What Is A Ring Light And Why You Should Use One for Your Videos [Complete Guide]

What is a ring light and why do you need one?

Most professional YouTubers would agree that lighting can make or break the overall quality of a video. And with how easy and portable this device is, it seems like a no brainer.

Our Top Pick:

10 inch ring light

  • Universal Mobile Phone Holder.
  • USB Charger.
  • 3 Color Options.
  • Dimmable.
  • Great For Social Media.

This is the reason professionals never compromise on the lighting kit and use a ring light.

Let’s quickly go over what you need to know about ring lights before we see the 7 best ring lights for YouTubers on the market:

What Is A Ring Light? Why Should I Use One?

A ring light is a circular bright light that you place around a camera that helps you take great videos no matter what kind of lighting conditions you’re shooting in.

what is a ring light

There’s a thick corner around a hollow circle, and it lights up as you plug the light in or put it on.

The better ring lights produce a lot of video light, and are bright enough to help beauty vloggers, makeup artists and other vloggers take videos where they look much better than they would without that extra light source, while giving a very professional feel to the videos. They are also very useful when live streaming videos.

The camera or smartphone is mounted in the hollow circle between the thick round edge that produces the light, which is how the camera gets surrounded with sufficient light for it to take great videos.

You should consider using a ring light if you would like to upgrade the quality of your videos. If you are looking to make your videos look like professional videos and get away from the amateur look and feel, a ring light is a must-have.

Ring lights make your videos look more professional because it makes the subject of the video stand out more without harsh lighting or shadows.

The even and diffused lighting created by the ring light will instantly make the subject look more attractive and engaging.

Here is a good article for more tips.

Important Features to Consider When Choosing a Ring Light

RING LIGHT FOR VIDEO FEATURES

Brightness is the most important factor to consider.

This is especially true given that the intensity of the brightness varies greatly from one light to another.

However, when going for a ring light that’s very bright, you would ideally also want it to be dimmable.

This is because you may not always need an extremely high amount of brightness, and if it isn’t dimmable you will be forced to have excess light in your videos which might give them an unnatural feel.

The quality and durability are just as important, too, of course. The cheaper ones tend to break pretty easily, especially when carrying around. So make sure you don’t go with a cheap ring light, especially if you plan to carry it around.

Top 7 Ring Lights for YouTube and Vlogging in [year]

To answer the question of what lighting do YouTubers use, we would say most of them use ring lights, even vloggers.

All of these are good lighting setups for makeup videos, for YouTube videos and some are great for vlogging.

ImageRing Light ModelSizePrice
Neewer Ring Light KitNeewer Ring Light Kit
BEST OVERALL
18-inchCheck Price
Diva Ring Light Super NovaDiva Ring Light Super Nova
PRO
18-inchCheck Price
Neewer RL-12 LED Ring LightNeewer RL-12 LED Ring Light
COMPACT
14-inchCheck Price
ESDDI Ring LightESDDI Ring Light
BEST SELLER
14-inchCheck Price
EACHSHOT ES180 KitEACHSHOT ES180 Kit
SMALL
13-inchCheck Price
Mactrem 6-inch LED Ring LightMactrem 6
MAKEUP
6-inchCheck Price
KobraTech 10-inch Ring LightKobraTech 10-inch Ring Light
SELFIE / IPHONE
10-inchCheck Price

   BEST OVERALL   

1. Neewer Ring Light Kit

Neewer Ring Light

Quality = 94%

Affordability = 80%

Review:

This Neewer 18-inch ring light is the best ring light for YouTubers for the value you get, and that’s not just because it’s a high quality product and produces more than enough light, but is also very versatile and functional. It’s used by the YouTuber Markiplier and PewDiePie

The Neewer ring light consumes far less energy than most other ring lights out there, meaning it may turn out to be a much more economical option in the long run. It’s also one of the most durable ring lights, and very less likely to break, even when you need to carry it around.

This makes it very portable as well, as it can be a struggle to carry around any other ring light as they tend to get damaged pretty easily.

Coming to the most important feature, this ring light is super bright. It can brighten up almost your whole room (if it’s a smaller one) if you want, let alone offering enough brightness around your face when you’re sitting in front of it.

The reason we think this ring light is amazingly versatile is that it has a dimmer, which is actually a great feature to have. After all, even if a ring light is very bright but if you can’t lower its brightness, then it may not work out very well for you when you need to shoot a video with slightly restricted, limited brightness.

