Dec 30, 2023

Best Ring Lights 2023

For many of us, work-related meetings and even hangouts with friends are now taking place virtually. Services like Zoom, Google Meet, FaceTime and Facebook Messenger have become indispensable video calling and virtual meeting tools. A ring light can amp up your video quality and make you look great during video calls or virtual meetings—and the best ring lights combine soft, even lighting with cool features, easy mounting options and an attractive price.

Brighten up your face and surroundings with a new ring light.

That's not all. If you’re a TikToker, vlogger, or social media influencer, the right lighting can help you increase audience engagement and generally enhance your overall production quality while helping you look your absolute best for your audience. While we chose the Neewer 19-inch Ring Light Kit with Stand as our pick for best ring light overall, there are plenty to choose—with prices ranging from under $100 to well over $300.

Luckily, instead of having to invest in large and expensive studio lighting, there are a wide range of low-cost ring lights and key lights that’ll shine a steady and even array of light onto your face and upper-body—and sometimes your surroundings as well. When the focus is on you, make sure you’re properly lit. To accomplish this, consider grabbing one of these ring lights.


Color temperature range: 3,200K to 5,600K | Light size: 9-inches | Power: AC power | Stand and mount: Adjustable tripod stand. Light has three phone mounts.

Best for: Lighting up one person for any type of photography, videography or virtual calling.

The Neewer 19-inch ring light offers a color temperature adjustable LED light that also allows you to control brightness. The ring light itself has the option to install three cold shoe smartphone mounts that can use two built-in USB ports to power the smartphones continuously while live streaming, for example. It comes with an adjustable tripod that goes from 31.5 to 72.8 inches in height. You can adjust the light's angle by up to 180 degrees.

Meanwhile, control of the light can be done with the built in buttons and small display or using the supplied handheld remote. The bundle also comes with a convenient carrying case. Setting up the light takes less than two minutes. Once you set up this ring light, it offers a tremendous amount of versatility.




Color temperature range: 3,200K to 5,600K | Light size: 18-inches | Power: AC power | Stand and mount: Adjustable tripod stand. Light has one phone mount.

Best for: Being able to adjust your lighting when creating content.

This Neewer 18-inch ring light kit comes with the LED ring light itself, along with an adjustable metal tripod, power adapter, universal smartphone adapter, cold shoe adapter (for attaching a traditional camera), a carrying case and two light filters—everything you need to light up your upper body and immediate area—whether you are creating content or on a video call or livestream. Besides using the color filters to alter the light color and temperature, you can control the brightness level, between 1% and 100%.

And thanks to the adjustability of the tripod, you can position the light at almost any angle and up to 61-inches high. One notable feature is that the top section of the tripod stand has a flexible gooseneck tube so you can further adjust the light's position. The ring light has 240 LEDs, so it offers plenty of brightness. The entire bundle weighs just 9.8 pounds, so it's easy to transport and only takes a few minutes to set up.



Best Buy

Color temperature range: 5,600K with 4-level brightness control | Light size: 3.74 x 2.7 x 0.4 inches | Power: Battery | Stand and mount: MagSafe adapter

Best for: Close-range lighting for selfies or virtual calling.

This small ring light includes a mirror in the center and easily attaches to a MagSafe iPhone. It brightens your face when taking selfies or partaking in a video call. The mirror allows you to see yourself, so you can use a smartphone's rear facing camera. The light is MagSafe compatible, so it easily attaches to an Apple iPhone, but the optional Joby GripTight Mount ($40) allows you to connect the light to other devices, including a laptop computer or tabletop tripod.

The Joby Beamo Ring Light for MagSafe generates 5,600K white light (equivalent to daylight) and has a brightness control with four settings. The built in rechargeable battery lasts up to 90 minutes of continuous use.



Lume Cube

Color temperature range: 3,200K to 5,600K | Light size: 17-inches | Power: Battery | Stand and mount: Adjustable tripod, smartphone mount

Best for: Use as a general-purpose ring light with plenty of adjustability.

The Lume Cube Cordless Ring Light Pro is a 17-inch ring light that runs on a battery, so you can set it up and use it virtually anywhere. Adjust brightness and color temperature from the light itself or via the included remote control. The ring light uses 256 inward-facing LEDs with built-in adjustable diffusers. This allows for precision lighting that's fully customizable based on your unique needs. A USB port makes it easy to charge a camera or phone while you’re using the light to film or livestream.

The bundle comes with the ring light, adjustable tripod (18 to 70 inches with 180-degree tilt capabilities), one smartphone mount, a charger and a travel case. The Cordless Ring Light Pro has a sleek and lightweight design, it is rather expensive compared to the competition. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to 70 minutes of continuous use.




Color temperature range: 3,200K to 5,600K | Light size: 12 inches | Power: Battery or AC power | Stand and mount: Adjustable tripod stand, smartphone mount, camera mount

Best for: Taking a ring light anywhere you go.

