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The Best Lights and Lighting Kits for Creators

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Derek Malcolm
March 7, 2024
Best video lights for content creators

In the hierarchy of essential elements any creator needs for producing excellent view-worthy video content, aside from having a great camera and microphone setup, it cannot be understated how important good lighting is. 

Whether you’re a solo vlogger doing makeup tutorials from home, a podcaster with a multi-guest studio setup that needs lighting, or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants YouTuber who never knows where they’ll be shooting next, your perfect light could be a single ring light, a beautifully-natural softbox light, or a kit with multiple LEDs to make your videos shine.

Choosing the best video lights for your channel may sound a bit daunting, but we’ve done the legwork for you, checking out lights and lighting kits at different price points that offer features such as color temperature control, batteries and portability, ease of use, and more. Let’s get started. 

Razer Ring Light

$79.99

The best ring light for everyday use

Pros:

  • ✅Bright and even light
  • ✅Great quality for the price
  • ✅Adjustable temp from 3,000 to 6,500K
  • ✅Comes with a sturdy tripod
  • ✅Can be powered by portable battery packs
  • ✅USB and XLR connectivity

Cons: 

  • 🚫 Only has USB power

Ring lights may forever be associated with old-school vloggers and TikTokkers. But their ease of setup and use and bright, even light has become a go-to for video content creators of all shapes and sizes. Ring lights can be put just about anywhere: behind your monitor for live-streaming or Zoom calls or easily moved around on a tripod. They are an excellent choice for solo video creators, for lighting products, and shooting close-up faces like in makeup tutorials. 

The Razer Ring Light, first off, comes with brand cachet: Razer’s gaming accessories and peripherals are well-built and a go-to for gamers. Its 12-inch LED ring blasts out up to 500 lumens of clean, shadow-free light, features adjustable, dimmable brightness to dial in your ideal illumination, and three temperature settings (3,000K, 4,500K, 6,500K aka Warm White, Balanced White, and Cool White) all adjusted with a switch on the power cord. 

It’s USB powered, too, meaning you can plug it into your computer, an outlet or extension cord with a power brick, or using a portable battery bank (not included) should you take it on location.

The build quality of the Razer Ring Light has no business being this good at this price, and that quality extends to the included rock-solid adjustable tripod that can extend as high as 53.2 inches. The tripod features a standard screw-in, adjustable ball mount that fits most cameras and also comes with a smartphone mount.

The Razer Ring Light is our favorite pick, but if this one doesn’t match your needs perfectly, don’t worry, their popularity means that there are many more ring lights to choose from, so keep looking.

Neewer NK800 RGB Softbox Lighting Kit with App Control

$129.99

The best softbox lighting kit

Pros:

  • ✅Great price
  • ✅Precision app control
  • ✅Bluetooth connectivity up to 15 m (49 ft)
  • ✅Comes with sturdy, seven-foot light stands
  • ✅Can be used as key and fill lights
  • ✅Super easy to use

Cons: 

  • 🚫 Not great for outdoor shooting
Neewer NK800 RGB Softbox best video Light Kit with App Control

Softbox lighting is the best way to fill your video studio or streaming space with natural looking, soft, and even light that reduces shadows, glare, and harsh reflections. Perfect for interviews, use on, say, a multi-person video podcast, or even unboxing or product videos, softbox lighting works by utilizing a “box” shaped enclosure that houses a light source such as an LED or fluorescent light bulb at its center that is diffused through a white, translucent material. Depending on the size of the kit, they can be set up in a key-light and fill-light configuration.

Neewer makes a wide range of lighting kits, but its NK800 RGB Softbox Kit has everything you need and then some, including two 24 x 24-inch nylon softboxes and diffusers with two RGB LED bulbs capable of reproducing 36,000 colors and adjustable color temperatures between 2,700K and 6,600K. 

Neewer NK800 RGB Softbox Lighting Kit with music sync
Video light with wireless control

With precise control through the Neweer app, this means that not only can you dial in a range of light to match other light sources (like natural outdoor or window light), but you can add mood or color to spice things up or create effects that’ll make your videos or streams stand out. The app also allows you to choose from up to nine modes and presets, such as Light Match, Source Match, RGB, and others, and lets you save presets and bookmarking your favorite light settings.  

