What To Do if a Ring Light Makes You Look Bad?

Ring lights are popular lighting tools mostly used by digital content creators and photographers. Although designed to improve the quality of images, incorrect use of these devices can make you look bad or uncharacteristically weird. This begs the question, what can you do if a ring light makes you look bad?  

You can change the position of the ring light, adjust its lighting, or change the color temperature if it makes you look bad. It also helps to add another light source, wear bright-colored clothes, and even use editing software to improve your look

If you want to know how to take stunning shots always using a ring light, keep reading to learn how to make the most out of your ring light. Ready? Then let’s get straight to business. 

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What Is a Ring Light and How Does It Work? 

A ring light is disc-shaped lighting equipment for equally brightening a subject in a close-up video or photo. It produces a circle light that illuminates a soft and straight light, minimizing the subject’s shadows. Also, it decreases shadows, giving consistent brightness to a set or a subject.

A camera lens is usually placed in the middle of a ring light to ensure that light is evenly distributed on a subject.  

Since its creation, the ring light has become a popular device for photographers and videographers that want to create high-quality videos and images. With a ring light, you can create top drawer videos and photos without necessarily spending a fortune.

For more information, check out to see if Ring Lights are good for Zoom Calls.

How a Ring Light Can Make You Look Bad

When using a ring light, the circular light produces a reflection that forms on your eyes. While some love this effect, others may not be so fond of it as it creates a distraction.

As previously mentioned, a ring light produces light directly towards the subject. This creates a risk of the background not being illuminated well enough, which can take away from the quality of your photo or video. 

Light from the ring light might also place excess focus on one particular area of your face, which might create a shadowy effect on the background surface and other poorly lit parts of your face.

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What To Do if a Ring Light Makes You Look Bad

In case you don’t like how a ring light makes you look, here are some solutions that can improve the overall quality of your videos or images. 

Check Ring Positioning

Realistically, it isn’t easy to eliminate shadows using a single light source. But you can greatly reduce this, especially when using a ring light. 

The soft light produced by a ring light goes a long way in helping with this. However, further adjusting the ring position creates a softer lighting effect, making you look better.

To ensure a ring light makes you look good, always check on the ring positioning, which means checking if the camera lens is placed strategically, preferably in the middle of the ring. Doing so will remove any uneven lighting, reflecting the camera from your face, thus reducing the shadows.

For video, a ring light should always be placed directly in front of your face. Placing it this way ensures the whole face is evenly lit with no shadows. The tripod should also be strategically positioned such that it matches your height with the lens facing you. 

It’s important that you eliminate angles between you and the ring light so as to reduce the impact of glares and shadows when recording.

You can point the ring light towards the surface and increase the light intensity if you have a reflective whitewall or surface. The reflected light will brighten your face evenly without reflecting too much on your eyes.

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For photography, it’s advisable to raise the ring light to a slightly higher position than the subject. Once well positioned, you should then tilt the lighting device such that it faces you directly.

Try Different Color Settings

Finding the right balance between warm and cool colors may be what you need to make your videos stand out. While most brands will have an option for adjusting color settings, some, unfortunately, don’t. 

Cheap ring lights will mostly have you rely on the bundled orange and white filters that don’t give you much customizability and flexibility during use. So if your ring light has color settings, do make the most out of them.

Check the Brightness Settings 

Having the right brightness setting levels could also add that much-needed spark to your videos and photos. Luckily, this doesn’t need to be adjusted manually, as most cameras and phones have an auto light adjustment mode. If auto adjustment doesn’t work for you, you can always manually increase or decrease the lighting levels to one that suits you best.

Wear Bright Outfits 

Similar to other artificial light sources, a ring light will slightly reduce the color intensity of the outfits you put on. You might end up looking bad or unattractive if you use a ring light but don’t put on the right type of clothes. 

As a result, it’s highly advisable to wear bright, colorful clothes to make the most of your ring light. And while you can also pull off dark outfights, playing around with colors can help add that much-needed glam to your photos. 

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Check Your Recording Device

It could also help if you checked your recording device before hitting that record button. You can check different lighting settings, the recording mode, and whether some in-app settings have been turned on or off. 

Sometimes, the problem isn’t with the ring light but with the recording device. This explains why doing a small pre-shoot recording can help you get the right balance, thereby allowing you to make outstanding videos. 

Add Another Light Source

So you’ve tweaked all the camera and ring light settings, but you still aren’t getting desirable results. Using a single light source may not be enough for every recording situation.

Therefore to support your ring light you can add fill light to brighten up your face and eliminate those unwanted shadows.

And although adding a light source isn’t compulsory, it can help you improve the quality of your photos and look more like your true self on camera. 

Use Editing Software

If you’ve made all the necessary light and color settings, but you still look bad, your only hope might be editing your photo or video to eliminate shadows and other unwanted background effects. 

When making edits to your photos or videos, you may also tweak color correctness and brightness settings. If you got the lighting right before shooting, then the number of adjustments needed while editing might not be too much. Therefore, try as much as possible to get the settings right as you start recording. 

Consider using different editing software to get the outcome you desire. Point to note, though, over editing your photos and videos can end up doing more harm than good.

Wrapping Up 

A ring light is designed to make you look good by improving the overall quality of your images and videos. You should always check on your ring light’s brightness settings, color settings, and positioning before hitting the record button. Adding another light source and making edits to your video can also make you look better.

You can also dress in non-dull outfits to add a bit of spark to your images. The trick with ring lights is to try out different settings until you find one that perfectly suits you and your outfit of the day. 



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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