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What is a Ring Light: Different Types and Guide

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Ring light is a must-have equipment for social media influencers to get high-quality shots and videos.

If you haven’t used it yet or want to learn more before making the purchase, then this is article is for you.

Here, we have provided all the information about this unique lighting equipment. We will also discuss what it is, why do you need it and what are the various commercial usages.

First, let us try to define and understand what a ring light is.

What is a Ring Light? 

As the name says, a ring light is a circular light that you can directly attach or mount on the camera lens or mobile phone. You can even use it as a flashlight.

Basically, it is a multi-purpose lighting tool made from several connected small LED bulbs that form a ring or cycle. It helps in the even distribution of uniform light to the users to improve their appearance. This piece of equipment mimics natural lighting in an indoor setting and enhances your image quality.

Ring lights are available in multiple sizes for various purposes. You can use a larger ring light as a flashlight in areas or rooms with darker shadows. It basically comes in two configurations. While the first type facilitates continuous light, the other one acts like a flash. Based on your requirements you can use either of these versions to create beautiful and attractive portraits or macro photography.

You can use a ring light not only for your cameras but also for your smartphones. This has become an increasingly popular accessory for smartphone photography, as well. These come as selfie ring lights or ring light kits. While you can attach the former directly to your smartphone, the latter needs a tripod. The kit also includes other attachments like a gooseneck and a charger, apart from the LED ring light itself.

How Does a Ring Light Work?

Since we know what a ring light is, let us try to learn its working mechanism. This is how this unique piece works. It produces uniform soft light directly on the object or subject and minimizes the shadows.

How to use a ring light? Well, here is the answer for you.

Whether it is a camera or phone, or tablet, place it in the centre of the ring. Doing so ensures an even distribution of uniform light on the subject from the camera’s direction.

You may say that you will use other sources of light to produce brilliant lighting. However, they do not offer the same or uniform lighting on all parts of the subject. Some parts, still remain in harsh shadow. In contrast to this, a ring light allows uniformity of light and ensures all the surfaces of the object are properly lit.

Fluorescent ring lights available in the market produce a very bright white light. Most ring lights today use LED lights as they have a softer effect.

Most of the LED ring lights are dimmable, and these dimmable lights are very versatile. They offer you great control over the colour temperature. Hence, they are the best bet for professional photography and videography.

What is a Ring Light Used for?

As mentioned earlier, a ring light is a multi-purpose lighting tool that you can use for a variety of projects in both photography and videography. Apart from providing clean and clear light and eliminating shadows, these devices are also for other professional and commercial uses.

Let me take you through the most common uses and benefits of the ring lights:

For Emphasising Details

Ring lights offer great emphasis on details to the objects. The soft light helps hide wrinkles on the face, making it perfect for close-up shots in photographs and videos. Moreover, the circular design of the ring light hides the shadows and allows greater illumination and focus on the users.

The other significant advantage of using a ring light is that it pops up the subject. It does this without washing out the features or changing the facial contours, which usually happen with uneven or dim light. Needless to say, these devices are just perfect for portraits and selfies.

Macro Photography

Are you into macro photography? Then ring lights are the perfect source of light for your captures. It provides more and enhanced front-focused light for the subjects that a lightbox fails to do. This equipment simultaneously facilitates even distribution of light around the small subject well, proficiently hides the shadows, and brings out the intrinsic details of those objects. You can use the colour temperature feature and adjust it accordingly to supplement the natural light seamlessly. You can use the ring light kits for floral and insect photography.

Generating Colour Effects

Did you know that you can generate colour effects for your subjects using a ring light? Yes, you heard it right. It does not require any effort to do that. All you got to do is to switch the regular white lights with coloured light bulbs. Here is another easy way. Apply coloured gels on the ring light. This way, you can generate various colour effects for your shots.

For Video Production

Do you want to enhance the lighting setup for creating videos? Do you want to have a professional and cinematic look for your videos? The ring lights are what exactly you need. You can use them in conjunction with other lighting sources or tools like sidelight or softbox, etc. Cinematographers and videographers can make the most of it for their lighting setup.

Let us say you are filming a video that requires the constant moving of your head. You can still shoot a video with the light focused on the subject. Fix the device to the camera’s front, and it helps you remain on the light throughout the filming. However, the subject should not be too far from the camera.

Makeup Application

Do you want to make some makeup tutorials? Then a ring light can be your perfect companion. If you want a perfect light for applying makeup, this will help you do so. Since it can produce natural daylight indoors with a colour rating of 54000k, this is undoubtedly the best thing you can ever ask for.

Let us say you are outdoor or in an area with no natural light. You can turn this light on and start makeup application to the individual for an enhanced and efficient outcome. These are best for outdoor shootings or bridal photoshoots. They help the makeup artists to prepare the models or brides for the photoshoots.

For Smartphone Selfies

A ring light is a perfect option for selfies on your smartphone. It eliminates lines, blemishes on your face and brightens up your photos and videos. If you want to make the most of your selfies by bringing out the best facial features, then a selfie ring light is all you need.

How To Use a Ring Light?

Till now, we discussed what a ring light is and what are its many benefits. Let me take you through how to use a ring light the correct way. We will get started with the basics and then learn to use them the best way.

The easiest way to use a ring light is to have it around the camera lens. You can simply put the camera in the centre of the device to capture the focus. You can also try using it from either side of the subject. If you want to get the most unique and spectacular results, managing the placement of the light is crucial. If you do not want to try any experiments, you can just go with the traditional way.

If you ask us, then we advise you to learn to use the ring light traditionally first. Once you get hands-on experience, you can then proceed with the experiments. These ring lights usually come with tripod stands. If you find them heavy, you can have these lights mounted on the wall as well. High-end models are capable of providing great light for shooting under low ISO conditions. They even facilitate shooting in longer focal distances.

Additionally, these ring lights are a real-time-saver. They help in minimizing the post-processing time since they do not distort the final image. If you want to save your time in the long run, you should definitely opt for a ring light. This is the best decision you can ever make. If you try evaluating the time you require for editing and the budget, you will only agree with what we said.

Some Frequently Asked Questions



1. How to set up a ring light?

Setting up a ring light for your photography or videography is very easy. There are several ways to do so. The most common way you can do is by wrapping it around your camera lens. You can even mount the light on the wall or place it on either side of the subject. You can even place it directly or set it to one side of the subject. With a ring light, photographers and videographers always have room for experimenting to capture the best shot.

2. How to bring out more eye colour with a ring light?

Capturing the perfect photograph of eyes is indeed a tough task, as you need perfect lighting to focus on the subject. A ring light can be of great help to get the job done easily and effortlessly. Being capable of creating circular catchlights, these devices light the eyes really well. You can bring the ring light closer to the model to help the eyes catch the lights. Furthermore, this will allow you to take the perfect eye colour.

3. Can you use a ring light without it being your main light source?

Yes. You can always use a ring light as a soft box or as a fill light to brighten the areas of dark shadows in the room. You can use it as the main light in conjunction with the sidelights.



I hope this article helped you gain insights on a ring light and its many benefits. You don’t have to be a professional to earn one. You can use them for your smartphones as well to get those picture-perfect selfies.
Don’t have a ring light yet? No worries, you can purchase them now. Choose the best one and start experimenting with your photography skills. Bring out the photographer in you with these ring lights.
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