You must buy the ring light depending on the purpose that you want it for. Let’s check about it in detail.
A LED ring light can be very useful while clicking selfies as it provides uniform lighting. It helps in enhancing the picture so that you don’t have to edit it again to adjust the brightness levels.
The LED ring light that you are going to buy must have a phone holder that is compatible with your phone and comes along with a wireless controller.
A wireless controller helps you in providing better angles and is very useful while clicking the group pictures. You can even use a tripod in place of a selfie stick.
However, if you are buying a LED ring light for your personal use, make sure that you get a multipurpose tripod.
2. Professional Photography:
For professional photography, most users prefer using a high-end DSLR camera. For such users, it is best to buy a ring light that comes with a sturdy tripod stand. The tripod stand that you get with the ring light is either made of plastic or aluminum alloy. For DSLR cameras, it is better if you go ahead with aluminum alloy ones as they are heavy and sturdy.
The ring light should also have a hot shoe so that you can mount the camera on the stand. We all know that DSLR cameras are heavy. Even though the camera holders of the ring light are sturdy, we would still suggest you to buy a tripod stand separately.
3. YouTube and Instagram:
If you shoot makeup videos or other content for posting on YouTube or Instagram, you should make sure that the phone holder in the LED ring light is placed right in the center of the light or at the base in middle.
If you are using ring light with a phone holder that is located below the light, you might face several issues like getting the correct angle, rotating the phone becomes difficult, and many more.
Another feature that you can check for is whether the LED ring light offers extra color filters. These filters can be helpful in enhancing the colors or add a different colored texture to your pictures or videos.
4. Art or Food Videos:
If you like shooting art videos like DIYs or food videos, you must have a 180 degrees rotation tripod along with a phone holder. Food or DIY photography is more or less like flat photography where you either shoot from the bottom or from the top. For this type of photography, you might need two extra things:
- Wireless controller
- The rotation angle and soft tube
Using a wireless controller, you can control the setting easily while shooting pictures or videos.
Factors to Consider Before Buying A LED Ring Light
Buying the perfect LED ring light that will meet all your photography requirements can be a daunting task. Adding to this, there are so many options available in the market, each offering a unique feature, it can be really stressful to decide which one to go for. To make this easier for you, we have listed down all the major factors that you check for before finalizing an option. They are:
There are many sizes of LED ring lights available in the market. The most commonly available size range is 8 inches to 18 inches.
If you do studio work for detailed food steps or portraiture, you might want to buy a larger ring light that is compatible with a weighted stand.
If you shoot macro, you might want to have a smaller ring that wraps around your lens.
Apart from this, if you want a catch light on the subject’s eyes, buying a bigger ring light can be helpful.
For those who take a lot of close-up shots, a smaller ring light can be helpful for them.
2. Color Temperature of the Ring Light:
The temperature of the ring light can vary between 3000K – 6000K.
The color temperatures above 5000K are termed as “cool colors” (bluish). The lower color temperatures (around 2700 K – 3000 K) are termed as “warm colors” (yellowish).
The warm color temperature is used while filming or photography whenever there is a requirement of a warm or healthy glow on the subject.
The ring lights offer 3 light modes: natural, warm, and cold light; you can switch the dimmer any time.
Most of the ring lights even feature the option of changing the colors using snap-on orange filters. However, a dimmer for color temperature is considered as a more convenient option.
Another pointer that you must check before buying a ring light is the brightness levels that it offers. Most of the ring lights feature a brightness level from 0-100%. Some ring lights even offer brightness levels from 1-100%. You can set the brightness as per your preference.
You should look for a ring light that comes with a dimmer knob as it allows you to control the brightness. This is a very useful feature as you can simply move the light stand and adjust the brightness.
Before buying the LED ring light, check if the light is compatible with your phone. Even though most of the ring lights are compatible with most of the smartphones and DSLR cameras, there are some ring lights that can be used only with particular devices. Thus, rather than wasting money on something that you won’t be able to use, check the compatibility.
Also, buy a ring light that is big enough for your smartphone or camera to fit in.
Weight is another significant factor that you should consider. While taking the pictures or videos, you are definitely going to move the camera from one place to another to adjust brightness, angles, or add variation to the pictures.
For a smooth and light movement, most photographers and videographers prefer using a ring light that is light in weight. Even though there is no harm in buying a heavy LED ring light too, you must buy the one that you are comfortable with.
Most of the LED ring lights need power to operate and hence, they need to be charged fully before you start using it. Once fully charged, the battery lasts for around 3 hours to 10 hours, depending on the type of battery used.
For a smooth and hassle-free operation, we suggest you to buy a ring light that offers a long-lasting battery charge. You can even check if you charge it using a USB cable. Most of the lights offer a USB charging option. Some brands even offer fast charging option.
