Skip to main content

The best ring lights for YouTube, Zoom, live streaming and more

Woman using one of the best ring lights to illuminate while recording video
(Image credit: Anna Nekrashevich via Pexels)

The best ring lights are an invaluable and affordable lighting solution for TikTokers, YouTubers, streamers and more. Even those who are regularly doing Zoom presentations might find themselves benefiting from one of these cheap, simple, versatile lights. If you’ve ever been scrolling TikTok or browsing Instagram and caught yourself wondering why people there look so darn good – chances are good that a ring light is behind it. Behind the camera, that is. 

You don’t need to take our word for it – look out for the tell-tale ring-shaped glint in someone’s pupils when they’re filming themselves. A ring light is a simple thing – usually an arrangement of LED bulbs, but sometimes a single fluorescent tube – but it provides a flattering quality of light that’s ideal for selfies and videos, 

There are ultra-cheap ring lights around, but some of these can be a little too good to be true, so it’s worth being discerning. Check the number of LEDs a ring light has – the more LEDs, the softer and more diffuse the quality of light, which makes it more flattering, reducing the prominence of skin blemishes and spots.

In our guide to the best right lights, we’ve picked out what we reckon are the best you can buy, based on reliability, maximum brightness, features, colour control, and value. To find out more about what makes a good ring light, you can also scroll to the bottom of this page where we’ve suggested some key things to look out for. 

There are lots and lots of ring lights now available, and it's possible to pick one up for a very good price. In our guide to the best ring lights below, we've reviewed our selections based on reliability, brightness (more brightness means you don’t have to have it as close to your face), features like dimming/brightness and colour controls and value. You can see more at the bottom of this guide about what to look for when choosing the best ring lights for you. 

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

Joby Beamo 12-inch ring light head and cablecb badge

(Image credit: Joby)

01. Joby Beamo 12-inch Ring Light

The best ring light overall

Specifications

Colour temperature: 3000-5600k
Weight: 0.33kg
Power source: USB
Dimensions: 52 x 46 x 10cm

Reasons to buy

+
Good brightness/colour control
+
Well made and reliable
+
Plentiful accessory options

Reasons to avoid

-
Clamp not included

Joby is a well-established brand in the photo and video worlds, so you can rest assured that its ring light will be a product of quality. The Beamo ring light is as well made as Joby’s flexible GorillaPod tripod, but where it excels is in its capacity to be customised and accessorised

There are three cold shoe mounts around the Beamo ring light, which you can use to attach additional accessories. A microphone is an obvious choice, though you may also want a smartphone clamp or tablet stand if you need to put an autocue script up in your eyeline – just be aware they’re sold separately. The Beamo is also easy to use with other Joby products like the aforementioned GorillaPod, meaning you’ve got a range of options for standing and mounting it.

All this would mean nothing of course if the light itself was no good, but the Beamo is solid. Brightness of 100 lux at 1m is pretty much just what you need, and having 10-step dimming is useful for getting things to the level you want them. It also has adjustable colour temperature from 3000K to 5600K, which is handy for matching any ambient light around you.

Best ring light: Neewer Table Top 10-inch USB LED Ring LightCB endorsed

(Image credit: Neewer)

02. Neewer Table Top 10-inch USB LED Ring Light

The best ring light for Zoom calls

Specifications

Colour temperature: 3200K-5600K
Weight: 467g
Power source: USB
Dimensions: 29 x 27 x 5cm

Reasons to buy

+
Built for desktop use
+
Lots of settings
+
Built-in phone holder

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as versatile as other ring lights

If your ring light is going to be seeing more Zoom calls than TikToks, you might want to consider a simple desktop light like the Neewer Table Top. It’s a 10-inch light, so smaller than others on the list, but its desktop setup means it’s naturally going to be closer to your face anyway, so this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

There are a lot of sensible design choice in this light, such as the USB connectivity that allows the light to be powered from your computer – perfect for long calls or marathon streaming sessions. Also, it has a built-in flexible phone holder that allows you to position and orientate your phone for the ideal framing.

