Best ring light 2021: for vlogging and video calls

The best ring lights illuminate your videos and selfies for the best possible content

Woman eating a salad while on a video call with the best ring light pointed at her
(Image credit: Getty)

The best ring light might not be something you’ve spent too much time thinking about, not when you also have to consider the device you’re going to capture your videos on, however, if you invest in the best ring light, you could see your video content (and some types of stills) elevated from merely good, to excellent. 

Right now, with the popularity of video on sites such as TikTok, Instagram and of course YouTube, there’s never been a wider choice of different types of ring lights on the market. There’s something to suit every type of content creator, and even better, something for pretty much every budget. 

Whether you’re shooting with something relatively straightforward, such as your smartphone, or you’re using a more in-depth camera/video setup, then you can use a ring light to add extra illumination to your shots. You’ll typically find that the light produced by a ring light is even, flattering and can be used for both close-ups and slightly more distant subjects. 

Even better news is that you don’t need to be a leading videographer, or expert on external light sources in order to use a ring light. Most of them you simply plug in and away you go, so it’s not easy to see why they have become so popular with all types of content creator. 

When you’re thinking about the best ring light you can buy, there are a few key things to take into consideration. You’ll want to think about what size is best, how the ring light is powered (whether battery for maximum portability, or mains for maximum power), the colour spectrum it offers, how it works with your existing gear, and of course whether or not it offers value for money. 

We’ll be covering all of these points as we make our suggestions in our guide, so without further ado, read on to discover the best ring lights you can buy, and, when you're finished, also check out the best smartphone, best mirrorless camera, best compact camera or even the best webcam.

The best ring lights you can buy today:

Joby Beamo Ring Light 12”T3 Best Buy Award badge

(Image credit: Joby)

1. Joby Beamo Ring Light 12”

Best all-round value ring light for multiple types of content creator

Specifications
Colour temperature: 3000-5000K
Power source: USB / Power Supply Required (Not Supplied)
Dimensions: 12”
Weight: 0.33kg
Reasons to buy
+Good value +Portable +Compatible with multiple accessories
Reasons to avoid
-Less useful for outdoor use

Designed primarily for vloggers and mobile content creators, the Job Beamo Ring Light 12” is a fantastic all-round budget option for those just starting to think about how to improve their videos. 

It features 10 brightness levels so you can work with exactly the intensity you need, and also includes three different colour temperatures so you can get exactly the look you want. 

Available to buy on its own, or in various kits depending on how exactly you want to use the kit, the Beamo is compatible with a variety of different accessories (such as microphones, stands and mounts) and works well with smartphones and smaller cameras. 

Being small enough to be neatly portable, the Beamo is powered via USB. If you’re working with an at-home / interior set up you can plug it into a wall socket, but you can also power it via portable power banks for even more versatility.

The Beamo provides flattering coverage alongside a fun catchlight in the eye for that characteristic “ring light” effect, and is well-suited to lots of different type of content creators - or even those who want to improve the look of their working from home Zoom calls.

Razer Ring LightT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Razer)

2. Razer Ring Light

Best all-round 12” ring light

Specifications
Colour temperature: 3000-6500K
Power source: USB (Power supply required / not supplied)
Dimensions: 12”
Weight: 260g / 550g (inc. tripod stand)
Reasons to buy
+Comes with built-in tripod and mobile holder+Powerful +Flexible 
Reasons to avoid
-Power supply USB only

Although a little bit pricier than some of the models you can find, with its great build quality and excellent quality of light, you pretty much get what you pay for with the Razer ring light. 

On top of that, you also get tripod with it, so you could save some money there too - happily, the bundled tripod is steady and well-built.

Powered by USB - you can either plug the Razor into your computer or a portable USB bank, it’s not quite as bright as some of the mains-powered ring lights on the market, but it still provides enough illumination for most types of situation. It’s also dimmable in 10 steps to give you precise control over the amount of light thrown into the scene. Three different colour temperatures take you between warm, balanced and cool lighting to get exactly the type of you look you require too. 

You can attach either a mobile phone or a small camera to the tripod mount,  or use it alongside webcams such as Razer’s own Razer Kiyo Pro. You can either place your camera/phone in the middle of the ring light, or place the ring light to the side of you depending on how you want it to look - there’s plenty of flexibility here. 

RotolightT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Rotolight)

3. Rotolight Ultimate Vlogging Kit

Best small ring light for smartphone vlogging

Specifications
Colour temperature: 3200-6300K (with filters)
Power source: 3xAA batteries
Dimensions: 5.1"
Weight: 170g
Reasons to buy
+Complete solution for vloggers +Highly portable 
Reasons to avoid
-Have to change filters to adjust colour temperature 

If you’re mainly streaming video content from your smartphone and want an easy to use solution, then the Rotolight Ultimate Vlogging Kit is a great buy. 

