If you are planning to stream on any channel such as YouTube, Twitch, or Facebook, or video conferencing on Zoom, you need to have the right equipment and setup. To make your streams look professional, you need quality lighting.
This is especially true if you will be using a background eraser or green screen while streaming. Ring lights are the most preferred since they save space and offer quality lighting evenly.
In essence, ring lights help to create diffused and soft lighting that results in an excellent light wash. When using them, they will evenly point at you or the object in front of the camera. Depending on its size, you can attach it to your camera to get direct light on your face while streaming.
I have researched and tested many ring lights over the past year. In this guide, I have listed 5 of the best ring lights you can buy. If you are in a hurry and can’t read the entire post, then the best ring light for streaming is the Neewer RL-12.
Top 5 ring lights for streaming on YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Zoom
Here are the best ring lights for streaming:
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1. Neewer Ring Light Kit – Best overall
The Neewer Ring Light Kit comes with all the accessories self-starters, Twitch streamers, YouTube streamers, and makeup artists need to create awesome videos with well-balanced lighting.
It allows you to set up a camera rig and simple lights for video or photo recording. Its main components include:
- An 18″/48cm Outer 55W 5500K LED Ring Light
- A 61″/155cm Light Stand
- One Soft Tube
- One White and Orange Color Filter Set
- One Ball Head Hot Shoe Adapter
- One Universal Power Adapter with US/EU Plug
- One Smartphone Holder
- One Carrying Bag
The light stand is an aluminum alloy that can go from a height of 29.5” to 61”. Its two sets of color filters help to diffuse the output, and the soft extension tube is for articulating the fixture.
Since it comes with a ball head, you can use it to mount a mirrorless or DSLR camera. If you are using a smartphone to record your streams, then the adjustable smartphone holder will clip onto the ball head.
The kit also consists of 240 individual light-emitting diodes (LEDs). It features an efficient SMD (surface-mounted) design and allows for a lower power draw of 55W.
An advantage of using it is it is dimmable, offers fixed color temperature, allows for easy light set up for streamers, and can run on 110 to 240 VAC power.
2. Mactream 6” LED Ring Light
It comes with an adjustable tripod stand as well as:
- Dimmable LED ring light
- 360°rotatable and universal phone holder
- A USB cord
- Extendable mini tripod for smartphone
- Hot shoe
The 6” LED selfie ring light kit allows you to adjust tone and brightness to give you the light you need to stream on YouTube. Each model comes with 10 level brightness and three light colors that include white, warm yellow, and white + warm yellow.
The adjustable tripod stand is well constructed and durable. You can adjust it to get a height that is ideal for your shooting needs. It can securely hold your phone, is portable, and can offer quality light both indoors and outdoors.
3. Inkeltech Ring Light
It comes with various features, including:
- IR remote controller
- Selfie controller
- Seven lighting modes
- 360 degrees rotatable smartphone holder
- Light stand
The IR remote control allows you to adjust the color temperature from 3000 to 6000K without using filters. You can get warm or white light to change skin tones and hide blemishes.
The selfie controller helps you to take photos directly. It also acts as a medium for improving the kit’s brightness from 0%-100% from up to 5 meters away.
The various lighting modes available on the ring are Night, Warm, and Cold. All allow you to find the type of light that suits your Facebook live streaming style.
4. Rovtop Selfie Ring Light
It comes with 48 LED bulbs and lots of features including:
- 360 degrees rotating gooseneck arm
- Adjustable light options
- Universal smartphone holder
- Sturdy carbon steel clamp
- Power supply
The 360 degrees rotating gooseneck arm offers stability to your camera or phone. It will hold it without bending and give it more support to shoot quality videos with a more stabilized capture.
Its arm is also flexible to allow you to adjust your camera to any angle or direction.
The light is also adjustable and comes with 48 bulbs to give you more bright lights. Half of the bulbs provide warm white, and the rest offer cold white LED to brighten the object in focus. You can use the ring light for webcam, streaming, and photoshoots.
5. Qiaya Selfie Light Ring
It comes with various features including:
- USB Cord
- Adjustable brightness options
- Customized dimmable lighting
With a built-in rechargeable USB cord, you will never need extra batteries whenever the ring light runs out of power. The adjustable brightness comes with three-level light setting options for different uses.
Whether you want to do makeup videos, take selfie photos, or shoot dark scenery videos, the ring light will highlight you and adjust the brightness based on your needs. It is also compact and lightweight. Its size will allow you to carry it around and use it in any setting.
How to use a ring light for live streaming
Using a ring light for Twitch streaming will depend on many things. For example, if you are streaming outdoors while moving, you will need to mount it on your camera. If you have a phone, place it on top of the device.
If you have a professional camera, use it by placing it around the lens. It will help to capture the focus in the eyes. Understand that there are no rules on how to use the equipment.
Everything is about experimentation. Consider placing it at different angles and sides to determine what works for you.
Things to consider when buying lights for live streaming
When purchasing lights for video streaming, the most important things to consider are:
1. Type of lighting
There are various types of lighting people use for live streaming. These include plasma, LED, fluorescent, tungsten, HMI, and ellipsoidal reflector. In most cases, videographers prefer to use LED, HMI, or fluorescent lighting.
Regardless, you should choose one that will offer continuous light allowing you to film scenes around the clock. Also, consider one that can create the effect of a sunny day even on pitch night.
2. Diffusion and dimming control
The best lighting for streaming should have diffusion and dimming control. Lack of both can lead to harsh lighting, which will blind you or your subject and create unflattering images.
When you have diffusion, it helps to spread the light evenly. As a result, it will create soft light and can even help you to improvise if you are on a tight budget.
Some lights go for as low as $10, and others start from $100. Cheap options are still ideal because they are versatile, and you can mount them in different ways.
Unfortunately, most of them lack the features that allow you to bounce the light off surfaces like walls, reflectors, or ceilings to create soft light.
The mid-range options come with practical diffusion features, provide increased total light output, and have switches that are designed to give you some control.
High-end lights come loaded with features. Some have wireless control, full-range dimmers, the ability to change color anytime, stronger output, and better diffusion.
Before buying any budget light for live streaming, determine your specific requirements. There would be no need for purchasing expensive ones when cheaper ones can be practical for you.
4. Light color temperature
Lights are not the same. Depending on the bulb’s filament, a light can appear warmer or cooler on the camera. If you look at the lights in a doctor’s office, they tend to be cool fluorescent lights.
In a typical living room, you will get warm tungsten light. The whole idea is known as color temperature, measured on the Kelvin scale.
Where possible, consider buying lights for streaming that come in one color temperature. If you mix the temperatures, it will lead to reduced color balance. In the end, your streaming will look unnatural.
Do more with even lighting!
When choosing the best ring light for streaming, consider one that comes with features such as diffusion and dimming control to spread light evenly.
Also, choose one that has a better light color temperature. Although some of them are expensive, always buy one that is within your budget.