back to top
Banner Banner

10 Best Video Lights in 2023 (Studio, LED, & Budget Options)

A- A+

Subscribe Below to Download the Article Immediately

You can also select your interests for free access to our premium training:

Your privacy is safe. I will never share your information.
Related course: Quick Capture Cheat Sheets

With so many options, the best video light may be hard to find. Not to worry! We have you covered in this article that covers the best video lights over various levels and prices. We will consider the light’s features and usability to determine which video lights will make your job easier.

Our top choice is the Neewer CN-160. This is thanks to its simplicity yet great performance for an incredible price. It also is compact, so it can easily fasten to your camera or tripod.

Neewer CN-160
Neewer CN-160
Capture stunning images and videos with this professional-grade video light. It’s perfect for any photographer or videographer.

[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here].


What Is the Best Video Light?

Here is a quick listing of our top choices. We go into more detail afterward. And we have a buyer’s guide at the end to answer some common questions about video lights.

Our Top Choice
Neewer CN-160
Neewer CN-160
Neewer CN-160
  • 160 LED lights provide optimal illumination
  • Easy on-off and brightness control with rotate switch
  • Adjustable light intensity for professional results
  • Two filters for versatile lighting effects
  • Compatible with various Li-ion batteries and AA batteries for emergencies
Best Professional Compact Option
Rotolight NEO 2
Rotolight NEO 2
Rotolight NEO 2
  • Revolutionary, adjustable color LED light
  • High-Speed Sync flash for powerful output
  • Innovative features for creative photography
  • Ultra-reliable wireless triggering up to 656 ft / 200m
  • Lightweight, portable, and versatile mounting
Best for Color Shoots
Aputure Amaran MC
Aputure Amaran MC
Aputure Amaran MC
  • Red, green, blue, warm white (RGBWW) film light for accurate colors
  • Various modes offer versatile lighting
  • Built-in magnets for easy attachment
  • USB-C power delivery (PD) and Qi wireless charging
  • Sidus Link app compatibility for control
Best for Indoor Settings
Neewer CN-480
Neewer CN-480
Neewer CN-480
  • 480 long-lasting LED bulbs
  • Variable white balance (3,200 to 5,600K)
  • Adjustable U-mount bracket
  • AC/DC power options available
  • Premium multi-use material
Best for Studios
SmallRig RC 220B
SmallRig RC 220B
SmallRig RC 220B
  • Exceptional brightness with 84,500 Lux at 3.3 ft / 1 m
  • Precise lighting adjustment and wireless control
  • Silent cooling fan at just 30 dB +/- 2 dB
  • Two power supply modes for versatility
  • Includes carry bag and essential accessories
Best Portable Option
Profoto C1
Profoto C1
Profoto C1
  • Pocket-sized for ultimate portability
  • Round shape creates beautiful light
  • Daylight color temperatures (3,000 to 6,500K)
  • Flash or flicker-free continuous light
  • Compatible with iPhone 7 and later
Great for Studios
Godox SL60IID
Godox SL60IID
Godox SL60IID
  • Impressive brightness with precise dimming
  • Adjustable color temperature for mood setting
  • Multiple special effects for creative scenes
  • Convenient app control for efficiency
  • Provides a quiet shooting environment
Best Compact Option
Elgato Key Light Mini
Elgato Key Light Mini
Elgato Key Light Mini
  • Compact design with rechargeable battery
  • Bright, dimmable, and adjustable color temperature
  • Embedded magnet and 1/4-inch thread for mounting
  • Onboard controls and app for light settings
  • Intelligent battery for extended use and fast charge
Best for Streamers
RaLeno LED
RaLeno LED
RaLeno LED
  • High-brightness LED light, 3,200 to 5,600K
  • Rotating stent for adjustable angles
  • Fast heat dissipation with side vents
  • Ultra-thin, lightweight, and portable
  • Built-in 29.6 Wh batteries for smooth design
Best Value
  • High color-rendition LED beads for quality lighting
  • Soft-light board for softer, non-dazzling illumination
  • Three adjustable color modes (2,500 to 6,500K) for versatility
  • Rich expandability with four cold shoe mounts and multi-mount options
  • Built-in 2,000 mAh rechargeable battery for convenience

10 Best Video Lights

Read below to find out more about each video light in depth.

