Photography Lighting is supported by readers. When you buy with our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

This post was most recently updated on January 8th, 2023

People upload video and picture content online all the time. Taking the right photos and recording the best quality film requires good lighting. Similarly, virtual meetings over video calls have taken off.

You can’t always rely on natural lighting to do the job for you, especially in the evening or on grayer days. These reasons explain why ring lights have become a necessary gadget.

Everyone who takes selfies, films videos, or uses a webcam can make use of a ring light. However, filming sessions and meetings can take a long time, which begs the question, how long does a ring light last?

Ring lights do expire, but the type of bulb that’s used in one matters. If you’re wondering how long your ring light will last, we’ll cover the general lifespan of one in this article.

You’ll also find out how to tell if your ring light is about to burn out, as well as how to choose one with the greatest lifespan

The Lifespan Of A Ring Light

Every ring light is different, so they all have various lifespans. Depending on the one you choose, some ring lights will burn out quickly, while others last a long time with the right care. The bulb within your ring light is a huge factor.

Ring lights use several little LED lights (Light Emitting Diodes) that link to each other and are placed in a circular pattern. You can also find ring lights that use one fluorescent circle-shaped bulb.

In most cases, ring lights that use several LEDs have a longer lifespan than ones with single bulbs.

A light bulb’s lifespan is normally measured in hours of use. Fluorescent bulbs have a lifespan of between 7,000 to 25,000 hours. LEDs have a longer lifespan of over 50,000 hours.

The manufacturing quality makes a huge difference, as high-quality LED bulbs may even last up to 100,000 hours. However, lower-quality LEDs can fizzle out after 35,000 hours.

When Will My Ring Light Burn Out?

When Will My Ring Light Burn Out?

Different bulbs have different signs that they’re about to dissipate. Fluorescent bulbs start to flicker when they’re near the end of their lifespan, but incandescent bulbs simply fade away. LED bulbs differ, as they don’t have a filament.

Instead of ‘burning out’, they become dimmer over time until they stop emitting light. This occurs when their parts become older and less efficient.

There are instances when LED bulbs do burn out, but this isn’t due to the diode. LEDs use a capacitor that transforms AC (alternating current) into DC (direct current). This capacitor can chemically deteriorate over time, which prevents the bulb from emitting light.

Advantages Of LED Bulbs

The better ring lights use LED bulbs as they last longer than other bulbs. A popular assumption is that LED lights can be used for ten hours each day, and will still last for 14 years before it fails.

LED ring lights are also energy efficient. Other bulbs direct light outwards to several different areas, while LEDs aim the light towards one area. This requires less energy to do so.

Well-made LED ring lights will cost more than others made with different bulbs, but as they last longer, they’re better value. You won’t need to replace them as often, the lighting is better, and they use less energy, saving you money on your bills over time.

How Long Can A Ring Light Be Left On?

LED lights are good if you need them switched on for a long time. In theory, LED lights can be left on all the time as they don’t generate lots of heat.

Whereas ring lights that need batteries only last as long as the batteries do. Rechargeable ring lights only last for as long as they stay charged.

Even though you can leave an LED ring light on for a while, you probably won’t need to. Shooting videos and capturing pictures takes a while, but it doesn’t last 24/7. You probably won’t need to leave your LED ring light on all the time. Doing so will only waste energy.

LED lights are powered through electricity. Electricity comes from power plants that release dangerous gases, causing additional air pollution in the long run. Furthermore, not switching lights off contributes to light pollution, which can affect several ecosystems.

Lighting may only take up around 5% of the total household energy consumption, but wasted energy builds up fast.

All these reasons explain why you should only leave your LED ring light on for the time that it is needed.

While high-quality LED lights are ideal for prolonged use, lower-quality ring lights are not. These products may be cheap, but they use poorly made parts that may not meet safety requirements.

They may be wired badly, causing them to overvolt or become too cool. These LED ring lights won’t pass a stress test so they shouldn’t be used for a long period.

Choosing A Ring Light With A Long Lifespan

If you want to choose a ring light that will last you a while, choose one with LEDs. Most ring lights use LED bulbs, so finding one shouldn’t be too hard. LED ring lights are more affordable than ones made in the past, so there’s going to be an option for every budget.

It’s important to choose a well manufactured, high-quality LED ring light. In most cases, this will ensure your choice has a long lifespan and is made from suitable components. However, be aware that good-quality ring lights don’t have to cost a lot.

Several brands create more affordable ones that perform well and last a long time.

Before you go ahead and buy one, do your research. Look at options that are recommended, then look at the customer reviews. Looking at what people say about a specific product will let you know if it’s worth buying or not.

If it isn’t worth your time, look at what another brand offers.

Ring lights that are larger tend to be more expensive, especially if they come with various features. Some of these features include changing colors, dimmable lights, and Bluetooth. Other ring lights come with a desktop stand that allows them to stand on a desk.

You can also find ring lights that can clip onto your phone, which are great for selfies and social media.

Your purpose for the ring light also matters. Ring lights with a greater diameter can be good for portrait photography or professional vloggers. In this case, these will be an investment into your career.

However, if you want a ring light for little projects or selfies, you can get away with a smaller, less expensive ring light.

In Summary

Ring lights will eventually stop working, but ones with a fluorescent ring bulb will falter sooner than ones using LED bulbs. LED bulbs have several advantages, as they are energy efficient, emit better light, and can save you money on your electric bills.

Good quality LED bulbs can have a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours. If you take care of your LED ring light, it should last for a very long time, but look out for any bulbs that start to fade. This indicates the LED bulb is at the end of its lifespan.