What is a ring light: Quarantine hit for videos

Photographer Shahar Azran has a ringtone to join video calls from his home in Englewood, New Jersey.

Shahar Azran

Maybe she was born with that. It may be an annular light.

Ring lights have long been used by photographers and, more recently, social media stars to improve their appearance. They reduce shadows and provide a more even glow.

Now, electric white light in the shape of a circle, which usually costs less than $ 100, is one of the most particular beneficiaries of the pandemic, alongside online services like Netflix and Zoom.

A ring light has been the # 1 best seller in the Mobile Phones and Accessories category on Amazon.com in recent weeks, and a ring light has been rated # 4 on Friday behind three iPhone cases. the $ 59.99 product – from a company called UBeesize comes with a tripod, USB cable, phone holder, dimmer and remote control – has more than 10,000 notes.

Twitter is also full of publications on people’s ring light purchases.

Ring lights were already popular among people who made videos for the TikTok social network before the coronavirus installed. But TikTok has become even more popular as people search for new home entertainment and hashtag messages #ringlight have proliferated.

In some videos, the ring light has become the spectacle itself. Many users show their hands and heads entering and leaving the ring. A user, even jokingly dressed her ring light and called him his girlfriend.

From dentists to fashion photographers

Here is the basic idea: providing light in a circle rather than from a single point counteracts the shadow that would normally appear the other way around. If light was emitted over a camera lens, a shadow would appear under the person’s nose and other protrusions. Sending light from below the lens stops any shadow on the nose.

A circle applies this concept 360 degrees.

The ring light is not a new generation device. People have talked about it in articles online for at least five years, and the concept has existed since at least the 1950s.

Dentists did not have a good way to project light into their patients’ mouths. A dentist facing this problem visited a camera and discussed it with a worker named Lester Dine, who in 1952 invented a product called ring flash. It turns on at the end of a camera lens when the photographer hits the shutter. Dine’s grandson, Matt Glassgold, is co-owner and president of Lester Dine Inc., which still sells these dental products.

“Not only did it remove the shadows in the mouth. It also removed the shadows on the face, so it made the face look prettier,” said Glassgold, who runs the business in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. “You don’t see the lines, the blemishes and the real face reality. I guess that is among the reasons why it has become a favorite for videos, webcams and now for conference work.”

Fashion photographers discovered the ring flash in the 1960s, said Glassgold.

Shahar Azran, a New Jersey photographer who takes photos of artists, executives and politicians, remembers using a ring flash for the first time about 20 years ago, while filming for the late fashion retailer Nine West. The gadget was supposed to provide a very clean and clear light, he said, adding that he remembered seeing the paparazzi use them when he used to shoot concerts.

As quarantine began, customers called him and asked for recommendations on equipment for filming at home. He researched online and called photographer friends. It didn’t take long before I started to suggest light rings.

Azran said its customers were happy with their rings.

Shahar Azran

Unlike a ring flash that only lights for a while, a ring light stays on for an extended period of time to allow continuous video recording. Ring light appeared when single-lens reflex digital cameras became capable of filming videos, said Azran.

Unlike the camera industry, the ring lighting market is not led by any company; there are little known brands like Aixpi, Aptoyu, Crenova, Neewer, UBeesize and Viewow.

Azran customers are very satisfied with their rings, said Azran. He has purchased a ring light for remote conferences in schools he would otherwise visit, and his 17-year-old son Liam in Israel has one at his office for online lessons.

“I know all the girls over there have it,” he said.

Glassgold said his grandfather, who died in 1999, was not the one who invented ring lighting technology. But he understands the draw.

“A ring is a ring,” he said.

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