The best ring lights are a vital tool for many creatives, whether it's for filming social media videos, doing interviews, Zoom calls and video conferences or even for product photography. They might seem like simple products, but there's a huge range on the market, so it can be difficult to choose and the array of specs and advanced features like RGB, dimming controls and colour temperature can be baffling.
We've compared the specs, features, brand reputation, value and customer reviews for a wide selection of options to compile a list of the best ring lights that meet different needs. We've included the best small ring light for desktop use as well as options that offer more creative flexibility. See the questions section at the bottom if you need more help choosing. If you're looking for other ways to improve the look of your videos or video calls, see picks of the best cameras for YouTube, the best webcams, or the best monitor with webcam.
The best ring lights available now
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Colour temperature: 3000-5600k
LEDs / Light / CRI: not stated / 400 lumen / 85
This well-made, affordable and versatile Joby ring light offers plenty of customisation. There are three cold shoe mounts for attaching accessories, and it's easy to use with other Joby products. It offers a solid brightness of 100 lux at 1m, has 10-step dimming, and adjustable colour temperature from 3,000K to 5,600K.
Best for Zoom
Colour temperature: 3200K-5600K
LEDS / light / CRI: 120 / 500 lux / 97
If you're mostly at your desk, you might prefer this simple, reasonably priced desktop ring light. Its built-in flexible phone holder allows you to position and orientate your phone, and it packs 120 LEDs for plenty of illumination across ten brightness levels.
Best for creativity
Colour temperature: 3000k to 5800k
LEDs / light / CRI: 280/ 4800 lux / >97
For a versatile ring light that allows a lot of creativity, this 19-inch option from IVISII has great reviews. It has a tablet adapter so that it can hold an iPad or other larger device, while it comes with a range of colour filters and precise colour temperature and brightness control. It may be a little more pricey than other options but can produce bright white light at full power.
Best hand held
Colour temperature: 2500K-10000K
LEDS / light / CRI: 188 / 2400 lux at 0.5m / 97+
With 188 LED beads, 0-360° hue, 2500K~10000K colour temperature, and a maximum illuminance of 2400lux, the brightness of this rectangular light is surprising. The back-mounted LCD screen displays the settings, including 17 quick-scenes. It holds phones and smaller cameras, can be controlled wirelessly, and comes with a USB battery charger.
Best small ring light
Colour temperature: Not specified
LEDS / Light / CRI: Not specified
Power: USB A
This affordable, petite light is great for travel or Zoom calls. It's versatile, with an adjustable tripod with pan-tilt and surface-friendly, sure-grip clamp. With its controller, you can choose from 10 brightness levels and 5 dimmable light modes. It's not the most powerful and there's no mobile stand included, though.
For home studios
Colour temperature: 5500K
LEDs / Light / CRI: 240 / not stated / >83
This 18-inch model has 240 LEDs balanced to a colour temperature of 5500K and is perfect for a home studio. It has in-built dimming, and while there aren't dedicated colour controls, it comes with attachable filters. It has a lightweight but strong tripod, a phone holder, and a hot shoe.
Best large ring light
Colour temperature: 2900K to 6500K
LEDS / light / CRI: 120/ 5400 / >97
This 21-inch ring light is about as large as ring lights tend to come. That makes it a little less portable but big enough to comfortably fit a smallish camera or to hold three phones should you need to shoot on multiple devices at once. Its colour temperature range is particularly broad, brightness is adjustable from 10% to 100% and it comes with a Bluetooth controller.
Best for stills
Colour temperature: 3150k to 6300K
LEDS / light / CRI: not stated / 2000 lux at 0.9m/ 96
Power: AA batteries or DC
This dazzler isn't a true ring light, but worth including due to its light output and customisability. The controls offer extreme accuracy, and it has High Speed Sync (HSS) and CineSFX. Powered by 6xAA batteries, it can light at full power for up to 1.5 hours or 85,000 flashes.
Colour temperature: not stated
LEDs / Light / CRI: not stated
For extra flexibility for filming cooking or design work in progress on a desk, an overhead ring light on extendable arm can be ideal. This little gem clips on to the edge of a desk and be pulled into position to hold your phone where you need it. This one isn't the sturdiest, but its price makes it a sound buy.
Why do people use ring lights for video calls and social media?
There are several qualities that make the best ring lights so popular for filming to-camera social media videos or for making video calls. Firstly, they're quite affordable and their size makes them handily portable and easy to set up on a desk or on the floor, without the need for a lot of space.
