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Are you trying to figure out how to use a ring light for videos?

The good news is that it's not nearly as complicated as it seems!

Creating quality video content, as you likely know, requires far more than just a witty script and a nice video camera.

You also need the right lighting. Lighting sets the tone and mood of your video while also helping you create focus on your subject. 

Good lighting can make or break your video - so as you can imagine, this is not an area you can afford to be ill-informed on! 

Your ring light is going to help you create better content - but you have to know how to use it properly! That’s what we’re here to discuss today.

What is a Ring Light?

A ring light is a circular light that is meant to be fitted around your camera lens. By mounting your camera or smartphone (usually with a tripod) in the center of the ring, you'll have more direct, uniform illumination of whatever it is you are photographing or videoing.

They cast fewer shadows since the origin of the light is so close to the camera lens. This can help pick up minute details in your videos. They're perfect for shooting just about anything, whether that's food, fashion, or makeup tutorials.

Reasons to Use a Ring Light

Still not convinced that a ring light is an investment you need to make for your business? Before we dive into the details of how to set up and work with your light, let's go a little deeper into all the benefits a ring light can offer you as you are creating content.

Emphasizing Details

First and foremost, there's no better tool to help you emphasize details in a shoot than a ring light.

Originally developed for dental and medical practices, they offer laser precision when it comes to honing in on fine details. 

The unique circular design of this kind of light will allow you to use a camera within the hole, meaning you can focus on specific details with more ease.

Video Production

Ring lights are awesome for video production. If they're used as the sole source of light, they will produce gorgeous halo shadows that outline the subject of the video. This offers a dramatic and highly professional look.

Macro Photography

Ring lights also help you take detailed photographs - they're not just for video, although that's the primary purpose we'll focus on in this article.

When you are taking a photograph, using this kind of light will allow you to balance lighting so that it's evenly distributed on every single side and angle of a model or an object.

Plus, you will be able to do this without spending a ton of money.

Generating Color Effects 

Ring lights can also help you generate color effects. All you have to do is switch out regular white bulbs with different colored ones. Alternatively, you can apply a colored gel to various parts of the light.

Though this is a feature that is used less often, it is a magnificent one, to say the very least. It will let you create color washes that flow through any direction of the photo or video.

Makeup Application

When natural light is in short supply, there's no better tool for applying makeup than a ring light. That’s why you’ll almost always see these in professional salons & studios - many beauty queens even have them in their bedroom!

Are Ring Lights Good For Video? 

If you're shooting a video, whether that be with your smartphone or with your camera, you won't find a better option than a light ring.

These devices direct illumination exactly where it is needed and since they're so affordable, they should be a staple in every videographer's bag.

Using a Ring Light for Video

Ready to get started? Most of the time, you'll be mounting the light on a stand and placing it directly in front of the subject. 

Your camera will be placed in the empty space inside the ring or set slightly back from the ring. This way, the light will come from all directions around the lens, offering a soft, attractive light.

Put Camera in the Center

Begin by plugging in your ring light. These can either be plugged directly into the wall or, in some cases, powered with a USB.

Position your camera in the center of the ring light. Most ring lights come with tripods that will easily allow you to position your camera - others come with specialized holders.

If that's not the case, don't rush out and buy a tripod. You can easily mimic this effect by making a stand out of books or other objects to hold your camera.

Don’t have a smartphone or a camera? No problem! You can use a laptop camera. All you need to do is tweak the positioning a bit. You’ll put the ring light just above the upper edge of your laptop screen. That way, your face will be properly illuminated. It’s as easy as that! 

Check Positioning and Reflections

Before you start recording, try placing the light at various distances away so you can get an idea of which gap works best with your surroundings and natural lighting.

Try to avoid reflective surfaces in the shot - this can be tricky if anyone in the video is wearing glasses. However, you can position the light so reflections are minimized.

How Far Away Should a Ring Light Be?

If you want your videos to be clear, crisp, and bright, position the ring light about two feet from the subject.

The exact distance will vary depending on what kind of look you are going for in your video. Play around with it until you achieve the desired effect.

Set the Temperature

Some ring lights come with temperature controls, letting you adjust how warm or cool the light is. Play around with this to find the setting you like.

Adjust the Brightness

As with temperature, most ring lights come with adjustable brightness controls - the brighter the light, the more accurately the camera will capture colors and will sharpen the feel of the video footage.

Choosing the Ideal Ring Light For Video

Once you've learned how to use a ring light for videos, it's time to shop around for the right one. Here are some tips to help you make the best purchase.

Camera vs Tablet vs Smartphone

What kind of device will you be using with your ring light? Is it a camera, tablet, or smartphone?

You'll need to take this into consideration because the size of your device will impact how big your lights need to be.

Power and Light Size

The next thing you should consider is the size and power rating. The higher the color rendering index (CRI) and lumens (lm) in your device, the better the output and color representation will be in the object that is being illuminated.

This might not sound like a big deal and you might be tempted to buy a lower-rated device to save money. 

However, especially for shooting video, power and light size are important. Some ring lights even come equipped with dimmer knobs so that you can adjust the brightness depending on the setting, too

Flexible Neck or Rotatable Ring Head

Do you need to be able to adjust the head of the ring light so that it can cast toward the floor or (less commonly) the ceiling?

If so, you may want to choose one with a gooseneck or rotatable head so that you can cast it wherever the light is needed.

Color Temperature

Warm color temperatures are most often required when filming videos or taking photographs. However, some ring lights are equipped with the ability to change the color with snap-on filters. You can also buy ring lights that have built-in dimmers to offer the same benefit.

Fluorescent vs. LED 

Whenever possible, select a ring light that has LED lights instead of fluorescent. The good news is that most ring lights today have LED lights, since they don't get hot over long periods of use, nor do they flicker or hum.

Other Accessories 

Consider the other accessories that might come with your purchase. Some ring light sales include things like AC power adaptors, stands, mirrors, carrying bags, and phone or camera brackets. Though these aren't necessary, they certainly can sweeten the deal!

Final Thoughts On How To Use A Ring Light For Video

Still, trying to find the right light for your needs? Consider Luvo's ring light collection. The GlowPro comes with mirrors and other tools you need to create an effortless (yet undeniably beautiful) shoot.

It comes with easy-to-use, adjustable controls that will let you modify the lighting from 3200K all the way to 5800K. It's easy to achieve the perfect look with this lightweight, versatile, and portable light.

Whether you're an Instagram influencer with thousands of followers or someone who is just getting started in shooting her own videos for makeup artists to follow, the Luvo ring light is the perfect choice to create the perfect look - no filter necessary.


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