It also comes with a built-in camera mount, preventing the need for buying a tripod stand separately.

While the LED light is bright, it’s also very clean and looks perfectly white. This allows it to create a great radiance around you which would add a professional feel to your videos.

There’s also an orange light cover if you don’t want white light but want to have a natural sunlight feel around you. Similarly, there’s a white light cover too if you’re after a purely white look.

While the Neewer ring light is very durable, it also doesn’t heat up like traditional bulbs and other ring lights typically do.

Drawbacks:

  • The only downside is that you get nothing as instructions with this ring light, which can make it a little tricky to figure things out for the first time.

   PRO   

2. Diva Ring Light Super Nova 18″ Dimmable Ring Light

Diva Ring Light Super Nova 18

Quality = 98%

Affordability = 70%

Review:

This product is the best ring light for YouTubers money can buy.

Sure, it’s considerably more expensive than the Neewer products we reviewed above, but if you’re into professional videography, you will find it well worth it.

It’s incredibly bright, and we really mean it. It makes a world of difference to the overall lighting and hence the video quality, which is the reason it managed to get almost universally positive ratings, with most of its customers being all praise for it.

The manufacturer claims that it’s a 500W ring light and includes a 5500K daylight bulb. Now, that’s some serious amount of light density right there.

Of course, the ability to dim the light becomes a must with that kind of brightness, and so the Diva ring light lets users dim it to just 20% of its full light power, which too is sufficient in most cases.

Another great thing is that it comes with a diffuser cloth. With other ring lights that are very bright, it can quickly turn into a big annoyance if you have to stare at the camera under a very bright light.

The diffuser cloth protects your eyes from the brightness, allowing you to stare at the camera just as comfortably as you would without a ring light.

It’s also worth noting that it’s an 18-inch ring light, meaning that it’s super large (the largest on our list), so the lighting will cover a wide area, allowing you to use a lot of area around yourself without having to worry about the light fading away around the corners of your video.

One of the most unique things about this ring light is that unlike most other ring lights on the market, it comes with an on/off switch. The reason it’s important is that you can keep it off if you want to even if it’s plugged in, which is not possible with other ring lights, something that can quickly turn annoying as you have to plug the light in and out every now and then.

The “mounting” flexibility is great, thanks to a mounting bracket as well as a gooseneck being included in the package. You would be able to have multiple mounting options and choose a mounting option according to your needs, and not have to limit yourself to a particular mounting position.

Drawbacks:

  • We don’t think it has even a minor downside, except if you consider its large size a downside, but you already know that before buying it.

   COMPACT   

3. Neewer RL-12 LED Ring Light

Diva Ring Light Super Nova 18

Quality = 86%

Affordability = 84%

Review:

So we have another Neewer ring light on our list, as Neewer really does make some great ring lights.

This one’s a smaller one though, measuring 14 inches if you include the outer edge of the light, and 12 inches if you only consider the center, or functional part of the ring light.

Just like the other Neewer ring light we reviewed above, this one too comes with many useful accessories, making it much more affordable than it might seem.

One of the best things about this ring light is that it works great at retaining the colors, helping you produce videos that have a very realistic look and feel to them. This is definitely something important to take into consideration given many other ring lights can quickly give themselves away with their light looking pretty unnatural.

Being small, it doesn’t take up much space at all which is going to be a great plus for vloggers with a small recording space. Just like most other Neewer ring lights, it’s also fairly durable and with a bit of care, should last you a really long time.

A particular customer mentioned how they love the fact that it had a LED type lamp (which tends to be more durable) as their kids have knocked it more than a few times and there’s still absolutely no damage caused to the light whatsoever.

It’s easy to use and set up, and being a small, lightweight ring light, is also great for travel purposes. The light intensity is pretty good as well, with the adjustability being very impressive too. You can easily adjust the height, angle and more to make sure it exactly aims at you.

This makes it, in our opinion, the best lighting for vlogging.

Drawbacks:

  • It’s a bit on the smaller side, it would be more suitable for makeup artists and beauty vloggers than other YouTubers that shoot all types of videos.

   BEST SELLER   

4. ESDDI Ring Light 14-Inch Dimmable Ring Light

ESDDI 14Inch Ring Light

Quality = 84%

Affordability = 90%

Review:

This is another great ring light for YouTubers and vloggers. It’s a LED ring light that’s designed to save energy, which is definitely something nice to have if you will be using it a lot.

One of the customers mentioned in their review how they are very impressed with the way this product provides uniform light, and there are no strong harsh shadows that may be common with cheaper ring lights.

