Ring lights are rounded lights designed to fit around a camera’s lens. They can be made of a single fluorescent bulb or a series of small connected LED lights. They’ve been used in photography for years to provide even lighting and illumination while also reducing the visibility of shadows. This, in turn, illuminates the subject’s eyes while reducing the shadows on their face and the appearance of blemishes. As a result, ring lights are wildly popular for glamour shots and portraits. They can be used in videos as well as photographs. A selfie ring light is a ring light designed specifically to fit around a smartphone or its camera lens. They’re so named because the benefits of a ring light make for smoother, cleaner, and more flattering selfies or videos. They can save you the time and effort of having to retake grainy or unflattering photos and editing poorly lit photos and videos. Selfie ring lights are immensely popular with YouTube and TikTok stars, bloggers, and other social media influencers due to their flattering properties, but you don’t have to be a major online presence or professional photographer to buy and use one. Here are a few we recommend.
What Should You Consider in Selfie Ring Lights?
Here are a few things to think about before buying a selfie ring light:
- Compatibility: First and foremost, you’re going to want to make sure your selfie ring light is compatible with your phone and its camera lens. It won’t do you any good if it doesn’t fit on your smartphone, after all. Whether you’re buying a selfie ring light that clasps directly onto your phone or encircles the whole phone, be sure to check and see if it’s compatible with the type of smartphone you own. The good news is that most models these days will fit with iPhones and Androids alike, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a ring that is compatible with your smartphone.
- Lighting Features: Different selfie ring lights will have different lighting options and settings. Some will offer only one color lighting mode; others will offer warm, cool, and daylight options. Some will offer a multitude of dimmable or brightness settings, or both. The more colors, dimming, and brightening settings a self ring light has, the better. This will allow you to find just the right lighting patterns that flatter you or whomever you’re photographing or filming and will let you switch settings for different subjects.
- Tripod vs. Direct Attachment: Do you want a selfie light ring that mounts on a tripod or attaches directly to your smartphone? Both types have their benefits and drawbacks. A selfie ring light with a tripod ensures that you always have a stable base for your photography or videography. It also allows you to adjust or turn your phone camera for lower, higher, or different angle shots and ensures both your hands are free at all times. The latter is especially beneficial to anyone who makes videos like makeup tutorials. Several tripods come with convenient wireless remote controls as well. However, tripods are far less portable and are more in-depth and complicated to use. Selfie ring lights don’t allow as wide a range of motion, but they’re lighter, much more compact, and thus more portable, perfect on the go or traveling. They also tend to be easier to use and are generally more cost-efficient.
Best Overall: UBeesize Selfie Ring Light with Extendable Tripod Stand
This tripod-mounted selfie ring light has just about every feature you could need for photography or filming. The flexible phone holder rests inside the ring of light rather than below it, which allows you to make the most of the light. You have three colored lights: warm, cool, and daylight, and 11 brightness levels per color for a total of 33 different lighting options. As a result, you shouldn’t have any problem finding the perfect setting for yourself or your subject. The phone holder’s three-way pan head with a handle lets you tilt and swivel it around as needed, and you can set the phone in portrait or landscape mode. This allows you to target the ring light at any angle you need to hit. The tripod leg can unfold up to 30 inches wide and adjust anywhere from 15 to 50 inches high, and you can rest it on a tabletop if needed. You also receive a Bluetooth remote with your purchase, and you can control your smartphone remotely without needing to touch it, which makes it easier to take selfies.
UBeesize 10" Selfie Ring Light with 50" Extendable Tripod Stand & Phone Holder for Live Stream/Makeup, Mini Desktop Led Camera Ringlight for YouTube Video, Compatible with iPhone/Android
A tripod-mounted selfie ring light that holds your phone within the light instead of below it for optimal lighting.
Most Compatible: UBeesize Selfie Ring Light with Tripod Stand & Cell Phone Holder
This selfie ring light holder is highly compatible with almost all smartphones and USB-powered devices, such as laptops, PCs, power banks, USB chargers, and AC adapters. The included USB cord allows you to plug in and upload photos and videos directly onto your computer or plug it in and let it charge as needed. The four buttons on that cord let you control the device’s power, lighting mode, and brightness levels, while the Bluetooth remote lets you switch between iOS and Android mode. The ring light itself features warm, cool, and daylight lighting modes, each with 11 brightness modes for a total of 33 lighting options and a dimming range of 1% to 100%. The photo holder, set just below the light ring, can be easily rotated between horizontal, vertical, high, and low angles, and more, so you can find the perfect and most flattering angle possible. The phone holder is also spring-loaded and can be extended or shrunken down to better accommodate almost any type of smartphone with or without a case. The quick-flip locking tripod can extend anywhere between 17.5 inches to 51 inches high and is made of premium aluminum to provide strength and stability that is also lightweight and easy to carry. The tripod also has a weighted base to prevent it from tipping over during filming or photographing.