The Lume Cube Cordless Mini Light is a smaller version of its Cordless Ring Light Pro. This 12-inch ring light system is rather versatile. It's highly portable, yet large enough to illuminate a subject's face and upper body using a full-spectrum, bi-color light that offers a 3,200K to 5,600K adjustable temperature.

You can adjust the light between 1% and 100% brightness. It runs of the supplied battery pack or you can plug it with an AC adapter. The light comes with a smartphone mount and camera mount, as well as a 6.5-foot tripod stand and carry case. This ring light's smaller size makes it well-suited for video production or portrait photography, but it works well for video calls, too.



Lume Cube

Color temperature range: 3,200K to 5,600K | Light size: 6.3 inches | Power: AC power | Stand and mount: Adjustable arm with desk clamp

Best for: Video calls and virtual meetings.

This LED light has a circular shape, but it's not technically a ring light. It comes with an adjustable arm that clamps to a desk and has five pivot points. This flexibility means you can position the light just so to illuminate your face during a virtual meeting or video call. This light produces enough brightness that it can also double as a desk lamp.

Light temperature and brightness (between 0% and 100%) are adjustable using touch controls built into the light's arm. Both the base and head can also rotate 360-degrees as needed to achieve the perfect position. The light includes a mounting arm to attach to a desk or table; you can reposition the arm out of the way, without unclamping it from the desk.




Color temperature range: 3,000K to 6,500K | Light size: 22 inches | Power: AC power | Stand and mount: Tripod, smartphone mount

Best for: Use as a general-purpose ring light for shooting video, portraits, vlogging or live streaming.

A smaller size ring light (up to 12 inches) does an adequate job surrounding your face and potentially your upper body with light. However, not a lot of light will reach the areas surrounding you. So, if you want to brighten up a larger area (as well as most of your body), look for a ring light with a larger diameter.

This Mactrem ring light offers a 22-inch diameter and comes with a 75-inch adjustable tripod stand. You can adjust the light's temperature between 3,000K and 6,500K, and its brightness between 1% and 100%. This way, if you need to shed light on more than one subject, or on a larger space, this more powerful ring light can handle the task. It comes with a handheld remote control, three smartphone mounts and a carrying case.



Lume Cube

Color temperature range: 3,000K to 6,500K | Light size: Two 13 x 2.5-inch light panels | Power: AC power | Stand and mount: 70-inch stand with two 11-inch adjustable arms

Best for: Using as a 2-point lighting system as an alternative to a traditional ring light.

By using two fully adjustable LED panels simultaneously, it's easier to achieve 2-point, even lighting of someone's face and upper-body when vlogging, live streaming or partaking in video calls. Each light panel uses 128 LEDs, measures 13 x 2.5 inches and mounts on an 11-inch adjustable arm that rotates independently up to 270-degrees. You can adjust each light's brightness between 5% and 100%, and color temperature between 3,000K and 6,500K.

Included in the bundle is a flexible smartphone mount and a 70-inch adjustable stand, which connects to each light's adjustable arm. You also get a carrying case, although it's more convenient to leave this unique lighting setup at your desk.




Color temperature range: 3,200K to 5,600K | Light size: 18 inches | Power: Battery or AC power | Stand and mount: Adjustable tripod, smartphone mount

Best for: Untethered, adjustable lighting.

This versatile setup includes an 18-inch LED ring light that's suitable for lighting up someone's face and upper body. The light has a dimmer which adjusts brightness from 0% to 100%, and it has a built-in diffuser, which creates a soft, flattering light that fills in shadows that appear on someone's face. The battery lasts up to 70 minutes of continuous use, but you can also plug in the light for unlimited usage.

The bundle includes a tripod (expandable up to 6.5 feet), several mounts (supporting a phone or camera up to 10 pounds) and a travel case. Like most LED-based ring lights, this one has a lamp life expectancy of over 50,000 hours. The weight of the light, battery and tripod together is just 1.7 pounds.




Color temperature range: 3,000K to 5,600K | Light size: 12 inches | Power: USB power cord

Best for: Vlogging or virtual calls.

The Joby Beamo Ring Light is a 12-inch ring light that's sold on its own, with no extras—a point which keeps the price low (Joby sells a stand and various types of mounts separately). The bottom of the light has a standard tripod mount. The light itself offers 10 brightness levels and three-color temperature settings (3,000K, 4000K or 5,600K), so it's less versatile than many other ring lights out there. However, it's also much less expensive. The Joby Beamo Ring Light comes with a cold shoe adapter and carry bag. If all you need is a smaller size ring light that works with various stands, this is a low-cost solution for taking selfies, live streaming or vlogging, for example.



As you can see, ring lights come in a wide range of sizes. Each offers a distinct set of features and functions. When shopping for a ring light, first determine how and where you will use the light, and what features are important (for example, battery power). Here's a summary of the key features to watch for when choosing the best ring light to meet your photo and video needs.

