Lighting is crucial to photos — get the best shot with these portable LEDs

If you’re using the best iPhone, especially the iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max, then you have a pretty great camera with you all the time. But whether you’re taking pictures of your fancy meal or just some selfies, you definitely need good lighting — it can make or break a photo. While iOS includes Portrait Mode with Portrait Lighting, this is simulated lighting, which isn’t always better than great lighting in reality. Here are the best lighting accessories for iPhone photography, regardless of what iPhone you’re using.

Show me the light!

LuMee Halo by Case-Mate Light Up Selfie Case

Staff Pick

The LuMee Halo case is a tough and durable case that can protect your iPhone, but it also illuminates for the perfect selfie. That’s right — there is a ring of lights on the back, and the edges also light up, giving you the perfect lighting for portraits and selfies. The lights have a variable dimmer to balance out uneven and unflattering backlight.

From $49 at Amazon

$70 at Case-Mate

Clip it on

Whellen Selfie Ring Clip-On Light

This clip-on accessory provides you with 36 LED lights in a ring that you can simply clip on to your iPhone, iPad, or any other device. There are also three lighting settings with this accessory, and even the lowest option is still bright. It’s a simple accessory that is compact and universal, but you will need two AAA batteries.

$10 at Amazon

Portable photo studio

UBeesize Selfie Light Ring with Extendable Tripod Stand and Phone Holder

This set has everything you need to have a portable, professional photo studio. You get a 10-inch selfie ring light that has three colors and 10 levels of brightness each. There is also a tripod stand that extends up to 50-inches for the light, and a flexible phone holder keeps your phone in place. There is also a Bluetooth remote for convenience.

From $40 at Amazon

Purr-fection

OURRY Selfie Light Ring

This little selfie light ring comes in two colors (pink and blue) and has adorable kitty cat ears. It features three lighting colors (cold, warm, neutral), with three brightness levels each, so you can customize your lighting how you want. It takes two hours to recharge fully and is small enough to be universal for all devices.

$14 at Amazon

Social butterfly

QIAYA Rechargeable Selfie Light Ring

The QIAYA Rechargeable Selfie Light Ring is like the Whellen that we mentioned earlier, except this one is rechargeable, so no need for extra AAA batteries. It does cost a few dollars more, but sometimes the convenience is worth it. The QIAYA has three brightness levels so that you can have the perfect lighting anywhere, anytime.

$18 at Amazon

Versatile lighting

Anker iPhone LED Flash Cube

If you’re not really into the selfie thing, but still want a portable light, the Anker iPhone LED Flash Cube is perfect. It’s a small cube that plugs into your iPhone’s Lightning port, and you get lighting that is 4x brighter and has twice the range than the iPhone’s native flash. It syncs with your native flash, and Anker also includes a silicone diffuser for softer light.

$50 at Amazon

Professional lighting to-go

Commlite CM-L50 LED Camera Video Light

This versatile light can attach to your iPhone via a mount, but you can also use it with your digital camera too. It has 50 LED bulbs with a full 360-degrees of rotation, so it works in pretty much any situation. The brightness is up to 6880 Lux and can last up to 18 hours in low light after a full charge, and they give you three filters (white, orange, and blue) for the perfect shot.

$32 at Amazon

Up your selfie game with the best lighting accessories for iPhone photography

Even with all of the advancements that Apple has made in iOS photography, you just can’t beat real lighting. With the best lighting accessories for iPhone photography, you’ll be ensuring that every photo, whether it’s a regular portrait or a selfie, is flattering and good-to-go on your Instagram feed or even in the best photo book.

If you want some recommendations, I like the Anker iPhone LED Flash Cube. It’s small enough to fit in your photography toolkit, and you can get a full 50-minutes of use on a single charge. Plugging it into your iPhone ensures that the flash is synced up with the native camera app or supported third-party apps, and you get a silicone diffuser for softer light when necessary.

Another great option, especially for selfies, is the LuMee Halo cases. Not only do you get variable levels of brightness for both the rear and front-facing cameras, but the case gives you amazing protection as well. So if you accidentally drop your phone while taking that selfie, you don’t need to worry about damaging your phone. And if you want something simple but oh-so-adorable, then the OURRY Selfie Light Ring does the trick. It is small and compact enough for any smartphone, and it has super cute cat ears!

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