The 6 Best Ring Lights for Cameras in 2021

Make sure your photos get the perfect amount of light

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown
The 18-inch light offers good value and can be used with both smartphones and DSLR cameras.
Best for a Portable Studio:
Neewer 14" Ring Light at Amazon
It has the same useful accessories as the 18-inch, but the ring light itself is a smaller diameter and comes at a lower price.
Best for Selfies on the Go:
Auxiwa Selfie Ring Light at Amazon
Because it easily clips on and off, you can hold your phone in any position and benefit from the improved lighting.
Best for Canon DSLRs:
YONGNUO YN-14EX at Amazon
The Yongnuo is designed for macro photography, casting an even light on your subject and reducing shadows.
Best for Beauty Bloggers:
Diva Super Nova 18" Ring Light at Amazon
It’s a reliable ring light designed for studio use, so it's especially ideal for a home makeup studio or filming room.
With a large, 7.5 inch diameter and an 11.5-inch inner opening, there’s more than enough space to fit your large camera and lenses.

Ring lights are becoming more and more popular with photographers, vloggers, and content creators. What’s a ring light? Essentially, it’s a ring of LED lights, mounted on a tripod—you can attach your phone or camera in the middle of the light, which creates a beautiful, even light for photos and filming. It’s particularly useful when taking portraits or selfies, since the ring light reduces unwanted shadows on your face.

However, just about anyone can benefit from a ring light, even if you’re not a beauty blogger—they can help you enhance your Zoom meetings or help you take better photos at home. Many are small enough that you can travel with them, which is great if you tend to work in various studios and need something that you can use anywhere. 

If you’re in the market for a ring light, the good news is that there are more options than ever before. We’ve researched and reviewed some of the best ring lights on the market, taking into account factors such as price, durability, color temperature, and portability. Here are the best ring lights for just about any purpose, from brands including Neewer and Auxiwa.

Best Overall: Neewer Upgraded 18-inch LED Ring Light

Neewer Upgraded 18-inch LED Ring Light
What We Like
  • Full, versatile kit for video or photography

  • Produces beautiful, soft light

  • Control brightness remotely with the included Bluetooth smartphone remote

What We Don't Like
  • Some smartphones don't fit the holder

  • Carrying case not included

In the market for a versatile ring light that can handle photography, makeup, vlogging, or video production? If so, one of the best is the Neewer Upgraded 18-inch LED Ring Light—this brand makes a range of high-quality ring lights in different sizes, but the 18-inch offers good value and can be used with both smartphones and DSLR cameras.

Neewer has included all of the accessories you’ll want, including an adjustable 35 to 79-inch stand, rotating smartphone holder, hot-shoe adapter for mounting a camera, U.S. and European power cables, a pair of filters for adjusting the color temperature, and a Bluetooth controller so you can remotely use the light. 

With the included filters, you can adjust the light from 3200K to 5600K. This is ideal for lighting your subject’s skin, giving users bright but gentle light that helps you look refreshed and vibrant, since this color temperature helps to remove dark shadows from your image. It wins praise for its ease of use, with many YouTubers and vloggers considering it an essential piece in their kit.

Diameter: 18 inches | Color Temperature: Adjustable from 3200K to 5600K | Total Power: 55W | Connectivity: Bluetooth

Best for a Portable Studio: Neewer LED Ring Light 14"

What We Like
  • Light and portable size makes it ideal for travel

  • Sliding dimmer

  • Suits those who don't need a large size like the 18-inch model

What We Don't Like
  • Not as bright as the 18-inch model

  • Assembly can take some time to master

Looking for a smaller alternative to the Neewer 18-inch light ring? A larger size of 18 inches is more than many vloggers need, either due to space constraints or if you’re frequently traveling. For a portable studio or small space, the Neewer LED Ring Light 14-inch is a great option. It comes with the same useful accessories as the 18-inch, but the ring light itself has a smaller diameter and added benefit of a lower price. 

At 36W with 180 LEDs, the light output isn't quite as high as the larger model, but it’s still bright enough for most situations, with the included white and orange filters letting you adjust the lighting to suit your space. It’s sure to be popular with beauty bloggers who are working from home, or even with travel vloggers who are constantly on the go and filming from various hotels.

Because it’s more compact and breaks down to fit into a small carrying case, it may take a few tries before you figure out the set-up and disassembly, but other than that, it’s a breeze to use this light ring in just about any shooting space.

