You don’t need to be a YouTube or Instagram influencer to invest in a lighting set up that makes you look amazing—especially when it’s this simple. A ring light produces such flattering images because it acts as a filler light, banishing unattractive shadows, and putting the spotlight on you regardless of the other lights (or lack of lights) in the room. We all take selfies—even if we pretend we don’t. The ones we picked are great for influencers, too.
These days, social media—especially Instagram—can be the difference between making it or breaking it, when running a creative business. A professional ring light will make a huge difference in your photos and videos, even before post-production. Neewer’s ring light is a favorite of makeup artists and hairdressers, especially those who use Instagram live, where photoshop and other editing tricks aren’t possible. It’s got both orange and white-colored light filters and a tripod that’s compatible with smartphones and DSLR cameras.
Sensyne’s ring light is perfect for capturing softly lit selfies, family memories, or professional video calls, and it’s our top pick because of the sheer range of what it can do. It’s got three light settings—warm light, daylight, and cool light—with 10 brightness levels in each setting. The ring light’s tripod extends from 15.7 to 50 inches, which means you can set it on a desk or on the floor. The tripod includes a stand that holds a phone camera vertically or horizontally, and a Bluetooth remote with a range of 30 feet will help capture those family photos.
For more flexibility with your lighting rig, this ring light set-up comes with a separate tripod, allowing you to stage your shot without the lighting being directly head-on. This light can be in warm, cool, or a combination of tones, with 11 adjustable light levels. Use it to get perfect lighting for your YouTube yoga class, photos of your new puppy, or lifehack tutorials. The USB charger and shorter tripod make this setup easy to travel with, too.
Front-facing smartphone cameras can capture moments with great photo quality, but they still don’t have a flash (or, at least, one that won’t leave you looking overexposed). Auxiwa’s selfie ring light clips right onto your phone, which means you can take flattering selfies any time, from wherever you are. You can also clip it to your rear-facing camera, for capturing delicious meals or nighttime pics, or around your laptop’s built-in camera.