UBeesize Selfie Ring Light with Tripod Stand & Cell Phone Holder for Live Stream/Makeup, Mini Led Camera Ringlight for YouTube Videos/Photography
A highly compatible selfie ring light that can accommodate almost all smartphones and USB devices.
Best Tripod: LETSCOM Dimmable LED Selfie Ring Light
This 10-inch self ring light with a highly adjustable tripod base will allow you to capture a wide range of heights and angles. You can lower it all the way down to a mere 16 inches or extend it all the way up to 53 inches (almost 4.5 feet). It can be used as a desktop tripod or on the ground or floor, and the weighted iron base will keep it from tipping over regardless of where you place it. There are two rotatable phone holders, one within the ring of light and one below it. Both phone holders rotate a full 360 degrees for maximum angle possibilities and can hold any smartphone within a 3.6-inch width range. The light ring itself has ten brightness level options and three color lighting modes (warm light, cool white, and daylight), so you can pick whichever brightness and color best suits your or your subject. The Bluetooth remote lets you take selfies, photos, and videos from a distance, while the 10-foot long power cable lets you plug your device directly into USB-compatible devices like laptops, desktop computers, power banks, USB chargers, and more. The power cable contains four buttons that let you turn the selfie ring light on and off and adjust the lighting and brightness modes.
Most Portable: Auxiwa Clip-On Selfie Ring Light
As handy and useful as selfie ring lights with tripods can be, they aren’t always the most convenient or portable models. They aren’t handy to bring along if you’re traveling for a vacation or going on a hike, and they take time to set up and adjust to just the right angle. For those times when you want to just grab your phone and go without all the extra bulky equipment, this highly portable and compact selfie ring light has you covered. Just clip it onto your smartphone, and you’re all set to take softly illuminated and flattering selfies, photos, and videos. It’s made of 36 white, long-lasting LED lights and is rechargeable so that you don’t have to replace batteries. This selfie ring light is made with a scratch-resistant sponge that both keeps it firmly in place and prevents damage to your phone and camera. It works equally well in bright sunlight, overcast cloudy weather, and nighttime. There are three different brightness levels available; to change the brightness level, all you have to do is press the power button, and you can rotate between the three levels to your heart’s content. Besides the selfie ring light itself, you’ll receive a charging cable and user manual with your purchase.
Auxiwa Clip on Selfie Ring Light [Rechargeable Battery] with 36 LED for Smart Phone Camera Round Shape, White
A highly compact, portable, and rechargeable selfie ring that clips right onto your smartphone.
Best Professional Lighting Kit: GVM LED Ring Light Video Kit
This versatile and well-equipped selfie ring light kit will bring a truly professional look and feel to your photography and filming. This set includes a ring light, six detachable light bars, two 10-foot power cords, an AC adapter, a camera stand, a sturdy tripod, and a carrying bag. Thanks to the customization of the ring light and light bars, this kit offers multiple different control modes for your shooting convenience. You can use the ring light alone for a narrow beam of light, install all six light bars for a wider beam, or connect a light bar directly onto the adapter to take the ring light out of the equation altogether. Two of the light bars can also be connected to the ring light with the DC double-ended cable instead of being attached to it while still lighting up at a distance. This lets you hold the lights to the side, above, or below your subject as needed—a handy feature if you’re shooting in an area with an obscure or unusual shape. The lamp beads inside the lights won’t pulse during normal shooting speeds, so you don’t have to worry about messy light or inaccurate coloring in your photos and videos. The dimming knob on the ring makes it easy to adjust the brightness from as low as 10% up to 100% brightness capacity. The tripod is made of sturdy aluminum with a stable three-legged base and locking system that will keep it firmly in place during shooting.
GVM 600S LED Ring Light, 90W Dimmable Led Video Light Kit with Detachable Light Bars, Photography Lighting Led Video Lighting Kit for Live Broadcast, YouTube, CRI 97+ 3200K-5600K
A well-equipped selfie ring lighting kit that is highly versatile and customizable.