Having the best ring lights can make a real difference to your on-camera work, whether you're doing your thing on YouTube, shooting selfies or simply sitting down for yet another video conference.
Ring lights used to be exotic gear found only in the hands of pro photographers and videographers; huge and expensive fluorescent jobs that did an amazing job of creating beautiful lighting effects. If you want soft lighting with diffused shadows that enhances your photography skills and does an amazing job of concealing rather than highlighting skin blemishes, a ring light is an absolute must.
Today's ring lights are powered by LEDs, come in all sizes and won't cost you a fortune. Most give you plenty of control over colour temperature and brightness, and some even have colour options and other lighting effects. We've picked out a range of the best ring lights for most use cases; whatever your needs, you should be able to find the right ring light for you and quickly upgrade the look of your video, photography and even Zoom calls. And if you're looking to upgrade more of your hardware, don't miss our pick of the best cameras for vlogging.
The best ring lights available now
For looking your best on YouTube, Twitch or any other streaming platform, the Fositan 18-inch LED Ring Light Kit is a versatile choice and relatively inexpensive, considering what you get. Not only do you get a super-bright ring light with 112 LEDs spitting out up to 6500K colour temperature, there's also three built-in phone holders for broadcasting on multiple channels simultaneously or capturing different angles to put together in the edit.
The light also comes with a tripod as well as a pair of remotes; one for triggering your phones, and the other for adjusting colour temperature and brightness on the fly.
You don't want to be messing about with tripods if all you need is a bit of illumination for a Zoom call; this 10-inch ring light from Neewer makes things nice and easy with its handy desktop stand. Its USB connection means that you won't have to find a power point for it, and if you're using your phone there's a built-in phone holder so you can go hands-free.
With 120 LEDs it'll light you up well even in the darkest home office, and there are three light modes as well as 10 brightness levels, so with a bit of experimentation you'll quickly find a lighting setup that shows you at your best.
If you need a simple, lightweight ring light to give your iPhone photography that little extra zing, this bargain mini ring light from Mactrem is an absolute no-brainer. The light itself is a little beauty, with three temperature settings and 11 brightness levels, and perfect for giving whatever indoor or natural light you're working with just the boost you need.
As an added bonus you also get all the extras to make this light really work for you; it comes with its own mini tripod, plus a tiny tripod for your phone as well as a phone holder and hot shoe. The only extra you'll need to supply is a USB power bank to get the light going.
All of the best ring lights give you plenty of control over colour temperature and brightness, but if you want to bring a little extra atmosphere to your lighting then this RGB model from Neewer is a great choice. Instead of adjustable colour temperature it gives you 16 dimmable colours to work with as well as four lighting modes: flash, strobe, fade and smooth, so you have loads of creative options to play with.
There are two remote controls – one for the ring light itself, plus a Bluetooth remote for your phone – and the tripod, which extends up to 54 inches, has two phone holders: one inside the ring light and another on the tripod leg.
If you need a ring light to go with your laptop, this is a fantastic, versatile option from Elegiant. Instead of a tripod it comes with a simple clamp, enabling you to easily clip it to your laptop screen, the edge of your desk or anything else that's to hand.
This ring light features 72 LEDs with three colour temperatures and ten brightness levels, and it's easy to adjust the angle and rotation of the light so that you can quickly create the perfect illumination setup for any situation.
We're starting to get into serious lighting territory now. Here's a well-specced 18-inch model from Neewer, with 240 LEDs, a colour temperature of 5500K and a wide dimming range from 1 to 100%.
Instead of colour temperature controls, this ring light instead comes with white and orange colour filters that you can combine with the dimming controls to get the temperature you need. It has a lightweight but strong tripod, and as well as a phone holder it also comes with a hot shoe so that you can work with a DSLR instead of your phone.
Want to film with your iPad rather than your phone? This monster ring light from Ivisii is just what you need; as well as a phone holder it also comes with an iPad holder, and at 19 inches diameter it's big enough for you to mount your iPad within the ring light itself.
The light gives you full control over colour temperature and brightness and fires out incredibly bright white light when whacked up to full power, and for more creative control it comes with a set of white, green, red and blue filters that you can mix and match in order to set up amazing-looking multicolour lighting effects.
For pro-grade lighting wherever you are, this absolute beast of a ring light from Neewer should fit the bill nicely. It's a whopping 20-inch model powered by 352 LEDs, with a wide colour temperature range that you can control with a good old-fashioned knob, and while it'll take mains power at home or in your studio, if you want to take it on location it'll also run off Li-ion batteries.
Its heavy-duty stand enables you to set your light at anything between 90cm and two metres, and it comes with a phone holder plus a hot shoe so that you can shoot with your DSLR.