The 5 Best Ring Lights For Video

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One of the most common phrases I heard as an actor on outdoor film sets was “we’re losing light” but, even if you could move production indoors, that was no guarantee of a picture-perfect result. Good lighting usually has to be created — often in the form of a three-point lighting setup that requires heavy equipment and time-intensive assembly. But, since anyone with a smartphone can shoot their own short film or viral video these days, the best ring lights for video can provide foolproof lighting that doesn’t require a pro’s know-how.

If you’re using a ring light for video — whether it’s for vlogging or YouTube tutorials — you want something that has the technical chops to withstand whatever your creativity can throw at it. To find the right one for you, consider the following.

Temperature Control

Look for a ring light that gives you control over the video color temperature and brightness. This ensures consistent true-to-color results that are so important for things like YouTube tutorials. Color temperature is measured in Kelvins (K), and you’ll usually see a range between 3200-6000 K indicated on your ring light. Low numbers indicate warm hues, while higher numbers signify cooler casts.

Accessories & Attachments

Certain features will make your ring light easier to use for video than others. Ring lights with adapters that let you mount your camera directly onto the light make it fast and easy to get that perfect setup —and most of them come with smartphone brackets, too. Several models below even include a Bluetooth shutter remote that makes it easy to literally roll solo, so you don’t have to rely on someone else or run back and forth between takes. And I was thrilled to find a few models that let you control the ring light settings itself with a remote.

Size

If you’re constantly on-the-go or rely on your phone for all of your creative work, you might actually prefer a smaller ring light, on a flexible stand, for turning wherever you are into a studio. But, if you plan on using different-sized cameras with your ring light, a larger model will offer that versatility. Lastly: if you plan to use your ring light outdoors on location, it’s worth spending a little more on an option that supports rechargeable batteries so you always have a backup.

Below you'll find the ring lights for video I recommend whether you’re just starting out or ready for an upgrade.

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1. The Best For Beginners: A Small Ring Light With Tons Of Color Options

This budget-friendly 8-inch ring light is a great choice for beginners because its size makes it easy to manage, but it still includes some great features that you can grow with. It has a great color temperature range of 3000-6000 Kelvins, plus ten brightness settings and 14 different RGB colors for tons of creative possibilities. You get two tripods with non-skid feet: a traditional tripod that extends up to 50 inches, and a flexible “octopus” tripod you can wrap around almost anything. The tripods' heads can also be angled from 45 to 180 degrees, and around 360 degrees, for versatility in shots. Importantly, there's a Bluetooth shutter remote that's compatible with iOS and Android. There's no backup battery or way to mount a traditional camera, but it does have a separate smartphone bracket you can fix just about anywhere on the included stands, and the set comes with a carrying bag.

Lastly: If you decide to upgrade later, having this little light in your kit will allow you to create more dynamic lighting setups going forward.

2. The Best For Streaming: This Remote-Controlled Ring Light Kit With An Adapter For Cameras

This updated large ring light kit, measuring 16 inches, comes from a brand beloved by vloggers. It's a solid setup for people who are ready to upgrade their gear without sinking a ton of cash into the project. You have almost complete control over the brightness (1-100%) and excellent color temperature (3200-5600K) which is clearly displayed on the remote's LCD touch-screen, which allows you to adjust settings from afar and make split-second tweaks while the camera is rolling. (This is a huge sanity and time-saving function.) There's also an included Bluetooth shutter remote and accessories strong enough for mounting DSLR cameras (the cold shoe ball head) and smartphones (the phone clamp), allowing you the flexibility to shoot on your equipment of choice. The light stand isn't the smallest, with a range of 30-74 inches, but the included carrying case makes it easy to tote.

3. The Best For iPhone Video: This Highly Rated Ring Light With A Flexible Clip-Anywhere Stand

A ring light with a flexible clip-on stand makes this a great multitasker for iPhone-only creatives. The stand's adjustable, 24-inch arms rotate 360 degrees which makes it easy to create your perfect lighting angle, and gives you the versatility for top-down shots without getting in your way. (Cooking tutorials, anybody?) The universal smartphone holder is reinforced with grippy non-slip rubber lining, which is both brilliant and necessary on camera equipment that’s designed to defy gravity. It handles phones up to 3.6 inches wide, which means you can even keep your case on. Although a specific Kelvin range wasn't mentioned for this ring light, there are three all-purpose color temperatures you can toggle through, plus 10 brightness levels. It's USB powered, so you'll either need an outlet, a power bank, or another device to charge it up before you can start rolling.

4. The Best On Location: A Ring Light With An International Adapter And Two Power Supplies

This is a large, spec-heavy ring light with a dizzying array of features. A smart LCD display shows the current color temperature (3000-5800K) and brightness (0-100%) — you can adjust those settings either manually or via the included remote control, and there are four snap-on color filters for creative lighting setups. The 19-inch ring light comes with a wireless remote and a Bluetooth shutter remote that syncs with your camera or smartphone. The light stand is adjustable up to 74 inches and has three different adapters for cameras, plus two brackets for smartphones and tablets — and three different slots for installing multiple devices at once. In terms of power supply: it has DC power cord, a Europlug adapter for international travel, and space for two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (not included) — something you will absolutely be grateful for if you plan to shoot for a long time.

5. Worth The Splurge: A Professional-Grade Ring Light

If you want a high-quality ring light that will stand up to professional studio use (and you don’t need the novelty of smartphone adapters or Bluetooth shutters because you have your own fabulous setup), the 18-inch Diva Ring Light Super Nova gets the seal of approval from studio managers who make their living wrangling equipment. Instead of LEDs, this beauty relies on a fluorescent tube like high-end models. The rounded shape creates extra-soft and even diffusion for visibly high-quality results. It has a true-to-color guarantee thanks to a daylight-balanced 5400K bulb, with a tungsten diffusion plate that snaps on to create a gorgeous warm light that isn’t too orange. It also comes with a dimming knob that adjusts from 20% to 100% for customization. The six-foot stand has extra-wide legs for a more stable setup, and includes a sturdy-yet-flexible gooseneck for adjusting your lighting angles, plus a separate Z-bracket for integrating with your own equipment. While you’ll need an outlet adapter for international travel, this ring light can handle 110-240V so you don’t need an additional converter.