Whether you're hosting a meeting on a Zoom call, creating your own vlog, or simply want better looking shots, using one of the best ring lights can can drastically improve your photos and videos.
Once upon a time, ring lights were only really used by professional photographers and videographers. One reason was they used to be massive, expensive fluorescent things that did an amazing job of creating beautiful lighting effects, but were far out of the average buyers budget. Thanks to advances in technology and the widespread use of LED lighting, we can all now access that incredibly soft, flattering light for a fraction of the price. The diffused shadows that these lights produce enhances the look of portraits and conceals, rather than highlights, skin blemishes.
Pretty much all of today's best ring lights are powered by LEDs, come in all sizes and won't cost you the earth. Most give you plenty of control over colour temperature and brightness, and some even have alternative 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 videos, photos 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 camera for YouTube or best webcams.
The best ring lights available now
For looking your best on YouTube, Twitch or any other streaming platform, the Fositan 21-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 putting 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 one of the best ring lights for Zoom calls. 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.
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.
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 colour 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. Unfortunately, there's no on-light phone mount, but aside from that 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.
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 both colour temperature and brightness. It 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.
A lot of light in one tiny form factor, the Rotolight Neo 2 isn't strictly a true ring light, but it does output light in a ring shape and gives very similar results. The benefit of the Neo 2 is that it can output dimmable, colour temperature varying light continuously for movies or adapt to HSS flash for stills to freeze subjects up to 1/8000 sec.
The Neo 2 also benefits from CineSFX custom lighting to replicate lightning, fire, TV, Gunshot and more lighting effects. Powered by 6 x AA batteries it can continuously light at maximum power for up to 1.5 hours or 85,000 flashes providing plenty of power for a shoot.