Not only for photographers and filmmakers but also for families keeping in touch and remote employees attending meetings from home, the best ring lights have become more crucial than ever. Previously, the nicest ring lights were reserved for slick photoshoots and YouTube content creators, but they’re now just as ubiquitous in home offices and family Zoom calls as they are among vloggers and videographers.
They’re considerably easier to set up and work with than traditional flash since they generate continuous light. If you’re new to portrait lighting, for example, they’re much easier to set up and work with than traditional flash. While they can’t match the power of the strongest flashguns or strobes, some ring lights feature flash modes or even High-Speed Sync, which can amplify their power by up to 500%. (with no recycle time).
The fact that many ring lights can vary color temperature for genuine skin tones makes them very important for make-up and beauty vloggers and content creators, and their continuous output makes them ideal for filming video.
Ring lights are useful in the new world of more home-working, even if you don’t have hopes of making it big on YouTube. When you match them with the best webcams, your home setup will instantly look more professional, which is crucial for making the greatest first impression during a crucial video conference!
1. Razer’s 192 LED
The Razer’s 192 LEDs produce 500 lumens of brightness and consume 10 watts of electricity, and they can be dimmed from 10% to 100% for finer control of light intensity. It has three color settings – 3,000K (Warm White), 4,500K (Balanced White), and 6,500K (Cool White) – so you can balance sunshine, ambient, and artificial light, and it has a CRI of >80 percent.
The lamp weighs 0.57 lbs / 260g and has an exterior diameter of 11.8 inches / 30cm and an interior diameter of 9.5 inches / 24.1cm. It comes with a solid tripod that adjusts from 15.8-53.2 inches (40-135cm) and weighs 1.21 pounds (550g).
A removable padded and expandable camera phone holder is also included, as well as a 1/4-inch tripod ball mount for compact DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and action cameras.
The Razer Ring Light is incredibly easy to use. The one-handed use of the connected remote allows you to control the brightness, cycle between the three color temperatures, and turn the light on or off while presenting, or while brandishing a camera in your other hand while shooting or filming.
Despite its mostly plastic build, the light is fairly sturdy, and while it won’t hold up to the bulk of medium format or big sports cameras, mirrorless cameras and smaller DSLRs will be right at home. The flexible and extendable smartphone holder, on the other hand, works great and fits any phone comfortably.
The Razer Ring Light is a USB-powered item, so it won’t produce as much brightness as its mains-powered counterparts, but it still performs a great job of giving excellent illumination. It provides the fill you need to lift unsightly shadows in brilliant daylight, and it’s a terrific main light in gloomy or dim conditions to instantly make your stream or movie look more professional.
The quality of the light is equally stunning. Many low-cost ring lights are far too harsh, specular, and color-balanced. The light is delicately diffused for a gentle and pleasing image, and the temperatures are true to kelvin on the Razer, though.
The accompanying tripod’s adjustable head allows you to angle the light 90 degrees to shoot vertically downwards, which is great for flat lays or unboxings. In such scenarios, USB power becomes a tremendous asset because you aren’t limited to mains power or even your laptop’s USB port — link this to a power bank and your lighting becomes as versatile as your shooting demands.
There are lots of smaller ring light options available, but they’re primarily of the low-cost sort that always falls short in at least one area, whether it’s power, performance, or pricing.
The Razer Ring Light provides amazing light quality, consistent color temperature, brilliant construction quality, and an incredibly good tripod for a very low price. This will not disappoint you if you’re looking for a portable 12-inch ring light for streaming, video conferencing, or vlogging.
2. Lume Cube Wireless Ring Light
The Lume Cube Wireless Ring Light is the ultimate ring light on paper, with 18-inch diameter, bicolor temperature range, and battery life of up to an hour and a half.
But, with so many other options on the market – many of which are far less expensive – does the Lume Cube Wireless Ring Light have what it takes to be considered among the finest ring lights?
Here’s how the Lume Cube stacks up against the competition, whether you’re searching for the best video lights for vlogging and content creation or the finest LED lights for taking stills with continuous lighting.
However, this isn’t just a battery-powered ring light; it can also be powered by a mains adapter (also included), giving you the best of both worlds: a ring light that can be used in the studio or on location and can be easily moved around your scene or even taken on location (though be aware that it isn’t weather-sealed).
The color temperature can be adjusted from 3200 to 5600K with an LED readout, allowing you to accurately balance the temperature whether working with ambient light, outside daylight, or artificial lighting. It also has a flicker-free operation and a CRI of up to 97.
