Best external flashes and LEDs for iPhone 2023
Level up your iPhone photography with better lighting.
The iPhone has one of the best cameras in the industry, and the built-in flash is good enough for most of your day-to-day photography needs. But it doesn't cast a wide light, and it isn't adjustable. When you need a little more creative freedom, you want one of today's best external flashes and LEDs. These lights work universally with all of the best iPhones, including the latest and greatest: iPhone 14 Pro Max.
This year, we named the QIAYA one of the best ring lights for selfies. It's a clip-on LED with 36 lamp beads, and it's controlled by a touch-sensitive switch. This little ring light recharges with a USB cable and puts you in a proper glow day or night.
The Profoto mobile light syncs over Bluetooth with your iPhone's shutter. Twenty LEDs in the C1 Plus mimic natural light, giving you perfect exposure with every snap. The C1 senses your environment, adjusts automatically, and fires with your iPhone when you click the shutter. There's nothing simpler.
Best panel light
The Lume Cube Panel can be directly connected to a DSLR camera or it can be mounted on a tripod near where you'll be shooting with your iPhone. The battery lasts a full 14 hours and recharges in less than two hours. You select the light temperature and brightness, then direct the light to your subject matter. Easy peasy.
For iPhone 12 and 13 users
If your daily driver is from the iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 lineup, you're going to love the LuMee Halo. It's a durable case with halo lights on the back for forward-facing pictures and illuminated edges on the front for selfies. There's even a dimmer switch, so you can go for the muted look or use a full-on floodlight.
Our favorite ring light
If you need to illuminate your subject with a steady stream of light, this 10-inch selfie ring and tripod kit from UBeesize is fantastic. It has a Bluetooth remote, allowing you to control the light's intensity from a distance, and a tripod that's extendable to 50-inches. If you do live streams or YouTube videos, this is your best option.
Best waterproof light
The Joby Beamo is a waterproof mini LED small enough to tuck in your pocket, yet it gives off enough light to film or snap photos in the dark. With five brightness levels and 1500 lumens, you can create anywhere with this portable powerhouse. Even cooler, the Beamo is magnetic. Stick it on a mount of your choosing, on the ground, or to anything metal. The Beamo is waterproof down to 100 feet.
The six-piece portable lighting kit from Lume Cube comes with one waterproof 5600K LED cube, one mod frame, a warming gel, a softening diffuser, and a mount. The light is waterproof up to 30 feet and brightness-adjustable, allowing you to work with everything from an intense beam of light to a subtle glow. The Lume Cube 2.0 works with iPhone, drones, and today's best digital cameras.
Steady your shot
The IVISII G2 is a pocket LED light, tripod, and selfie stick in one. The steady lighting works as a fill light and is hue adjustable, so it's perfect for mood lighting or getting more accurate colors out of your photos. The G2 has a rechargeable battery that lasts for three hours.
Look at all these accessories
This vlogging kit from Movo made our list of the best video rigs for iPhone this year. This full setup comes with a grip rig, stereo microphone, LED light, and a wireless remote. If you shoot video with your iPhone and need all the bells and whistles, scoop this deal up now.
Go flash someone
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Your iPhone's onboard flash is pretty good, but sometimes you need a little more oomph. Using external flashes and LEDs can give you more diffused light or just more light. These accessories also give you much more control over your lighting. If you just want something inexpensive and lightweight, go for the QIAYA Selfie Light Ring. It's easy to use and gives you just that flattering light you need to brighten up your selfies.
When you want continuous light, the Lume Cube Bicolor Panel is the one I travel with. The battery holds out 14 hours and the LEDs are temperature and brightness controllable with a switch on the side of the panel.
However, if you want the whole kit and caboodle, go for the excellent Movo Vlog Kit V7. If you're a creator or you just want to add a professional look and sound to your videos, this vlogging kit has everything you need.
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Jodi Owan works behind a keyboard and a camera. She's a freelance writer for iMore, Android Central, and Windows Central.
- Karen S FreemanContributor