How To Build A Square Light Beauty Rig

Aug 27, 2013

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How To Build A Square Light Beauty Rig

Aug 27, 2013

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We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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I have had and used a regular ring light and though I liked the even lighting it produced, it was not something I used often and when asked about selling it – I did. The smooth, clean KinoFlo fluorescent lighting effect on portrait subjects interested me; but a KinoFlo rig was out of my price range.

How To Build A Square Light Beauty Rig

One day while putzing around my garage and the remnants of my photography studio I found the makings of my own fluorescent lighting rig.

Not quite a ring light – not quite a KinoFlo but it does produce both interesting catchlights and even headshot lighting.

The parts supply list is short and the build is pretty straight forward.

How To Build A Square Light Beauty Rig

  • 4ea Hydrofarm Single T5 Fluorescent Fixture w/tube, 24″ Model: FLT52. $30ea
    • Includes electronic ballast, clips and fixture
    • No noise. Rapid start. Low heat.
    • No frequency flickering
  • 6′ Power Cord
  • “Daisy-Chain” Cable – Connect up to 8 Units
  • Canvas is white back-stapled 24×30” artist canvas. $10

Studio usage is simple however the total light produced does not equal the larger multi-light per side KinoFlo. A fast lens and/or boosting your ISO (400ish) are almost a requirement to get decent shutter speeds. I use a tripod when able. Blue scarf image below: Handheld, Nikon D800, f/3, 1/100, ISO 200

The light from this setup produces is soft, smooth and draws my eye deeply into the image.

How To Build A Square Light Beauty Rig

I have added an additional 24” under cabinet fluorescent fixture (replaced supplied tube with a 6500k version) as a hair light behind my subject to produce a bit of separation from the background.

 

How To Build A Square Light Beauty Rig

This rig works perfectly with the Light Blaster as it does not spill much light onto the background. I placed Cinefoil as a flag on back of the hair light to prevent light spillage from it.

Additional images from the shoot shown above can be seen here: 3 Girl – Hat & Scarf Day set on Flickr.

About The Author

Ray Dauphinais is the owner of Creative Concept Studios. you can follow them on twitter and on Facebook.

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7 responses to “How To Build A Square Light Beauty Rig”

  1. Robert Miler Avatar
    Robert Miler

    I remember reading a tutorial about cutting out letters from a canvas, kind of like a stencil. that if you coat the un-primed side with varnish or something similar, the cutout will be more durable. if it’s even an issue.

  2. Matthieu Avatar
    Matthieu

    With such device, I think reflection in the eye of the model should be photoshoped. I don’t like the square white box it shows…

  3. ohHenry Avatar
    ohHenry

    Looks similar to my build. The exception being I used two bulbs on each side and a tighter fitting hole for the lens. And mines dimable.

    I have a second ring strobe on the front of the lense.

    I’ve started a build using LEDs for the square going with a larger ring strobe for lens. The LEDs are RGB so my color choice would be extensive for the square rig. We’ll see how it works out once completed. I may go back to the smaller lens strobe. ..?

    1. udi tirosh Avatar
      udi tirosh

      sounds a really great build. would love to see the final result and share with the readers.

      1. ohHenry Avatar
        ohHenry

        No problem, I’ll email you some build and final pics when done. It’s a simple build really.

        1. udi tirosh Avatar
          udi tirosh

          thanks, that would be sweet!

  4. April Avatar
    April

    Would be really great if you actually explained how to put it together because I’m just not that creative or mechanically ept.