A ring light is a lighting equipment used to get high-quality, well-lit, beautiful images and videos. As a multi-purpose lighting tool, it obtains uniform light from the cameras. Ring lights optimize the artificial light and make it as close to sunlight as possible. They eliminate shadows and conceal flaws through the circular light, leading to perfect diffusion and equal light spread on the subject. This gives your subject a crystal clear and natural look.
Lighting plays an indispensable role in enhancing your image’s quality, next to your camera’s quality. Therefore, you need to invest in a lighting tool to get better close-up shots. In this way, a ring light is the most practical and convenient solution for you if you want your image or video to be high-quality. Ring lights will be the best choice if you are a Vlogger, make-up artist, dentist or pursuing a career in photography and videography. In this article, you will discover more about a ring light, its purpose, the best ring lights to shop for, and the ways to set up and use it.
What is a Ring Light?
A ring light is a versatile, doughnut-shaped lighting tool that helps you provide uniform illumination without shadows. For this purpose, it uses a single circular fluorescent bulb or a combination of bulbs or LEDs arranged in a circle. The halo shape helps spread light over a wide area and reduces shadows. Consequently, the image appears to be more flattering. Additionally, you can mount your camera in the space between the ring light to disperse the light evenly around the lens. Hence, it is also known as glamor or beauty light. It either fits into your camera lens or is more significant than that.
Why Use a Ring Light?
Initially, medical and dental fields used ring lights. Today, they are adapted for several commercial uses as it makes it easier for the camera to focus and balance both the exposure and color temperature. In addition, rings lights are often used due to the following reasons:
- Accentuate Details
Since a ring light’s circular design illuminates a subject uniformly without casting shadows, it accentuates the details of the subject. In photography, you can place the camera at the center of the ring light to focus on specific details of the shoot.
A ring light distributes light evenly across a subject and helps you focus. This way, you can create high-quality photos without using sophisticated tools.
- Flat Photography
Ring lights can be of great help for shooting artworks and crafts on a table, capturing flat laid photos, for brow or lash specialists, tattoo artists, and videographers. Your ring lights need a gooseneck for flexing the equipment according to your requirements.
- Generating Color Effects
You can use the color effect technique to create color washes around an object. For this purpose, you can replace the white bulbs with different colored lights or apply colored gels along the surface of the ring light to generate color effects.
- Video Production
You will benefit from a ring light as an influencer who regularly posts video content for your social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Using a ring light as your only light source, you will be able to create a sharp outline of your image. Additionally, you can create an attractive halo shadow that provides a dramatic and professional look.
- Makeup Application
Ring lights are the perfect lighting source for makeup application as they can produce a daylight color rating of 54000k on an overcast day or when natural light is not available.
In portrait photography, ring lights are used to minimize wrinkles and blemishes. Furthermore, since they reduce the shadow and illuminate the face uniformly, they are also suitable for creating videos for Youtube.
Now that you know the various applications of a ring light, we have compiled some of the best ring lights for TikTok, Instagram, and youtube content creators. Additionally, these ring lights can be repurposed for other uses, as mentioned below:
|Best Ring Light||Purpose|
|Neewer Advanced 16-inch LED Ring Light|
|IVISII 19 inch LED Ring Light|
|UBeesize Selfie Ring Light|
|Neewer Ring Light Kit|
|UBeesize 10″ LED Ring Light|
What Ring Size Do You Need?
The ring light comes in various sizes like 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, and 22 Inches. You can choose to buy a specific size based on your creation needs, location, and time of your shoot.
|Weak Studio environment Light||Large Size ring light|
|The whole body or a long-distance live streaming||18-Inch or 22-Inch ring light. (Big Size)|
|Commercial photography or makeup tutorial||10-inch or 12-inch ring light.|
|Instagrammers and Tik Tokers||14-inch to 18-inch ring light|
|Zoom calls||8-inch to 10-inch ring light|
How Much Does Ring Light Cost?