1. Neewer CN-160

Neewer CN-160
Brand Neewer
Light Type LED
Color Temp Range 5,600K (3,200K with filter)
Dimmable Yes
Remote Control No
Battery Option Yes
Weight 0.53 lb / 0.24 kg
Key Features Powerful output, light and portable
Best For Photographers or videographers who want a light to attach to the top of their camera

The CN-160 is a simple, compact video light every videographer should own. And it’s not just because of its great performance. Its portability makes it good for many functions and environments.

This LED lighting unit produces constant, continuous lighting. You can adjust brightness levels with a dial positioned on the side. It also comes with a warm and soft light filter to help you control the light.

A dedicated battery powers it. This means you have another piece of equipment to prep. But it saves money and is better for the environment than going through a bunch of batteries. 

My favorite feature is its easy adjustability and compatibility for mounting. It sits on top of a hot shoe base you can mount directly to your camera and tighten for added security.

The mount also features a 1/4-inch screw and hole underneath to fasten it directly to a tripod!

The Neewer CN-160 is the best video light for those who need a portable light with customizable features. Its price also makes it excellent for beginner to small professional shoots!


2. Rotolight NEO 2

Rotolight NEO 2
Brand Rotolight
Light Type LED
Color Temp Range 3,150 to 6,300K
Dimmable Yes
Remote Control No
Battery Option Yes
Weight 1.65 lb / 0.74 kg
Key Features Powerful light, highly portable, high-speed flash abilities
Best For Photographers who need a compact light that offers a wide range of features and control

The Rotolight NEO 2 is a portable video light with professional levels of control. It has a continuous light for video work and a high-speed sync flash for photography work!

It is the ideal light for photographers doing video work for specific jobs. And it is perfect for videographers who want to get as much control out of their video light as possible.

It comes in a compact circular lighting unit that allows you to edit your light output’s color temperature. This is measured in Kelvin, and you can choose accurately between the 3150 to 6300 spectrum.

Rotolights also have some interesting features. It has True Aperture Dimming, which calculates your aperture at different distances.

And it also has a Cinefx Mode. This has the light simulate different lighting sources such as a fire, a TV, or even a gunshot.

The NEO 2 is an incredible light with great power and control. The only downside is that it is expensive. There is a newer version, the Rotolight NEO 3. But it is even more expensive.

This video light’s price point is aimed at professionals who want a portable light. Or it is great for enthusiasts who want high-level lighting equipment.


3. Aputure Amaran MC

Aputure Amaran MC
Brand Aputure
Light Type LED
Color Temp Range 3,200 to 6,500K
Dimmable Yes
Remote Control Yes
Battery Option Yes
Weight 1.08 lb / 0.48 kg
Key Features Produces full red, green, blue (RGB) 
Best For Photographers and videographers who want to add particular colors into their shoot or who need a compact light with great flexibility

The Aputure Amaran MC is the handheld video light you need to get if color is important for your shoots. The light can mimic a wide range of color temperatures.

It can also create any color on the RGB scale, thanks to its impressive 360 degrees of hue and 100 levels of saturation.

Its compact nature makes it ideal for small shoots that need a hint of a specific color.

But if you want to take full advantage of the Amaran MC, you can use up to 150 lights under the same control system! You can even attach video lights side by side, as each unit has magnetic qualities.

This is coordinated through their excellently designed app. Their app lets you control every light feature, including color, brightness, and intensity.

One of my favorite features is that you can take a picture of the color you want to replicate, and it will produce it! This is a godsend if you are on location and want to color-match to specific lights.

The Amaran MC is a small video light with powerful possibilities. It works well as a single light but works even better as multiple units.

Its price does mean buying a couple will set you back a bit. But even professionals may want to use this thanks to its great capabilities.


4. Neewer CN-480

Neewer CN-480
Brand Neewer
Light Type LED
Color Temp Range 3,200 to 5,600K
Dimmable Yes
Remote Control No
Battery Option Yes
Weight 3.47 lb / 1.57 kg
Key Features Wide, even light, U-mount bracket
Best For Studio shoots, especially interviews and portraits

The Neewer CN-480 is a dimmable bi-color LED light ideal for studio shoots. It comes in a robust aluminum alloy shell favorable for studio equipment.

It can take a few knocks when taking it in and out of storage. And luckily, the aluminum shell also makes it easy to transport for its size, in case you want to use it out on location.

The LED lighting unit has 240 yellow and 240 white light beads. This provides an even split of warm and cold light that is easy to control.

You can adjust each of these separately for maximum control. And you can do this by turning the separate dials on the back of the unit.

