What I think about the selfie light Alix Earle made famous on TikTok

Most assume that camera hardware dictates image quality. While that’s true to an extent, professionals know that often better lighting can have a more immediate impact on your photos and videos. So, when influencer Alix Earle made a $32 selfie light TikTok famous, the photographer in me had to ask: Is the Newmowa Mobile Phone LED light really that good? Or is everyone simply discovering how much impact a little light can have?


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I swallowed my vanity and shot some selfies with my iPhone and the Newmowa Mobile Phone LED SL-60AI light to see if this $32 light is really worth the TikTok fame. Are there better lights out there? Sure, but for the $32 price point, this little Newmowa light can have a big impact.


Newmowa 60 LED High Power Rechargeable Clip Fill Video Light

Best Value

Compact and incredibly simple to use, this Newmowa selfie light can make a dramatic improvement in your photos. The clip design makes it easy to attach to most smartphones and tablets, while the three-button operation is straightforward. The clip does slip on thinner devices like laptops or an iPhone without a case. While it’s not the best selfie light out there, it’s a solid option for the price point.


  • Compact design
  • Easy to use
  • Adjustable brightness and color
  • USB-C or Micro USB charging

  • Can slip on laptops and phones without a case
  • Small size can create shiny spots

Price, specs and availability

The Newmowa Mobile Phone LED is available for around $32 from Amazon.

Newmowa 60 LED High Power Rechargeable Clip Fill Video Light

4.1×3.0x0.5 inches


250 lux


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Design, size, and materials

Compact convenience

At its most basic, the Newmowa LED light is a light panel with two different mount options. The selfie light isn’t quite as compact as a smartphone, but it can easily slide into a coat pocket or purse. The panel itself is roughly four by three inches and half an inch thick, with the two different mount options adding a little to the back and bottom of the accessory.

If you know how to work a chip clip, you can fasten this selfie light to your phone.

The controls sit on the side of the panel and there are just three: an on/off toggle, and separate plus and minus buttons. The latter two control the brightness of the light. You can also use the on/off button to adjust the color of light the accessory produces by turning on the cooler lights, the warmer ones, or both.

A photograph of the Newmowa selfie light

Underneath those are two micro USB and USB-C charging ports. That means most people can charge the Newmowa light with the power adapter that came with their phone. On the back corner, a set of four small lights indicates remaining battery life.

I prefer using the clip because you can adjust the angle of the light. This is a key feature for creating flattering light.

There are two ways to attach the Newmowa light. The first is with an actual clip which works for selfies as well as the rear-facing camera, or even a tablet or laptop for video conferencing. The second attachment option is a phone cradle where the light sits on the back of the phone for the rear-facing camera only.

I prefer using the clip because you can adjust the angle of the light. This is a key feature for creating flattering light. The cradle option also took up most of the back of my iPhone, leaving little room for the three camera lenses or my fingers. I could get a better grip if I simply used the clip facing outwards.

The design of the Newmowa clip light is straightforward. However, it does feel a bit plasticky. For the price, that’s what I expected. It survived a fall off the tripod, but I’m not sure how much of that was down to luck.


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Ease of use and experience

Almost as simple as a chip clip

You don’t have to be a photographer to use the Newmowa LED light. Just clip it on and make sure the clip opening affords the front-facing camera an unblocked view. After powering on the device, use the plus and minus buttons to increase or decrease the light intensity as needed. A short tap rather than pressing and holding the button will adjust the color temperature; this can be used to better match the existing light in the room or create warmer or cooler skin tones.

One of the biggest advantages to using a selfie light like the Newmowa is that you can get great photos without knowing anything about light.

There is one minor exception: The light should be clipped to the top of the phone and angled slightly down towards your face. Don’t clip it to the bottom of your phone unless you want to look like you’re holding a flashlight up to your chin to tell scary stories around the campfire.