The adjustability is also certainly there, with the stand being height-adjustable, as well as pretty sturdy. There’s also a flexible extender bracket that comes in handy when you want to extend the height of the stand further.

Then there’s also a hot shoe stand, which allows users to attach their camera right in the center. This works great at getting a uniform amount of light for a very balanced lighting in the video.

Perhaps the most unique feature this ESDDI ring light comes with is allowing to control the color temperature. This, coupled with a dimming feature as needed, allows the users to create pretty much any type of lighting environment they want, which can obviously turn out to be a great thing to have for vloggers.

A customer concluded in their review that this light is suitable for both professional and home use, something we definitely agree with. It has all the features a professional vlogger might ever need, but is still bright and easy enough to set up for home use.

Drawbacks:

  • No raw mode
  • Doesn’t allow shooting slow motion at higher frame rates
  • Doesn’t support an external mic

   SMALL   

5. EACHSHOT ES180 Kit 13-Inch

EACHSHOT ES180 Kit

Quality = 85%

Affordability = 82%

Review:

As the name suggests, this product is a complete LED ring light kit, and comes with a light stand, smartphone holder and a tripod head. This helps you have a complete lighting setup without shelling out hundreds of dollars.

It’s also one of the smaller ring light on this list, so makeup artists and beauty vloggers (and even travel vloggers) that are looking for a mini LED ring light kit that takes very little space and is portable would really be pleased with it.

However, the light is bright enough to not let the small size be an issue at all. There are two plastic color filters that allow you to change the lighting according to your needs.

The orange filter helps you create a natural sunlight-like light, which works well when you’re shooting in daylight. The white filter, however, should come in handy for pretty much everything else, as it provides a lot of clean white light without an obviously unnatural feel.

The light is also a dimmable LED, which is great to have as the light itself is very bright and not everyone would be comfortable with using it at the highest setting.

Drawbacks:

  • Accessories aren’t as durable as the light

   MAKEUP   

6. MACTREM 6″ LED Ring Light for YouTube Video and Makeup

MACTREM 6 LED Ring Light

Quality = 82%

Affordability = 98%

Review:

The Mactrem 6″ LED ring light is our pick for best ring light for makeup, especially if you are filming with your smartphone.

It comes with a tripod stand and phone holder for your smartphone and a dimmable 6″ LED ring light with 3 light modes and 11 adjustable brightness settings. 

The 3 light modes include white, warm yellow, and warm yellow + white.

There is a nice swivel feature that allows for 360 degrees of adjustments and is USB powered.

This is an affordable beginner ring light for makeup tutorials, close-up filming, portraits, and makeup artists who are using their smartphones to film.

Drawbacks:

  • Only compatiable with smartphones’

  TIKTOK / YOUTUBE   

7. KobraTech 10-Inch Ring Light For Selfies And Smartphones

KobraTech

Quality = 86%

Affordability = 88%

Review:

The KobraTech 10-inch ring light is our pick for the best selfie ring light for your iPhone or smartphone.

One of the main reasons is the handy Bluetooth remote control shutter that can be used to control take photos and videos from up to 30 feet away. This makes is very easy for selfies, videos, vlogging and more.

It can also be used both as a tabletop ring light and as a selfie stick with light that you can take with you if you walk around while filming. 

In terms of lighting, it does have 3 light modes and 11 adjustable brightness settings. 

The tripod also includes flexible legs so you are able to film at different angles, and wrap it on a post for hard to film shots. You can also film in both landscape and portrait mode with your smartphone.

Drawbacks:

  • Can be a bit bulky to carry around

  TIKTOK/ YOUTUBE   

8. Rotolight Neo 2

Rotolight

Quality = 86%

Affordability = 88%

Review:

It is the best ring light for videography and YouTubers. Rotolight neo 2 is one of the famous ring lights used for TikTok and other uses.

It is one of the smallest ring lights. This is the reason why all the makeup artists, ticktock, and YouTubers used this ring light. You can also use their mini LED feature that takes your minimum space and you can take it with you anywhere. The mini LED is also portable.

You can attach your camera at the center of the roto light with the help of a shoe stand. This helps you to get equal and uniform light in all directions and your video will not vibrate. To make a stable video you always need this feature.

They have two high-quality batteries. You can charge the neo light with an adapter that has more power than other adapters. The battery life of roto light is 12 hours. 

