Are Ring Lights Good for Streaming?


If you’re just starting your video streaming channel, you’re probably wondering about the best lighting options out there. With so much to choose from, it can be hard to decide which is right for you. Many say that ring lights are the way to go, so are ring lights good for streaming?

Ring lights are good for streaming your video content. They can be an inexpensive option for beginners. These ring lights don’t heat the rest of the room, and they’re less likely to become a fire hazard. The design of the ring light also makes it perfect for removing shadows from your subject.

Let’s take a closer look at why ring lights work so well for streaming.

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Why Use a Ring Light for Streaming?

Since ring lights are so popular, it’s easy to wonder what makes them so great to use for video streaming. They make great additions to your video studio because of the versatility they offer. Ring lights make it easy to eliminate shadows on a subject and provide you with even light exposure around their face. 

Below is a list of the pros and cons of ring lights for streaming.

Pros

  • Great design for the details. The ring design makes it a perfect companion for your phone or camera. You can place the device right in the center, which helps prevent shadows on your video subject.
  • Makes up for natural light. Most ring lights are designed to recreate the same lighting effects as natural light, making this perfect for overcast days or when natural light is limited.
  • Easy to use. Most ring lights are so easy to use. You simply set up the stand and attach the light to the top. Generally, these ring lights don’t require any additional software that needs to be downloaded. They work as plug and play devices, and some can even plug right into your phone or camera.

Cons

  • Only good for up-close shots. Ring lights work best for up-close shots. There isn’t enough power in the lights of the ring for subjects that are further away. They become less effective as your subject moves away from the light. 
  • Creates rings in the eyes of subjects. Because the ring is so close to your subjects, you’ll sometimes see a ring in their eyes. This can be distracting for your viewers. 
  • Replacing blown out lights could be expensive. Because of the ring light’s design, the actual bulbs are difficult to access. You would have to replace the ring light completely.

Check out our article on streaming lighting tips for people with glasses here!

How to Use a Ring Light for Videos

While the use of a ring light is pretty straight forward, there is a certain way to use it to ensure the best results possible. If not used properly, the ring light won’t work for your video. Instead, it could produce more shadows in areas that you don’t want or need them.

Below is a step by step guide on how to properly use your ring light.

  1. Set up the light’s tripod or stand. Read the instructions for your ring light thoroughly and set up the tripod or stand according to the manual’s specifications.
  2. Place the camera in the middle of the ring. You may need to purchase an additional attachment if your ring light doesn’t come with it already. Placing your camera in the center of the ring will ensure the best lighting is captured during your video.
  3. Position the ring light directly in front of your subject. Similar to the step above, you’ll want to directly place the ring light in front of your subject to get even light distribution throughout your videos. 
  4. Keep the ring light close to your subject. You’ll want to keep the ring light close to your subject. The further away the light is, the more shadows you’ll have. 
  5. Avoid angling the light. Typically, you’ll want to avoid angling the light. Ring lights don’t force the light out in one direction, which is why they are best to use up close. If you need to angle the ring light because of the glares on your glasses, make sure you have an additional light source to compensate.

Check out this short video below for an easy explanation of how to use a ring light for videos.

Choosing the Best Ring Light

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to ring lights. You’re going to want to choose a light that fits your budget and has the features you need. 

Decide on Your Budget

Ring lights can range in prices between $25 to $200 depending on the features and quality of the light. The type of bulb in your ring light will also vary the price. LED lights tend to be cheaper, however, replacing them when they burn out typically involves replacing the entire ring light. 

It’s important to decide how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping around. This will make the search a lot easier for you.

Light Size

Ring lights come in many different sizes. There are smaller ones that can be 6” in diameter, but you can also find some that are 20” or more in diameter. You’ll want to consider the studio space you have and how much light you need. You’ll also want to consider if you need something that is easily transported. 

The common size you’re going to find is a ring light that’s 10” in diameter. When deciding on the size you want, think about what you’re using the light for. Some use them artistically by finding fun and creative ways to incorporate the ring light into the video, such as having their subject use the ring light as a prop. If that’s the case, you won’t need anything too big or powerful.

Choose a Light With Multiple Settings

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to lighting your video for streaming. This means that you’ll want to find a ring light that does most (if not all) of those things. This is especially true if you’re planning to use the ring light as your sole source of light in your videos.

You’ll want to consider finding a ring light with a dimmer setting. This will allow you to control the light’s intensity, which can help save your eyes from staring at something too bright. Another setting you’re going to want is a color temperature controller. This will allow you to shift the color the light produces, which can drastically change your video’s tone.

Get a Ring Light With a Camera Attachment

Buying a ring light that comes with a camera attachment will save you a lot of frustration and money in the long run. This is a great feature to have when you first purchase your ring light because your camera’s best placement is in the center of the ring.

Of course, you can rig something to set up your camera in the center of the light, but it’s so much easier when your ring light comes with one. This attachment usually connects the camera to the tripod while placing the ring light around the camera lens.

Compatible With Devices

Some ring lights will allow you to plug your devices into it directly. This means you’ll want to find something compatible with your specific device. Compatibility is another factor for the camera attachment feature. You don’t want to get a ring light that will hold an iPhone X, but your camera is a GoPro.

Check out to see if ring lights are good for zoom calls here!

Summary

Lighting is an important part of your video streaming setup. You want to make sure you set the mood for the video and provide the viewer with the best visuals possible.

The lighting can make or break your video’s success, and a ring light is a great option to consider. If you’re looking for a good light source for streaming, you’ll want to give a ring light a try.

Check out how ring lights compare to key lights for streaming in this article here!

Sources

Vinnie

I'm Vinnie, and I'm here to support you to create your own studio at home, whether it’s for photography, recording audio, podcasts, or videos!

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