Sometimes a small ring light when used with a smartphone, for example, will serve your needs ... [+] perfectly when vlogging or participating in a virtual meeting, or example.

A circular ring light's measurements gauge the diameter of the ring, while other lights’ measurements use the length and width of the light, or the number of LEDs. The larger the light, the wider area it can brighten up. While a 12-inch ring light is good for a single person standing a few feet from the light, you need a much larger light to illuminate someone's entire body or multiple people.

A small ring light works well to brighten someone's face from less than a foot away, eliminating unwanted shadows. When choosing a ring light, determine your subject's lighting needs and where the light will sit relative to the subject.

All the ring lights in this roundup use LED lights—which last longer, stay cool to the touch, are easy to transport and offer the most robust and consistent lighting. LEDs also offer the ability to adjust color temperature.

The brightness of a ring light is measured in lumens. The more lumens, the brighter the light. A brighter light is better for counteracting shadows in daylight. Look for a light with an adjustable brightness, so you can use it indoors or outdoors. To further adjust the look of your lighting, seek a model that comes with diffusers or barn doors to help shape the light.

Many ring lights let you adjust the color temperature (measured in Kelvins), from cool to warm. Typically, a light can adjust from 1,500K (which is warm candlelight) to 5,500K for normal daylight. An adjustable ring light may go from 3,200K to 5,500K, for example. When you adjust the color temperature of a light, you can make the light appear warmer (with an emphasis on yellow and orange) or cooler (which focuses on white and blue).

While most ring lights use a built in, standard tripod mount, not all come with a stand. For those that do, pay attention to the size, height adjustability and angle adjustability of the stand/tripod—making sure it can achieve the angles you need to light your subject properly.

Some ring lights require external power, so you need to be near a standard electrical outlet. Others can get power via USB, such as your computer's USB port or a power bank. A battery-powered ring light is useful for maximum creativity, unencumbered by wires.

One of the most confusing things about buying a ring light is understanding the dramatic price discrepancies. A 12-inch ring light can sell for anywhere from $30 (for a light from a no-name brand) to upwards of $300.

Sometimes, you pay more for a light from a name brand (like Lume Cube or Westcott) or one that comes with accessories (such as a stand, battery and phone mounts). Read each product description carefully to understand exactly what you’re getting.

Yes, adding a light source that directly shines on your face and upper body will help to eliminate unwanted shadows and make it easier for people to focus on you. Using a ring light or key light is important if the preexisting overhead lights create shadows across your face.

Shown here is a "before" and "after" image using the Lume Cube Edge Desk Light.

Lights are also useful if you’re positioned in front of another light source (such as a window) and that other light source is behind you and shining directly into your camera or webcam. In this situation, for example, you can use a ring light or another light source in front of you to illuminate your face.

The difference between a ring light and key light is their shape. Both come in a wide range of sizes and work well for making you look great in front of a camera.

A ring light provides a hollow ring of light that's designed to surround your face (the camera can be positioned in the middle of the ring). A key light is typically a solid square, circle or rectangle shape. It disperses light across a broader area. In most cases, like when you’re engaged in a video call, virtual meeting or live stream, these lighting options can be used interchangeably.

A ring light is an optimal choice if you’re standing or sitting directly in front of a camera and the primary subject in the shot is you. The ring light shines light evenly around and across your face and upper body to balance exposure and eliminate unwanted shadows.

Some ring lights offer adjustable color options or filters that allow you to create visually ... [+] interested lighting effects to enhance your content.

Use a ring light to add light to your face when partaking in a video call, virtual meeting or livestream; or to illuminate a subject when shooting portraits or video. The larger the ring light's diameter, the wider the area the light can cover. The positioning of the light and camera, as well as the light's distance from the subject, will also help determine the ring light's impact. A ring light can help you appear as natural as possible when you’re on camera. Use the light to prevent shadows under your eyes or nose, for example.

There's a lot that goes into selecting the ring lights we recommend as being the best in each category. To come up with this list, our tech team relied on extensive hands-on testing, research and consultations with professional photographers, videographers, vloggers and business users who spend a lot of time in virtual meetings. As a result, we compiled this list of what we believe are the best ring lights currently on the market.

The job of a ring light is to make you or your subjects as well lit as possible when appearing in ... [+] photos, videos or virtual meetings. Being able to generate even, shadow-free lighting is essential.

As we evaluated each ring light, we carefully evaluated its size, brightness, adjustability, durability, versatility, light filtering abilities, power supply options and the price of each ring light. We also showcased lighting solutions for specific needs and for use with specific types of equipment to make your job easier when choosing the best ring light option to meet your needs.

The Forbes Vetted tech team strives to offer accurate and trustworthy product assessments that are the result of intensive research and hands-on testing. Our writers and editors have years of experience writing about a broad range of consumer electronics and have the background and expertise to help you make the best buying decisions possible.

Forbes Vetted regularly covers all types of consumer electronics and then reviews and recommends the best products in specific categories. Here are some other articles you might enjoy reading:

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