LED light panels are great tools to have in your studio regardless of whether your a working with video or still photography. The continuous light sources come in a variety of sizes, but the nice ones also come at a price that may not agree with everyone’s budget. In this exceptionally well made video tutorial from the nice folks over at DIY Perks, you can learn how to make your own $500 dollar panel for under $70.
Before we get started, we should probably let you know this isn’t exactly the easiest or fastest project we’ve featured. It’s also not the most difficult, but you’ll need to be comfortable with power tools and know how to (or learn how to) work a soldering iron. If you’re willing to put in the time, the end product could save you some serious dough and also boost your DIY cred to all new heights.
Why This Panel Rocks
As far as LED light panels are concerned, this one is a pretty legit DIY project. It has a lot of features to it that make it a highly usable and reliable light source that will help you create some great images. Let’s take a closer look at a few key points:
- It’s bright. Combined, the 900 individual LED lights put off an amount of light that is equivalent to that of a 1000w incandescent light bulb or 22 45-watt CFLs. In most cases, that’s brighter than you will need from a single continuous light source. That’s not to say you should worry about it being too bright…
- This light panel is dimmable, too, so you can adjust it up or down to dial in on how much light it emits. The schematics used in the video tutorial also plan out an access slot so you can easily add gel filters to help stop down the light or alter the color balance.
- The voltage based dimming system (as opposed to a PWM dimming system that is sometimes used on LED lights) is especially beneficial when you realize that it virtually eliminates flickering in the lights, which create unsightly strobing lines in video footage. Voltage based dimming also opens up the door as to what kind of power sources you can use to run the light panel. Have an old computer laying around? You could harvest its power supply and use it.
- And, there’s also this:
What You’ll Need
- (1) Sheet of 6mm Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
- (1) Sheet of 18mm MDF
- (1) Camera shoe adapter
- (1) 47cm long aluminium tube or wooden dowel
- (2) 27cm long aluminum tubes or wooden dowels
- (1) 22k potentiometer and knob
- (1) Power switch
- Spool of magnet wire
- (1) 6.8k resistor
- Set of XT60 connectors
- Small & medium wood screws
- 100W Step-down voltage regulator (available on eBay)
- 12 awg wire
- Small fan
- 15-meters neutral white LED strips
So, without further ado…
Here’s how it’s done:
[ via FilmmakerIQ ]