The unit itself is compact for its size. It is extremely thin, making it convenient for storage or transportation.

If you plan on using this light on location, you’re in luck! This lighting unit can also operate on batteries. They don’t come with the unit, but you can buy the well-priced battery packs separately.

The CN-480 is a brilliant light that functions well for many video jobs. I recommend it, particularly for video interviews in studios. My favorite feature is the U-mount bracket, which makes it easy to control.


5. SmallRig RC 220B

SmallRig RC 220B
Brand SmallRig
Light Type LED
Color Temp Range 2,700 to 6,500K
Dimmable Yes
Remote Control Yes
Battery Option Yes
Weight 12.23 lb / 5.5 kg
Key Features Powerful, remote control light, universal Bowens mount
Best For Photographers who want an LED light that simulates standard studio lights

The SmallRig RC 220B is a video light built to rival professional lighting setups. Although it is an LED lighting unit, you can buy multiple attachments with its Bowens mount.

This allows you to achieve professional levels of control with light. And it gives you endless options for creative outputs.

The video light has a wide color temperature range of 2,700 to 6,500K. You can control this output from the back of the unit or its dedicated app!

The SmallGoGo app gives you a temperature and brightness slider to control your light remotely. This is particularly useful for shoots where your video light is in a difficult position.

The lighting unit operates off an AC adapter. But SmallRig also has an affordable battery pack you can buy separately!

This is ideal for taking a powerful lighting unit on location. The additional battery also has a special mount to attach to your light stand.

The RC 220B is ideal if you want a powerful light with professional levels of performance and control. Its price reflects this. But the money is worth it if you make money from your videos.


6. Profoto C1

Profoto C1
Brand Profoto
Light Type LED
Color Temp Range 3,000 to 6,500K
Dimmable Yes
Remote Control Yes
Battery Option Yes
Weight 0.26 lb / 0.1 kg
Key Features Extremely portable handheld light, trusted lighting brand
Best For Smartphone shoots or video shoots that involve being mobile

The Profoto C1 is a pocket-sized video light for smartphone users who want a studio light. But even normal photographers will rejoice as a good handheld light is hard to find.

And Profoto is a trusted lighting brand. So you are pretty much guaranteed the C1 will provide good results.

The main advantage of this video light is its size. Its round shape fits in your hand, and its compact nature makes it easy to throw in your bag for any shoot.

It is so small that you could hide it inside your photo or video shoot! This allows the possibility of creative inputs to your scene.

The C1 operates using AirX technology. You simply connect the LED lighting unit to your smartphone, and you can control multiple outputs.

It features a point-and-shoot mode, which gives you flash power based on your surroundings. Or you can control it manually. It also has an on-off button on the unit for added control.

This is one of the best video lights for street videos or getting close to a subject. Most lights are built to be a stable attachment. But this works best when used creatively in fashion or with sports cameras.


7. Godox SL60IID

Godox SL60IID
Brand Godox
Light Type LED
Color Temp Range 2,800 to 6,500K
Dimmable Yes
Remote Control Yes
Battery Option No
Weight 6.54 lb / 2.9 kg
Key Features Powerful light, wide color temperature range, universal Bowens mount
Best For Studio shoots or other indoor shoots that need a powerful and flexible light

The Godox SL-60W is another LED video light that attempts to mimic studio light. It has a great amount of power and is fully dimmable! This means you will get full control over your scene.

You will also notice it has a Bowens mount on this light. This makes it the perfect addition to your studio, or if you want to start investing in attachments that you can use on other studio equipment.

This video light can produce 60 watts of power. This translates to 25,000 lux at 3.3 ft (1 m) away.

This is enough to light a scene on its own! And it is especially helpful if you use reflectors to bounce the light around.

The lighting unit is easy to control. One of its top features is that it comes with a specific remote control. This can make your life much easier if you put the light in the air.

And the lighting unit is compatible with a smartphone app. This may suit some people’s working methods better, so it’s a nice option.

The SL-60W also comes with a range of special effects built in. They could be handy to achieve a particular mood in your scene.

Plus, a big positive of this lighting unit is that the price is reasonable. So I recommend this video light for enthusiasts who want to achieve a particular style or need a higher-powered light.


