Once an ultra-niche tool, the Lume Cube Ring Light Pro is the latest offering that cements ring lights as everyday household items – not just for photographers and content creators, but for regular folks as well.
Where they were once exclusively used by stills and video shooters, the best ring lights (opens in new tab) are now in demand by everyone from grandparents who make video calls to their grandkids, remote workers who use webcams for conference calls, and the online generation that wants the most Instagrammable selfies and slickest TikToks. And the Lume Cube Ring Light Pro really is the one ring to rule them all.
It comes with a substantial price tag, though, and there are already some great and far cheaper alternatives in the market – including the manufacturer's own Lume Cube Wireless Ring Light (opens in new tab). So is it worth the extra investment to go Pro?
Lume Cube Ring Light Pro review: Specifications & features
The Lume Cube Ring Light Pro features an edge-lit design, comprising 256 inward-facing LEDs with built-in diffusion to deliver powerful output with softness and even coverage with a 96+ CRI rating.
It can be powered by either mains electricity or the integrated lithium-ion battery, which delivers up to 70 minutes at full brightness and up to 120 minutes at lower output. The battery can be fully charged in 150 minutes and can also be used while charging.
In addition there are two USB-A ports that enable you to connect and power your phone or other devices, which is an unexpected but very welcome inclusion.
Another key feature is the remote control, which thankfully isn't line-of-sight operated and enables you to make truly wireless adjustments. You can nudge the brightness and color temperature up and down, and there are shortcut buttons that enable you to quickly jump to 3200K or 5600K temperatures, and 25%, 50% or 100% brightness.
Lume Cube Ring Light Pro review: Build & handling
The Pro model sees a sleeker, slimmer, sexier design than the Lume Cube Wireless Ring Light. Thanks to the integrated battery design and Edge-Lit technology, this is a much flatter and less clunky device.
This in turn puts less stress and strain on the tilt mechanism, one of our few criticisms of the previous model. The tilt head, which rotates 180°, has also been redesigned, granting more purchase when shooting flat lay or unboxing imagery.
The rear screen is larger, more informative, and generally looks more high end. Not only does it display the brightness, color temperature and remaining battery level, it also computes the remaining battery time at the current brightness level – enabling you to see how long you have left to shoot at different outputs.
On the light you'll find brightness and color temperature dials, along with a button to pair the remote control if it becomes disconnected. In addition there are two cold shoes, a standard threaded mount (to mount a camera or a phone using the enclosed clip), and two USB-A ports to charge other devices.
There's also a newly designed light stand custom made for Lume Cube, which is taller (adjustable from 18-70 inches) and feels better built than the previous model.
Lume Cube Ring Light Pro review: Performance
Put simply, this is the best ring light we've ever used. Not only does it pack plenty of power, but the built-in diffusion ensures that it isn't too harsh on the skin – preventing the specular blowouts caused by cheaper lights.
The adjustable temperature obviously enables it to match the ambient light, whether it's daylight or artificial room lighting – or even flash, should you want to get creative with a portrait setup.
Adding a remote control to the setup is a brilliant upgrade, meaning that you can make adjustments when using the light to illuminate yourself without having to get up or fiddle blindly behind the device.
More than just something to produce good lighting for zoom meetings and YouTube videos, though, the Lume Cube Ring Light Pro is also highly capable for portrait photography, producing soft light, gentle wrap and even fill – with the coveted, signature, donut-shaped catchlights.
Lume Cube Ring Light Pro review: Verdict
This ring light earns its "Pro" designation with distinction. At 17 inches in diameter it's an inch smaller than the Wireless version, 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.