Pho­to: expertreviews.co.uk

Tak­ing good pho­tos and videos requires not only a cool script and video cam­era, but also good light­ing. It sets the mood and tone of your con­tent. With­out it, you can look dim, out of focus, or even be in the shad­ows — like an anony­mous wit­ness in a crime series.

The ring light is a sim­ple tool whose dif­fused glow will help make your work more pro­fes­sion­al. For stream­ers, blog­gers and beau­ty pro­fes­sion­als, these devices are a must. In today’s arti­cle, we tell you what to look for when choos­ing a round lamp.

Types of ring lamps

Depend­ing on the light source, there are:

  • lumi­nes­cent;
  • LED.

Advan­tages of flu­o­res­cent lamps:

  • the light tube can be replaced.

Cons of flu­o­res­cent lamps:

  • frag­ile;
  • tox­ic (con­tain mer­cury);
  • heat up and emit a hum dur­ing oper­a­tion;
  • short­er ser­vice life.

Advan­tages of LED lamps:

  • last longer;
  • less frag­ile, with­stand trans­porta­tion;
  • more envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly;
  • can be portable.

Cons of LED lamps:

  • LEDs fade over time and can­not be replaced.

From the list of advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of both types of ring lamps, it is clear that LED (or LED) mod­els are more pop­u­lar. It is from the devices of this type that we rec­om­mend choos­ing.


Ring lamps with a diam­e­ter of up to 12 cm are not suit­able for pro­fes­sion­al pur­pos­es, but they can improve the qual­i­ty of your self­ies. Pho­to: Ellen McAlpine, CNN

The diam­e­ter of the ring lamps depends on the pur­pose of use and varies from 10 to 55 cm:

  • 10–12 cm — mount­ed on a smart­phone, illu­mi­nate the sub­ject at close range, not suit­able for pro­fes­sion­al use;
  • up to 25 cm — com­pact enough to car­ry with you, a great option for blog­gers;
  • up to 35 cm — illu­mi­nate the nec­es­sary sur­face, suit­able for man­i­curists, eye­brow artists, make­up artists, lash mak­ers;
  • more than 35 cm — illu­mi­nate a large area with­out harsh shad­ows, result­ing in a beau­ti­ful pro­fes­sion­al pho­to. These are suit­able for pho­tog­ra­phers, video­g­ra­phers, beau­ty salons, blog­gers.

For exam­ple, this 12cm diam­e­ter ring light is great for self­ies and comes with a tri­pod. And this 46-cm ver­sion is more ver­sa­tile — it can be used for beau­ty blogs, sub­ject, por­trait and oth­er types of shoot­ing.

Power type

Self-pow­ered ring lamps do not restrict shoot­ing loca­tions. Pho­to: digitalcameraworld.com

If you plan to use the lamp only sta­tion­ary, options with mains pow­er are suit­able. The advan­tage of this mod­el is a long oper­at­ing time.

If you have loca­tion shoot­ing, then the lamp must be pow­ered by bat­ter­ies or via USB (for exam­ple, from an exter­nal bat­tery). The advan­tages include porta­bil­i­ty and the abil­i­ty to use out­doors, for exam­ple, in nature.

But there are also uni­ver­sal mod­els, for exam­ple, the Yongn­uo YN128 II ring light. It sup­ports 3 pow­er options — from the net­work, bat­tery or USB.


The pow­er of the ring lamp depends on the type of device:

  • in portable mod­els — 10–20 W;
  • in mod­els that work from an out­let — 20–96 watts.

The choice also depends on the pur­pose of use:

  • for shoot­ing at a dis­tance of 1.5 m (for exam­ple, for stream­ers), portable mod­els are suit­able;
  • to shoot a pho­to or video where a per­son is waist-deep in the frame, devices with a pow­er of 30–36 W are enough (for blog­gers, make­up artists, eye­brow artists, lash mak­ers);
  • for shoot­ing a per­son in full growth, close-up or a group of peo­ple — from 45 W;
  • for cap­tur­ing move­ment or pho­tos with lots of detail — 96 watts.

The FST RL40BL LED illu­mi­na­tor has a pow­er of 80 W and is suit­able for almost any type of shoot­ing (beau­ty, blog­ging, por­trait and sub­ject), as well as for make­up artists, eye­brow artists and oth­er beau­ty pro­fes­sion­als.

LED quality

Both the pow­er of the glow and the dura­bil­i­ty of the lamp depend on the qual­i­ty of the LEDs.

There are 2 types of ring LED lamps:

  • SMD LEDs with­out lens;
  • lens LEDs.

The first type is the most pop­u­lar, such mod­els shine brighter even with a rel­a­tive­ly small num­ber of LEDs (usu­al­ly 120–480 is installed in the lamp). You can ignore the num­ber of LEDs — some­times a lamp with 240 LEDs shines brighter than with 480. This is due to the fact that in the last part of the diodes it only works when a cer­tain mode is turned on (for exam­ple, cold glow).