Diameter: 14 inches | Color Temperature: 5500K | Total Power: 36W | Connectivity: Bluetooth

If you don’t have the space for the larger 18-inch version, the Neewer LED Ring Light 14-inch provides you with a similar product, only smaller and more affordable. It’s a great choice for vloggers just starting out on a small budget.” — Katie Dundas, Tech Writer

Best for Selfies on the Go: Auxiwa Clip-on Selfie Ring Light

What We Like
  • Simple and straightforward ring light clip that can improve your selfie game

  • Attaches easily to phones, laptops, or monitors

  • Very affordable

What We Don't Like
  • At 3W power, it works well only for close-ups

  • Might need to remove phone case before use

Looking for one of the easiest ways to improve your selfies? Try out the Auxiwa Clip-on Selfie Ring Light, a small ring light that attaches directly to your phone. Because it easily clips on and off, you can hold your phone in any position and benefit from the improved lighting.

However, it’s not just for phones, as you can also attach it to laptops or monitors, useful for improving your lighting during Zoom meetings and calls. A non-removable battery is included that lasts up to 8 hours and charges from the micro-USB cable. The ring light is also easy to adjust between three levels of brightness. 

There are lots of clip-on ring lights out there, but the Auxiwa stands out for its quality build, great price, and its soft, padded lining, which protects your smartphone from scratches. It’s an affordable and effective way to improve your selfies, but you can also use it with the rear camera as backlighting, which can be useful for food and product photography. However, keep in mind that it works best for close-ups, since the 3W power is nowhere near as high as some of the other ring lights reviewed here.

Diameter: 3 inches | Color Temperature: 5600K | Total Power: 3W | Connectivity: N/A

Just about anyone can benefit from this affordable little ring light. Use it not just for selfies but to improve lighting on family video calls, social media pictures, or for taking macro photos of food, plants, or even insects.” — Katie Dundas, Tech Writer

Best for Canon DSLRs: YONGNUO YN-14EX

YONGNUO YN-14EX
What We Like
  • Lots of great features at a reasonable price

  • Compatible with external battery pack

  • Dual-LED lighting

What We Don't Like
  • Plastic locks on battery door can cause the occasional issue

  • Not always compatible with lenses other than Canon brand

For photographers who shoot with Canon, the Yongnuo YN-14EX is an affordable and bright ring flash that attaches to your lens. It looks and works similarly to the Viltrox Canon ring flash, but at a lower price point. The unit attaches to the camera's hot shoe adapter, which is connected to a circular dual-LED lighting setup mounted on the lens.

The Yongnuo is designed for macro photography, casting an even light on your subject and reducing shadows. There are plenty of useful features included, such as an external power socket, which reduces recycling time, letting you shoot faster. 

The flash has support for both PC Sync and through-the-lens (TTL) metering. Each LED can be configured separately via the large LCD screen on the back of the flash. Four adapter rings for 52 to 72 millimeter lenses are included in the box, with a durable case included with purchase. 

Power is provided by four AA batteries, but it’s worth noting that some photographers have had issues with the battery door on the unit not closing properly. However, this could be a small tradeoff for an otherwise affordable and useful ring flash.

Diameter: Fits on the exterior of the following size Canon lenses: 52mm, 58mm, 67mm, 72mm | Color Temperature: 5600K | Total Power: N/A | Connectivity: The flash connects with the camera via a PC synchronous line

Best for Beauty Bloggers: Diva Super Nova 18" Ring Light

What We Like
  • 5400K color temperature is ideal for makeup and hair

  • Included diffusion cost helps reduce shadow

  • Long-lasting and reliable

What We Don't Like
  • No carrying case included

  • Works only with cameras, not smartphones

When it comes to the largest market for ring lights, it’s arguably the fashion and beauty space. YouTubers, content creators, and makeup artists need bright, accurate lighting to showcase their work. If you’re a budding or established beauty blogger, the Diva Super Nova 18" Ring Light is a top choice—it offers bright and flattering light that can easily be dimmed to your specifications.

It’s a reliable, solid ring light designed for studio use rather than portability, so it's especially ideal for a home makeup studio or filming room. The durable, 6-foot stand offers stability for your DSLR or mirrorless camera, but note it’s not easily compatible with smartphones. 

The 5400K bulb is daylight calibrated, but can be dimmed to 20 percent of its maximum output. To get even softer lighting for beautiful close-ups, use the included diffusion cloth to reduce unwanted shadows. YouTubers and bloggers say it makes a huge difference in the quality of their photos and videos, creating a soft, flattering light that looks great for their social media accounts.

While it’s a little more expensive than some of the competition, the strong brightness, sturdy tripod, and even lighting make it worth the cost.

