The best ring lights can give you far greater control over your live streams, vlogs, selfies, and video conferences. This is achieved through bright and powerful panels combined with long-lasting battery lives to transform your captured media into something a little more premium. These devices have been fine-tuned by professional photographers for years, and now that they're moving into the public space through recent streaming and vlogging uptake, you'll find some excellent features at affordable price tags.
Smaller smartphone-oriented ring lights start at just $20 / £20, offering everyone the chance to enhance their photography through key lights. And while you're saving money on a ring light, you could put it towards one of the best green screens.
The world of ring lights has now evolved from the traditional heavier, static pieces of equipment into a range of products that easily slot into a range of applications. Of course, you'll still find larger 12-inch - 20-inch lights sitting atop tripod stands, but tabletop and ring lights that attach simply onto your smartphone are perfect for more portable photography endeavors.
We're rounding up all the best ring lights here, with our top picks for a range of categories covering everything from content creators looking for a full system to those dabbling in improving their selfies.
The best ring lights available right now
The ESDDI 18-inch bi-color ring light is as big as it is powerful. You're getting some excellent value for money here, with a 45W power output through 432 LEDs. The result is incredibly bright but still manages to ensure a softened finish with reduced shadows.
You'll also find a smooth dimming adjustment here, moving from 1% to 100%. That's perfect for finding that perfect shot, as other models will lock you into one of around ten brightness settings with little movement for flexibility. Add to that the wide-angle range achieved through a malleable, 270° base plate and you've got a fully customizable ring light perfect for shooting high-quality video.
You're certainly getting plenty of kit here, with an included adjustable stand reaching up to 99-inches in height, an attached phone holder (suitable for 60mm - 80mm wide devices), and a kit bag to carry it all in.
While that bag is included, however, this might not be the best model for quickly using on the go. Assembly is easy, but with the stand and large size of the light itself, it's not the most portable device on this list. That means it's best used in a semi-permanent setup, as opposed to the tabletop or handheld options designed for vlogging or selfies.
If you're looking for a smaller ring light suitable for smartphones, the EDSSI 10-inch light offers a flexible, portable device for keeping vlogs and direct-to-camera pieces bright and soft on a budget. This is a tabletop design, so you can easily set up and get going and though you're only getting 10W of power here, a much smaller diameter means you're getting a far more concentrated light source perfect for closer shots.
There are ten brightness levels to choose from, with a range of temperatures between them and a Bluetooth remote control supplied to easily adjust settings while in front of the camera. That's perfect for getting your shot just right while still in front of the camera, making setup in difficult environmental conditions even easier.
You're trading that extra power in for a range of extra quality of life features here. At such a low price point, that's a valuable trade if you're looking to record closer shots for a vlog or Instagram Live, for example. Overall, you're getting a flexible, USB-powered device with a super low maintenance setup for a great price.
This Neewer ring light certainly provides plenty of coverage, with a massive 20-inch diameter light that can be fixed onto a supplied 36-inch - 78.7-inch stand. While you're dropping a little power here, with 44W of output that then drops down to 34W when running off battery power, there's a balance here that gives you a wider expanse of softer lighting.
That's a considerable light spread as well. A 20-inch ring light is larger than average, with these devices usually maxing out at 18-inches. That wider field of illumination is perfect if you're looking for a ring light to record makeup tutorials or to offer natural lighting for makeup application.
However, one of the main draws here lies in the portability and flexibility of this larger light. It's rare to find such a large and powerful device with a focus on convenience, and especially at this price point. While you've still got a considerable amount of kit to move, the option to power the Neewer light via a Sony NP-F battery makes for easy wire-free shooting, especially with the included Bluetooth remote. You'll also receive an extra battery and a charger included with this price, as well as the full tripod stand, camera and phone adapters, and carry case.
While you can get some serious power from larger ring lights, it's often the smaller devices that prove more useful. If you're simply looking to improve selfies or quick shots on your smartphone, the Xinbaohong ring light is a perfect accessory to add a little extra illumination whenever you need it.
Easily tucked away in a bag and USB rechargeable, the 90mm light clips onto the top of your phone to provide 40 LEDs worth of extra illumination. It's a quick and easy solution to low lighting issues, or to enhance footage on the go without requiring a full ring light set up. Simply attach the ring light onto your phone so that the front-facing camera sits in the center and you'll see a dramatic improvement in the quality of your shots.
It's a great cheap accessory, but you're still getting three levels os brightness to choose from here - a feature that you might not expect from a device sitting under $20 / £20. Plus, the quick setup and excellent portability here also lends itself well to other applications - like attaching the ring light to your laptop to help its built-in webcam during meetings.
