Bolt VM-160 Macro Ring Light REVIEW

4 min readSep 10, 2018

Over the years I have been obsessed with having the perfect camera go bag. I do lots of different types of photography and I needed a way to have the tools I need when I need them ready for me. I’ve been able to gather many types of accessories for my camera, but lighting has been one thing that’s been difficult for me to add into my kit. I have a small portable panel light that fits on top of my camera, but it’s harsh for things like macro and can sometimes not even light the area I’m going for depending on how close I am. That’s why I sought out the Bolt VM-160 Macro Right Light.


The Bolt VM-160 Macro Ring Light is perfect light to capture close-ups or portraits. It features 18 high-output LEDs with a guide number of 21’/6.4m at ISO 100. It’s universal in design and independent of any specific TTL system. It has six levels of brightness adjustment from -1.5 EV to +1.5 EV. It also provides a continuous light source when you are recording video. Four clip-on diffusers are included — clear, frosted, amber, and blue. Users have control between left and right side illumination to add dimension and the light can even be set to ‘flash’ mode to work automatically with your camera’s flash function.

The attached power unit of the Bolt light has a 1.6” backlit LCD monitor for battery power and settings. It will attach to your camera using an accessory shoe and requires 4 AA batteries. There is also a stand included to hold the power adapter on its own. There are eight different adapter rings included to fit different lenses: 49, 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72, and 77mm.


The ring light comes in a well-labeled box. An image of the product is on the front box with the name of it printed below the picture. Inside the box, you will find light, the diffuser panels, and the power adapter. I was very eager to get started with the Bolt ring light when it arrived. So, I grabbed my Canon 5D Mark IV and tried to mount it to one of my lenses. I have had some issues with seeing the ring in the frame I found out quickly that it would not work with my 24–105. This is due to how wide the lens goes. But when I put on my 100mm Macro, I didn’t have any problems. I didn’t really have many issues with the ring light staying in place unless I screwed the adapter on all the way then the light would not snap in place.

As it turns out, the ring light was just the thing I needed to make awesome portraits and close-up product shots. For my product shots, I typically use a lit white box, but sometimes I need just a bit more light up front. The ring light is perfect for that. I also like to take products around my office and on location to shoot some nice lifestyle shots. Again, the ring light is ideal for providing just the right amount of light the product. I use this for portraits and quite a bit for product photography. It’s become one of my must-have essentials. With eight included different adapter rings I have wonderful options to use it with my many different lenses.

In the two example shots below, you will see the difference between using the Bolt Ring Light and a standard flash. The portrait taken with the flash is well-lit but appears cooler than the example with the Ring Light. That shot has warm tones and a nice glow to it.


The Bolt VM-160 Macro Ring Light is really a must-have for any photographer. It is a tool for specialized photography and close-up subjects that can really make some nice photos be exceptional photos. Not only is the Ring Light easy to use but it’s also affordable and comes with lots of accessories. I don’t think you’ll find a better bargain when it comes to effect lighting for a DSLR.

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Originally published at on September 10, 2018.




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