Ring Light vs. Softbox: What Is the Best Lighting?

4/10/2020 9:49 am

As a photographer or content creator, you’ll know the importance of good lighting. Whether you are interested in product photography or creating eye-catching YouTube videos, you have probably realised that natural lighting, although often beautiful, is not always the best, nor the most reliable choice to create consistent content. 

Two of the most popular types of studio lighting for content creation are a softbox light and a ring light. But what is the difference between the two, and which one should you invest in? Read on to find out which one offers the best lighting.

The benefits of softbox lighting


Softbox lighting, as the name suggests, is a great way to achieve a softer light effect, ideal for still life photography, for taking flattering portraits or for recording YouTube videos.


Here are some of the benefits that the best softbox lighting kit will provide:


  • It provides a gentler and softer quality of light, with an even spread throughout the frame. 
  • As it diffuses light so successfully, a softbox also reduces harsh shadows. 
  • The light from a softbox will often emulate the look of an open window, so it is beautiful and looks very natural. 


Softboxes come in different shapes and sizes, and you can get different results by adjusting the positioning of your light. The closer the light source is to your subject, the softer and more even the spread will be. Moving the softbox further away from the subject will produce some shadows and light falloff.

Ring Light vs. Softbox: What is the best lighting?

The benefits of ring lights

Ring Light vs. Softbox: What is the best lighting?



Ring lights use a ring of LED lights to illuminate the subject, with the camera mounted in the middle of the light to ensure the most even lighting. It’s a particularly popular and affordable light for YouTube videos, TikTok videos, taking selfies, as well as portrait shots.


Some of the benefits of ring lighting include:


  • A ring light will provide a very even spread of lighting. 
  • Due to this spread of light and the positioning of the camera, ring lights are great for exploring the minor details of subjects. 
  • Ring lights are usually height-adjustable and portable, making them ideal for shooting in different locations.


Ring lights are great at wrapping a subject in light, so they are best used for subjects that are not too distant. Modern ring lights have adjustable outputs, and in some cases, the intensity and warmth of the light on each side can be adjusted independently for creative purposes.


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