Controlling and modifying light is a lot of what photography with studio lights and battery powered strobes are about. Especially when it comes to portraits, I like to work with my lighting setups so they add something that is not perfect or flat.
Twisting and turning your lights to make use of the edges is one very effective way of doing that. Breaking up the light with a scrim, gobo or something else is also very rewarding.
This DIY project is all about a cheap prism from a LED Disco Party Bulb that I found for under 10 EUR/USD.
A cheap Disco Light bulb
When looking through a store in Stockholm for fun things to modify, I found this disco light that fits in a regular lamp socket.
A quick ocular inspection showed me that the plastic prisma on top felt like it would fit perfectly on a Profoto A1 with its round head.
Remove the bottom, keep the top
It was a perfect fit on my Profoto A1, just inside the outer ring. But removing it completely from the original mount on the LED lamp was not that easy. Pinch and pull and wiggle, and the top will come lose.
I think it might be the same as this I found on Amazon. $9.99
When you have removed the plastic prisma, there will be a rod left inside, screwed to the top that was a lot harder to remove.
A not-so-elegant solution
To remove that rod (if you don’t, it will be long enough to make it hard to have the prisma on your A1), I had to drill a few small holes around the screw to be able to wiggle it free.
But then it fit perfectly outside the fresnel lens of the A1. To make it easy, I just attached it with tape. A more elegant solution would of course be some kind of magnet, but that I save for version 2.
Nice Light Patterns
When you have it attached to your Profoto A1 (it might fit on the new Godox with the same round head, maybe?) it opens up all kinds of possibilities to light a background.
Put it close to a wall from the side, or aim it straight at something for one kind of light effect. Have it further away for something else.
Use the Zoom Function on Profoto A1
You can create a lot of different patterns and effects from the same angle and position just by zooming the head of your A1.
Cool lighting effects with filters
Do you have a roll of color gel laying around? Cut it in small pieces and tape it inside of the prisma, maybe more that one color?
No rainbow prisma effect
The only downside with this combination of a Profoto A1 and a cheap plastic prisma from a disco bulb is that you will probably not get any rainbow patterns.
I never went so far as to remove the fresnel lens of my A1, so the light source is a bit to big and filtered for that effect to happen.
Good for smoke effects, I guess
I have not tried this in combination with smoke yet, but I guess that it will be useful that way.
A cheap way of getting fun light
Every solution to make my lighting more fun is always welcome, and I found this to be exactly that. 10 Euro or Dollar for a piece of plastic that might not produce perfect prismatic effects, but good enough.
If you want to modify your light in a cheap and easy way, I can recommend buying something like this.
About the Author
Stefan Tell is a commercial portrait photographer based in Stockholm, Sweden. You can find out more about Stefan on his website and follow him on Instagram or Facebook. This article was also published here and shared with permission.