Build Your Own Variable Temperature LED Light Panel For Ultimate Control

Feb 15, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Build Your Own Variable Temperature LED Light Panel For Ultimate Control

Feb 15, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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When it comes to LED lights and light panels you usually get what you pay for.

Durability, battery efficiency, CRI and color consistency are just some of the factors which are going to contribute toward the price of commercial LED lighting solutions, which is often very high (although, there are exceptions).

But what can you do if you just want to have a dabble with artificial lighting for video, or just try out LED lights for stills, without having to make a huge cash investment first?

Well, you could buy something lower end, but I’ve often found that their color isn’t that great, they chug through batteries, and adjusting the brightness reliably and consistently is far easier said than done.

Or, as rctestflight did, you can build your own!

YouTube video

As with the commercial LED lights, when you are building your own you will also get what you pay for, and we’ve featured DIY Light Panels before, but this time we have variable color temperature control.

If you buy cheap or low quality parts, you may have some issues, but even buying more expensive components will still work out much cheaper than the fully finished manufactured products, even if they do look a little less polished.

LED Lights Panel

When you design and make the build yourself, you get complete control over things like size, brightness and colour temperature (and even variable temperature by mixing LEDs with dimmers as in the video above).

Of course, constructing your own LED light panels isn’t a viable option for everybody.  Sure, the decent commercial options can be very expensive, but they’re ready to use right out of the box, and they just work.

If, however, you’re electronically inclined, have a few surface mount LED strips hanging around, and some time to use up, this can be a fun and useful little project.

I think it’s time for me to dust off my soldering iron and give this one a go!

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “Build Your Own Variable Temperature LED Light Panel For Ultimate Control”

  1. UP Avatar
    UP

    only one question – what the CRI is against “fully finished manufactured products”?
    I would guess no more than 80 against 90,95,97