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Updated March 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for best selfie ring lights

Gone are the days when you had to ask a friend or even a stranger to snap that perfect photo of you. Considering how easy and convenient it is to snap a selfie these days, there’s no excuse for not having at least one photo of yourself that you absolutely love. The challenge, though, with taking selfies is getting the lighting just right. If you want to make sure you always have the ideal lighting conditions no matter where you take a photo, a selfie ring light is a must-have.

A selfie ring light illuminates the area around your smartphone for perfect lighting every time. You can use it in both indoor and outdoor settings, and many styles are lightweight enough that you can easily take them with you on the go.

If you want the best lighting possible, you have to choose the right selfie ring light. That means figuring out which models are compatible with your smartphone, the style of ring light you need, and the type of power you prefer. Our handy guide has all the tips and tricks for choosing the best selfie ring light for your next photo session.

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Bigger selfie ring lights typically provide the best lighting for your selfies, particularly in dimly lit settings.

Key considerations

Compatibility

The first thing to consider with any selfie ring light is whether it will work with your particular smartphone. Some models are only designed to accommodate iPhones, while others can only fit Android phones. If the light attaches to the phone directly, make sure it will fit your model.

If you want to use a selfie ring light with a DSLR camera, make sure that the model you choose is compatible with that device, too.

Clip-on vs. freestanding

Selfie ring lights are available in two styles: those that clip onto your phone and those that are freestanding. Some models can be used both ways.

Clip-on selfie ring lights tend to be the most lightweight, compact options, so they’re ideal for travel or selfie-taking on the go. They don’t offer much in the way of adjustability, though.

Freestanding selfie ring lights are larger and designed to stand behind your smartphone when you snap photos. They include a tripod for your phone so you don’t need to hold it yourself, and they often allow you to adjust the light to direct it exactly where you want it. Freestanding models tend to be fairly bulky, though, so they aren’t always the best option for travel.

Features

Power

Most selfie ring lights are battery-operated, which means there’s no cord to get in the way and no need to be close to an outlet. The batteries are usually rechargeable, so you can easily charge them with a USB cable. In most cases, you’ll get at least three hours of battery life out of a selfie ring light, though some models offer up to 10 hours of battery power before they require recharging.

Some freestanding selfie ring lights have an AC adapter that requires an outlet to power the light. While you can usually only use these lights indoors, you never have to worry about the battery running out when you’re in the middle of taking photos. Just be sure to choose a model with a long power cord of at least five feet so you can easily position the ring light.

Size

Selfie ring lights vary in size from small, compact models to large, tabletop styles. Clip-on lights are usually small and lightweight, which makes them easy to stash in a bag or even your pocket. Freestanding selfie ring lights are typically larger, so they work best if you mainly take selfies at home.

Light settings

For the most versatility, choose a selfie ring light with multiple light settings. Opt for a light with at least three different brightness levels to account for the various lighting conditions you might experience.

If you want to customize your lighting even further, choose a selfie ring light with a dimming feature. Some models allow you to dim the light all the way from 100% to zero, which provides the most control over how much light you use for each selfie.

Remote

Clip-on selfie ring lights often include a remote that can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. A remote allows you to easily capture photos and video with the touch of a button and at a distance from your phone.

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Selfie ring light prices

Selfie ring lights vary in price based on type and light settings. Most lights cost between $7 and $55.

Clip-on selfie ring lights with only a few brightness levels typically range from $7 to $16. These models are usually extremely lightweight and compact, so they’re ideal for taking on the go. They don’t necessarily offer the best lighting conditions, though.

For clip-on and freestanding models that offer three brightness levels and a Bluetooth remote, you’ll usually pay between $16 and $30. The clip-on models are travel-friendly, but the freestanding models are usually best for home use. The remote makes taking perfect selfies even easier.

Freestanding selfie ring lights that offer a dimmer feature for full control over the lighting level and a Bluetooth remote usually run from $30 to $55. These models aren’t especially travel-friendly, but they provide the most lighting options for your photos.

Tips

  • Pay attention to the background when you’re taking selfies. A bright-colored background like red, blue, or green may reflect on your face when you use a selfie ring light, distorting your photos. White or light-colored backgrounds are usually best.

  • If you’re using a clip-on selfie light, experiment with the angle that you hold your phone to figure out the best lighting for your photos.

  • Always place freestanding selfie ring lights on a stable surface. You don’t want the light to wobble as you’re trying to snap your selfie.

  • If you’re using a freestanding selfie ring light, position it so that it’s at eye level. That provides the most flattering lighting for your photos.

  • Pair a clip-on selfie ring light with a selfie stick to get the ideal lighting for shots that you take at a greater distance.

Other products we considered

There’s a wide range of selfie ring lights on the market, so you can usually find the perfect option for your photo needs. The OURRY Clip On Selfie Ring Light is an ideal option if you’re looking for a small light that’s easy to take on the go.

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Since 2011, over 227 million photos shared on Instagram have been captioned #selfie.

FAQ

Q. What are the benefits of using a selfie ring light?

A. With a selfie ring light, you’re guaranteed perfect lighting for all your photos. Specifically, the light can prevent shadows from falling over your face. It can help make sure that your photos don’t have any unattractive orange or yellow tones, too. A ring light also helps improve the quality of your selfies because it reduces the chance of pixelated areas in photos.

Q. Can I place a clip-on selfie ring light on a phone with a case?

A. Most clip-on models are designed to fit over a case. However, it depends on the design and thickness of your case. The clip is usually somewhat flexible so that it can accommodate a variety of cases. If you find that the clip won’t fit over your case, though, don’t try to force it or you may wind up breaking it.

Q. Do I have to use a selfie ring light with a smartphone?

A. Most clip-on selfie ring lights are designed to fit on a smartphone and likely can’t be attached to a traditional DSLR camera. You can usually use your clip-on light with a tablet, and you may be able to clip the light onto a table or other flat surface, though. Freestanding selfie ring lights can be used with any type of camera because you can simply place the camera on a tripod and set the light where you want it.

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