Part of the beauty of TikTok is the effortless, fun-loving vibe its videos give off. Users have clearly put effort into learning to dance “Renegade”, but many have become experts at making their filming process look simple. However, we’re here to tell you there’s more to a well-lit TikTok than meets the eye. After all, Charli d’Amelio’s videos don’t come out perfectly illuminated by chance.
Beyond millions of followers and major brand deals, a great ring light could be the main difference between true TikTok influencers and more casual users. Of course, not everyone on the app is hoping to reach Hype House levels of fame, but if you’re looking to up your TikTok game while social distancing, purchasing a high-quality ring light is the perfect place to start.
For those not in the know, a ring light is a relatively simple tool that delivers professional lighting conditions in photos and videos. The device is generally composed of a circle of small LED bulbs or one uninterrupted ring of light — hence the name — that provides an evenly diffused light source for photos and videos, regardless of a location’s natural light. First popularized by YouTubers and DSLR photographers, ring lights are now available in a wide variety of sizes and models, each of which fulfills a unique set of needs, from dimmable rings on tall mounts to smaller options tailor-made for phone cameras.
Though ring lights can be purchased from traditional tech retailers like Best Buy, they’re also available via Amazon, and Urban Outfitters, with prices ranging from $12 to $100.
So, whether you’re in the market for top-grade gear or a simple selfie lighting solution, keep reading for Teen Vogue’s picks for the best ring lights out there.
The Selfie MVP
This is one of the best selfie ring lights out there, but not only for its low price point and compact size. Exclusive to Urban Outfitters, the clip-on light features exceptionally bright LED bulbs and a wide-angle lens. Marked down from $15 to a mere $12, it’s bound to exceed your expectations.
$15.00, Urban Outfitters
The Carryall Kit
It’s among the pricier models on the list, but Sunpack’s 12-inch Bicolor Ring Light Kit contains everything you need to brighten up your photos and videos. It includes an expandable tripod, an adjustable phone and camera mount, a built-in USB remote, and, of course, an easy-to-use carry bag.
$70.00, Best Buy
The $20 TikTok Companion
Like the previously mentioned UO option, Bower’s handheld ring light clips on to your phone. However, this one is particularly specialized for videography, with three levels of light settings and ultra-wide range that will create stellar TikTok content, even in the dark. Did we mention it’s only $20?
The Best Seller
The Neewer Ring Light Kit has over 5,000 five-star reviews for good reason. In addition to the 18-inch dimmable ring light, the fully-equipped kit features an adjustable light stand, white and orange color filter sets, a smartphone holder, a hot shoe adapter for DSLR cameras, a remote, and a carrying case to store it all.
The Affordable Favorite
This AIXPI ring light is one of the most affordable 10-inch ring lights out there, and it’s super well-reviewed. With 10 brightness settings and 3 light modes of varying warmth levels, Amazon shoppers note that it’s both effective and easy to assemble. Plus, its tripod and USB power system mean it can double as a chic desk lamp.
The Smartphone Holder
Forget the fancy camera: This ring light can bring your vlogging dreams to life using only your phone. The UBeesize 10.2-inch ring light features an expandable tripod stand with a smartphone holder attachment directly below the light, meaning your content will always turn out well-lit and totally level.
The Rainbow Light
This 10-inch ring light gives ROY G BIV a whole new meaning. The boldest of the bunch, it boasts three filters that can be adjusted to achieve 7 unique colors. The icing on the cake? It comes with a tripod, extension stick, phone holders, Bluetooth remote, and even a mirror attachment to keep you from staring at your phone while shooting.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue