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Best ring light 2021: enhance your selfies, streaming, vlogging, or video calls with powerful lighting

best ring light
(Image credit: Neewer)

Whether you're looking to enhance your selfies, streams, meetings, or vlogs, the best ring lights are the ones that offer power combined with flexibility and portability. Professional photographers have been fine-tuning these devices for years, and now that more and more of us are investing in high-quality lighting, you'll find some excellent features sitting at far more affordable price tags. 

LED ring lights provide extra illumination in your shots and soften harsher shadows and contours to create a more polished picture. 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 web-cam experience will also appreciate a more professional aesthetic. 

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. 

The best news is that because ring lights are growing in popularity outside of those traditional professional photography circles, you'll find high-quality lighting devices available without having to break the bank. Smaller smartphone-oriented ring lights start at just $20 / £20, offering everyone the chance to enhance their photography through key lights.

You'll often find extra customization features like dimming, color temperature controls, and even specific software available as you move up the price scale, though prices are still comfortable enough to allow for experimentation. 

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 for you

best ring lights ESDDI 18-inch

(Image credit: ESDDI)

1. ESDDI 18-inch ring light

The best ring light for power on a budget

Color temperature: 3000K-6500K | Dimming range: 10% - 100% | Output power: 45W | Angle rotation: 270° | Power source: Mains | Weight: 3.5kg | Diameter: 18-inch outer, 12.5-inch inner

Excellent quality for price
45W output for extreme brightness
Easy to assemble
Too heavy to be regularly portable

The ESDDI 18-inch bicolor 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. 

best ring light ESDDI 10-inch

(Image credit: ESDDI)

2. ESDDI 10-inch ring light

The best ring light for laptop tabletop use

Color temperature: 3000K-5600K | Output power: 10W | Angle rotation: 360° | Power source: USB | Weight: 0.59kg | Diameter: 260 x 390mm

Bluetooth remote included
Tabletop design
Horizontal or vertical phone grip
Not dimmable

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 set up for a great price.

best ring lights Neewer 20-inch

(Image credit: Neewer)

3. Neewer 20-inch dimmable ring light

The best ring light for makeup

Color temperature: 3200K-5600K | Dimming range: 1% - 100% | Output power: 44W | Angle rotation: 360.° | Power source: Sony NP-F550/F970 battery / mains | Weight: 5.4kg | Diameter: 20-inch outer, 16-inch inner

Option for battery power
Massive light for extra softness
Stand, ball head adapter and phone holder included
Less powerful, especially on battery

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.

best ring lights Xinbaohong

(Image credit: Xinbaohong)

4. Xinbaohong Clip-On Selfie Light

The best ring light for selfies

Color temperature: 6000K | Power source: Rechargeable internal battery | Weight: 77g | Diameter: 90mm x 30mm

Easy to use 
3 levels of brightness

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 centre 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 set up and excellent portability here also lends itself well to other applications - like attaching the ring light to your laptop to help its built in web-cam during meetings. 

best ring lights Razer Kiyo

(Image credit: Razer)

5. Razer Kiyo

The best ring light for game streaming

Color temperature: 5600K | Video resolution: 1080p at 30fps / 720p at 60fps | Power source: USB | Weight: 0.29kg | Diameter: 2.7-inch

Extra controls available through Razer Synapse 3
Camera included
Excellent value for money
Less bright than other more focused products

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. 

best ring lights Rotolight

(Image credit: Rotolight)

6. Rotolight Ultimate Vlogging Kit

The best ring light for phones

Color temperature: 3200K-5600K | Output power: 1000 Lumens (80W equivalent) | Power source: 3x AA batteries | Weight: 170g | Diameter: 145 mm x 50 mm

Powerful and portable
All in one kit 
Versatile phone holder
Temperature changes via filters

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.

If you want to check out a wider selection of the best ring lights, you'll find extensive selections at the following stores:

USA: Amazon | Walmart | Best Buy | B&H Photo
Amazon | Park Cameras | Etsy | Argos | Wex

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.