Despite its small size, the Neewer Table Top ring light packs in 120 LEDs, meaning you should have plenty of illumination even if you’re broadcasting from a dark broom cupboard (we’ve all been there). The ten brightness levels also give you good flexibility. While it’s probably too small to be used as anything other than a close-up desktop light, the Neewer Table Top ring light is a great choice for keeping clutter down – and it comes at a pretty reasonable price, too. 

Best ring light: Neewer 20-inch LED Ring Light Kit

(Image credit: Neewer)

03. Neewer 20-inch LED Ring Light Kit

The best big ring light for pro illumination wherever you are

Specifications

Colour temperature: 3200k to 5600k
Weight: 5.4kg
Power source: Mains/battery
Dimensions: 69.5 x 10.5 x 74cm

Reasons to buy

+
Massive 20-inch light
+
Mains and battery power
+
Impressive stand

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic stand mount

A large ring light is perfect for creating a flattering look, with diffuse lighting and softer shadows. The Neewer 20-inch LED Ring Light Kit goes big, with a 20-inch diameter and an impressive 352 LEDs, but it’s not as unwieldy as you might think. As well as mains power, the Neewer 20-inch LED Ring Light Kit can also run off lithium-ion batteries, making it much more portable and versatile.

Still, this is a big light, and won’t be for everyone. Its heavy-duty stand is adjustable from 90cm up to 2m, and has a sturdy base so you can be confident that it won’t topple over easily. There are also some handy extra accessories included, like a phone holder that makes it easier to shoot hands-free. The hot-shoe also allows you to mount a microphone or whatever else you like. Geared towards more advanced social creatives, this is an impressive ring light kit. 

Best ring light: Mactrem LED Ring Light 6"CB endorsed

(Image credit: Mactrem)

04. Mactrem LED Ring Light 6"

The best small ring light for iPhone

Specifications

Colour temperature: Not specified
Weight: 440g
Power source: USB
Dimensions: 29x 19 x 4.2cm

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and lightweight
+
Adjustable settings
+
Lots of extras

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as powerful as other models
-
Separate phone holder

This ring light from Mactrem is small, light and suitable for anyone shooting on location from an iPhone or other smartphone that wants to brighten up their photos or videos. The light itself has three colour temperature settings to balance with other ambient lights, 11 brightness levels for greater flexibility over the lighting and suits those looking for a small fill light to brighten the face whether inside or out.

As if that wasn't enough, Mactrem make sure it ships with additional accessories to make the shooting process smooth and painless by shipping with a mini tripod for your iPhone to refine the perfect composition while using the light on a separate stand. Being design to be mobile it doesn't have a power supply built-in so you'll need to supply a USB power bank to get the light going.

Best ring light: Neewer 12-inch RGB Ring Light

(Image credit: Neewer)

05. Neewer 12-inch RGB Ring Light

The best ring light for added colour

Specifications

Colour temperature: Not specified
Weight: 1.5kg
Power source: USB
Dimensions: 38 x 28.3 x 9.5cm

Reasons to buy

+
16 colours
+
Four lighting modes
+
Tripod, remotes and phone holders included

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks full RGB control

Ring lights with light filter gels that snap on to the front help to match the cool white lights with existing ambient lighting such as lamps or ceiling lights through the use of orange tints. However, if you want to get a little more creative with your ring light then this RGB model from Neewer is the one to go for. There are 16 RGB colours to choose from, all of which are fully dimmable. Creative lighting controls are available with up to four different modes which include: smooth, strobe, fade and flash which provide many alternative lighting options to experiment with.

The light comes with two remote controls – one for the ring light itself, plus a Bluetooth remote for your phone. The tripod extends up to 54 inches and has two phone holders: one inside the ring light and another on the tripod leg.

