Top 10 Ring Lights

I’ll come clean: I didn’t know anything about ring lights until professional barber/hairperson Kylie Belachaikovsky schooled me on them. She is a frequent visitor to our site, and she shared with me her trials and tribulations as she shopped for a ring light years ago when she was trying to build her business using vibrant Instagram photos. She begged me to write about the best ring lights. I told her I knew nothing about them. Consequently, we sat down one afternoon, and she told me all about them and discussed the pros and cons of the best options out there.

Below are the results of her years of experience…as filtered through the brain of a Neanderthal (me.)

What Are Ring Lights Anyway?

If you want to make totally awesome videos or take rad pictures like a pro, you need to have good illumination. Today’s photo studios are making use of the best ring lights. They are all the rage these days because they offer even, radial illumination that conceals skin imperfections, highlight the windows into your soul, and they minimize shadows. This makes these devices ideal for close-up and portrait photography, like when you want to show off the gorgeous new hair color job you just spent four hours on.

What to Look for when Shopping

Before we get to the ring light reviews, you gotta know what to look for. In Kylie’s experience, you get what you pay for when it comes to ring lights. So, what sets an amazing light apart from the just okay ones?

Adjustable Lighting

You don’t need me to mansplain that different ring lights have different lighting options. You get maximum functionality with the best models. For instance, the majority of ring lights allow you to take pictures in low light conditions and to adjust the light output. Others even allow you to adjust the color temperature.

LED versus Fluorescent Lamps

The two main types of ring light lamps are LED and fluorescent. We can’t give you a blanket answer for which is better. They both have their pluses and minuses. LED lamps supply a minor pink shade, while fluorescent lamps are on the green side. Plus, fluorescent lamps emit diffused light, but the LED lamps are more directional. When it comes to durability, nothing beats LEDs. So, you should choose an LED ring light if you plan on traveling to different places to take photos.

Extras and Size

We suggest checking out what accessories each model comes with to ensure you are getting everything you need. For example, some lights come with a stand. If you need a stand, be sure to check if the light comes with one. If not, you can buy them separately. I recommend the CowboyStudio Aluminum Adjustable Light Stand. Size also matters. You need a small diameter ring light for phones if you are going to do some macro shooting.

Now that you have a little idea of what to look for, here are the best ring lights in the professional opinion of Kylie:

1. Diva Ring Light Super Nova 18″ Dimmable Photo/Video Light with 6′ Light Stand

 

Diva

Features:

  • Dims to 20 percent of full power
  • Comes with a 5400K bulb that is just like daylight
  • You basically get everything you need, including a mounting bracket for your camera

If you don’t know about Diva, you’d better ask somebody. Since we’re here, we’ll answer the questions you may have. Specifically, Diva is at the top of just about all lists of the best ring lights, and the Super Nova is the standard by which all other lights are measured. It is ideal for videographers and photographers who want to bring out the best features in their subjects. One of the coolest things about this ring light is how it makes eyes look like they are sparkling.

Buy the Diva Supernova on Amazon

2. QIAYA Ring Light for Camera iPhone Photography

Qiaya

Features:

  • Dimmable from 0 to 100 percent of full power
  • Made up of 180 LEDs that produce 5500K daytime light
  • Twelve-month warranty in case you get sick of photography after a year

The Qiaya Ring Light is our pick for best ring lights under $100. We like it because it is easy to take with you wherever you go. For instance, if you are visiting New York City, you can just pack it into the travel bag it comes with. If you happen to run into a big celebrity, like Mike Birbiglia, you can just set it up quickly and have a professional looking photograph taken with him. Despite the name, the ring light’s mounting bracket accepts all types of cameras and phones.

Buy the Qiaya Ring Light on Amazon

3. Diva Ring Light Nebula 18″ LED Dimmable Ring Light

Diva

Features: