What Is a Ring Light?

A ring light is a light shaped in a perfect circle, made up of either one circular bulb or a ring of LED lights. Ring lights are used for both photo and video work to emit uniform, flattering lighting onto your subject while reducing shadows.

If you’ve seen any beauty vlogger content lately, you’ve likely seen the effects of an LED ring light on camera. It gives the subject a soft, smooth glow while creating a beautiful catchlight (or halo effect) in the eyes.

ring light for vloggers and youtubers

In this post, we’ll go over:

  • Why you might use a ring light
  • The most popular ring light applications right now
  • How to choose the best ring light for you
  • How to use a ring light
  • Our favorite Lume Cube ring light picks

Why Use a Ring Light?

Ring lights make your subject look flawless on camera, and will instantly elevate your content. They give any shot a uniform, professional glow every time while eliminating harsh shadows. They’re also very easy to use for beginner photographers, videographers, and vloggers.

These lights tend to be easy to find these days, making them an accessible way to achieve high-quality lighting. Content creators especially love ring lights for their versatility and creative potential.

LED Ring Light Applications

LED ring lights are being used for more and more creative applications every day. Here are some of the most popular ways to use one right now.

Macro Photography

Macro photography has seen a huge burst of popularity lately. Since LED ring lights distribute light so evenly, it makes them ideal for close-up shots. Learn more about macro photography here.

Portrait Photography

LED ring lights make any subject pop without washing out facial features or creating harsh shadows. The catchlights the ring light creates in the eyes also add an element of visual interest.

Videography

LED ring lights are a go-to choice for videographers. A ring light gives your videos a professional, cinematic feel with even, consistent lighting in every shot. You can also use additional lights to complement the ring light and create a 2-point or 3-point lighting setup. We like the Lume Cube Edge Light 2-Pack or Broadcast Lighting Kit 2-Pack for this use case.

Color Effects

On some ring lights, you can use colored gels, swap out the white bulbs for colored bulbs, or adjust the color temperature. This opens up endless creative possibilities for both photography and videography.

ring light for vloggers and youtubers

Makeup Tutorials

If you’re not using a ring light for makeup vlogging, you’re missing out! Because ring lights emphasize detail and smooth out shadows, they’re the perfect tool for makeup video tutorials.

Social Media Content Creation

Why use a ring light for live streaming on Twitch, TikTok, or Instagram Live? They’re affordable, studio-quality, and make your content stand out from the rest.

How to Choose the Best Ring Light

There are a lot of different LED ring lights out there, and it can be hard to know which one is right for your needs. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing your ring light.

Strobe Ring Light vs. Constant Ring Light

There are two formats of LED ring lights: strobe and constant. If you’re a content creator, you’ll likely want to choose the constant version, as it will produce smooth, even light for your videos. A strobe ring light flashes with the click of the shutter and sometimes requires more of a learning curve.

Ring Light Color Temperature

You’ll also want to check the color temperature of your ring light. You’ll want the flexibility to adjust to different color temperatures, with a range from warm to cool light.

Ring Light Size and Brightness

Finally, you’ll need to decide on the power and size of your ring light. If you want to create a halo effect in the eyes of your subject, you’ll likely need a much bigger ring light. However, smaller ring lights can have a similar effect when used close-up. You’ll also want to get a ring light with adjustable brightness to have full creative control of your shot.

Don’t know where to start? The Lume Cube Cordless 18” Ring Light or Cordless 12” Ring Light Mini are great choices for constant light with adjustable color temperature and brightness.

How Do You Use a Ring Light?

Ring lights are easy to set up and use for any photographer, videographer, or vlogger. Typically, you’ll position your LED ring light in front of your subject, with the camera in the center of the ring’s circle.

Check out this quick video to learn how to use the Lume Cube Cordless 18” Ring Light.

Get Started with Ring Lights

Ready to create flawless content? All of our Lume Cube LED ring lights have adjustable color temperature and brightness and hours of constant light. Plus, our cordless, battery-powered options mean you can take professional light with you wherever you go. Just mount your camera or smartphone to elevate your next vlog or video shoot. Check them out below:

Cordless 18” Ring Light
Cordless 12” Ring Light Mini
Cordless 18” Ring Light for Live Streaming
Cordless 12” Ring Light Mini for Live Streaming