The best ring lights are used by TikTokers and vloggers, makeup artists and Facetimers. They are also great for videoconferencing and remote meetings, giving a much brighter and more professional look than room lighting and windows. And of course, they're also used by photographers to achieve soft, sumptuous lights for portraits and headshots.
The secret is their size and shape. he best ring lights produce a constant, wide, circular light that illuminates the face from all directions – and the bigger the ring, the softer the lighting. The result is incredibly flattering illumination, with spectacular circular catchlights in the eyes, soft falloff, and light that generally wraps and sculpts the face.
Pair the best ring lights with the best webcams (opens in new tab) and your home setup will instantly look more professional; pair them with the best cameras for portraits (opens in new tab) and the best lenses for portraits (opens in new tab) and you can achieve other great results.
Videographers love ring lights not just because of their soft and flattering lighting but because they provide a continuous light – regular camera flash is obviously no good at all for video. Many of the best ring lights enable you to adjust the color temperature to suit different skin tones (making them great for makeup tutorials, too) and to match the ambient lighting conditions. Whether you're using them in the sun, the shade or yellow-tinged indoor light, you can make your lighting look natural.
Lastly, if you want to shoot a different kind of close-up, check out our guide to the best ringflash for macro photography (opens in new tab).
Best ring lights in 2023
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This 12-inch Razer Ring Light does everything you could possibly want. The one downside to it is that's it's only powered via USB but that isn't the end of the world - especially considering how good the light quality is. They haven't skimped on build quality either, unlike a lot of ring lights, the Razer feels very sturdy and reliable.
There are cheaper and brighter options out there – along with the more expensive, albeit wireless, Lume Cube Ring Light Mini – but we think this strikes the perfect balance of portability, brightness and price. It's a fantastic 12-inch ring light perfect for video conferencing, vlogging or streaming and you won't be disappointed with your purchase.
This ring light earns its "Pro" designation with distinction. At 17 inches in diameter it's an inch smaller than the Lume Cube Wireless Ring Light (opens in new tab) (below), but it gives you a half hour more battery life and the new light stand is a half-foot higher. The new remote control is a godsend for lighting yourself, and the improved diffusion is a dream for lighting portrait subjects. The quality of light is also absolutely spot-on, which is particularly important for creators shooting content such as makeup tutorials.
So everything about this light is premium – though that also includes the price tag, which stands at 60 bucks more than the Wireless model (which, in itself, is over 100 bucks more than the lower grade but still great Razer Ring Light (opens in new tab). If performance is paramount, this is the way to go – but if budget is a factor, Lume Cube or Razer's alternatives may be more up your alley.
The Lube Cube Wireless ring light might seem overpriced but it has a lot of really great features compared to other ring lights. The light itself is really bright, you can either run it off mains power or for up to 90 minutes on batteries which are supplied. It also includes an LED readout to monitor your settings and it comes with a sturdy 6.5ft light stand.
It's an 18-inch ring light which makes it perfect for shooting portraits or filming videos. As it's wireless you can use it on location or in the studio which makes it a great option if you want to be able to do both. If you're looking for a ring light to shoot flat lays or unboxing videos, we're not convinced the plastic mounting bracket is the best but if you're using it in a normal upright position, look no further. And if you're looking for a smaller wireless alternative, check out the 12-inch Lume Cube Ring Light Mini.(opens in new tab)
The Rotolight RL48-B Stealth was one of our favorite portable ring lights in years past, but disappeared from the market a while ago. Now it's back in an all-in-one kit, which also includes a Rotolight mini tripod, stand adapter, phone clip and accessory bar – making it the perfect partner for a tabletop smartphone setup. While this kit is geared towards phones, the RL-48 is also an ideal on-camera light for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras (opens in new tab). The Neo 2 is a bit heavy and unwieldy for the hotshoe, but this smaller model is just the right size (though this kit doesn't include a foot for the shoe), and the hole in the middle is perfect to poke a microphone through!(opens in new tab)
Okay, so technically the Rotolight Neo isn't actually a ring light but it is round and it works really well. Because it isn't donut shaped, the light won't be as soft and the catchlights in the eyes won't be as round but it does have other advantages. Hybrid photographers shooting stills and video often need both a flashgun and a constant lamp for lighting, doubling up on the kit they need to carry. The Rotolight Neo 3 serves both purposes and, while small enough to slot into a camera’s hotshoe, it delivers powerful constant lighting and almost twice its maximum output in flash mode, although that’s still nowhere near as powerful as a ‘proper’ flashgun. If power is what you want, though, along with the ability to use colored gels and presets designed by leading photographers and Emmy-winning cinematographers, check out the (even pricier) Rotolight Neo 3 Pro (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
Many people who are looking for a ring light don't necessarily need loads of fancy bells and whistles. They just want something simple that works, and in that regard, the Neewer 10-inch LED Ring Light is an excellent choice. It's on the smaller side for a ring light, but still a perfectly good size for self-taping, vlogging, TikToks and other quick and easy uses. It plugs in via USB, and comes with a 54-inch tripod, meaning it's very easy to get started the instant you take the Neewer 10-inch LED Ring Light out of its box.
You don't get the sophisticated features of some other ring lights on this list like those from Rotolight, and there are also larger lights available, including from Neewer themselves. But the Neewer 10-inch LED Ring Light is an all-around solid choice that will suit the vast majority of users perfectly, and that's why it nabs our top spot. The bottom line is: if you're looking for a ring light, this will almost certainly fit the bill.(opens in new tab)
If bigger is better then Neewer's 20-inch option is the way to go! While it's the largest ring light on offer here, with 44W of dimmable output from 352 LEDs, it doesn't have quite as much power or temperature range as ESDDI's 18-inch 48W model. However, larger light sources are softer – and the Neewer offers the option of battery power in addition to mains, compatible with the versatile NP-F550 / F970 family (two batteries and a charger are included, though you'll lose about 10W of output compared to mains power). Also bundled are a 6'5" light stand, ball head adapter and vertical / horizontal phone holder, wireless remote and carry case. If you're looking for a true ring light with the largest light spread and wire-free shooting, you've found it.
For those moments where you only need a little light, these very little lights from Xinbaohong are perfect. In fact, they're so small you can pretty much keep them on you at all times in a pocket or a bag. They can be attached to your laptop, tablet or phone so long as it's 18mm or thinner. They're great for taking on nights out so you can capture well-lit selfies, on holiday or even when travelling away from home so that you can Facetime loved ones no matter how much light is around you. Not only are they small but they're really cheap too and we can't see any downsides to owning one.
How we test ring lights
We review as many ring lights as we can get our hands on, and this typically means checking the illumination levels and light quality in real-world conditions, assessing the power supply and mounting options and checking out the build quality and controls. Check the products in our guide for blue, clickable headlines – this means you can click to read a full standalone review.
More buying guides:
Best LED light panels (opens in new tab): portable lighting for photography and video
Best video lights (opens in new tab): continuous video lighting for vlogging and filmmaking
The best photography lighting kits (opens in new tab): for studio, location and video
The best webcams for home working (opens in new tab)
The best camera for streaming (opens in new tab)