Having the best ring light or LED light is a key part of any good streaming setup. If you’re already a seasoned streamer on Twitch, Instagram, and YouTube (or you want to get started), having even and flattering stream lighting is a guaranteed way to improve the quality of your content and game streaming. Lights for streaming are useful in a number of ways. They illuminate your setup or streaming background and allow followers to see you clearly when you’re live. They’re also designed to be flattering since they shine on the skin evenly and make your eyes sparkle – who doesn’t want that when on camera?
There are a lot of ring lights out there to choose from, depending on your budget and needs. And just like the best streaming microphones, they don’t have to cost a fortune. We’ve included affordable stream lighting and budget ring lights in this guide to give you a variety of choices. We’ve also explained how to choose the best streaming light at the bottom of this guide.
Popular brands like Razer and Elgato make reliable lights that can give your productions a dramatic boost. You can also find cheap ring lights on Amazon from lesser-known companies, which are sometimes smaller, or designed for streaming on a smartphone. Just to confuse things, some webcams for streaming like the Razer Kiyo also have built-in ring lights, but these are usually less powerful than a standalone light.
Drawing on years of testing the best lighting for streaming and content creation, I’ve come up with a list of the best ring lights for streaming you can get right now. Whatever your budget, and your favorite streaming platform, there’s a stream light for you here.
These are the best lights for streaming available now:
- Elgato Ring Light – best light for streaming overall
- Razer Key Light Chroma – best RGB light for streaming
- Elgato Key Light Mini – best compact stream light
- Razer Kiyo – best ring light webcam for game streaming
- NEEWER Ring Light – best cheap ring light
1. Elgato Ring Light
Best ring light for game streaming and vlogging
|Elgato Ring Light specs|
|Color temperature||2900 – 7000K|
|Light output||2500 lumens, dimmable|
|Weight||~1600 g (Light only)|
- Impressive color range
- Very flattering light quality
- App control could be better
The Elgato Ring Light is the best light for streaming overall. We put it at the top because it balances features and connectivity with price. It’s designed especially for live-game streaming and gives a flattering and even light while brightening your eyes for a more engaging video.
The onboard controls are there for changing the brightness and color temperature settings, but you can also tweak these via an app (and WiFi) on Mac, PC, iOS and Android.
The light output of 2500 lumens is one of the higher on the market, and the Ring Light’s customizable color temperature range is on par with the more expensive Razer Key Light Chroma below. Whether you want to live stream on Twitch, TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube, the Elgato Ring Light is a perfect fit for the best streaming cameras.
2. Razer Key Light Chroma
The best premium RGB streaming light
|Razer Key Light Chroma specs|
|Color temperature||2900 – 7000K, RGB|
|Light output||2800 lumens, dimmable|
|Connections||USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth|
|Dimensions||21.8 – 53.2 inches|
- Jazzy RGB lighting effects
- Very bright max light output
- Comes with a stand
- Costs the same as several lights
The Razer Key Light Chroma is definitely a premium streaming light, and it isn’t the cheapest around. It’s a much larger panel than the portable Elgato Key Light below, and because of this can output more than three times the brightness at a maximum 2800 lumens (which is dimmable in increments).
It also offers RGB lighting, with more than 16.8 million colors on offer to really set the vibe for your live streams. The light can be controlled wirelessly from a smartphone (using Razer’s streaming app) or PC (using Razer Synapse), so you can customize it while streaming without having to move. When it comes to placement, the Razer Key Light Chroma comes with a slim clamp mount for securing it to your desk, plus an extendable pole if you want it further away or to the side of you.
If you’re a serious streamer and want the very best stream light with RGB lighting, the Razer Key Light Chroma is the best choice.
3. Elgato Key Light Mini
Best compact and portable streaming light
|Elgato Key Light Mini specs|
|Color temperature||2900 – 7000K|
|Light output||800 lumens|
|Connections||Wi-Fi, Bluteooth, USB-C charging|
|Dimensions||5.8 x 3.9 x 0.7 inches|
|Weight||0.66 lbs (300g)|
- Versatile color range
- Bright light
- Sleek design
- Less versatile than a ring light
The Elgato Key Light mini is a well-specced yet compact streaming light. It’s a portable LED panel, but despite its small size it still has a high-lumen output of 800. The color temperature range is also one of the most versatile on this list. The Key Light Mini is well-designed, with a power button and brightness toggle on its side.
If you want to mount the light onto a monitor, you can do so with Elgato’s Multimount system. It also has a ¼-inch thread for mounting it onto a generic stand (sold separately). Unlike wired lights in this list, the Key Light Mini is battery-powered and charged via USB-C. You’ll get around 4 hours of light at half brightness, and charging is quick and easy once you run out of juice.
The Elgato Key Light Mini will be a good streaming light for those who want portability, and different positioning options. It’s not the cheapest (or most expensive) stream light on this list but is reasonably priced for what you do get.
4. Razer Kiyo
Best webcam with a ring light for game streaming
|Razer Kiyo specs|
|Color temperature||5600K (daylight-balanced)|
|Light output||Not specified|
|Dimensions||2.7 x 7.9 x 1.9 inches|
- No need to buy separate webcam
- Bright for its small size
- Lighting can be a bit harsh
- Positioning isn’t flexible
The Razer Kiyo has been around for over five years now, but it’s still an innovative product, with a built-in ring light for streamers. It’s the only streaming light in this guide that doubles up as a webcam for streaming, meaning you don’t need to buy different products for your streaming setup. The Kiyo mounts onto your monitor, and you can use Auto or Manual focus to get the picture sharp. It’s also possible to adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation and white balance levels.