7. Chromatic Deviations:
A few LED ring lights are supposed to be used at specific angles. If used from a different angle, you might notice some errors like chromatic deviation. In such cases, you will have to spend extra time editing and rectifying these errors using Photoshop.
To avoid this, do some research and check for the reviews of the customers who are already using the ring light.
8. Advanced Features:
Some manufacturers offer ring light with bendable arms. If you want to try to explore your photography skills and try different tricks, you can do it with the help of these arms.
Such advanced features help you try multiple options and improve your photography skills.
This is an important feature for those who do a lot of flat-lay photography while recording artwork or DIY. Even tattoo artists or eyelash specialists find this useful.
A gooseneck is an additional part that allows the ring light to flex as much as you want. It turns out to be a very convenient feature for many users.
The tripod must be sturdy even to carry the weight of the phone. But, at the same time, it should be light in weight and easy to pack so that you can carry it easily from one place to another. Some ring lights even come with a carry bag, which can be useful too.
The height of a tripod is generally similar to that of a mini lamp. It can be, however, adjusted from 17.5cm to 160 cm at the highest.
12. Required Accessories:
Most of the LED ring lights need to be installed on a tripod stand. However, a few brands offer ring lights with built-in lightweight stands. It is better if you buy such lights as it will help you save money that you will spend on buying extra accessories.
Also, check if it comes with a carry bag because it reduces the chances of damage caused while you are carrying the ring light from one place to the other. Some other standard accessories that you should get with the ring light are a mirror, a camera bracket, a phone bracket, and an AC power adaptor.
13. Availability of Spare Parts:
Always check if you get any spare parts while buying the ring light as it can be helpful in the future. Also, check the warranty and the quality of the spare parts that you are getting with the ring light.
14. Quality of Build:
The build quality of the LED ring light depends on the price. The models that are available at a lower price are generally from smaller manufacturers where the overall quality is a bit compromised.
Ring lights that are sturdy cost a bit more but they are durable at the same time. We suggest you not to compromise with the quality and consider it as a one-time investment.
Also, the way you work also plays a role here. If you work in a studio or home, you might not need a very tough or sturdy option.
But, if you work in outdoor locations, you should buy a ring light that is sturdy and strong.
Most of the LED ring lights are easy to set up and can be done with the help of a friend or family member.
These gears are generally cost-efficient and environment friendly. The price of a ring light varies from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 6000, depending on the features and functionalities that it offers.
LED ring lights come with a warranty for a certain period. Some manufacturers even have replacement policies, in case of a faulty item. However, the warranty offered varies from retailer to retailer and hence, check it properly before buying.
Also, prefer buying the ring light from a manufacturer that also offers a good customer support service.
Which one is a better option: LED ring light or Fluorescent ring light?
There are two types of ring lights available in the market: LED and Fluorescent. Both types have their own sets of pros and cons. If you are confused regarding which one to buy, this might help you.
There are many features that make the LED ring light superior to the fluorescent ring light. Some of the most remarkable features offered by LED ring lights are as follows:
- While LED lights offer a supply of pink shade, the fluorescent lights emit a green shade. The pink shade looks more directional that the green shade (which is often diffused).
- The design structure of the LED ring light helps in focusing on the details of the pictures or videos and enhances its quality. It even allows you to capture macro photographs without compromising with the picture quality.
- As far as brightness is concerned, LED ring lights are brighter than fluorescent lights because of the high lumen efficacy. Different purposes require different types of lumen settings. For example, for makeup, a minimum of 1100 lumens is suggested. In terms of temperature in LED ring light, this will be around 5000K.
- LED ring lights allow you to change the bulbs. This way, you can create multiple color effects.
- While applying makeup, LED ring lights are considered better than fluorescent lights as the LED light is very close to natural light. You can even increase or decrease the temperature as the situation demands.
- When used for a longer duration, fluorescent ring lights turn very hot. The light might flicker or generate a humming sound in this case and you might have to buy a new bulb. You won’t face this issue with LED ring lights as they don’t emit heat, making it uncomfortable for the users.
Types of Ring Lights
There are many types of ring lights, each designed for a specific set of purposes. The most common types of ring lights are as follows:
1. Flash Ring Light:
You can mount most of the flash ring lights directly to the front of your camera lens, connecting to the exposure metering of the camera to get the best exposure. These types of lights are generally powered using a battery and are used in macro photography.
2. Ring Light for the Phones:
These ring lights are small and powered by batteries. You can attach it to your smartphone and get a continuous light output. It is best suited for taking selfies or videos using your phone.