The light also has a 6.5ft / 198cm stand that allows you to position the ring light at head height even while the subject is standing. It can hold DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, action cameras, and camera phones weighing up to 10 pounds / 4.5 kilograms, and has a shoe for attaching a microphone weighing up to 2 pounds / 907 grams.
The settings are quite simple: a single knob may be depressed to select between brightness (which can be raised or lowered by 100 percentiles), color temperature (3200-5600K), and battery life – all of which are displayed on the LED screen, which is a fantastic feature.
The two batteries fit snugly enough, though certain off-brand cells tend to pop out if not pushed in tightly enough.
The lamp’s only serious flaw is the plastic mounting bracket that attaches to the light stand. This is a large, somewhat heavy light that works OK when set upright, but you can feel the strain on the little plastic molding when you angle the light (the bracket allows you to tilt it completely horizontally for photographing things like lay flats).
The arrangement isn’t flimsy, and it didn’t cause any issues in our tests, but it’s something to keep in mind if you plan to shoot with the light at 90 degrees.
The Lume Cube produced stunning results, emitting soft, diffused light with a moderate falloff that is quite pleasing to subjects. Because it was bicolor, we were able to balance the illumination with both natural and artificial light, as well as completely manage the temperature when this was the only light source.
It’s ideal for portraits and headshots if you’re a still photographer. With soft delineation and shimmering catchlights in the eyes, the light quality is quite appealing (used at proximity you get the signature donuts, while at the greater range they become circular twinkles).
It’s ideal for filming oneself for a vlog, a subject for interviews, or just as a key light to brighten your setting as a video light. It also works well as a cosmetics light, thanks to the diffusion and color temperature control – ideal for content creation and tutorials where proper skin tones are vital.
3. Rotolight Neo 2
There are two types of artificial lighting: continuous and strobe. Continuous illumination is an excellent option for new photographers because it allows you to view your results before triggering the shutter (plus, it’s great for video). Unfortunately, the continuous lights of the past were quite powered demanding and produced a lot of heat to achieve brightness levels comparable to a modest, battery-powered strobe.
The introduction of LED lights has changed this, providing people with a more convenient way to enter the realm of continuous lighting. However, even a low-end Hotshoe flash can’t match their power output. Furthermore, even simple studio strobes increasingly have modeling lights to aid setup, and many on-camera flashes now include LED lights for video filming in low light.
The Neo 2 by Rotolight, on the other hand, is a continuous light source that happens to be capable of strobing at a decent power level, rather than a strobe that happens to feature a continuous light source.
The Neo 2 is very simple to use as a continuous light. The light is turned on by pressing the power button on the back; one rotary knob regulates the brightness, while the other controls the color temperature. Because the color temperature varies depending on the brightness ratio of the panel’s cool and warm LEDs, a mix of the two – about 4100K – will provide the lightest output.
When we were finishing up our iPhone X review, I wanted to snap a photo of the phone being splashed with water, but I needed to be able to fire the fastest bursts possible to capture the perfect moment. With a regular strobe, this is difficult, but it’s ideal for continuous lighting.
The rapid feedback of how the image looks is part of what makes a continuous light so enjoyable and easy to use, and the Neo 2 is small enough and powerful enough for production work. This could be very useful for folks who aren’t used to using flash photography but want to improve their production value for an eBay or Etsy store.
Then I brought our Neo 2 set into the studio for some macro photos, and things became a little more complicated.
This is the point at which I recommend that you do what you should have done all along: read the instructions. While utilizing the Neo 2s as continuous lights is simple, using them in flash mode can be challenging at first, especially if you’re using the extra Elinchrom Skyport radio controller.
However, with some reading (and re-reading) of the documentation and a healthy dose of trial and error, I was able to control each of the Rotolights separately in terms of flash intensity, color temperature, and modeling light output directly from the transmitter.
4. NanLite Halo
NanLite Halo series LED ring lights are extremely adaptable light sources that may be used for a wide range of applications and projects. Halo LED ring lights from NanLite to provide an attractive, soft, near-shadowless light quality with interesting, ring-shaped catchlights in your subject’s eyes, making them ideal for beauty lighting, vlogging, live streaming, makeup application and tutorials, portrait photography, and small product photography.
Without the use of plastic filters or cloth diffusion, you can easily produce gorgeous, studio-quality results with Halo ring lights. You can dial in brightness from 0-100 percent using centrally located control knobs accessible from both the front and back of the light, saving you the trouble of moving it back and forth to achieve the required light intensity and temperature from warm to cold (2700-6500K) to match other fixtures, ambient light conditions, or offer creative options.