Ring lights are available in different price ranges depending on your choice of quality and features. Some light rings that cost more than a hundred dollars offer greater control of color temperature, brightness, and color filters. They may also include remote control and a variety of other accessories. However, one of the most valuable ring lights is the 10 inches LED Light Ring, which costs around $21.99 on Amazon USA.
Things To Look for When Buying a Ring Light
If you have planned to invest in a ring light, you must determine its salient features before buying one; they include the following:
- A Reasonably Large Diameter
If you are looking for better light output and quality, you need to consider whether you will sit at a desk or stand to photograph your image. Here is a list of diameters that will suit your needs accordingly:
|Diameter of Ring Light||Products||Advantages|
|12-inch Ring Light||Godox LR120 12-inch LED Ring Light||It costs less and has appropriately sized stands.|
|14 inch Ring Light||Yesker 14-inch Ring Light||You can use it while standing.|
|16 inch Ring Light||Yesker 16-inch Ring Light||It comes with some extra luminescence|
- Convenient Power Source
In addition to the size of a ring light, you must also consider how it is powered. Ring lights smaller than 12 inches are ideal for outdoor use as they can be powered via USB. On the contrary, larger ring lights are suitable for indoor use as they require an AC/DC adapter to draw more power. However, for longer shoots, ring lights whose size is greater than 14 inches can be used as they contain a USB port to which you can connect your phone for charging.
- High Color Rendering Index
Color Rendering Index is the measurement of light concerning how it influences the appearance of a color. A higher Color Rendering Index indicates that light can render more precise colors in the image. For example, ring lights with the following CRI offer different range of lightings as below:
|90 or above||Excellent|
|Between 80 and 90||Good|
Next thing you have to consider while buying a ring light is its brightness level. The multiple brightness levels help your ring light adjust to different environmental conditions. The ring lights come in two variations of light adjustment. They include:
- Adjust the brightness from 0 to 100% in 10% increments.
- Adjust the brightness in 1% increments, also called “stepless adjustment.
How to Set up a Ring Light?
You need to set up the ring light in such a way that you get the most out of it. Here are some tips to help you set it up:.
1. Use Mains Power
Ring lights have a high level of brightness which makes them extract more power than what most USB ports can supply. As a result, it can damage your laptop or PC. To negate this consequence, you can use a phone charger or even a USB power bank while being mobile. Additionally, before using the ring light, check if it is recommended for use with a laptop.
2. Place the Camera in the Middle of the Ring Light
While using a smartphone or a digital camera to shoot your video, ensure to place the camera at the center of the ring light. For this purpose, you may use a tripod or a holder. However, otherwise, you can avail the help of handy stackable items.
3. Using a Ring Light with a Laptop Camera
Using a laptop camera, position the ring light above the screen’s upper edge to illuminate your face appropriately.
4. Check Positioning and Reflections
The location of your light source can impact your video or image’s quality. Therefore, try placing the ring light at various distances from you to find the gap that suits your surroundings. Once you settle with a position, ensure there are no reflective surfaces. However, it may be pretty tricky if you are wearing glasses. In such a case, angle the light, so its illumination does not fall directly over the lens. Additionally, populate your room with furniture and objects that represent your taste.
5. Set the Color Temperature
Ring lights are available with a color temperature control. This setting helps you alter the lighting tone, which refers to warmer or cooler colors. For example, you can choose high color temperatures to project a daylight location. In contrast, lower temperature colors paint a candlelight surrounding.
If your ring light is devoid of a color temperature control, you can clip on a filter to the ring light. This way, it acts like a sunglass and changes the whiteness level. In addition, you can drape your light with a thin fabric to adjust the brightness in the absence of filters. However, take care not to conceal the camera and prevent the cloth from getting too hot.
6. Change the Brightness to Suit Your Needs
You can adjust your ring light’s brightness level depending on the kind of footage you’re shooting. However, setting a higher brightness level ensures your footage looks sharper and emphasizes colors.
To sum up, ring lights are among the best lighting tools available today. It helps you generate high-quality content to entice your audiences. So, get a ring light and win people while promoting your products or business.