This all-in-one kit includes not only a small ring light, but also a mini tripod, stand adapter, phone clip and accessory bar (for products such as microphones and so on).  Use it on tabletops for streaming tutorials, vlogs and other types of content. 

Being compatible with any smartphone via its extendable clip, it’s an easy choice to recommend no matter what brand of phone you prefer. It’s powered by three AA batteries so you can take it with you wherever you like and not have to worry about the power supply. You might want to invest in some rechargeable AAs though if you plan to use it a lot.

It’s aimed at smartphones, but you could also use it with “proper” cameras if you invest in the sold-separately foot for your camera’s shoe. 

The only major downside here is that although different colour temperatures are available, you’ll need to manually change the filters to achieve it, which can be a little fiddly.

SmoovieT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Smoovie)

4. Smoovie Flexi Selfie Ring Light

Best cheap ring light

Specifications
Colour temperature: 3 options (exact specifications not stated)
Power source: USB (power supply not included)
Dimensions: 6”
Weight: 600g
Reasons to buy
+Super cheap+Can be mounted anywhere +USB powered 
Reasons to avoid
-Small

If you don’t have a huge budget to spend on a ring light, this Smoovie option is a good option, providing a decent array of specs at a very affordable price. 

It’s a small ring light, which comes with a phone holder included. You can also use it with normal cameras and webcams by mounting the ring light in  a variety of different positions using the attached clamp. Having the clamp grip gives more flexibility than standard tabletop devices since you can also mount it elsewhere, such as on shelves, existing lamp stands and more besides.

Powered by USB, you can either plug the light into a power bank or your device, such as your laptop computer, making it ideal for moving around, or for using when making video calls.

This is a small and basic ring light, so although great for the price, more advanced or enthusiastic content creators will probably be looking for more.

GodoxT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Godox)

5. Godox LR150 18-inch LED Ring Light

Best large ring light for studio work

Specifications
Colour temperature: 3000 - 6000K
Power source: DC Power Supply
Dimensions: 18”
Weight: 880g
Reasons to buy
+Powerful and large +Flexible +Multiple phone mounts 
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for portable vlogging

If you’re looking for a more professional / extensive set up from a ring light, then this option from Godox makes a lot of sense. 

With its 18-inch diameter it’s ideal for recording multiple types of video content, including presenting to camera for a little distance away. With its dimmable light and three different selectable colour temperatures, you can create exactly the light you want with a flattering final result. 

You can use this light with lots of different types of camera, but interestingly you can also mount up to five smartphones for studio-type streaming from slightly different angles or different streaming services. Additionally, the light has a USB port which you can use to charge the phones at the same time - nifty. 

The Godox LR150 also comes with a tripod stand included which is adjustable into a number of different positions for ideal flexibility. Of course, being one of the larger ring lights - and being mains powered - in our list, it’s not suitable for portable vlogging and streaming, so you might find you need another smaller one for such needs.

Best ring lightT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Westcott)

6. Westcott 18” Bi-Color LED Ring Light Kit

Best professional-level ring light

Specifications
Colour temperature: 3200 - 5600K
Power source: Rechargeable Battery or DC Power Supply
Dimensions: 18”
Weight: 5kg
Reasons to buy
+Pro-level quality +Lots of mounting options +Can be battery powered for portability 
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey 

If budget is no object and you want the best of the best, then this pro-level ring light from Westcott is a smart option. 

It’s a pricey choice, but it comes with batteries and stand, and with a range of pro specs, then it’s arguably excellent value for money for those that the power and flexibility that it offers. 

With its range of colour temperatures and a built-in diffuser that produces soft and flattering light, it’s ideal for multiple types of video content, including presenting directly to camera and capturing selfies. It can be used with lots of different types of camera devices, including smartphones and cameras, thanks to the included mounts. 

The light runs is powered from the mains, but, for ultimate flexibility, it also comes with two lithium-ion batteries, giving you the option to move it around a studio, or even use it in outdoor conditions. These batteries provide up to 70 minutes at full power, so you should get plenty of bang for your buck. 

Everything in this kit fits into a handy carrying case, so you can take it with you on shoots and the like easily and neatly. Although it’s portable in this manner, for those who are primarily shooting smartphone vlogs it is of course overkill, but for the best possible performance, it’s a wise investment.

Amy Davies
Amy Davies

Amy Davies is a freelance journalist that covers cameras for T3 and many other sites. She is also Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine and, when she's not writing about cameras, she's probably taking pictures of her cute dog.