Top Tools

The Best Accessories You Need to Create Video Content With Your Phone as an Absolute Beginner

Teleprompter team
March 28, 2023
The Best Accessories You Need to Create Video Content With Your Phone as an Absolute Beginner

Starting out with content creation and feeling overwhelmed? Fear no more! In this blog, we'll be exploring the perfect tripod for content creation alongside other best accessories you need to get your setup going like a pro. Plus tips and tricks to help you choose the right tools for your needs. 

From tripods and mounts to lighting and microphones, we'll cover all the essentials to help you create videos that stand out - all without the stress.

1. Tripods and Mounts: The Foundation of Stable Content Creation

smartphone in a tripod

Using a tripod or mount is essential for any phone teleprompter setup. Without one, you'll likely end up with shaky footage that is distracting to your viewers. Plus, holding your phone for extended periods of time can be tiring and uncomfortable.

There are plenty of tripod and mount options on the market, each with their own unique features and benefits. Let's take a closer look at three of the most popular choices.

Note: These recommendations focus on smartphone users. Stay tuned for our upcoming piece on must-have gear for at-home videography setups

Joby GripTight GorillaPod

This option is a fan favorite among content creators for its versatility and durability. With flexible legs that can be wrapped around almost anything, this tripod can be used in a variety of settings, whether you're filming on a table or out in the wilderness. It's also lightweight and compact, making it easy to take with you wherever you go.

Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod

This option is great for those who want a more traditional tripod setup but still want something that's compact and easy to transport. The PIXI Mini is made of sturdy aluminum and has adjustable legs, allowing you to get the perfect angle for your shots. It's also compatible with a wide range of devices, including smartphones, cameras, and even GoPros.

Shoulderpod S1

This mount is designed to fit almost any smartphone and can be used with or without a tripod. It's made of high-quality materials and has a comfortable grip, making it easy to hold for extended periods of time. The Shoulderpod S1 also has multiple mounting points, allowing you to attach accessories like lights and microphones.

So, whether you opt for a flexible tripod like the Joby GripTight GorillaPod, a compact tripod like the Manfrotto PIXI Mini, or a mount like the Shoulderpod S1, investing in a tripod or mount is sure to take your phone teleprompter setup to the next level.

2. Lighting

Lighting is essential because it sets the mood and tone of your video. It can highlight your features, make you look more flattering, and even help to convey a certain emotion or feeling. Plus, good lighting can make your video look more professional and polished. Investing in proper lighting doesn’t have to break the bank and doing it in the beginning is better than having to grimace every time you want to link your old content. 

But in terms of actual product types, there are three main categories to cover the majority of at-home and staged content creation. 

Ring Light 

Ah yes, the ubiquitous ring light, subject of much jesting, but by now, it’s the secret weapon behind the natural glow of everyone from C-suite executives to Twitch streamers. If you’ve missed it, they are a circular light that sits around your phone or camera lens. The reason why they work so well is because of the shape it provides a soft, even light that's great for reducing shadows and creating a flattering look pretty much regardless of the existing lighting in the room (not to say that doesn’t help!).

Here are some top things to keep in mind when choosing one:  

  • Brightness: Multiple brightness options will allow you to adjust based on the natural light available to you and the space you’re shooting in. 
  • Size (in diameter) The best light size for Instagram Reels and TikTok videos are ideally 12-18 inches
  • 10- to 12-inch ring lights are more so considered "selfie lights" for headshots, while 
  • 14- to 18-inch ring lights would be great for situations while standing or if you’re going to be several feet away from the light when shooting
  • Plugs and chargers: Some ring lights will only work with a USB plugin, others plug into the wall, and some are cordless or require batteries. Double-check so you’re not buying an extension cord on top of the ring light. 
  • Tripod: This should be sturdy enough not to tip over at a gust of wind, grips on the tripod feet will help you shoot, and flexible tripod legs will help you adjust to uneven surfaces or to position your light at an angle. Adjustable height will allow you to use the same light for shooting close-up (such as on a desk) and further away (like a hands-on tutorial video).
  • Mounting options: It should be able to hold the phone horizontally or vertically at a minimum
  • Portability Are you planning on shooting indoors or outdoors? On the go or just at home? Then choose a ring light that will fold up and  has a carrying case with handles
  • Accessories options: If you plan on using a microphone or an accessory arm (for example to hold an iPad to function as a teleprompter), then check to see if you can add-on to the ring light. If you want to be able to use it with a remote control, check to see if it has Bluetooth capabilities

Clip-on lights

Clip-on lights attach to your phone or tripod and give a glow of light typically rectangular. They are also a great way to achieve a specific mood or atmosphere in your video. For example, you could use a warm, yellow light to create a cozy feeling, or a bright white light to create a more clinical or professional look.

These are often used by professional content creators for Zoom calls and webinars because they can be clipped to a shelf right behind your laptop. And since they are small and fairly direct, they’re great for patching light “holes” when you don’t have adequate lighting from a window without as much finagling as a ring light for the inexperienced among us. 

If you:

  • don’t want to deal with a bulky ring light setup or 
  • typically shoot sitting down facing the same direction
  • want to set it and forget it, a clip-on light 
  • have limited space to wrangle a large(r) light

Then a Clip-on light might be a good choice.

