What’s The Deal With Ring Lights? Draco Blog
They seem to be everywhere. From TikTok, to YouTube, to your 10:30am team meeting. Ring lights suddenly appeared everywhere over the past couple of years. If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably found yourself searching for one as well! But one question we get from customers a lot here is: Why? What is it about these ring lights that made everyone suddenly decide that this is the must-have, go-to tool for Snapchat? Below, I’ll quickly break down some of the pros and cons of why even your neighbour’s dog just picked up a ring light for his TikTok.
Lighting can get really complicated, really fast. Whether you’re lighting a full scale studio or just the desk in your home office, many people quickly realise that achieving that perfect look with their lighting isn’t that easy. That leads us to the first thing that makes a ring light so appealing: It’s an easy solution that’s ready to go right out of the box.
Instead of setting up multiple lights and positioning them just right, you can get a clean, even look by setting up just a single light. There’s really nothing to figure out about positioning. Since a ring light is designed to go around the lens of you camera, the position will be the same 99% of the time: right in front of you. Turn it on, and you’re ready to shoot. Easy.
Whoever it was that came up with the idea for the LED ring light as it exists today was pretty smart, but not entirely original. Ring lights are just a different take on an old lighting concept: the makeup mirror. This idea has been used in studio dressing rooms for decades to provide flattering, soft light while doing hair and makeup. When fluorescent light bulbs showed up, someone had a great idea to shrink the idea onto a small mirror for at home use. When LEDs became the norm, this became even easier and more affordable. Then, the real lightbulb moment (ha) came: replace the mirror with a camera lens and viola! The ring light was born!
The real magic of why ring lights provide such a great look has to do with shadows. Many times, shadows are used to provide a certain desired effect in lighting, but when it comes to lighting a persons face, shadows are typically your enemy, not your friend. Ring lights “wrap” the subjects face in light, eliminating almost all shadows while at the same time providing very even lighting without any hotspots (glare). The result is the same that you’d get in front of a studio makeup mirror, except on camera!
Simply stated: lighting can be expensive. There are so many different kinds of lights with different features and functions, that choosing the right lights can get confusing, and pricey! One of the really great things about ring lights is that they don’t really cost a lot. You already know that you only need one, and you already know that the look is specifically design to provide flattering lighting for a single subject on camera. So really, everything you need to know is upfront. Ring lights are incredibly budget friendly, and when it comes to lighting for your YouTube channel or lighting for your Zoom meetings, it can be a quick, inexpensive solution.
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