Diameter: 18 inches | Color Temperature: 5400K | Total Power: Not specified | Connectivity: N/A

Best for Video: Savage Luminous Pro LED Ring Light Plus

Savage Luminous Pro LED Ring Light Plus
What We Like
  • 3200K to 5500K can easily be adjusted or dimmed while filming

  • Included remote control

  • Cool, fan-less system keeps your studio from getting too hot

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't include a stand

  • Expensive

The Savage Luminous Pro LED Ring is a premium, high-quality ring light that’s particularly useful for video. With a large, 7.5 inch diameter and an 11.5-inch inner opening, there’s more than enough space to fit your large camera and lenses.

When you’re filming, you won’t need to stop and adjust your lighting, thanks to the convenient addition of a remote control. You won’t get too hot either, thanks to the inclusion of a cool-running LED chip. Since sweat and heat are one of the quickest ways to ruin a beauty blogger’s video, the Savage Luminous Pro can help keep your studio cooler—one of the device’s biggest selling points. It also makes no noise, so there won’t be any disruptions while recording. 

You can adjust this ring light's color temperature from 3200K to 5500K, giving users plenty of options to get that perfect, flowing light for their video. With a diffused front, it also makes close-up shots easier on your subject's eyes. 

Unfortunately, a stand isn’t included, which would be nice to see at the Luminous Pro’s higher price point. But it's otherwise a fantastic addition to any vlogging studio, creating a dramatic and flattering light for any subject.

Diameter: 17.5 inches | Color Temperature: 3200K to 5500K | Total Power: 96W | Connectivity: Remote control

Final Verdict

The Neewer Upgraded 18-inch LED Ring Light (view at Amazon) is one of the best overall options when shopping for a ring light. We like that it’s versatile and Bluetooth-compatible, creating a beautiful, soft light for both photography and video.

If you just need something cheap and cheerful for your smartphone, the Auxiwa Clip-on Selfie Ring Light (view at Amazon) clips onto your phone or laptop for an instant way to create better lighting for your photos.

About Our Trusted Experts

Katie Dundas is a freelance tech writer and journalist. She frequently covers photography, cameras, and drones. She’s also an avid landscape photographer.

FAQs

What size ring light is best?
The size of the ring light you need will depend on your usage. If you need a professional setup for a studio, an 18-inch ring light can serve you well. For a more portable option, a 14-inch ring light won't weigh you down as much while still offering plenty of light for your shooting and videography needs. If all you have is a phone, there are simple phone-mounted options as well as camera-mounted options.

What is the best ring light for video?
With more people working from home than ever before, having good lighting for your video calls is important. We're fond of the Savage Luminous Pro LED Ring. It's one of the best lights for a video setup with 480 daylight-balanced LEDs. It measures 17.5 inches, allowing it to cast plenty of light, and it's big enough to fit mirrorless and DSLR cameras for the crispest video possible.

What is the best ring light for the iPhone?
For phones, we’re fond of the Kodak Smartphone Portrait Light. It supports 36 LEDs with three different brightness levels and comes with a universal fastening clip. It can affix to smartphones, laptops, and tablets. It also works equally well for rear and front cameras, helping improve your selfies. The 250mAh battery inside should last for up to 30 minutes at maximum, brightness, and it can charge with the included micro USB cable.

"Though they tend to be less powerful and often battery operated, a clip-on ring light can be used in nearly any on-the-go situation. If simplicity and a touch of extra light is more important than high quality, this can definitely be the way to go." — Nathan Berry, Lensrentals Lighting Supervisor

What to Look For in a Ring Light

Dimensions

When buying a ring light, pay attention to its size. You can find tiny ring lights designed for smartphones, all the way up to professional devices that are several feet in diameter. When deciding on size, think about the space constraints in your studio. Or, if you’ll frequently be traveling, a smaller, portable ring light is probably going to be a better option. 

Durability

While most ring lights are built to last, some are definitely made more cheaply than others. Before purchasing, note the ring light’s materials, as well as the warranty—you want to make sure you purchase one that can withstand frequent use and is backed by a decent warranty. 

Color Temperature 

Each ring light has a color temperature—you’ll see it noted with a number, followed by a K. The K stands for Kelvin and is a measure of a temperature. When it comes to light, temperatures above 5000K tend to be cooler whites or blues, while 5000K and under tend to be warmer. For reference, daylight tends to fall between 5000 K and 6200K. Most ring lights will be around the 3000K to 5000K mark, but you can often adjust the lighting to suit your needs.

"Color temperatures in ring lights are important. Bi-color LED lights allow the photographer to adjust the color temperature of a light to match the existing natural light in a location." — Nathan Berry, Lensrentals Lighting Supervisor

Was this page helpful?