Streamplify LIGHT 10″ Review

Streamplify is a shiny new streaming gear brand that aims to take the guesswork out of gearing up. In this review I’ll be looking at their LIGHT 10” ring light. A table-top ring light that’s great for getting upping your TikTok game (I can’t believe I just wrote those words) or lighting your face to be the prettiest of all the Zoom gang.

It may not surprise you to learn that we already owned a very, very cheap Neewer, table-top ring light. We picked it up for £26.99 (a shade under the £29.99 it currently retails for) and – while it did what we wanted it to do – it’s fair to say it’s garbage compared to Streamplify’s LIGHT 10”.

We picked the light up for our Will It Froth videos- a series of videos that revolve around chucking whatever dairy-free milk alternative we can lay our hands upon into a Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother and seeing… if it will froth. It mostly served its purpose, but it had several flaws that I think Streamplify’s LIGHT 10” addresses quite handily:

  • Adjustment
  • Mounting Options
  • Compatibility

Let’s take these one at a time and see how Streamplify stacks up.

Adjustment

One of the things we failed to consider when picking our old ring light was range of adjustment, both angle and height. It came on a fixed height base with a very limited, tilt-only head. The fairly tall, fixed height and narrow base also made it rather unstable and difficult to light a table-top subject. If you’re filming a craft video, or a will-it-froth video this can be a real show-stopper.

The little tripod included with LIGHT 10” looks – at first glance – quite terrible. It’s almost completely plastic, very light-weight and not at all aesthetically pleasing. It’s a far cry from my favourite Manfrotto Pixi, but then it’s also a great deal cheaper.

Looking at it with more charitable eyes reveals something that does a better job than most ring light tripods and doesn’t waste materials doing it.

LIGHT 10”s tripod includes all the features of a much more expensive Pixi, offering an adjustable, locking ball head, height adjustable legs with five detents for five different heights. The icing on the cake – albeit it took me a moment to notice – are the two different leg angles, configurable by rotating a collar around the top of the tripod that provides two different back stops for the legs. These are tremendously important when using a heavier camera, or using the ring light at extreme angles since the wider leg stance, coupled with their full extension gives a much larger footprint and thus – as is foretold by the immutable laws of physics – much more stability. Conversely the tighter leg stance gives you an extra height advantage if you’re using a phone on your desk and- like me- are something of tall boi.

Unlike the tabletop stand we ended up with in our Neewer ring light, the tripod is… just a regular tripod. You can put the ring-light away and use it on the bottom of your DSLR to stabilize shots while in the field, or as a hand grip. You can mount your phone right on the tripod for shooting craft videos or electronics tinkering. You can take the ring light and mount it on another tripod. You can mount the tripod to the bottom of your camera and then- get this- mount the *ring light* to the top of your camera via a cold shoe and and – oh this is cool – power it using a USB battery pack so you can shoot video or photos in the field with cool circles-in-your-pupils trendy lighting.

While the tripod feels a little cheap and flimsy (perhaps because, let’s face it, it kinda is) it’s possible to do the ball up tight enough to take the weight of a DSLR mounted at 45 degrees. That means you can hold it out at arm’s length as a selfie cam and pretend you’re Casey Neistat. Shake it and you’ll feel the plastic flex, but the ball doesn’t budge.

Oh, and did I mention you can take the ball head right off the top of the tripod and there’s a standard 1/4“ thread? Well, you can. This is useful if you want the ring light (or camera) dead level, and don’t want to mess around with adjusting the ball.

Mounting Options

The flexibility of Streamplify’s LIGHT 10” doesn’t end with the tripod, though. The ring light itself has standard 1/4“ threads in the top and bottom. The kit is supplied with a goose-neck phone mount that ends in a ball-head and spring clip. I’m not a huge fan of these, since it’s awkward to get the phone aligned in the center of the ring light without the spring clip squashing the volume/power buttons. It’s… fine… though, you don’t need to be a pedant like me to get good, well lit video out of your phone and the goose-neck can extend forwards so your phone is centered in front of the light.

There’s also a camera mount, which is just a 1/4“ thread to ball head to 1/4“ thread. This can serve to mount a camera into the ring light. An EOS 7D juuust fits, but you’re probably more realistically looking at a smaller mirrorless body or something like the G7X or – specifically – a camera with a top-flip, rather than a side-flip screen, since the latter would be behind the ring light.

What’s more interesting with larger camera bodies is that the ring-light can simply be removed from the tripod and carried around on the camera body, giving an easy portable light setup. This is a little awkward with the EOS 7D, which needs to be lop-sided so you can reach through the ring light and operate the camera- but it just about works.

Compatibility

I’ve touched upon this above, but it deserves to be reiterated that the standard 1/4“ threads used by the various components of Streamplify LIGHT 10” are fully compatible with a vast range of cameras and camera mounting accessories. If you want to stick LIGHT 10” on your regular camera tripod, you can. If you want to borrow the ball-head from the top of LIGHT 10”’s tripod for some other nefarious purpose… you can. If you need the mini tripod as a handy camera stabiliser or impromptu selfie-stick you can do that too.

The goose neck is something of an odd duck in this arrangement. It’s a standard mount, but it wont be much use without a 1/4“ thread joiner. I can’t seem to find one of those for love nor money, outside of cheese plate, anyway. (That’s a bit of metal with a bunch of standard camera accessory thread-size holes drilled into it.)

The Ring Light

The final piece of the Streamplify LIGHT 10” puzzle is the ring light itself. I’m not going to waste your time or mine by saying it lights gud. It’s a ring light. If you’re looking into them, you already know what you’re going to use it for. Point it at your face. Don’t crank it too high. Look great. Just don’t forget to fill out your background lighting for goodness sake.

The light is – as you might expect from the price point – a very minimalist, plastic affair that feels cheap and nasty but has surprisingly little flex. Light diffusion and consistency across the ring is pretty good in both warm and cool lighting modes, and there are no really noticeable hot spots or dark spots.

An inline remote on the USB cable gives you an on/off button, brightness control and a switch to change between cool, neutral and warm lighting modes. This is all fairly standard, but prepare to be caught out by the mode switch. If you’ve turned your brightness down in “warm” mode and you switch to “cool” mode (or vice versa) then the ring light will also return to its maximum brightness. Once you can see through the blotches in your vision you’ll no doubt dial it down, but if you’re switching between lighting modes often (I can’t think why you might, but then I may lack imagination) you might find this irritating.

Otherwise the USB cable is great, it’s long, it’s braided and the inline remote buttons have a very satisfying tactile click.

Overall

It’s the little things like the brightness setting not persisting between colour temperatures that – along with the cheap, but very functional build quality – betray the extremely keen price tag of the Streamplify LIGHT 10”. At just £19.99 it’s a phenomenal amount of bang for your buck. Let’s be clear here- £20 kits are plentiful in the world of 10” ring lights from Amazon, but the real value proposition here is that someone else has cared to pick out a light that works, and works well. On Amazon? Well, as we found out, it’s a bit of a lottery.

If you want affordable, versatile and sold by a brand you can actually (at least try to) complain to on Twitter, this is the 10” ring light for you. I’ve set it up behind my desktop microphone so I can avoid my office downlights making the bags under my eyes look like bin liners.