Lighting is, and always will be, very very complicated with thousands of possibilities. Which is exactly what makes lighting a scene so great! The hardest part about putting together your kit is understanding all the unique qualities of the seemingly endless varieties of the equipment. To the uninitiated, learning what lights your production will need and understand which type better suits your needs can be quite intimidating. This article will help you make your understand the differences between the softbox light and the ring light. 

Ring Light Vs Softbox Light – Pros and Cons

We will do a detailed comparison below, and here’s a quick rundown on all the Pros and Cons of ring lights and Softbox lights.


A ring light is a disc shaped light typically lined with LEDs that is very popular among beauty YouTubers and vloggers. These are designed to surround the lens of your camera, providing a flat lighting reminiscent of the effect of a camera flash – albeit a little less harsh.

This creates an angelic halo-like effect around the face that is very flattering, and can make just about anyone look pretty. This has led to their massive popularity among beauty gurus and vloggers who like to sit and speak into a stationary camera.

While the look is very appealing to many, the aesthetic is very particular, and certainly stands out. This makes them undesirable for filmmakers who want to keep their in-universe lighting sources to appear somewhat natural.


      • Great for close-ups and face shots.
      • Creates a very stylistic effect.
      • Great for Beauty YouTubers and vloggers.
      • Very simple to set-up and use, takes up little space, can fit on a desk. Create a shadow/halo around your face which is considered very flattering by many.


      • Limited to close ups and face shots.
      • Someone don’t like Catchlights take the form of rings
      • Staring directly into the ring is considered unpleasant by some.


      A softbox light is a type of light that uses scattering material to create a soft diffused light. The term softbox refers to the enclosure around the bulb which is lined with reflective material on all sides except one, making them very directional and reducing the amount of light spillage you’ll have.

      The aesthetic is much more natural, as the harshness level is easily controlled by the positioning of the light. Subjects will just appear to be well lit, rather than looking like they have a light pointed at them. The right combination of softbox lights can achieve just about any look you would want.

      These are used to create the indirect lighting required for cinematic storytelling, and are often utilized in conjunction with other light sources.


          • Much more versatile in terms of potential lighting set-ups.
          • Great for general purpose lighting.
          • Great in conjunction with other lights.
          • Can reach any level of softness or hardness with proper use.


          • Take up more space when set-up, can be much more difficult to understand and use properly.
          • Requires more skill to use and set up properly.
          • Doesn’t give you the (arguably gimmicky) angelic halo look that ring lights do.


          You can debate about the strengths and weaknesses of these two lights all day. Our verdict is this: If you are strictly a make-up or beauty Youtuber, or you Vlog at a desk, you should go with a ring light. They can come pretty cheap, they create flattering effects you can’t get anywhere else. They are extremely simple to set up, leaving you more time to invent more insane eyeliner tips. However, if you are interested in doing anything else in film, you’ll need some softboxes. One is a good starting point, two is even better.

          If you’ve determined that you are going to be needing a Ring Light for your video kit , our QIAYA ring light would be a good choice.

          QIAYA Ring Light with tripod stand and cell phone holder


          • Flexible lighting place. A 180-degree rotating lighting ring and a 360 degrees phone holder, easily helping you capture different levels of brightness and angle!
          • 22.86 cm LED ring light, 3 color modes: white, warm yellow (color temperature: 3500-6000k). Each mode can be easily adjusted in 10 levels via the remote controller.
          • The easy-to-install tripod comes in 4 grades from 27.5 inches to 46.5 inches. Just lock it at the height you want, stand on the floor, and place it on the tabletop as you need. In addition, the tripod can be used as a selfie stick itself.
          • 2 in 1 function: Combine the self-timer ring light and mobile phone stand together.
          •  COST: US$ 47.99