Glowing Rings Set Creator Economy on Fire Amid Pandemic Gloom

A ring light is basically a ring-shaped fluorescent bulb or several small LED lights connected to form a circle on a stand. It is placed behind a camera to provide even illumination, making the object in the front crisp and bright. For those in the creative economy, this may be the best thing since sliced ​​bread. “If I had to put production tools in order of necessity, I would say ring lighting is on top,” says Naik, who currently has over 1.3 million followers on Instagram. “I need it as much as a camera to shoot videos,” she adds.

With many new users joining the Creatorverse during the pandemic, there has been an increase in demand for these lights both online and offline. Amazon India saw an increase in ring light sales in 2020, which increased by around 50% in 2021, a company spokesperson said. At Flipkart, the demand for flash ring lights more than doubled in 2021 compared to the previous year.

“While tripods and microphones were already widely used, ring lights gained popularity among creators in the post-pandemic era as a simple and affordable solution for home vlogging where it was difficult to create a setup. professional studio for many, ”says Rakesh Krishnan, senior director of electronics at Flipkart. Flipkart has also seen an increase in demand for the cheaper and smaller variant, the movable light rings, during this period.

Over the past five years, interest in the search term “ring light” has seen a sharp increase on Google Trends India for the first time during the last week of March 2020, coinciding with the first lockdown caused by a pandemic. Interest has reached its highest level. a year later, in the second week of May 2021.

Right now, a ring light is arguably the most important symbol of the designer economy. Inevitably, “even stationery and electronics stores near designer access points in Tier 1 cities sell light rings and display them in advance,” notes Gautam Madhavan, founder of the platform. Delhi-based influencer marketing firm Mad Influence, which represents over 300 influencers and celebrities.

In fact, in the main electronics centers in the subways, the light rings have become the most visible element of the exhibition. You’ll find them in the electronics stores of Nehru Place, Chandni Chowk, Lajpat Rai Market, and Palika Bazar in Delhi, for example. It’s hard to miss them as you pass the shops on both sides of the tracks leading to the busiest local stations of Andheri, Borivali, Bandra and Mira Road in Mumbai. A wide variety of ring lights are available at electronic centers in the SP Road area in Bengaluru and in the Irla and Crawford markets in Mumbai.

While ring lights are available at different prices, starting at ??500 up to ??10,000, a few high-end ring lights that come with multiple accessories can cost up to ??40,000 too. The price depends on the length of the tripod, camera / mobile mount, additional filters, among others. Traditionally, ring lights have been used in specific fields. “As dentists use them to take images of tooth structure,” says Abhimanyu Thakur (@technomanyu), a tech creator with 140,000 followers on Instagram. “But thanks to the growing number of creators, they have become more mainstream now. Companies like Digitek and Sunup are aggressively using influencer marketing to promote their light rings to different types of users,” he adds.

The reflection of a luminous ring in the eyes of the subject of a video is the mark of a seasoned creator, separating him from amateurs. But now the ring lights have also attracted professionals from other industries who buy them for their Zoom calls, says Thakur.

AS Electronics, at Andheri in Mumbai, has a prototype ring light on display at the entrance to the store. “We started selling light rings shortly after the first lockdown in 2020 because there was a high demand,” says Binod Mali, 34, the store manager. Most of its sales are aimed at professionals currently working from home.

For members of the designer economy, light rings are more than just a utility tool. “I still haven’t thrown away my first ring light which cost me ??500 because I have an attachment with it ”, explains Naik from Pune, whose last ring light cost him 10 times more.

Almost every designer has a story behind their first ring light. Naveen Singh (@bihariladka) was in grade 10 when he got his first ring light in March 2019. “I was studying in Kota at the time. My older brother called me to tell me he ordered it in Mumbai, and it will reach me soon, “recalls Singh, a designer famous for his humorous posts and a slice of life with 1.3 million followers. on Instagram. It took 15 days for the ring light, so at the cost of ??7000, to reach it. “It was damaged in transit,” adds Singh, who was recently named one of Instagram’s “25 Instagrammers Under 25”. “Yet I continue to use the same ring light for all of my videos and take it with me wherever I go,” he says.

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