Best ring light: Neewer Camera Photo Video Lighting Kit

(Image credit: Neewer)

06. Neewer Camera Photo Video Lighting Kit

The best ring light for your home studio

Specifications

Colour temperature: 5500K
Weight: 5.2kg
Power source: Mains
Dimensions: 61.4 x 51.3 x 11.2cm

Reasons to buy

+
Big ring light
+
Fine lighting controls
+
Good for DSLRs

Reasons to avoid

-
Mains only

Ideal as a home studio ring light, this 18-inch model from Neewer is filled with 240 LEDs balanced to a colour temperature of 5500K. The light can be perfectly harmonised with other light sources by using the in-built dimming which ranges from 1 to 100%. 

The ring light has dimming controls to customise brightness, and while there are no dedicated colour controls the attachable filters in combination with the brightness dimming can be used to refine exact colour temperature as required. 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 mount a dedicated camera like a DSLR or another type of camera like a GoPro.

Best ring light: Ivisii 19 inch Ring Light

(Image credit: Ivisii)

07. Ivisii 19 inch Ring Light

The best ring light for creative control

Specifications

Colour temperature: 3000K-5800K
Weight: 5.12kg
Power source: Mains
Dimensions: 58 x 51 x 11cm

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful lighting
+
Versatile colour options
+
iPad holder included

Reasons to avoid

-
Mains only

For iPad users who like to do all their work on the do-it-all device this mega rig from Ivisii may be just the ticket. Able to accommodate the iPads rather bulkier dimensions thanks to its wide 19" diameter and tablet adapter, it also provides a wonderfully soft halo light due to its size. Of course, smartphone, DSLR and mirrorless camera users aren't snubbed as there's multiple adapter options that ship with this ring light kit.

The light gives full control over both colour temperature and brightness. It produces excellently bright white light when boosted to full power and, for more creative control, it comes with a set of green, blue, red and white filters which can be mixed together for multicolour lighting styles.

Best ring light: Rotolight Neo 2

(Image credit: Rotolight)

08. Rotolight Neo 2

The best ring light for video and stills

Specifications

Colour temperature: 3150k to 6300K,
Weight: 354g
Power source: AA batteries or DC
Dimensions: 14.5 x 5 cm

Reasons to buy

+
Flicker-free
+
HSS flash
+
Custom lighting FX

Reasons to avoid

-
No lithium-ion battery

Don't shoot the messenger – we're aware this compact dazzler isn't strictly a true ring light. However, considering it has a ring shape and gives very similar results, we thought it was worth including. The Rotolight Neo 2 packs a real punch, both in terms of light output and customisability. The benefit of the Neo 2 is that it has controls for dimming and colour temperature with extreme accuracy making it ideal for continuous lighting for filmmakers or photographers. It also has a High Speed Sync (HSS) feature to freeze moving photography subjects at up to 1/8000 sec, helpful when using in conjunction with a DSLR or mirrorless camera capable of shooting fast shutter speeds.

It's unique in this line-up in that the Neo 2 also uses CineSFX custom lighting to replicate real-world lighting situations. Such examples include: lightning, fire, TV, Gunshot and more. Powered by 6 x AA batteries it can continuously light at full power for up to 1.5 hours or 85,000 flashes providing plenty of power for a shoot on location, and this lasts much longer when dimmed down.

How do I choose the best ring lights?

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. We've also considered dimming/brightness controls, versatility (i.e., can they support different types of camera) and reliability, which often comes down to the reputation of the brand.

There's lots more we can get into here – if you're looking for more pointers, check out our primer on how to start vlogging and how to edit a video on TikTok.

What size ring light should I buy?

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.

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. These manufacturers 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. 

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.

For tips on making videos, see our primer on how to start vlogging our guide to how to edit a video on TikTok, our Instagram Reels tutorial and our guide to how to use green screen on TikTok.

Related articles:

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.

With contributions from