A photograph of the Newmowa selfie light

Another great feature about the Newmowa selfie light is that it can also work for video calls. The clip does work a little better around a thicker device, however. When clipped to the FaceTime camera on my MacBook Pro, it had a tendency to slip out of place. The rubber on the front of the clip also moved as the clip slipped, and I ended up taking it off because I was concerned it might scratch the laptop.

I left the light on for an hour and a half at low power, and the clip light’s battery indicator still showed as full. The battery lasts long enough to use for video calls as well as selfies.



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Selfies comparing with and without the Newmowa selfie light

Without selfie light (left) compared to with (right)

Lighting quality assessment, from a pro

For the price, this selfie light makes a dramatic difference

Light is key to creating flattering portraits, self-portraits included. Bad light will wash out and desaturate skin tones, create under-eye shadows like you haven’t slept in a week, and even dull your eye color. To understand what the Newmowa is capable of, let me give you a mini-lesson in lighting. Three areas I assessed the light’s effect on portraits are:

  1. Shadow around eyes and jawline.
  2. Skin texture appearance.
  3. Skin tone — washout versus natural colors.

First, shadow placement is key. Shadows falling under your eyes make you look tired, while shadows falling under your chin make a double chin less noticeable. Because the chip-clip-like attachment on the Newmowa allows you to adjust the angle, you can fully light the eyes while defining the jawline with a bit of shadow. Point one for Newmowa.

Another key to flattering lighting is to reduce the appearance of texture on the skin.


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Another key to flattering lighting is to reduce the appearance of texture on the skin. When subtle textures in the skin like old acne scars, fresh pimples, or wrinkles have a shadow, they will be less noticeable. The larger the light source is, the less noticeable this texture is. The Newmowa selfie light had to balance the size of the light with portability. It’s a decent balance — still small enough to create some shadows under the chin, but large enough not to exaggerate skin texture. However, it can occasionally create the appearance of shiny skin that a softer light source may not.

Finally, a good light will help prevent skin tones from washing out. Colors that fall in the shadows tend to turn more gray. Lighting the eyes is also key to helping the color pop. Most lights will help with this, even small ones, so give another point to the Newmowa clip light.

One of the things this selfie light can’t do is overpower the sun, which is hardly surprising for a 4W budget light. It can help skin retain its color in outdoor selfies, but you still shouldn’t stand with your back to a window or the background will be washed out.

A selfie comparison with and without the Newmowa Selfie light

Without selfie light (left) vs with selfie light (right)

Choosing a light that’s larger than the Newmowa’s four inches will also help, but the trade-off is a decrease in portability for larger LED panels.

Does the Newmowa create flattering light for selfies? Yes. However, it’s worth noting that a lot of similar products will help improve your selfie game.

Ring lights have seen a resurgence in popularity for tasks like makeup tutorials. The circle-shaped light will light the face from every direction. That won’t create the chin definition that the Newmowa does or fit in a pocket, but they are exceptional tools for smoothing out skin texture and wrinkles by eliminating shadows on the skin, plus adding a circle-shaped sparkle to the eyes. Choosing a light that’s larger than the Newmowa’s four inches will also help, but the trade-off is a decrease in portability for larger LED panels.


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A photograph of the Newmowa selfie light

Verdict: Is the Newmowa Alix Earle light trendy or worth it?

For $32, the Newmowa selfie light creates a dramatic improvement in self-portraits, as well as vlogs. The chip-clip-style light makes it exceptionally easy for anyone to create great light for photos and video, even with little know-how on the subject of lighting.

But is the Newmowa the best selfie light out there? Probably not. It’s a solid light for the price point. But it’s not the most durable option — the grip that keeps it from scratching your device started to slip off when I clipped it to my MacBook, and it’s a bit plasticky. Other high-end lights will offer more power along with a more durable build — at a higher price point.

If you want to improve your selfies for under $35 without packing an oversize light, the Newmowa SL-60AI is a good choice. If you want something with more durability, you’ll need to spend a bit more. And if portability isn’t important, a large ring light will really help to minimize skin texture and make the eyes pop.

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