The Neewer NK800 kit also comes with two collapsible aluminum light stands that can extend as high as seven feet, and a carrying bag to take it all with you if need be.

Elgato Key Light Mini

$79.99

The best LED key light for streaming 

Pros:

  • ✅Small but mighty
  • ✅Portable 
  • ✅Compatible with Elgato Stream Deck
  • ✅App and physical controls
  • ✅Inexpensive so you can get multiple lights

Cons: 

  • 🚫 Battery life could be a bit better
Elgato Key Light Mini

LED lights and LED panel lights are so compact and versatile that they can be used for almost any video application — in studio, on location, clamped to your desk for live streaming, mounted on your smartphone or DSLR, or setup as a three-point lighting setup with tripods.

The Elgato Key Light Mini does all of the above and is a total Swiss Army knife for video producers. The compact 5.79 x 3.93 x 0.67-inch LED panel delivers a bright 800-lumens of light from its 4,000 mAh battery that can last up to four hours (at 50% brightness) or plugged in via USB-C.

When in the studio, the Key Light Mini is Wi-Fi capable and can be controlled with the Elgato Control Center app on a PC or Mac or iOS or Android device. But if you’re on the road shooting outdoors or an impromptu vlog or TikTok hit from an event, the Mini has intuitive on-board physical controls. Either way you choose, the Mini lets you adjust brightness and color temperature from 2,900 to 7,000K (Elgato describes this as “sunset amber through to arctic blue”).

Elgato Key Light Mini best video light
Elgato Key Light Mini with phone holder

On its own, the Elgato Key Light Mini is just that, a key light. But at $80, multiple Minis might be in the budget to add a fill and a backlight to soften up shadows and add depth to product shoots, unboxings, and demonstration videos in the studio. 
Lastly, the Key Light Mini is compatible with Elgato’s Stream Deck, which is perfect for live streamers or podcasters who want ultimate lighting control while they’re live. Additionally, if you like what you see and have the extra cash, you can step things up a bit with Elgato’s even more versatile Key Light Air ($129.99) or flagship light, the Key Light MK.2 ($179.99). 

Lume Tube RGB Tube Light Mini

$149.99

The best portable light for creative freedom

Pros:

  • ✅Ultra portable 
  • ✅Rugged build
  • ✅Excellent app control and features
  • ✅16-million colors
  • ✅Magnetic mounting
  • ✅Direct connectivity to smartphones, cameras, PC

Cons: 

  • 🚫Pricey
  • 🚫Battery life is just OK
Lume Tube RGB Tube Light Mini

No, it’s not a lightsaber, but for all the Jedi light tricks this thing can do, it might as well be. When you need more standard lighting for clarity and overall illumination, sure, see our above suggestions. But when you want flexibility, portability, and a lighting tool that opens up some endless creative options, the RGB Tube Light Mini (or its bigger sibling) is the way to go. 

The one-foot long Tube Light Mini is compact enough to fit in any kit bag as an addition to your more standard lighting kit, or as a full array of lights if you have the budget for several of them. 

App controlled, mountable in a wide range of places with magnetic end caps, and easy to place virtually anywhere, Lume Cube’s marketing video demonstrates them in some stunning situations, like adding colorful glow from underneath a car, moody product photography, and even using them to create light art.

Lume Tube RGB Tube Light Mini with case and accessories
Lume Tube RGB Tube Light Mini with smart screen

The Bluetooth connected Lume Control app allows for full control of the color (up to 16-million options), temperature (2,700 to 7,500K), and brightness (960 lumens of output) of the Tube Light Mini, and offers programmable special effects and speed settings. The app will also let you color match to any scene using your device’s camera, and allows for control of individual lights or a group of several connected Tube Lights. There are also physical controls and an LED panel on the shock- and dust-resistant light’s body, too. 

Battery power on the Tube Light Mini tops out at a reasonable 3.2 hours at 50% power and 1.7 hours at 100% power. Don’t worry, though, it can be plugged in as well and it can also be used as a power bank to charge other devices. It even comes with a mini tripod and a carrying case.

What’s your pick for best video light?

We’ve already covered off the best cameras and the best microphones for video creators, each with the goal of helping you step up your game when it comes to the quality of your content. And just as a great camera and an excellent sounding microphone are essentials in your channel, stream or podcast’s success, the right lighting can add clarity, connection, intrigue, and production value to your videos.

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