Nearly every smartphone you can buy comes with some kind of “beauty mode” for the front-facing selfie lens. Sometimes it’s a straight AI call to try to improve your features, while others have a sliding scale of Photoshop-esque smoothing. There’s a fair amount you can do on-camera to improve your selfies, but you can’t easily modify the level of light around your face.
That’s where a halo ring light comes in. Human beings don’t actually have flat pancakes for faces, and that’s a big problem if you’re trying to get a perfect snap. Our faces are contoured with bumps and lumps, noses and eyeball sockets and plenty of other places where light can fall unevenly, making us look significantly less attractive. It’s an issue that only gets worse with age, because every wrinkle is also a potential source of shadows. Unless you’re going for that perpetually hungover/sleepy look – and very few of us are – that’s less than desirable.
A circular ring light – often also called a Halo light – can solve all of these problems by providing a balanced lighting array around your entire face. With LED ring lights, you can also often opt to use colour washes on the light itself, which can be great for accentuating particular features, making the most of your makeup, or just to present you in – quite literally – a new light.
Everybody wants to look their best in selfies, and this range of halo ring light options will make your Insta posts pop.
Neewer’s Photo Light Kit contains everything you’d need to get started taking better selfie shots or making YouTube or TikTok videos. It features a 48cm ring light with 5500K lighting – very bright in lay person’s terms – along with standard orange and white colour filters to let you get your best-looking video the first time out. The included tripod can hold your phone in the middle of the ring for easy shooting or a DSLR, and it comes with a simple Bluetooth shutter so you can quickly take shots or shoot video.
UBeesize 10″ Selfie Ring Light with 50″ Extendable Tripod Stand $89.99
UBeesize pitches its 10″ halo ring light as being perfect for live makeup tutorials – or any other kind of live-streaming you’d care to engage in – with a simple tripod and Bluetooth remote also part of the package. The 10″ ring light offers three white colours – warm, cool light and daylight – with 11 different intensity settings for each colour temperature.
If you shoot your video from your desk or while sitting down you probably don’t need a tripod, and this is where the smaller Ubeesize Dimmable Desk Makeup Ring Light might be a good match. It’s functionally much the same as the Selfie Ring Light, so you get three colour temperatures and 11 intensities to choose from, but with a smaller and simpler desktop-style tripod that can take up to two kilos, so it’s not just limited to simple smartphone use.
Neewer Table Top 10-inch LED Ring Light $42.99
The price is attractive, and while you might think that means Neewer’s Table Top 10-inch Ring Light is super basic, you’re actually getting a fair quantity of features for your money, including three light modes – white, yellow/white and yellow – 10 levels of brightness and a simple desktop stand. It’s pretty clearly built mostly for smartphone use, although it does feature a universal ¼” screw thread for other camera types.
Neewer Camera Photo/Video 14 inches LED SMD Ring Light $59.99
If you’ve already got a tripod you’re happy with, Neewer’s larger 14″ halo ring light might be the right buy for you. This kit includes a 14″ 5500K ring light with variable dimming, orange and white plastic filters and its own power supply – a rarity among halo ring light setups that usually presume you’ll use your phone’s charger or a portable battery to give them their glow.
Editor’s note: Descriptions and features are as taken from manufacturer/seller claims on Amazon.