When it comes to capturing images or videos, and however much the quality of cell phone cameras has improved, it may happen that a greater contribution of light is necessary, even more than what the smartphone’s own flash could provide.
In all cases the auxiliary lighting accessories for smartphones rely on LED technology.
Selfies, video recording with third parties, static or dynamic recording, photographs to objects or people, with some lighting present or in almost complete darkness… For each use there may be a different answer because there is a different need, although that yes, all of them with LED lighting technology behind, a lighting technology so widespread that it is present even in smart homes through smart bulbs.
Fortunately there is a wide industry of mobile lighting accessories capable of satisfying all needs, tastes and pockets. Below you will find some of these solutions with examples of all kinds, so that every user, for every occasion and for every type of content, can find the one that may be most suitable.
In the vast majority of cases the lighting comes from the famous LED rings, circular lamps with small LED diodes inside that generate a uniform illumination on the face of the subjects placed at close range.
There are usually different diameters of these LED rings, so depending on the needs (and budget) you can choose one or another model. Finally it is worth remembering that many LED lighting systems have some adjustments that allow to graduate both the intensity of illumination and the tone of the light, with cooler or warmer shades.
The best gadgets to improve the light of photos and videos with your cell phone.
-Selfie clip: These clips that clip onto the body of the smartphone itself provide a LED ring that is highly appreciated for its compact size and powerful illumination capability. Being so small in size, they fit perfectly in a pocket, purse or backpack.
The clamp system holds the accessory firmly on the cell phone and can be placed in either position, illuminating the user or whoever is in front of him. Therefore they work for selfies but also for photographs and video recordings made using the rear camera.
Some models include a polished surface as a mirror, so that for those who prefer the selfie with the rear camera is a great contribution to manage the framing and that everything is captured by the lens. Some models have a small internal battery that can be recharged via USB connection, while others are powered by AAA batteries.
-Desktop tripod with ring light: In this case the recording should be static, and either having a desk or a shelf or similar where to place the tripod, which presents a low height. Due to its compact size, this type of tripod would also allow to fold the legs and use it as a support for dynamic recordings, holding it by hand.
The cell phone is held in the holder located in the center of the light ring so that the face of the person making the recording receives uniform illumination. Its advantage is its small size, its disadvantage is that it limits the ability to move if it is placed on a piece of furniture. It is powered by USB, and can be connected to either a charger or a portable battery.
-Standing tripod with light ring: With these devices the limitation of movement is maintained but it is no longer necessary to have a piece of furniture where to place the tripod. There are different models, more and less flimsy (and expensive) and bulky enough to not fit in a backpack or small bag. On the other hand, they allow you to record videos or take photos almost anywhere.
The tripod stays tucked away and takes up less space for convenient carrying. Both the ring light and the central bracket for holding the smartphone can be removed for transport. The LED ring is USB powered and can be connected to either a charger or a portable battery.
-Stand tripod with light ring and possibility to connect accessories: This is an evolution on the previous model that either already includes other accessories (such as other lighting systems or auxiliary microphone stands) or has the necessary fastenings to attach additional stands.
This makes it possible to add, next to the front lighting LED ring other LED torches for side fill lighting, microphones or a holder for a tablet to be able to read the recording script or to have access to the reactions of the followers in streaming transmissions.
-Bracket with automatic stabilizer with the possibility of connecting accessories: Gimball-type stabilizers, capable of automatically counteracting oscillations or vibrations of the operator’s hand, have become tremendously popular thanks to the results of videos recorded with these devices. While most are geared to simply hold a camera or cell phone, some also allow for the attachment of auxiliary LED lighting systems.
-LED torch: It has an internal USB rechargeable battery that allows to have the necessary energy to illuminate any scenario. There is a wide variety of models with different sizes, weights, power, number of LED diodes… Due to their usually compact size they are easily transportable in a pocket, and when recording videos, when handling the cell phone with one hand and the LED torch with the other, they offer the possibility of achieving curious dynamic lighting effects and shadows in movement. They usually have a screw thread for attaching to cameras or tripods.
-Night lamp: A final accessory, not strictly oriented to serve for video recording or snapshot capture, allows you to transform the camera flash itself into a night light. These are ingenious designs that imitate antique quinqués or the recognizable silhouette of the classic night lamp.
Made of a translucent white plastic, they are placed by means of a clip system on the back of the cell phone, just above the flash diode. When turned on, its light is boosted by the translucent plastic piece providing, instead of the powerful and unidirectional light of the flash, a pleasant, diffused and soft contour illumination. All that remains is to use it to achieve an intimate effect on a date, to weather a blackout or to read until sleep overcomes the user.