3. Free-Standing Fluorescent Ring Light:
This type of ring light has a large diameter opening and can be mounted over a light stand. You can place your camera or phone accordingly. It offers a continuous source of light. The fluorescent ring light can even be used for other works like while doing your makeup or styling your hair.
It requires an AC power supply and uses a single color temperature. You can modify it using filters.
4. Free-Standing LED Ring Light:
Similar to fluorescent ring light, the free-standing ring light also features a large opening and can be mounted directly over a light stand. You can mount the phone or camera to view through the opening.
The LED light that is used here offers variable power settings. You can either adjust the color temperature or even modify it using filters. The free-standing LED ring light is very common amongst hairstylists and makeup artists. It uses an AC power supply.
Why use a Ring Light?
The ring lights were originally designed for medical and dental professionals. However, because of the high potential, the design and idea was then adapted for various purposes. Some of them are:
1. For Emphasizing Details:
Because of the design and structure, it is a perfect gear that can help you in emphasizing details on your pictures and videos. Its circular design allows you to keep and use the camera in between the hole of the ring light to focus on certain details while shooting.
2. Macro Photography:
While performing macro photography, the lack of distance can make it difficult to place the light at correct places. Unlike the effects produced by lights placed to the side or above the subject, the front-facing and shadow-less effect of a ring light help in providing the best exposure.
If you sell smaller items online (like nose pins or ear tops), you can use a ring light to click attractive pictures so that users know what exactly are they going to buy.
3. Generating Color Effects:
Ring lights are used widely to generate interesting color effects. You can simply replace the regular white bulbs with colorful ones. If you don’t have colored bulbs, you can even apply colored gels on different parts of the ring light to generate those effects.
This technique allows you to create color washes so that you can experiment as much as you want.
4. Video Production:
When you use the ring light as the only source of light while doing a photoshoot, it produces an amazing halo shadow to enhance the subject of the photo or video. It also provides a professional and dramatic look while filming.
For better results, you can even use sidelights or side boxes.
5. While Applying Makeup:
Most of the ring lights can generate a daylight color rating of 5400K. This provides an ideal amount of light while applying makeup, especially if there is no natural light in the room.
6. Food Photography:
It is a fun experience to use ring light while shooting cooking videos. It majorly depends on your setup too. When the ring light is used off-camera, lighting the subject from a side, it offers the best results.
How to use a Ring Light?
It is very easy to use a selfie ring light or a ring light for phones. It does not even require a tripod or an additional stand. You can simply clamp the light to the phone, turn the switch on, and start clicking pictures. There is very little chance that you will face any difficulty. However, you should be aware that the range of the ring light is quite limited.
If you have a large ring light that needs to be mounted on the light stand, you will have to take the call beforehand whether you want to attach the camera to the light or hold your camera by hand. If you decide to hold the camera, make sure the lens is located at the center of the ring light opening.
You can experiment and adjust the light and camera placement as per your requirement. Since most of the ring lights are AC powered, look for a place that is close to the source of electricity.
If you are using it for the first time, it is better if you learn using the ring light in the traditional way first and then start experimenting. The ring light illuminates the face of the subject in a uniform circular pattern. Since the camera is placed inside the circle, you will not have to worry about flare or reflections too.
However, one of the disadvantages of the ring light is when the subject uses glasses. It is next to impossible to remove the reflection of ring light from the glass.
Frequently Asked Questions
Using a LED ring light is of great help to the content creators on YouTube, no matter whether they are filming cooking tutorials, makeup videos, etc. The LED ring lights are portable and come in handy. You can get the perfect lighting and angle without spending much.
Most of the YouTubers use some extra lighting gears along with a LED ring light to improve the setup.
Instagram influences, especially makeup artists also use LED ring light as it adds an extra touch to the quality of the video. You can shoot IGTV videos easily on your phone using the light ring rather than filming on a camera.
The LED ring lights also come with phone holders that are compatible with most of the smartphones.
The perfect lighting conditions surely improve the brightness and quality of the picture. The LED ring lights make your skin look bright and warm. When you don’t have sufficient lighting, the LED ring light can add a little exposure to your face while shooting.
While taking selfies, using the ring light adds vivid colors to make your pictures look better than the ones taken in normal lighting. Since a uniform amount of light falls on your face, it makes your pictures or videos look fresh and nice.
Ring Lights are perfect for using in photography and videography, there is the ring light circulation which allows the user to place camera or mobile and focus on the shoot.
The LED bulb does not produce polluting radiation so it is not harmful to health, it also don’t emit infrared radiation or UV radiation, It is shock resistant and vibrate even when weather is cool.
LED bulb have lumen watt score so they are brighter compared to other lights, 40W incandescent bulb is equivalent to one LED bulb.