Do Ring Lights Ever Burn Out? What You Need To Know


With people putting out images and video content on all sorts of photo and video sharing platforms and virtual meetings becoming the norm, ring lights are now a very common and necessary tool. They help you make better-quality videos by lessening shadows and evenly distributing the light on the subject. But do ring lights burn out or stop working?

Ring lights eventually burn out, but how soon that happens depends on whether they use fluorescent or LED bulbs. Generally, LED ring lights last much longer than fluorescent ring lights. LEDs usually give you 50,000 to 100,000 hours of use while fluorescents give you 7,000 to 25,000 hours.

In this article, I will be talking about how long ring lights usually last and how to tell when they are about to burn out. I will also talk about LED lights, which have fantastic longevity, and how long you can leave them on.

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How Long Do Ring Lights Last?

Not all ring lights are created equal, so they don’t have the same lifetime. 

There’s no “set time” for when ring lights burn out; some burn out sooner than others, while some could potentially last a really long time as long as their users take care of them. It all depends on the kind of bulb used for it. 

A ring light is made using multiple small LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights connected to each other and arranged in a circular form or a single circle-shaped fluorescent bulb. Ring lights that use LED bulbs generally last longer than those using fluorescent bulbs. 

The lifetime of a light bulb is typically measured or expressed in hours of use. Fluorescent bulbs generally have a lifespan of somewhere between 7,000 to 25,000 hours. Meanwhile, LED bulbs have a rated life of more than 50,000 hours

In fact, according to Home Studio Expert, well-manufactured LED bulbs could last up to 100,000 hours. Yet, there are also lower-quality LED bulbs that burn out after 35,000 hours of use.  

For more information, check out whether ring lights are good for Zoom calls.

How To Know Your Ring Light Is About To Burn Out

Signs that your ring light is about to burn out differ, depending on what kind of bulb you are using. Different types of light bulbs deteriorate differently. 

While incandescent bulbs peter out or fade away when they run out of life, fluorescent bulbs flicker. On the other hand, LED bulbs do not contain a filament, so they don’t burn out the same way as incandescent lights. 

In fact, LEDs technically don’t burn out when they are nearing the end of their life. Instead, they gradually dim. This is because, as their components age, they become less efficient at emitting light.

In rare times when LED bulbs do burn out, it’s usually not because of the diode itself. LEDs have a complex capacitor, which converts AC to DC and, over time, it chemically decays. This capacitor deterioration, in turn, causes the bulb to eventually stop lighting up.

Why the Best Ring Lights Use LED Bulbs

The best ring lights nowadays use LED bulbs, mainly because of their longer lifespan. It is said that you can use your LED ring light for ten hours a day, and you’d still be able to enjoy your ring light for 14 years before it burns out. 

Yet another reason why LED ring lights are the best is that they are energy-efficient. LEDs, for one, don’t light up a large area and don’t disperse light where it’s not needed. Instead, they direct the brightness towards a specific spot. Moreover, they use way less heat energy.

So, while high-quality LED ring lights are a bit more pricey than those using other types of bulbs, they give you real value for your money because they offer superior lighting and, in the long run, they help you save money, too. 

Aside from the fact that you won’t be needing to buy a new ring light for a while as long as you take very good care of your current one, you also won’t need to spend too much as far as electric bills are concerned.

How Long Can You Leave Your Ring Light On?

LED lights are great for prolonged use. 

Technically, you can leave LED lights on 24/7 because they don’t produce an excessive amount of heat. However, ring lights that are rechargeable or use batteries can only stay on for as long as their batteries last or remain charged.

Given that you can leave a LED ring light on for many hours, the real question is whether you actually film videos or shoot close-up photos the entire day? You probably don’t. So, there is no point in leaving your LED ring light on for that long. It would only be an unnecessary waste of energy.

Powering your LED ring light entails electric consumption, which contributes to air pollution, thanks to the harmful gases released by power plants. Additionally, leaving lights on also causes light pollution, which has a hand in disrupting ecosystems. But while lighting makes up only an average of 5% of the total household energy usage, and ring lights even much less, wasted energy still adds up quickly. 

As such, using your LED ring lights only for the duration necessary is still the best practice.

Moreover, cheap ring lights may use poorly manufactured LED bulbs and components that do not meet safety standards. So they can be overvolted, undercooled, and poorly wired. Such LED ring lights may not do well in a stress test and may not be good for extended use.

Shopping for a Long-Lasting Ring Light

LED is the way to go if you want to get a ring light that will last you a long time. And since most modern ring lights already use LED bulbs, this part is going to be easy. They are also more affordable than the professional ring lights of the old days, so you have plenty of options fitting your budget.

Getting a high-quality LED ring light is also essential. It helps make sure that you have a product made of well-manufactured components. Take note, however, that quality is not always directly proportional to price. There are also budget-friendly options that deliver excellent performance and longevity. 

So, the best way to achieve this is to do your research, look into highly recommended products, and then read customer reviews. Seeing what other users say about a particular ring light will help you know whether it’s worth buying. If it’s not, then proceed to the next brand on your list.

More often than not, however, a ring light with a bigger diameter plus more features means the pricier it is. You can get a larger ring light if you are into serious portrait photography or into streaming your videos live. This way, you can consider it an investment. But if you are just into selfies and small projects, a smaller, lower-quality, and therefore cheaper ring light will suffice.

You may also pick a ring light with dimmable lights, Bluetooth connectivity, or changeable lighting colors. 

Check out which is better for streaming: ring lights vs. key lights.

Conclusion

Ring lights eventually burn out or wear out and become out of commission when they reach the end of their lifespan. However, this lifespan depends on the kind of bulb used for a particular ring light. Fluorescent ring lights burn out a lot sooner than LED ring lights. 

The good news is that most modern ring lights use LED bulbs. That means you can use them for an average of 50,000 hours, which is a really long time. The best and the most well-manufactured LEDs can even last 100,000 hours.

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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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