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Finding the right ring light can be a real pain. After all, there are thousands of lights on the market today and most have different features that make them suitable for different applications. For example, some are best used as a softbox while others provide low-profile or full-surface lighting.
If you are looking for the right ring light size then you are in the right place.
In this article, we will discuss exactly what you need to know about finding the best ring light size for your specific lighting applications.
What Is the Most Common Size for a Ring Light?
One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a ring light is the size. Most ring lights are sized between 10 and 18 inches in diameter, though some are larger or smaller. It’s important to choose a size that will fit properly around your subject’s face so they don’t feel uncomfortable or constrained while you shoot.
Ring lights come in different colors and styles, so it’s important to find one that will match your needs and style. Ring lights are typically powered by USB.
The 10-inch lights are considered selfie ring light, while the 18-inch lights are ideal for placing in small rooms rather than on one face.
A ring light has many LEDs. An LED ring light with a larger diameter distributes light more evenly throughout the room. An LED ring light with a small diameter has the LEDs close together, creating a more concentrated ray of light.
Another factor to consider is how much light and zoom you need for your specific shot. Some applications, such as product photography, require precise control over the brightness of ring lights.
However, for most other normal photography applications like holiday shots or casual family portraits, a higher-wattage light might be enough to produce just the lighting you need.
What Size Ring Light Do You Need for Selfies?
Whether you’re a pro or new to the game, your selfie game is bound to get better with time. And it’s not just about having the right angle, lighting, and filter. You also need to find the right ring light for selfies that can bring out the best in your complexion.
The 10-inch lights are considered “selfie” ring lights, they reduce your subject’s shadow and make them appear more balanced in the frame.
You can also find 8-inch and 12-inch ring lights in addition to the 10-inch ones.
If you want to film yourself while holding your smartphone in one hand and an 8-inch ring light in the other. The light can be clipped to your smartphone so that you can remain mobile while you film.
Lights that are 12 inches in diameter will provide a little more illumination than those that are 10 inches or 8 inches. If you choose a 12-inch ring light, you may be able to adjust the color temperature. However, they will also be more expensive and take up more space.
If you’re looking for a ring light that will give your subject more of a “pop” in the frame, then go with the 18-inch lights.
You should avoid buying ring lights that are too large or small as they won’t be able to fit around your face at just the right angle and will result in unflattering images.
What Is the Best Ring Light Size for Filming in a Large Space?
If you’re looking to film a large space like an auditorium or a stadium, then you’ll want to go with the 24-inch ring light.
This size will provide more coverage than the other options and is also able to be adjusted for different angles.
If you don’t have the budget for a 24-inch ring light, then the next best option would be 18 inches in diameter. This size will still provide enough illumination to light up a large space, but it won’t be as versatile. If you decide to go with the 18-inch size, then watch out for shadows on your subject’s face.
If you’re filming in a small space like an individual room or hallway, then one of the 12-inch ring lights will probably work best. As these aren’t as versatile and good at lighting up larger spaces (as they are focused inwards), it may not be worth spending extra money for this size if that’s all that you have available.
What Else Should You Consider Before Buying a Ring Light?
Besides the size and shape of the light, as well as its price, you’ll also want to decide on whether you need a focuser or not, and what color temperature you’d like the light to be. Additionally, make sure that your ring light is compatible with your camera’s mount.
You should pay attention to the following details:
- Color rendering index (CRI)
The CRI (Color Rendering Index) is a metric used to compare the color rendering ability of different lighting technologies.
Subpar lights often have a CRI of 90 or lower. The best ring lights have a CRI of 95 or higher.
The lower the CRI, the less accurate and true to life a light’s colors appear.
- Color temperature
The color temperature of light is the base Kelvin (K) value of that light. When it comes to photography, most professionals use daylight-balanced lighting which has a temperature of 6500K. This means that all colors in the spectrum are rendered accurately without any distortion or clipping.
Also, keep in mind that most people will judge your ring light by its color temperature, so you may want to make sure yours is as close to neutral as possible. Ring lights come with two different output levels: daylight and tungsten/HMI bulbs. If your budget allows for it, go with one of these options (but remember they can both get really expensive).
- Settings and controls
Most ring lights come with a built-in two-speed LED bulb and/or variable light, but some also offer remote vibrators as well. If you plan on using your ring light outside of your studio (either for filming or taking selfies), make sure it has the appropriate weatherproofing to match where you intend to use it.
Another important setting worth noting is whether the switch should be hardwired into the unit or if there’s an option for it to be wireless.
- Power options
While most photographers use LED lights to increase their ring light’s efficiency and versatility, some users like using CFL bulbs (also known as “warm-white” lights) versus cool colors. The reason you may want to play around with these lighting options is because they affect your final image in various ways.
Last Thoughts on Choosing the Right Size for a Ring Light
When choosing the right size for a ring light, it is important to consider your photography goal. A small ring light can be used for close-ups or details, while a larger ring light can create more of an effect.
Additionally, the type of light you choose will affect how far it reaches, so make sure to take that into account as well. Whether you are using a traditional camera flash or a LED ring light, always start with low light to capture your subject from a distance.
It is important to consider the size of the ring light when selecting one for use in photography. Generally speaking, a ring light should be about two thirds the size of the object being photographed. For example, if you are photographing a person’s head and want to use a ring light to add detail and shadow, you would need a smaller light than if you were photographing an object such as flowers.
Pros and Cons of a Ring Light
There are some pros of using a ring light as opposed to other types of lighting. One pro is that ring lights can be more portable and less expensive than other types of lighting.
They also have a wider range of light than other types of lighting, which can make them better for specific uses. Additionally, ring lights can create the illusion of depth, which can be helpful when shooting videos or images.
However, ring lights come with a few downsides as well. For instance, ring lights are not recommended for portraiture because they lack the ability to produce precise lighting and can make people look older than their real age.
Ring light kits have been known to have compatibility problems with certain lenses where shadows can appear more pronounced. Finally, for some photographers using a ring light means less light overall and can make bracketing and other processes required for photo editing more difficult.
What size ring light do YouTubers use?
YouTubers typically use ring lights that are 10 inches and 18 inches. Ring lights 10 inches and under are considered selfie lights, whereas 18 inches and above may illuminate the entire room rather than just a single face.
What Is a Ring Light?
A ring light is a flattering lighting device that is often used to create an illuminated effect around the eyes. It typically consists of a central light surrounded by several bright LED or incandescent lights that are set around the outside of the lamp body. This configuration creates a softly diffused, ethereal light that can be used to add brightness and definition to the eye area, giving you a more youthful appearance.
A good rule of thumb is to place the light approximately 2 feet (60 cm) away from your subject and have it positioned on a tripod stand, if possible. You can also use a reflector or flag as an extra source of light to help ensure that the ring light falls behind your subject, rather than in front of them.
With all the various ball lighting kits available in the market today and options to accommodate any subject, it is safe to say that there is a ring light kit out there for almost anyone’s liking. However, deciding on which option will best suit your photography needs can be tricky with so many different accessories being produced on the market.
Hope you found all your answers regarding which is the right ring light size for you. Thank you for reading this article 🙂