Accurate color is essential whether you’re photography, doing makeup, or filming material. With a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 95 and a Television Lighting Consistency Index (TLCI) of 93, not only will skin tones and colors appear accurate to your eyes, but also cameras.
The Halo 18 comes with a standard 5/8″ receiver mount that may be used with the accompanying folding desktop stand or practically any other light stand. A smartphone bracket and a makeup mirror, both of which can be put directly in the middle of the ring light, are included in this kit. Every MUA should have a high-quality mirror. NanLite has included a dual-sided mirror with a 2x magnification in this package, making it suitable for up-close precision work.
NanLite ring lights produce smooth, shadowless studio lighting with minimal setup and no hassles. Makeup tutorials, vlogging, photography lighting, video lighting, photo booths, and more can all benefit from this light.
Without the use of plastic filters or fabric diffusion, you can easily create magnificent results. The control knobs on the Halo 18 allow you to adjust the brightness from 0-100 percent and the temperature from warm to cold (2700-6500K).
Every MUA should have a high-quality mirror. NanLite has added a dual-sided mirror with a 2x magnification, which is great for up-close detail work. Smartphone Bracket, Two-Sided Mirror, and Carry Case are included in the Halo 18 LED Ring Light Complete Kit.
5. Yongnuo YN608C Bi-Color LED
A ring light resembles a bright hula hoop, with your lens or smartphone poking through the open center. A ring light is a frequent lighting tool for beauty shots, portraiture, and macro photography.
If you want viewers to watch your YouTube videos from beginning to end, you’ll need good lighting. Your viewers want to be able to see your face clearly, and if they can’t, they’ll stop watching. Natural light is fantastic, and it’s cheap (actually, it’s free), but not every video is suited to be viewed outside. That’s where the YN608C enters the picture.
This brand-new light from Yongnuo is just another fantastic addition to a long line of high-quality photo and video components offered at a reasonable price.
The YN608C softens and evens out front-filling lighting, removing sharp shadows and patchy effects. It’s also accessible, in addition to having pro-level capabilities. Seriously, it’s a breeze to use. It has an easy-to-use remote control, adjustable color temperature levels, and can be mounted on a tripod or stand.
What’s included in the package? It includes a cloth bag for storage and transportation, as well as a little plastic handle and remote control. That’s all there is to it. It doesn’t come with any batteries or power. Well, not here in Australia, at least.
You may use an ordinary 12V power brick or two Sony NPL-type batteries for power. Just keep in mind that if you wish to run the light on batteries, you’ll need two batteries because each color temperature has its power source. I’ll get to that later.
Let’s go back and speak about the remote control for a moment.
The lights wireless remote allows you to quickly adjust the color or brightness of your camera from wherever it is set up. This is quite useful to me because I don’t have to relocate from where I am to modify the brightness or color. Keep in mind that the remote has a small button on the side that if you fail to turn off, the remote will stay on and you will be unhappy that you will have to change the batteries every time you use it.
The YN608C can be set to 3300 Kelvin or 5500 Kelvin color temperatures, or a combination of both. What exactly does that imply? In general, you can make the light extremely warm or extremely cool. As I previously stated, you can use this to create a wide range of effects and atmospheres. Here’s an illustration. Let’s take a brief look at how brightness and temperature affect a scene.
So, what’s the problem with it? I just have one complaint about the YN608. The remote control for the television. Allow me to explain. The remote is a brilliant idea that works perfectly.
“Then why are you whining about it, Christina?” It’s because the light can only be controlled with the remote. Allow me to explain a bit further. I’ll make an effort not to bring you. There is an on/off switch on the light itself. That is all there is to it. There are no controls at all. Nothing. It seems like a desolate wasteland. No, not at all. But you get the point. Almost every other ring light we tried had manual controls on the light itself before we bought this one.
“So, why did you buy it in the first place?” We didn’t mind that there were no manual controls. The most critical killer feature that every single ring light should have wasn’t a deal-breaker… … Girth…….
Get your mind out of the gutter, dude. I notice you’re giggling. For a moment, let’s be serious. Not what you were thinking, girth is the measurement around the center of something. Rude.
The girth of the YN608C is astounding. When I said that a ring light is like a hula hoop of light, I meant it. The YN608C is a hula hoop. For your imperial types, the interior diameter is 53cm (21 inches). What does all of this mean? To put it another way, if you have a large camera setup as we do, it will most likely be able to shoot through it without any problems.
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