As a streaming light, the Razer Kiyo isn’t bad at all. If you’re not a hardcore streamer and just want to lighten up a dark room so that you can go live with friends, it’s a brilliant choice (and a good price, too). It’s suitable for streaming games on YouTube and Twitch, but also for everyday use on video calls. The Razer Kiyo is the best all-rounder in this guide.
5. NEEWER RP10-H Desktop Ring Light
Best cheap ring light for streaming with a phone
|NEEWER Ring Light specs|
|Light output||8C10W, 10 brightness levels|
|Dimensions||11.4 x 10.6 x 2 inches|
- Affordable price
- Built-in phone holder
- Limited color temperatures
- No WiFi or Bluetooth
The NEEWER RP10-H desktop ring light isn’t designed specifically for streaming, but that doesn’t make it a good budget option. It plugs into a wall socket or computer via USB for the power supply, and on this cable there’s a controller with buttons for turning it off and on, adjusting the brightness and the color of the light. There are three color modes; cool, neutral, and warm, and ten brightness levels to toggle between. That’s not as much control as some of the lights on here, but it’s enough to let you tailor the light output for your own setup.
When it comes to positioning the lamp, we’d recommend placing the Neewer RP10-H on a table next to your laptop or monitor. The ring light stand can tilt at 120 degrees, and it reaches up to 55cm in height, so you should be able to find just the right position to illuminate your face evenly when streaming. If you want to use it with a smartphone instead, there’s a stretchable phone holder that works with most major devices.
The price of this Neewer ring light is incredibly reasonable and it takes less than five minutes to set it up. It can’t be integrated into an advanced streaming setup with a stream deck, but for hands-free social media, it’s very good. This is the best small, cheap and stable streaming light.
How to choose the best streaming light
Different lights for streaming are designed for different functions. To find the right light for you, ask yourself, how big is the streaming setup you want to light? Will you need a light that can be mounted to a monitor, or positioned far away on a stand? Do you need a light to be portable? How bright does it need to be?
- Ring light or key light panel: If you’re wondering whether a ring light is better than a key light for streaming, there isn’t one answer. Key lights are extremely bright but often produce more glare, so you might need to position them further away than ring lights.
- Lighting type: Most lights for streaming are now LED lights, rather than tungsten or fluorescent tubes. LEDs are the best type of stream light as they stay cool for long periods, are energy-efficient and provide a fairly even glow – which is great for skin.
- Size: If you’ve got a small desktop for gaming, a smaller light is better. If your streaming setup space is generous, we recommend investing in a larger streaming light that can also be placed on a stand. Alternatively, light a bigger space with several lights.
- Connections: Many of the streaming lights in this guide offer Bluetooth and WiFi connections, while some are USB-only. Having smart connectivity isn’t essential, but it does allow you to do things like control the light from your smartphone.
- Price: For most of us, price is a key factor when shopping for any streaming accessory. You don’t need to spend hundreds to get a decent streaming light, but more expensive lights do often offer a better build quality, more lighting settings, and better connections – be it WiFi or Bluetooth.
- Stand: Some streaming lights come with a stand, some mount to a monitor, and some do both. Having a sturdy, height-adjustable stand enables you to change the light’s position and angle for more versatile streaming options. If you change your streaming setup regularly and want to use the light in different locations, look for a light that can be used both on a tabletop and the floor. You want to make sure your streaming light doesn’t get in the way of other streaming equipment like the best streaming camera.
- Color temperature: The color temperature, expressed in Kelvin (K), affects how cool or warm your light is. We like streaming lights with fully customizable color temperatures, as these give you more looks to play with in your live streams. Do you prefer a warm, cool, or neutral look in your streams? The lower the K number, the warmer the light, while higher numbers appear more white. For reference, daylight is around 5000-6500K on the scale.
- Brightness: It’s important to buy a light that’s bright and big enough for your streaming setup. Lighting a bigger space will require a brighter light, but brighter isn’t always better. Too much light can be uncomfortable to sit in front of, while not enough obviously makes your videos look dim and dull. Manufacturers usually measure light in lumens or lux, and most streaming lights have adjustable outputs so that you can tailor the brightness for your live stream. We recommend a streaming light with at least 250 lumens – something all of the lights in this guide have as a minimum.
Is a ring light worth it for streaming?
A ring light is one of the best and most popular options for streaming. That’s because, unlike a rectangular key light, its circular shape distributes the light more evenly to get rid of shadows on your face. Generally speaking, because there’s no light in their center, ring lights don’t get as hot as quickly as key lights so, which means you can stream for longer without them overheating. That said, most modern lights run on LEDs anyway, which don’t heat up quickly.
Ring lights can be found at a wide variety of prices, from entry-level to professional – making it easy to find the best fit for your streaming needs. They’re usually lightweight enough to be mounted on top of a gaming monitor, or added to a stand or desktop, meaning their uses are more varied. Designed to give you even lighting without glare, ring lights can be placed about an arm’s length away from you, meaning they can be accommodated into the smallest of streaming setups.