If you want to buy a ring light then this is the best choice for you to choose from. With so many features and functions, it provides you excellent quality results.

It is simple and easy to use. Simply you will turn on the start button. There are two rotary knobs one controls the temperature and the other controls the brightness of the light. You can also change the color of light by switching the button located in the center of the light. 

Drawbacks:

  • Doesn’t allow shooting slow motion at higher frame rates.
  • Only compatible with mobile phones.

  VIDEOGRAPHY   

9. Neewer 20" Dimmable Ring Light

Neewer 20

Quality = 86%

Affordability = 88%

Review:

Neewer 20 dimmable ring light is among the top ring lights that make competition in the market. It is one of the best and excellent lights for use. It can be used in videography and provides you with excellent results when used for youtube videos.

It has 44W of dimmable output from 352LEDs and it is the largest ring in the light ring industry.

The 3 light modes include white, warm yellow, and warm yellow + white.

There is a nice swivel feature that allows for 360 degrees of adjustments and is USB powered. It has the most advanced features.

The most unique feature this neewer ring light comes with is allowing to control the color temperature. This, coupled with a dimming feature as needed, allows the users to create pretty much any type of lighting environment they want, which can obviously turn out to be a great thing to have for vloggers.

The light is also a dimmable LED, which is great to have as the light itself is very bright and not everyone would be comfortable with using it at the highest setting.

Drawbacks:

  • It is very big in size and difficult to carry.

  WESTCOTT RING LIGHT   

10. Westcott Bi-Color 18 Inch Dimmable Ring Light

Westcott

Quality = 86%

Affordability = 88%

Review:

If you are a blogger, YouTuber, or any other related to this field and want to get excellent ring light for videos and pictures then you must use this advanced Westcott ring light. It is one of the best ring lights that gives you different skin tones and lights which makes you beautiful to look at.

It has excellent color delivery that makes you look more elegant. The west coast has CRI plus97 which means it is special for skin tone.

It has a color temperature range and has bi-color features that go between tungsten and daylight. You can adjust every feature from the ring light by itself.

It can be run on AC batteries which are excellent features to use outside in the shades of summers. 

Drawbacks:

  • Doesn’t allow shooting slow motion at higher frame rates

How Do Ring Lights Work?

Ring lights work by producing a bright light around the camera that helps take great videos no matter the kind of lighting conditions you’re shooting in.

There’s a thick corner around a hollow circle, and it lights up as you plug the light in or put it on.

The better ring lights produce a lot of video light and are bright enough to help beauty vloggers, makeup artists and other vloggers take videos where they look much better than they would without that extra light source while giving a very professional feel to the videos. They are also very useful when live streaming videos.

The camera is mounted in the hollow circle between the thick round edge that produces the light, which is how the camera gets surrounded with sufficient light for it to take great videos.

Here is a good article for more tips.

Choose Based on Your Budget and Needs:

The price of ring lights varies quite a bit.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the cheaper ones are either too small to not be a good fit for a camera (unless it's a small camera), or are just not durable or bright enough.

So you would simply want to stick to either the high-end or at least the mid-range ones, as they are designed for professional use and work great with a DSLR camera.

Similarly, it’s important to take your specific needs into consideration as well. For instance, beauty vloggers would want to go for a smaller ring light as it would be the perfect selfie ring light while taking up very little space on a tabletop.

Similarly, they would only want to have a great white light and it wouldn’t matter much to them even if there are no other variations or the other light variations aren’t as good.

For general or other vloggers, however, a large size may mean more flexibility, and they will be able to do more stuff around them. Likewise, a bi-color ring light will have the availability of orange light which come in much handier for them, as it would allow them to create a natural lighting environment around themselves and that is what they may need for many of their videos.

Make sure to save money for other YouTube Equipment such as a good stationary microphone.

Conclusion!

We did a lot of research to find the 5 best ring lights you can buy as a videographer, vlogger or YouTuber. Similarly, we have also shared a lot of useful information about what you should consider when buying a ring light. Hopefully, the decision of which ring light to buy is now easier.

And this is what makes us say that after going through this post, choosing the perfect ring light for your YouTube channel would have become an easy choice.

The ESDDI and Eachshot are each going to be a great choice of ring lights for beauty vloggers in particular, as they are small in size but offer just the right features for shooting professional quality makeup and beauty videos.

And as you probably figured, the Diva 18-inch ring light is clearly your best bet. However, you can go with one of the Neewer ring lights if you’re after a more budget-friendly option without compromising much on functionality.

 

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