8. Elgato Key Light Mini

Elgato Key Light Mini
Brand Elgato
Light Type LED
Color Temp Range 2,900 to 7,000K
Dimmable Yes
Remote Control Yes
Battery Option Yes
Weight 0.6 lb / 0.27 kg
Key Features Versatile, compact, light, a magnetic back for convenient placement
Best For Streamers or vloggers who need an extra fill light in their videos

The Elgato Key Light Mini is another small option for smartphone photographers or content creators. It is also perfect for compact camera users who want continuous video light.

It is only 5.9 x 5.9 inches (15 x 10 cm). So you can easily fit this in the top of your camera bag without adding too much extra weight.

This video light is centered around convenience. You can fully charge it in 60 minutes to last up to four hours at 50% brightness. And it has both wireless control and onboard controls.

I am also a big fan of the magnetic back panel. This makes it easy to mount to surfaces.

The lighting unit also features a 1/4-inch screw thread to attach to any video tripod or lighting mount. The unit also has a metal chassis, perfect for taking to rugged locations.

The Key Light Mini is ideal for people who need a fill light or an extra constant light for their camera. It would also work great for people who film content at home or use a webcam.


The RaLeno LED video light is a large panel that suits specific video needs perfectly. It is especially useful for vloggers or streamers who want a continuous soft light that is compact and controllable.

This LED light comes with a soft diffuser that covers the light. This may not suit some videographers. But many different genres benefit from soft, even light rather than harsh, direct light.

You can use the light through its built-in battery or a direct power cable. The LED lighting unit can provide continuous light for 1.5 hours at max power when using the battery.

You can also control the brightness and color temperature of the light from the panel on the back. It displays your information clearly. So you can apply detailed levels of control.

The RaLeno LED is a video light that specific creatives will want. It is ideal for content creators or those who record small, condensed shoots. The best examples are product or even food videos.


10. VIJIM VL100C

Light Type LED
Color Temp Range 2,500 to 6,500K
Dimmable Yes
Remote Control No
Battery Option Yes
Weight 0.3 lb / 0.13 kg
Key Features Easy to connect with other lights of the same unit
Best For Photographers who need a portable and compact continuous light

The VIJIM VL100C is a compact video light you can pick up for a low price. But the unit only gives you a little control.

You will still find that there is the option to change the color temperature as well as dim the intensity of the light. And you can charge it through a USB-C cable to last up to two hours at max brightness.

This video light has plenty of ways to attach it to your camera, tripod, or even other lights of the same model. You can even put the lights in a grid and synchronize them.

The light itself is very compact. So it is perfect for people looking for the smallest possible kit.

It particularly suits photographers who use GoPros or other compact cameras. But it would still work well for normal photography or videography if you only need a small amount of light.

The VL100C is best for those who don’t need too much control over their light but want an additional light source in their videos. It is best for people who shoot alone or with a single model.


Best Video Lights Buyers Guide (FAQs)

We hope our answers to these frequently asked questions about video lights help you find the best ones.

What Accessories Do I Need to Purchase With My Video Light?

You should consider how you will be mounting your light. With many of our list options, you can fasten them directly to your camera. But you may want to invest in a spare tripod or a set of light stands.

All options can mount onto a tripod or light stand.

The VL100C LED video light put together in various grids
Multiple budget VL100C LED video lights in various grid patterns

What Are the Advantages of Using an LED Video Light?

The biggest advantage of using an LED light is that it doesn’t heat up as much as incandescent lights. Plus, LED lights are also more energy efficient.

This means you don’t have to worry about wearing gloves when adjusting lights. And it is also good for your models as they won’t feel so hot under the lights.

It is also easier to find portable LED lights, which can function off small battery packs. This makes them easier to transport and can cost less to operate.

What Are the Risks of Using a Low-Quality Video Light?

Using a low-quality video light can have dramatic effects on your shoot. The most obvious is uneven light over your scene or model. This appears very amateur and is easily noticeable to casual viewers.

A low-quality light will also provide little power. This means you will have to bring it closer to your subject, which will also affect the even spread of light.


Conclusion: The Best Video Lights

After looking through our wide range of video lights, you can see it all comes down to the type of shoot you perform. Some lights can give you plenty of control. But then, it may be hard to maneuver in on-the-go situations. Others are the opposite. They are portable but offer less power or control.

Our top choice is the Neewer CN-160. This is thanks to its great qualities for a low price. It easily lights a single subject and is also small and light enough to use as a portable light.

Neewer CN-160
Neewer CN-160
Capture stunning images and videos with this professional-grade video light. It’s perfect for any photographer or videographer.
Show Comments (0)