it’s smaller than our other recommendations, it still does a solid job with must-have features like color temperature controls, and brightness adjustments. Its tall tripod allows it to be used as a source of overhead lighting, too.
3. Neewer RL-12 LED Ring Light
At 14 inches, this is the largest ring light in our guide, which means it can produce the most light. Instead of having individual brightness settings, the bulbs work on a dimmer, giving you total control over its luminosity. This level of brightness does have a cost though: you need to connect this ring light to an outlet to work, which limits its appeal for outdoor shoots.
Unlike the other options in out guide, this light’s color temperature can be changed by snapping on plastic color filters. The three-piece filters come in white and orange, with a maximum temperature of 5500K (no other figures are given).
In addition to having the largest light, Neewer’s tripod can extend to a maximum height of 61 inches — so it’s tied for the tallest. Again, no number about its minimum height is given. That maximum height does make this ring light a good option if you need straight-ahead or overhead lighting.
Extras are what help distinguish this ring light from our other recommendations. It comes with an adjustable tripod mount, Bluetooth shutter button, carrying case, and standard camera mount. If you’re a one-person shop making videos for YouTube, Instagram, Facebook live, or TikTok, these accessories will make your life a little easier.
Its large size allows it to throw a lot of light, and its finite brightness controls let you decide exactly how much you need. The extras it’s bundled with make creating videos and taking pictures easier for one person.