Lights, camera, action!
What comes to mind when you hear those words? The Movies! Amirite, guys? But let’s rewind a bit. Can you see the order those words were arranged? Lights come first! This implies that even with the best high-definition cameras and the greatest acts, if you don’t use proper lighting — your show isn’t going to be legendary!
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What Are Ring Lights And What Do They Do?
A ring light is a multipurpose lighting tool that enables photographers and camera operators to obtain uniform lighting on their subject. They may come as a circular electronic flash that fits around a camera lens, or as a standalone unit with an external adjustable mount. They typically use fluorescent or LED lights.
Ring lights help to accentuate and enhance every aspect of visual content by illuminating darkened shadowy areas evenly around the subject. Pictures taken with regular camera flash cannot achieve this.
Why You Need One
Ring lights were first used in the 1950s by dentists to peer into patients’ mouths, helping to illuminate the dark corners in the patient’s mouth. Later, they were used adopted by photographers and portrait artists.
Today, ring lights are widely used by digital marketing influencers and audio-visual creatives. Everyone from makeup artists to photographers, musicians, and YouTubers; they all deploy ring lights to make their pictures and video content look vibrant and professional.
If you’re saying “I’m not an artist!” don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to implement a ring light! For example, if you have big job interview, or an important meeting online, you can also use ring lights to illuminate your face and surroundings evenly for a more professional appearance.
Let’s recap, ring lights will:
- Make your visual content more vibrant
- Avoid having shadows around your pictures
- Spread out the lighting more evenly
- Give you a more professional touch
Now on to the show!
5 Best Ring Lights In 2021
Here’s our list of the top 5 ring lights you can find in 2021, each with their own specialty. Join me as I explain just why we’ve handpicked these out of the hundreds of other options on the market.
Best Light For YouTube And Vlogs
The ESDI PLV-R432 model has become one of the most sought after ring lights among high-profile YouTubers. Many Make-up artists and fashion influencers have also endorsed this one as their go-to light to create unique beauty portraits.
- Its sheer size makes it bright enough to provide great lighting for unique beauty portraits
- It also produces circular catch lights and soft illumination which makes it ideal videos and vlogs.
- Included 6-foot light stand
- Included padded travel case
- Great value for money
Best for Smartphone Streaming
The Rotolight RL-48 dominated the market a few years ago, then it disappeared. Now, it’s back and better than ever with new improved features. It makes our list for its reputation as the perfect ring light to combine with your smartphone camera.
- Included mini tripod, accessory bar, phone clip, and stand adapter
- Ability to be used as additional indoor/outdoor lighting for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras
- Small and compact
Best Color Ring light
The MACTREM Color Selfie Ring Light is built to add a dash of fun to you stills or video content. When you’re not creating content, it can also double as light source to spice up the ambiance in the room.
- Fully-loaded with 14 RGB colors, and 10 brightness modes
- 3 white tones; Natural, Soft, and Warm
- Ability to create artificial lighting effects, or accentuate natural lighting conditions
- Included remote
- Extremely good value
- Thousands of great reviews on Amazon
Best Budget Option
If the Rotolight RL-48 is too pricey for you, then this ESDDI PLV-R120 is an decent alternative. Despite the low price, it packs in some incredibly powerful features. Other products in the same price range are no comparison!
- A 10-W output, which is quite impressive for the price.
- A two-way grip that holds your smartphone firmly either horizontally or vertically.
- Included Bluetooth remote
- USB-powered, meaning you can run it on a power bank and use it anywhere.
- Only $20!
This is our highest-quality light on the list. The Rotolight Neo 2 is in an entirely different category than the rest of the lights here — the expensive category!
- It delivers a whopping 1,840 LUX at a distance of 3 feet. This makes it the superior lighting option for both still photos and video content.
- In addition to its six AA batteries, the Neo 2 can also be powered by a mains adaptor to deliver up to 500% more power when you switch to flash mode.
When it comes to creating visual art, marketing material, or portrait photography; ring lights are essential tools that can help make your content standout. And remember — it’s Lights first, then Camera, Action.