Why buy a selfie ring light?
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. Despite the name, they’re not just suitable for selfies; these handy attachments can be used while filming videos as well as taking photographs of all sorts. A selfie ring light is a specialty ring light designed specifically to fit a smartphone or its camera lens. They’re so named because the benefits of a ring light make for smoother, cleaner, and overall better-looking selfies, pictures, and videos. They can save you the time and effort of having to retake grainy or unflattering photos or needing to edit poorly lit photos and videos. Good photography and videography is all about having proper lighting, and selfie ring lights are the perfect way to provide that for smartphones. With video conferencing more common now than ever before, a selfie ring light can be used for these video chats so you always appear crisp and well-lit during interviews and business meetings.
What should you look for in 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. Some may even fit onto your laptop or desktop camera as well.
- 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 stand, 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. Some can be quite large in size too. 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.
How do you use a selfie ring light?
Whether you buy a clip-on or tripod-mounted version, you will be surprised at how easy selfie ring lights are to use. Either attach the clip around your smartphone’s camera lens or mount your phone to the tripod; any selfie ring light worth its salt will come with specific directions to help with this steps if you need more specific guidance. Once the ring light or phone is in place, you can adjust the tripod or stand’s height as needed, then put the phone into landscape or portrait mode, depending on the photo or video you want to take. Turn on the ring light, either by the press of a button or with the remote control if it has one, adjust the brightness if needed (and your ring light has that feature). Once everything looks good on screen, you’re all set to start taking your photos or video. Don’t forget that you can also open the camera app on your smartphone and make adjustments to the settings there as well, as this can adjust or alter the appearance of your photos and videos.
Ruyilam Ring Light for Laptop Computer
A selfie ring light that can both clip onto your laptop or freestand on the included tabletop tripod.
Pros: This selfie ring light has plenty of useful features for photography, filming, and video calls alike. It stands out from most models in the sense that it can clip directly on to your computer, laptop, or tablet, or you can mount it on the included tripod; you’re not limited to one or the other. There are three colored lights: warm, cool, and daylight, and they can be adjusted between 10 different brightness levels. As a result, you shouldn’t have any problem finding the perfect setting for yourself or your subject. This particular selfie ring light is powered by an included USB cable that can be plugged into PCs, laptops, and multiple types of power banks. The brightness controls and on/off switch are located on the USB cable for easy access and clearly labeled control.
Cons: The main drawback to this selfie ring light is that, unlike most models, it doesn’t hold or fit directly on your smartphone at all. The small tabletop tripod isn’t height adjustable.
Bottom Line: Though selfie ring lights are typically associated with and made for smartphones, this particular model is designed to fit onto laptops, computers, and tablets. It’s perfect for any important video or conference calls where you need to appear as professional and well-lit as possible.
GH DYNAMICS Selfie Ring Light for Phone
A highly compact, portable, and rechargeable selfie ring that clips right onto your smartphone.
Pros: This selfie ring list is incredibly easy to use. 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 40 white LED lights and is rechargeable so that you don’t ever have to buy new or replace batteries. A battery indicator light will come on when it’s time to charge, and the included USB cables allows you to plug in the ring light and charge it during use. It works equally well in bright sunlight, overcast cloudy weather, and nighttime. There are three different color models 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. While designed to clip onto smartphones, this selfie ring light can also be attached to slimmer electronics like laptops, tablets, monitors, and even makeup mirrors as long as they’re less than 0.59 inches thick.
Cons: Though it is dimmable to a certain degree, this selfie ring light offers fewer different brightness settings than most. You’ll also want to keep the USB charging cable handy at all times, as the battery doesn’t hold a charge for super long, at least for extended use like video calls.
Bottom Line: As handy and useful as selfie ring lights with tripods can be, they aren’t always the most convenient or portable models. 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.
SENSYNE Ring Light with Extendable Tripod Stand
A selfie ring light that holds your phone securely in the center while mounted on a sturdy tripod with a wide range of height options.
Pros: Your smartphone fits right into the center of this tripod-mounted selfie ring light, allowing the light to be distributed as evenly as possible. The tripod itself is height adjustable, able to lower it all the way down to a mere 15.7 inches (1.3 feet) or extend it all the way up to 50 inches (4.17 feet). Thus it can be used as a desktop tripod or stand freely on the ground or floor. The light ring can rotate to various angles, has 10 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 allows you to take selfies, photos, and videos from a distance, if you’re out of range of the manual buttons on the phone mount. The phone mount is also extendable in order to hold a wider range of different smartphones, iPhones and Androids alike.
Cons: This selfie ring light has to be within range of a power outlet at all times, as it needs to be plugged in to work. The tripod, while otherwise functional, also isn’t quite as strong or durable.
Bottom Line: This 10-inch self ring light is a great tripod option, as the phone mounts directly into the center of the ring. Especially since the tripod is highly adjustable, allowing you to capture a wide range of heights.
Aureday LED Ring Light with Stand and Phone Holder
A highly compatible and adjustable selfie ring light that's slightly larger than average for an increased lighting range.
Pros: This selfie ring light holder is highly compatible with almost all smartphones thanks to the extendable head and can even double as a tripod for lightweight cameras (without the ring light). The ring light is 12 inches high, slightly larger than average to cast a wider range of light overall. The buttons on the head let you control the device’s power, lighting mode, and brightness levels manually, while the Bluetooth remote lets you switch between iOS and Android mode. The ring light itself features five color temperatures, two more than most selfie ring lights, with a brightness dimming range of 10% to 100%. The phone can be easily rotated between landscape, vertical, or flat mode, and the ring light is angle-adjustable as well, so you can find the perfect and most flattering angle possible. The tripod itself can extend anywhere between 17 inches to 62 inches in height with ease.
Cons: The phone clamp of this tripod selfie ring light is a screw-on rather than spring-based, so it’s a bit of pain if you ever want to switch between different phones or cameras. It’s also another tripod-based model that has to be plugged it at all times to work, and the power cord is a bit on the short side.
Bottom Line: If you want a selfie ring light that provides extra brightness, a greater range of brightness levels, and a wider circle of light overall, this will be the perfect model for your needs. Since it can double as a regular camera tripod, you get a little extra bang for your buck.
GerTong Ring Light with Stand and Phone Holder
A well-equipped selfie ring lighting kit that is highly versatile, customizable, and offers a much wider variety of light color options than most.
Pros: This selfie ring light set includes the ring light, a stable weighted tripod, a smaller miniature tabletop tripod, and a USB cord. Most notable about this model, however, is the wider range of brightness and color customization it offers. With 21 colors and more than 150 different modes and settings, this ring light offers a variety of options that most similar models can’t match. The lamp beads inside the lights won’t pulse or flicker 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 1% up to 100% brightness capacity. The tripod is also height adjustable (from 15.4 to 59 inches), while the extendable head can hold most smartphones and regular cameras, and both rotates and adjusts to different angles for even greater shooting versatility.
Cons: It is more expensive than the average model, even by tripod standards. Yet it doesn’t come with a remote control like most, so you’ll have to change all the settings manually. And it’s USB-powered so you’ll need to keep it plugged in to a power source to use.
Bottom Line: This versatile and well-equipped selfie ring light kit will bring a truly professional look and feel to your photography and filming. It offers a much wider range of colors and settings than the average selfie ring light, allowing for greater versatility than most.
Even if you’re not a social media presence or frequent selfie-taker, you can still benefit from investing in a nice selfie ring light for your smartphone. It’ll greatly reduce your risk of taking a blurry, low-quality, poorly lit photo of a scenic, vacation landscape, your pet when they’re looking cute, or any other scene you might want to photograph or film.