Lighting plays an integral role in creating amazing photographs. Without an adequate source of light, photographers struggle to truly bring their vision to life. Fortunately, lighting gear has improved in quality and become much more affordable. Photographers now have a means to achieve consistent levels of varied color lighting, which typically results in consistently better pictures. One of the more popular options photographers, vloggers, and others are turning to these days is a ring light. Whether you’re shooting out in the open or in a secluded place, a ring light offers a great substitute to natural lighting. As you probably could have guessed, not all ring lights are the same, and finding the best ring light for your session will take a little research. Luckily, we’re here to help.
What Is a Ring Light?
These days, a ring light is an essential tool for photographers and videographers. It doesn’t matter if you’re a vlogger, a professional photographer or even a hobbyist. A ring light will give you adequate lighting to make videos more vivid and make your photo selfies pop.
Choosing Between an On-Camera or Off-Camera Ring Light
An on-camera ring light is a small device that can be plugged or inserted in a hot shoe slot. It is compact, portable, and lightweight, which is suitable for both macro or on-site portrait shots.
Off-camera ring lights, by comparison, are placed on a tripod or mounted on a stand. You can move around with your camera while the light remains fixed to the center of the stand or tripod. One of the perks of using a continuous light source like this is that it’s easier to adjust your position or the light angle and avoid unwanted shadows.
That said, here’s our list of our top five recommendations to help you find the best ring light for your workflow.
Primarily built as an on-camera flash, the revolutionary built-in LED bulbs of this device makes it an astounding source of continuous light. The Godox Wistro Ring Flash AR400 Flash and LED is suitable for fashion photography, outdoor portraits, and macro photography.
This device comes with a powerful 118 guide number and recycle time from 0.05 to 2.8 seconds. With its 1/1 to 1/128 adjustable light power, you can play around with its versatile functionality. You can also combine the light from this device with ambient lighting.
In regards to lighting temperature, the Godox Wistro Ring has a fixed 5600K fixed color. A lithium-ion battery integrated in this device is capable of 450 flashes before needing to recharge.
Vloggers and videographers alike require continuous flow of light to make their outputs stand out. The affordable and versatile FotodioX Selfie Starlite Vlog Ring Light is a great tool for those who utilizes either smartphones or DLSRs for capturing stunning videos.
This device offers a temperature range from 3200K to 5600K that allows you to adjust in a variety of lighting conditions and environment. While this is a functional device, the kit doesn’t offer a stand and you must plug the ring light in electrical outlets for power.
If you need versatility and stability for your workflow, the Westcott Bi-Color LED Ring Light is an ideal purchase for you. This ring light is suitable for both in-studio and on-site shoots. It is built with a mount for either smartphones or DSLRs. What’s more, the mounted platforms can swivel that will help your mobility while shooting.
This device packs a wide range of color temperature from 3200K to 5600K. It can be plugged on electrical sockets or powered with rechargeable batteries for on-site needs. At the same time, you can bring this device with ease with a dedicated carry case that is sturdy and spacious.
Once you get a handle on how to use its accessories, the Polaroid Universal Macro LED Ring Flash can easily earn its place as one of your absolute favorite pieces of lighting gear. This device may not be as powerful as other items on the list, but its diversity and Polaroid charm makes it a solid contender.
It is handy, portable and mostly user friendly. With continuous lighting, this device can be readily fitted on the end of your camera lens and utilized for stills and videos. It comes with seven brightness settings to give you the most appropriate lighting temperature for varied shooting environments.
However, it must be noted that if you need to adjust color temperatures, you’ll need a diffuser. When you purchase this device, you’re also given several mounts suitable for 49mm up to 77mm lens. In addition, this ring light utilizes AA batteries. You will need a steady supply of them so that you can keep taking advantage of the good lighting.
This ring light offers the perfect value for price, a powerful light source, and portability. The Ikan Oryon Bi-Color LED Ring Light delivers pretty much across the board. This ring light provides a sizeable 120-degree lighting coverage with an integrated light diffuser.
An astounding 3200K to 5600K temperature range combined with a 10-100% power setting allows you to be creative and take control of the lighting during your shoots. This kit includes a power cord, mounts for DSLRs, smartphones, and digital cameras, batteries & a charger, a stand, and a durable case.
I hope this guide helps you find the best ring light to use for your photography. Ring lights are becoming a staple accessory for photographers, videographers and content creators. With proper and creative use, a humble selfie can transform into a fashion photograph that will surely get your viewer’s attention.