You may be asking “why use a ring light? I do ok with natural light or softboxes!” Well, if you want to capture beautiful images of your work in full detailed glory, then a ring light is the way to go. Yes, natural light is great but it’s not always there when you need it. Softboxes are great too, but they don’t illuminate your subjects in such a flattering way when it comes to beauty and hair photos.
The beauty industry is becoming ever more competitive, and if you want to attract clients then having flawless photos and video helps to give you the edge.
We’re going to give you the insider’s view on the best ring lights for your beauty and hair imagery. Whether you’re a makeup artist, hairstylist, nail artist, brow or lash technician or run a beauty salon, we’ve got a range of ring lights to suit all budgets and beauty needs.
What is a Ring Light?
The simplest explanation is just that! It’s a photography or video light in the shape of a ring. The ring shape allows you to mount your phone or camera in the middle, and this allows you to shoot from the centre of your lighting. The circular light cast on your subject gives a soft yet bright light and eliminates harsh shadows.
Ring lights are usually made from a single circular bulb or multiple LED lights encased behind a diffusing filter, and they come in different sizes from mini to large.
Why Use a Ring Light?
As mentioned above, ring lights are perfect for emphasising the little details while reducing annoying shadows and harsh contrast.
You can also generate cool colour effects by switching out the regular white bulbs with different coloured ones, or apply coloured gels for even more creative effects.
Ring lights are used a great deal by vloggers and YouTubers because the light gives a clear and professional look for filming. You can also add more sidelights to complement the main ring light and give different lighting styles.
The daylight-balanced bulbs give a perfect light source for applying makeup, lashes, or working on brows, etc. When you can’t rely on natural light, the ring light will step up to the plate.
Best Ring Light For Make-Up Artists
Because make-up artists are often dashing from one client to the next, it makes sense to have a light that’s easy to pack and take with you in its own carry bag, like the pocket rocket that is the Spectrum Aurora 14" Mini Pearl II LED Ring Light. For even more flexibility, you can get the Spectrum Aurora 'EZ-GRIP' Goose Neck Mount (sold separately) to make your ring light easier to tilt and bend into the position you need it to be in.
Your clients don’t need to be left in the dark, either - you get a mirror included with the Mini Pearl ring light, so they can see your make-up magic at work!
Best Ring Light For Hair Stylists
Ever struggled to see properly when you’re doing intricate colouring techniques or complicated styles in the salon? Larger ring lights like the Spectrum Aurora 18"/44.5cm Diamond Luxe II LED Ring Light give you that extra lighting clarity and let you see the finer details of your client’s hair without risking eye strain or a tension headache.
Best Ring Light For Nail Artists
As a nail artist, you often probably find yourself with only a limited space to work in, which can be frustrating as a lot of lighting options take up precious space. Not so with the "Inner Artist" 6" LED Table Ring Light Kit - this baby attaches to your table and has adjustable joints so you can tilt it whichever way you want.
Best Ring Lights For Tattoo Artists
Whether you’re doing a small tat or a whole detailed sleeve, the Spectrum Aurora 19" Gold Luxe II LED Ring Light Kit is large enough and bright enough to light it all up with ease and give your eyes a break.
Best Ring Light For Brow and Lash Technicians
Again, the Spectrum Aurora 19" Gold Luxe II LED Ring Light Kit scores a hit here. It’s great if you have a salon where you can keep it set up out of the way to use when you need to work. The ring light also comes with a carry bag for easy transporting if you need to do mobile work, so it’s pretty versatile.
Best Ring Light For Beauty Therapists
You need a lighting solution that’s going to help you do a lot of different treatments. Whether you’re treating your client to a relaxing facial, or doing more intricate work like microdermabrasion or derma planing, you need to be able to see those problem areas clearly.
The Spectrum Aurora 18"/44.5cm Diamond Luxe II LED Ring Light is an ideal choice here, and comes with a bendable gooseneck included so you can adjust the angle of the light to exactly the right position you need.
There are other factors that go into making a great photo or video, but having the right lighting gets you most of the way there. Other things to consider include using portrait mode on your phone, or having a decent lens for your camera to make your subjects stand out better.
Ring lights are the perfect lighting solution for you guys and gals in the beauty industry - not only is the circular shape of the light perfect for capturing details flawlessly in your images, but it also helps you to see what you’re doing clearly so you can finish the job quicker and get on to your next client.