SMD LEDs are enough for at least 50,000 hours (or 5.5 years) of con­tin­u­ous oper­a­tion.

If accu­rate col­or repro­duc­tion is impor­tant to you (for exam­ple, you work as a make­up artist or col­orist), check the Col­or Ren­der­ing Index (CRI) val­ue. To get bright and nat­ur­al skin tones, it should be 90 and above (ide­al­ly 95+). Often this para­me­ter is not indi­cat­ed in the spec­i­fi­ca­tions, so check with a con­sul­tant before buy­ing.

In addi­tion, the bright­ness of the glow depends on the num­ber of lumens (the more, the bet­ter).

The Ray­lab RL-0518 Kit ring LED illu­mi­na­tor has 416 SMD LEDs with a CRI95+ col­or ren­der­ing index and a max­i­mum lumi­nous flux of 4800 lumens.

RGB lamp

Ring lamps with RGB LEDs allow you to take spec­tac­u­lar pho­tos and videos for your blog. Pho­to: digitalcameraworld.com

Now for shoot­ing Tik-Tok, YouTube and Insta­gram often use ring lights with RGB LEDs. With a wide col­or palette and the abil­i­ty to cre­ate a shim­mer, shine or tran­si­tion effect, they allow you to cre­ate a cre­ative back­drop for a pho­to or video.

For exam­ple, the FST RL-48RGB has 108 RGB LEDs with mul­ti­ple modes (col­or wheel, emer­gency, SOS, TV, fire) to cre­ate a spec­tac­u­lar back­drop.

Colorful temperature

The col­or tem­per­a­ture is close to day­light, ide­al for apply­ing and pho­tograph­ing make­up when nat­ur­al light is not avail­able. Pho­to: spectrum-brand.com

Col­or tem­per­a­ture, mea­sured in kelvins (K), great­ly affects the aes­thet­ics of a pho­to or video. The room you are in, the clothes you wear and your skin tone can look dif­fer­ent depend­ing on the col­or tem­per­a­ture of the light.

Light types:

  • warm — the col­or tem­per­a­ture range is 2000–3000 K, usu­al­ly such light­ing is in hous­es and restau­rants, in the pho­to you can cre­ate the effect of sun­set or dawn;
  • cold — 4500–6500 K, cor­re­sponds to the light­ing of shop­ping cen­ters and bou­tiques;
  • neu­tral — 3100–4500 K, min­i­mal col­or dis­tor­tion, close to nat­ur­al light on a sun­ny day.

For exam­ple, if the light is set too warm, a per­son­’s skin may look orange, if it is too cold, life­less, painful.

It is bet­ter to choose mod­els with mul­ti­ple col­or tem­per­a­ture set­tings, such as Fuji­mi FJ-BEAUTY. For pho­tog­ra­phers, this fea­ture plays an impor­tant role — when choos­ing the right tem­per­a­ture, bet­ter images are obtained, the base light of which does not need to be fur­ther edit­ed in appli­ca­tions.


The pres­ence of a dim­mer, like the Fal­con Eyes Beauty­Light 480 LED, allows you to adjust the pow­er of the lamp glow. If not present, the light lev­el can only be adjust­ed by mov­ing the lamp far­ther or clos­er to the sub­ject.


A com­plete tri­pod will save you mon­ey. Pho­to: Ellen McAlpine, CNN

A ring lamp with a tri­pod allows you to adjust the height of the glow:

  • at the table lev­el — for make­up artists, eye­brow artists, lash mak­ers and review­ers;
  • at the lev­el of the head of the mod­el — for blog­gers and pho­tog­ra­phers.


So, when choos­ing a ring lamp, con­sid­er the fol­low­ing points:

1. pur­pose of use:

  • for lash mak­ers, eye­brow artists, make-up artists — mod­els with a pow­er of up to 30 W are suit­able;
  • for blog­gers, tik-tok­ers and stream­ers — from 35 W;
  • for pro­fes­sion­al pur­pos­es (for exam­ple, video­g­ra­phers) — the most pow­er­ful mod­els (80–100 W).

2. out­door use — if you plan to use the light for loca­tion shoot­ing or make-up, it is bet­ter to take a mod­el pow­ered by a bat­tery or via USB (or a uni­ver­sal mod­el that sup­ports dif­fer­ent types of pow­er sup­ply);

3. dimen­sions of the lamp — it should be con­ve­nient for trans­porta­tion and not inter­fere with work;

4. qual­i­ty of LEDs — SMD LEDs will last longer, CRI should be 95+ for accu­rate col­or repro­duc­tion;

5. the pos­si­bil­i­ty of remote con­trol, set­ting the pow­er of the glow, adjust­ing the col­or tem­per­a­ture, the pres­ence of a tri­pod in the kit.