Makeup artist, blogger and photographer. It would seem that such different professions, but they have one common denominator — the need for a high-quality ring lamp. All of them work with visual content. To provide your product with a decent picture, you need to responsibly approach the choice of lighting. In this article, I will tell you about what a ring lamp is, what it is for and how to choose the right one.
What is a ring lamp
An annular lamp is a special device for illuminating a certain area in the shape of a torus (in simple words, a volumetric circle). Such lamps are characterized by high performance with minimal energy consumption. They have built-in LEDs, so even with a power of 4 watts, they give out the same light as conventional lamps with 40 watts. With their help, you can provide your workspace with the proper amount of light, as well as level out image defects during video and photo shooting. The device is mounted on a special tripod.
Features of ring lamps
- Eliminate shadows.
- Uniform distribution of light.
- Creating the effect of “shiny eyes”.
Also, many lamp models are equipped with special power switches, with which users can independently adjust the level of lighting.
Types of ring lamps
There are many classifications of ring lamps. They differ in power, diameter, number of LEDs, mounting features and type of light. When choosing a ring lamp, you should first of all pay attention to these criteria.
However, there is one key parameter by which all models can be divided into 2 types:
The first type of lamps, as a rule, is used to create additional lighting in the decorative design of the space: cafes, creative workshops, clubs, and the like. They can also be used to decorate the apartment. The main advantage of fluorescent lamps over LED lamps is the price. They are much cheaper. But there are also disadvantages, for example, power. The difference is about 2 times. In addition, such lamps are fragile and can break from any mechanical impact.
Fluorescent ones are not in great demand among representatives of modern professions, so we focus on the second type — LED.
What is important to consider when choosing an LED ring light
— Scope of use
Novice bloggers, make-up artists, and so on, who mainly use a mobile phone for photos, should not purchase a lamp with a wide diameter. You can take a miniature model that is mounted directly above the phone’s camera. In addition, it is very convenient to take it with you to the studio, street or anywhere else.
If you need high-quality lighting at a distance, then it is better to give preference to devices with diameters from 20 to 30 cm with a power of 30 watts. This is quite enough to provide high-quality light for a distance of up to 2 meters.
— Power indicators
Ring lamps are divided into 2 categories in terms of power:
- from 35 W for bloggers and photographers;
- up to 35 W for manicure specialists and makeup artists (here is one of the most budget options);
For beginners in blogging, 35 watts is also suitable, which will allow you to shoot conversational and dance videos at a short distance. There are lamps with a power of 80 W, designed to work with professional cameras.
However, remember that for many lamps you can independently adjust the power. You can take a high-quality lamp and, if necessary, reduce the performance to the desired effect.
By diameter, ring lamps are divided into 3 subspecies:
- Up to 25 cm — mobile lamps that are suitable for filming on the go and with constant change of locations.
- From 25 to 35 cm — ideal for employees of the beauty industry.
- Over 35 cm — universal devices that can solve problems of any complexity.
— Number of LEDs
If you do not work with professional photo and video equipment, then you should not buy a lamp with more than 240 LEDs. For those who need a maximum, 480 LEDs is the best option.
— Light indicators
Here you need to study such a parameter as the color rendering index — this is a characteristic that means the proximity of light to daylight. The sun gives out 100 Ra. If you take, say, 80 Ra, then the light will be colder and more like white. Lamps with indicators of 100 Ra will not be noticeable in photos and videos, and the picture will be as realistic as possible.
There is a caveat: not all manufacturers designate this parameter in this way. Many indicate the flow rate and operating temperature range. The following indicators are considered optimal: a minimum of 5200 lm of flow intensity and a range from 2700 to 5600 K.
Hint: The lower the number in the operating temperature range, the warmer the light. Accordingly, a high indicator gives out cold light.
Also on the market there are multi-colored lamps (RGB), with which you can make custom lighting using all the colors of the rainbow.
Almost all lamps are sold immediately with a tripod. With it, you can adjust the height and position of the lamp as you like. Tripods also have their own characteristics. For example, make sure that the ends of the legs have rubber caps that prevent slipping on the surface. In addition, evaluate the reliability of the design. She shouldn’t be squishy.
— Additional options
As I said, many tripods have an intensity control (called a dimmer). On some models, it may be presented as a remote control.
What are the brands for ring lamps
I’ve done a lot of research, identified the most in-demand ring light brands on the market, and highlighted their key benefits just for you.
- Okira are quite budget models with good quality, which do not lag behind expensive devices in terms of characteristics.
- Zomei — they have good mini lamps with acceptable power.
- Mettle is the perfect build. It looks like it was assembled by hand.
- Led Ring is the leader in terms of additional functionality.
- Impulsar are very durable models that are not afraid of mechanical damage.
- Ring Fill Light is one of the most popular manufacturers in Russia. They have quality lamps for professionals at fairly affordable prices.
- LUX — the name speaks for itself. Luxurious lamps, with the best performance at biting prices. But it’s worth it.
- Caroline — lamps with the longest service life.
- QS — there is a special connector for recharging devices.
The most important thing is to determine the purpose for which you need a lamp. Based on this, it will be easier for you to choose the most suitable model. If you’re shooting nails for Instagram, then you don’t have to splurge on a premium lamp. Take a device with an average diameter and power.
Professionals should take a lamp with a maximum diameter and a large number of LEDs. Thus, you will be able to satisfy all your requests. Even the pickiest ones.
Also think about whether you need additional options for the type of dimmer. Although, I would advise everyone to take lamps with a power switch. Whether it is not enough, when it is useful.