Ring lights and flashes are great tools for enhancing portraits, macro photography, and selfies. The lights in this list give users the ability to beautifully and symmetrically light their subjects in a variety of configurations. Some of these lights are large and include stands, others are much smaller, and can attach to one’s phone. No matter which light suits your needs, the one thing these lights all have in common is that they are simple to use and serve a somewhat narrow purpose: lighting reasonably close subjects, usually a single person or a small to medium-sized object. Ring lights give a special, shiny and professional look to photographs, but they’re not great for big groups of people, or big objects.
Here are the top five best ring lights from highest to lowest price.
1. Neewer Dimmable 18-inch Ring Light
Including a hot shoe mount, stand, and boasting a large 18 inch diameter, the Neewer dimmable ring light allows for flexibility and ample lighting in capturing subjects. Its 59 inch stand should prove to offer enough height for most use cases. Another great perk of this light is that it has a long cord, meaning one should be able to place it where they need it. It’s praised as great for portraits, videos, and photographing objects for sales-types of shot. This is a high quality professional tool at a reasonable price.
- Kit includes hot shoe and flexible arm for positioning
- 59 inch stand height
- Includes white and orange filters
- Hot shoe adapter means it will work with most cameras
- Includes long cord and heavy duty thumb screws
- Praised as great for portraits and videos of makeup tutorials
- Some found quality to be insufficient
- Some users had issues with customer service when product had issues
- One user found the lights’ buzzing to be irritating
- Overkill for many users
2. Neewer 14-Inch Dimmable Ring Light
While slightly smaller than its 18-inch big brother, this Neewer light boasts a slightly taller stand (61 inches compared to 59 inches), great durability (50,000 hours of LED life), and an international plug meaning that this light will work throughout the world. Another nice bonus is the included travel case. Since this light uses LEDS it also avoid pitfalls that occur with conventional lighting, such as high heat and high electricity consumption. All in all, this is very comparable to number one on our list, but with just a little bit less light, an excellent model for professionals or serious amateurs.
- 61″ light stand for moving light
- 50,000 hours of LED life
- Praised as superior than a three piece lighting kit
- Includes international plug for international
- Doesn’t get hot like normal lightbulbs
- Includes travel case for portability
- Some users found lack of instructions difficult
- One user had an issue with a battery pack failing
3. AW Pro 19″ Light
This tremendous AW Pro 19″ ring light is bigger than the above two models, but one will need to have a tripod or stand to mount it. It also includes a hot shoe mount and is praised as a high quality make-up and portrait light. The photos speak for themselves; this light allows one to take great, evenly lit portraits. It includes a bracket to mount onto tripods and stands, meaning that this light can be a good way to save money if you have an extra stand or tripod lying around. While some users had issues, for most, this light proved to be a great, affordable way to light their pics.
- Includes wraparound light which reduces wrinkles
- Includes bracket to mount on light stands
- Slot in middle of ring attaches to hot shoe
- Praised as high quality makeup light
- Some users had an issue with durability
- A few users’ lights failed
4. Timack RF-60D Macro Flash
Including a slew of adapters and working with both Canon and Nikon models, this Macro Flash provides a variety of lighting options. It includes four diffusers for different shooting options: orange, blue, white, and oyster. This is great as a beginner light and for one taking very tight, up close pics. The 18 LEDs that line the front of it provide ample light and can do so continuously, in stable semi mode, or in full light.
- Fits on any model of Nikon or Canon
- Can provide continuous, stable semi light, and full light for photos
- 18 high intensity LED lights
- 4 diffusers included: orange, blue, oyster, white
- Includes adapter rings for different size filters: 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm
- Praised as great for beginner
- Not very compact
- One user said flash didn’t fit on Rebel T2i
5. Auxiwa Clip-on Ring Light
The Auxiwa Clip-on light is a great solution for those looking to use their phone or even their camera. It’s great as a clip-on selfie attachment, but since it’s so easy to carry, it can make a great tool to carry around and use with a DSLR, given that one is photographing very close-up portraits or items that are small (smaller than a bread basket). It’s not the most powerful light on the list by far, but for many, this is a good starter light to get an idea of the capability and look that ring flashes provide, but it’s also convenient and easy to use.
- Have improved lighting for selfies
- Easy to use, portable
- Simple for close-ups in photography and video
- 3 brightness levels
- Has a rechargeable battery
- One user’s rechargable battery failed
- A few users report that light is washed out
- Some report poor battery life
Still looking for the right ring light? Browse more top-rated ring lights on Amazon.