We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more

Ring light alternatives

Not buying into the ring light craze or maybe you don't have the room to store one? Check out this list of ring light alternatives instead.

As great as even the best ring lights might be, they’re not always suitable for everyone or every situation. Whether it’s the price or perhaps just amount of space they can sometimes take up, there is often a need to find ring light alternatives instead.

Lucky for you, there are plenty of exciting ring light alternatives on the market to suit a range of needs and budgets, so let us show you the best ones so you can start capturing the best photos and video possible!

Ring light alternatives - an elgato key light

Key/Box Light

By definition, a key light is just the most important or prominent light withing a group. It can also refer to a square or rectangular alternative to a ring light.

A great example of this is the Logitech Litra Glow or the Elgato Key Light, which are easy to use light sources that are designed to sit on top of your desktop monitor. It provides a fantastic light source that can wash away the dim and discolored glow of a computer screen. This way you still get a nice, bright, and even setting to shoot content in.

Box lights are similar to key lights in that they are typically square or rectangular but they are a 3D shape instead of being flat. You will not be able to get an intense and focused light source when using a box light, but they are much better at lighting a small space evenly should that be what you desire.

YouTube Thumbnail

Clip Light

A ring light alternative that you’re sure to have seen around, especially on social media, is the clip light, like the Diyife ring light that we have reviewed before. These small and highly portable lights are designed to clip directly onto your smartphone to provide a similar glow to a ring light.

These ring light alternatives are typically much cheaper and give off a far less powerful beam of light, but given that the expectation is that it’ll never be further than an arms length away from your face, it makes sense that they sacrifice some power.

Some clip lights are designed to be placed just about anywhere that you can imagine, but the limitations are still in place and you’ll only ever get so much power from a small product.

ring light alternatives - a desk light

Desk Light

Up next is the desk light. No, not a traditional desk lamp like you may be envisioning, but a freestanding or clamp desk light. These tend to mimic a ring light in their appearance but just on a much smaller scale.

These are ideal for anyone who really wants the look and feel of a ring light, but just doesn’t have the space to accommodate a full size one.

The only downside to these desk lights is that the pricing is fairly in-line with full size ones. Meaning if you’re exclusively looking to save money with this ring light alternative… you won’t.

ring light alternatives - panel lights

Panel Light

Finally, the last ring light alternative on our list is the panel light. These are effectively a larger version of a key light. Coming in all sorts of shapes and sizes, panel lights are a more permanent solution to a ring light as they can typically be fixed to a wall as well as being free-standing.

It’s quite the advantage not having to pack away equipment once you’re done using the light, but they are often limited in their brightness or warmth settings. Once the light is turned on, that’s what you’re working with and if it isn’t ideal, then you’re stuck.

If you need more help, you can check out our ‘what is a ring light‘ guide as well as a piece where we try to figure out if ring lights are worth buying at all.