(Bonus points, if you wear glasses it won’t leave you with that eerie circle reflection like a ring light will!)

LED light panels

LED light panels are made up of multiple LED bulbs arranged in a grid that can be adjusted for brightness and color temperature. They tend to be larger than ring lights or clip-ons, but are a great option if you need more control over your lighting setup. 

Light panels mimic natural sunlight and can be easily adjusted to fit various angles and positions, giving you greater control over your light source. 

They are particularly useful in low-light situations where you might not have enough natural light to create a well-lit video. Some LED light panels even come with remote controls, allowing you to adjust the lighting from a distance.

Unlike a ring light with your device typically mounted to the center, you can place a LED light panel pretty much anywhere. They can be mounted on a tripod, attached to a camera, or simply placed on a table or desk. This makes them a great option for video content creators who need to shoot on location or who have limited space in their studio.

The downside is that these tend to be larger and require more setup and experience to get perfect, so if you’re a beginner, you’d do best to start with something easier.

When to use what kind of light

When it comes to choosing between a ring light, clip-on lights, and an LED light panel for video content creation, there are a few factors to consider.

Ring lights are best for creating a unique and eye-catching look, particularly for beauty or fashion content. The circular shape of the light creates a distinctive halo effect around the subject's face, which can help create a flattering and even glow. They are also great for creating a catchlight effect in the eyes, which can add depth and dimension to the subject's face.

Clip-on lights, on the other hand, are best for adding extra illumination to your videos, particularly in low-light situations. They are small, portable, and easy to attach to various surfaces, making them a versatile and convenient option for video content creators who need to shoot on location or have limited space in their studio. Clip-on lights are also adjustable, allowing you to control the intensity and direction of the light.

Finally, LED light panels are best for providing high-quality, even lighting for your videos. They are particularly useful in low-light situations where you might not have enough natural light to create a well-lit video. LED light panels are adjustable, allowing you to control the intensity and color temperature of the light, and they are also portable and easy to use.

Ultimately, the best lighting option for your video content creation will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider the type of content you are creating, the lighting conditions in your shooting location, and your budget when choosing between a ring light, clip-on lights, or an LED light panel.

The price is light

Now, let's talk about features and prices. Ring lights can range from around $20 to $100, depending on the size and quality. LED light panels can be more expensive, ranging from $50 to $300 or more. Features to consider include brightness levels, color temperature control, and whether the light is rechargeable or requires batteries.

Overall, the right lighting setup can make all the difference in your Instagram videos. Consider your budget and specific needs when choosing a lighting option, and don't be afraid to invest in quality equipment that will make your videos shine.

There are literally hundreds of options on Amazon and beyond for all lighting options, at various price points, so find one that fits your needs and hit add to cart. You might have to experiment with different options for different areas of your space and different times of day as well. If you came here just for product suggestions, here's the skinny.

3 options for beginner video content creators. 

Ring light: UBeesize Selfie Ring Light with Tripod Stand ($35.99 on Amazon)

First off, with the UBeesize Selfie Ring Light you can affix your phone to the center of the ring light, so this takes care of both tripod and phone mount (yay!). It has 3 light color modes (Warm, Cool White, Daylight) and 10 levels brightness. The tripod will extend from 16” to 50” (a little over 4 feet), and has a 360* swivel and the ability to tilt the light at a 45*, 90* and 180* angle. Plus, it comes with a wireless remote control and a 3 year warranty. . 

To top it off, it has a 4.5 star rating out of 51,500+ reviews (yep, it’s that good!).

Clip light: Logitech Litra Glow Premium LED Streaming Light with TrueSoft $49.99 on Amazon 

If you’re a streamer of color, then you know that most lights leave you looking…let’s say ashy (aka corpse-like). The Logitech Litra won’t dim your shine. It’s TrueSoft tech plus its frameless diffuser will give you a movie-star quality glow. You can even save brightness and color temperature presets with Logitech’s free G HUB desktop app.
Its one drawback - it’s a USB plug, so it can’t be used standalone unless you have an outlet or power strip with a USB port. 

LED light panel: Lume Cube $79.99 on Amazon

Is it a clip light? An LED panel? It’s both! The Lume Cube can be attached to your computer monitor or be by its lonesome on a stand. Its brightness options are granular down to the percentage point and i’s built-in diffuser gives a nice, warm (or cool!) pro-level glow. 

Pro tip: buy two of them for either side of your computer or phone stand to make sure you don’t have unflattering shadows. 

Bonus option: Neewer Dimmable Bi-Color LED with U Bracket $87.09 on Amazon

Is it cheap? No. 
Will it work for possibly every kind of shooting scenario you’re in, from an outdoor vlog to a webinar? Yes, yes it will. 


Starting with the right tripod for content creation and complementing it with appropriate lighting are your first steps toward producing high-quality videos. As we continue to expand this guide, we'll introduce more accessories that promise to make your content creation journey shine even brighter.

Stay tuned for updates and more insights into turning your content creation from a hobby into a profession.

Recording videos is hard. Try

Recording videos without a teleprompter is like sailing without a compass.

Get Started for free
App store badge

Since 2018 we’ve helped 1M+ creators smoothly record 17,000,000+ videos

Effortlessly record videos and reduce your anxiety so you can level up the quality of your content creation

App store badge