Product photography can be really creative and fun. We’ve often seen it related to interesting DIY solutions, such as the “IKEA lamp hack” or my all-time favorite “garbage can hack.” This time, Eric Strebel shares with you a DIY solution for product photography lighting. It’s a cheap and super-lightweight LED softbox. It’s detachable and adjustable, so you can adapt it to any studio setup you use.
Eric starts by cutting and bending an aluminum sheet to form a box for the lights. He uses a press which most of us doesn’t own, but the good news is that you can bend aluminum without it as well. Here’s a DIY solution I found:
When you bend the aluminum to form a box, you need to glue the edges together with some epoxy.
As for the light, Eric adds LED strip lights to the aluminum box. He covers the entire surface of the aluminum with the LED strips and solders them together. He disassembles a track light so he can adapt it to his track system and use the wires to power the lights in his LED softbox. He adds a laptop power supply for the 12V, to power the lights. You can see the process from 3:02.
Eric adds some magnets to the light head and to the aluminum box. This allows him to make the softbox detachable, adjustable and versatile for his studio set up. Finally, he adds some diffusion material to the softbox In his case, it’s a sheet of vellum paper he glues to the aluminum box.
The finished light weighs only 716 grams (1,5 pounds), and here is how it looks:
You can attach the softbox to the modified light head with the magnets, or you can detach it. You can rotate it and make it horizontal or vertical. It takes some work, but if you’re willing to spend some time on this DIY project, you’ll get a cheap and versatile DIY lighting.
[Product Photography LED Soft Box Build take better video and photos | Eric Strebel]