Getting into game streaming can be a costly affair - with all the capture cards, service subscriptions, cameras, mics, and some of the best headphones or best gaming headsets required for a fully professional setup. While all that gear is necessary to a high-quality stream, getting your lighting just right can also elevate your broadcasts and many ignore this aspect when first starting up.
However, the Razer Kiyo offers an all-in-one solution to this common problem, with a ring light built into a 1080p webcam and a handy piece of Synapse software for easy configuration and controls.
That gives you everything you need to get started in a package that comes in at under $100 / £100. It's an excellent package for beginners testing the waters without wanting to invest in high-end gear, offering advanced autofocus features, and low-light correction as well. There's an 81.6-degree field of view baked into this camera as well, which makes for a nice wider angle shot without dropping that level of detail offered by the lens itself.
That said, if you're after a high-end stream it's better off to advance onto a separate camera and ring light system for extra features, better brightness, and a higher resolution picture quality.
The Rotolight Ultimate Vlogging kit gives you plenty of power for your cash - and all in a compact, easy to transport package. That's perfect for content creators looking to record both on the go and in a home set up. You'll find a small tabletop tripod in this bundle, with a smartphone holder and ring light sitting beside each other on the stand. It's certainly a durable base, and you'll also be able to fix a DSLR or mirrorless camera onto the stand as well.
Perhaps the most impressive feature here, especially considering the price, is the 80W equivalent power output. Though temperature can only be adjusted through filters (not through inbuilt settings like other models), you're getting plenty of customization with both temperature and color options included. Battery-powered and lightweight, the Rotolight kit is extremely portable, especially thanks to that collapsable design.
There's little wonder this is one of the go-to options for vlogging ring lights. You're getting excellent power, plenty of flexibility, and an ultra-portable device for a great price here. It is worth noting, however, that the attached smartphone holder won't allow for vertical shooting.
"You don’t need a better camera, you need better lighting" is the advice we see often shared with streamers looking to improve their production and the brand has stepped up to the plate with its Razer streaming solution, the Key Light Chroma. Sharing more than just a name with Elgato’s offering, the Razer Key Light Chroma looks eerily similar to its rival but shines when the lights come on.
In our testing, the all-metal body came across as very professional, and the included desk mounting arm was rock solid. With 2800 lumens of lighting power from its large, rounded rectangular panel the Razer Key Light Chroma also gave us more punch than you’re ever going to need. There’s a wide colour temperature range available, though fractionally less than Elgato’s Key Light, with step-less transitions from the toasty warm 3000K to icy cold blue 7000K.
There’s a hidden trick behind the opaque white panel though: RGB. It is a Razer product after all. The Key Light Chroma offers a choice of 16.8 million colours and a suite of customisable lighting effects which really set this light apart from competitors and proved that in our testing. The brightness and saturation of the colours are strong and the creative potential this offers streamers is rather impressive.
All light functions are controllable via Razer Synapse on Windows or the Razer Streaming mobile app. While these apps do work perfectly fine for controlling basic functions, we found them to be a bit limited in terms of on the fly changes and full integration with your stream. There’s no Elgato Stream Deck or hotkey support available and connections to alert services like LumiaStream are extremely limited.
All of the Razer Key Light Chroma’s current weaknesses are software related but easily improved. Right now it’s a great option for creators looking to set up their look and stick with it but for those looking to be more dynamic it may be worth holding tight and tracking progress on the software side. Overall though, the Razer Key Light Chroma is a powerful, high-quality option.
Read more: Razer Key Light Chroma review
Are ring lights worth it?
The best ring lights provide extra illumination in your shots and soften harsher shadows and contours to create a more polished picture. Plus, continuous lighting ensures you'll always have control over your shots regardless of environmental conditions or the time of day.
If you're a content creator or streamer, the benefits are obvious - but those working from home and seeking a higher quality webcam experience will also appreciate a more professional aesthetic.
You don't need to break the bank either, you'll find cheap ring lights available for as little as $20 / £20 and adding one to your everyday set up will instantly lift your photography. If you're in the market for a new webcam, check out our reviews of the Razer Kiyo Pro and Avermedia PW315 - both are excellent devices.
If you want to check out a wider selection of the best ring lights, you'll find extensive selections at the following stores:
We have a few other buying guides that might be of interest to you if you're looking to get into the world of streaming or building your reputation as an online influencer. Be sure to take a look at the best Razer streaming gear and also our roundup of the best capture cards. You'll want to sound your best, so check out our best microphone for streaming and gaming. Our best gaming headsets have you covered too.