But another reason is the arrangement of the light. The ring creates a dispersed light that’s much more flattering on the face. Depending on the position of the light, the ring will usually be reflected in the subject's eyes, and if you look very closely you'll probably see that telltale halo in many videos online. However, this can also be advantageous, with the glint adding life to the eyes.
How do I choose the best ring light?
At first glance, most ring lights look pretty similar. However, there are a few criteria we've looked for when making our pick of the best ring lights above to make sure that they're each worth the investment.
The most important things to consider are the size of the ring and the number of LEDs, since this will affect brightness and thus how close you need to be to the light source. Generally, the more LEDs, the further away you can place the light, which makes it softer, more diffuse and usually more flattering as a result because it reduces the prominence of skin blemishes and spots.
In our list above, we've also looked for options with dimming/brightness controls, versatility (i.e. whether the ring lights can support different types of camera) and reliability, which is what often influences the reputation of a brand. Another measurement to look out for is CRI (colour rendering index). This is a measure of the ability of the light to show colours faithfully in comparison with natural light. The higher the CRI, the more accurate the colour rendering. A light with a CRI of 80 to 90 is good, while 90+ is excellent.
Which is the best ring light brand?
The popularity of ring lights on platforms like TikTok has meant that there are a lot of cheap ring lights out there, and it can be tough to sort through. For this list, we've stuck with reputable, well-regarded brands like Joby, Neewer and Rotolight. And the Joby Beamo 12-inch Ring Light is our top pick. Joby, Neewer and Rotolight all make well-priced lights, but you can rest assured they'll still offer a decent level of quality, and won't be flimsy pieces of equipment that simply fall apart after a short length of time.
Is a bigger or smaller ring light better?
The larger the ring light, the softer and more pleasing the quality of light it provides. When making our picks for our list of the best ring lights, we generally looked for a minimum size limit of at least 12 inches in diameter as we believe this provides the required balance of light quality and price. There's one exception – the little 6-inch light from Mactrem, which is a solution for those who want something ultra-portable for making videos on the go, but otherwise, every product is at least 12 inches in diameter, and in some cases considerably more.
Apart from size, another thing that sets apart one LED ring light from another is the amount of LEDs, which affects how diffuse and possibly how bright the light is. We've made sure to include products with plenty of LEDs for this reason.
What controls should a ring light have?
Most people will benefit from choosing one of the best ring lights with a dimming/brightness control: Having a ring light that allows you to control the brightness will make life a lot easier – if the brightness is fixed, then your only option if the light level is wrong is to move the light closer or further away. A dimming control allows you to place the light where you want it and change the strength of the light as required.
Do I need a ring light with changing colour temperature?
Most users can get by with just white LED ring lights, as this is the easiest way to get accurate, true-to-life colours. However, for those wanting to balance other available light, like tungsten light bulbs, or refining light based on skin tone, then a ring light with colour temperature control might be something to consider. They come either with snap-on filters or are controllable with onboard knobs, depending on the model.
Some sophisticated models have options for altering RGB colours, making them ultra customisable, whereas others have filtered gels that sit over the LEDs themselves. Professional-grade LED lights may also even feature creative lighting effects to mimic natural lighting such as lightning, gunshots or campfires.
Are battery-powered ring lights worth it?
It really depends if you need to be able to take the light outside or on location. Some models are mains only and as such can be a little less expensive because of the extra connections and electronics required to accept batteries, but there are models that offer both.
By having the option to both plug-in to the mains or draw power from a battery on a ring light is the most flexible option as it allows both studio and location lighting. But ring lights with both are often pricier than models that stick to just one or the other. If you're filming for long periods inside, stick with a mains-powered ring light. But if you're going to be outside and can film in shorter bursts then opt for a battery-powered light.
Can ring lights hold different cameras?
A useful feature to look for in the best ring lights is support for different cameras. The best ring lights are not only good for lighting up a subject, but can also be modified with ease to support different types of camera, or interfaced well with other useful video accessories like microphones. Part of the reason we rate so highly the Joby Beamo, our number 1 pick as the best ring light overall, is because its built-in cold shoe supports make it easy to add other accessories for a do-it-all video setup.
We've also included products that will work well with different types of video setup, like the Ivisii 19 inch Ring Light, which is a particularly good choice for those capturing video on an iPad. Note that many ring lights can hold small DSLRs and mirrorless cameras but will not be stable enough to hold a full-frame camera.