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Jeffrey B. Banke

A few sites for folks on a tight budget

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Thought that some particularly newbies might appreciate a tip as to where to find some extremely low cost solutions to lighting and other problems

 

I should point out first that all of these "solutions" have their drawbacks, and there will be certain things that you just cannot do with them that you can do with studio strobes, just as there are some things that cannot be done with studio strobes and require very low power on a portable flash.

I would always suggest that you buy once, buy right, however, I realize that is just impossible for some folks. So, take a look at these links, see if any will help you temporarily, just realize that you can fill your garage with a lot of useless stuff before you do buy studio strobes ;-)

Also some of the solutions involve "HOT" lights, which are hot, and will not be good for food, or people for extended periods of time, plus there is the danger of burning oneself inadvertently.

 

http://www.popphoto.com/DIYLighting

 

http://digital-photography-school.com/diy-flash-and-lighting-hacks-for-digital-photographers/

 

http://www.joeedelman.com/blog/photography-how-to/lighting/no-flicker-fluorescent-studio-lights-cheap/

 

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Homemade-Photography-Lighting

 

https://www.pinterest.com/cristalacosta1/photography-diy-equipment/

 

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2013/11/50-diy-projects-for-lighting.html

 

http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/diy-photography-studio-lighting-for-under-200/

 

http://melissaesplin.com/2013/11/diy-ikea-hack-photography-studio-lighting/

 

http://www.shuttertalk.com/2006/03/putting-together-a-budget-diy-lighting-system.html

 

Video here

 

http://phlearn.com/light-amazing-portrait-low-cost-diy-lighting-kit

 

http://www.diy-lighting-kits.com/ring-flash/

 

 

Tutorials here

http://www.diyphotography.net/photography-lighting-tutorials-video-roundup/

 

For those with a bit more money in their pocket

https://www.kaezi.com/magento/index.php/studio-kits.html?gclid=CjwKEAiA05unBRCymrGilanF9SwSJACqDFRmejGUiNP_LYZeGwfHpOhsg9qA3mXg7B_uGxECZnR26BoCbCvw_wcB

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Just to put this in perspective, I have more studio lighting equipment than any three photographers needs, don't ask me why ;-)

However you can ask why I am messing around with building my own LED lighting system !

Well, the answer simply is - because I can!

Electronics/Electrical engineering was my background, so repairing Norman powerpacks became a hobby as well as buying and selling them. When I got bored with that after the market got flooded with them, I looked at LED lighting, which of course is better suited to video than any other form, as it is efficient, low power consumption, low voltage (less danger, Normans are at 950v), continuous lighting needed for video, and easy to build.

 

I am still in the prototype mode, however have determined that one can easily build a system for no much money, how much? Well it of course depends how big you wan to go, but I built two 6 inch by 3.5 inch 160 LED panels using perf board (not the way to go, too much labor) that run on 12 volts so it can be used from a car. The perf board, LED's and an AC to 12 volt power supply cost about $26 plus a lot of time to build them.

 

Next prototype was a 300 LED (16 inches by 4) panel using ribbon LED's (definitely the way to go), took only an hour to complete the electrical connecting (another hour for the wood work), and I elected to go to a 24 volt system as it would be lower current. This was a similar price as I just happened to have the wood laying around, but would only have added another $5 or so.

 

By my estimation, one could build a 1200 LED cool lighting system for approximately $60, for a few dollars more one can even make the light adjustable (within a limited range)

 

I have however found yet another source of ribbon LED's, that increases the density of LEDs in the same space to 600, and will be prototyping a panel made using these next.

 

If anyone is interested in building their own I have posted some sources below.

 

http://www.eachbuyer.com/super-bright-white-5m-300-led-3528-flexible-light-strip-500cm-for-car-auto-p6419.html?currency=usd&utm_source=Shopping_us&utm_medium=CSE&utm_campaign=Strip-Lights&EachBuyer_us

 

http://www.miniinthebox.com/10m-36w-600x3528-smd-white-light-led-strip-lamp-12v_p678794.html?utm_source=mb_Shopping&utm_medium=PCS&litb_from=paid_pcs_shopping&utm_campaign=6845&CA_6C15C=620011720001981973

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/White-5M-600Leds-SMD-3528-Flexible-Led-Strip-Lights-Ribbon-Super-Bright-New-/371263429573?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5671065bc5

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Doubl-Density-Flexible-Light-Strip-600-LED-Ribbon-2-sided-Tape-Warm-White-12V-/321261682158?pt=US_String_Lights_Fairy_Lights&hash=item4accb03dee

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5M-12V-Waterproof-300LED-Strip-Light-3528-SMD-String-Ribbon-Tape-Roll-Cool-White-/351128369309?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51c0e1b89d

post-14141-14368381459983_thumb.jpg

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Those ribbon lights look cool. I love coming up with DIY solutions, not only because it's fun to tinker, but because you can custom build exactly what you need for any given situation.

Absolutely Phil!

I love coming up with solutions to problems ;-)

In fact another project I am going to use the ribbon LED's for is a ring light

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Thanks for the share. :) You can get some pretty good ideas at http://www.instructables.com/ as well. :)

 

Yes one of them is very similar to one of my prototype units ;-)

 

I'm trying to make four panels, for a kind of portable cyclorama, or lighted box. Top open, lighted from sides, back and under. (hmm ,maybe five panels? :-)

 

Since you have been testing, how much of an angle can the 600 density bulbs be bent at or do you spiral or snake them?

 

Why 24V? Are they brighter? Should be easy enough to find a CCTV camera power supply? But what's the advantage?

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Thanks for the share. :) You can get some pretty good ideas at http://www.instructables.com/ as well. :)

 

Yes one of them is very similar to one of my prototype units ;-)

 

I'm trying to make four panels, for a kind of portable cyclorama, or lighted box. Top open, lighted from sides, back and under. (hmm ,maybe five panels? :-)

 

Since you have been testing, how much of an angle can the 600 density bulbs be bent at or do you spiral or snake them?

 

Why 24V? Are they brighter? Should be easy enough to find a CCTV camera power supply? But what's the advantage?

 

24 volt, simply means I have taken 12 volt strips of the lights and put them in series. The higher the voltage the lower the current required from the power source. a 600 roll of 3528 smd type LED's will draw about 4 Amps at 12 volts.

SMD 5050's in a 300 LED roll consume about 6 Amps, and the 600 LED roll about 12 Amps, put them in series/parallel they still require 144 watts, but at 24 volts that is only 6 Amps.

12v, 12 Amp power supplies are harder to find, in general lower current supplies are easier to locate. One could of course go to 36 volts or 48 volts and drop the current requirement even further.

I happened to find a source of a 24 volt 144 watt power supply on ebay that was priced well ($15)

 

As far as bending the strips, as you can see they are wrapped around a spool, so bend quite easy. In fact as you can cut the strips, every 3 LED's you can make 90 degree turns that way, but if you are going to do a cyclorama, and want flat lighting, I would suggest that you get a large round container, some king of garden bucket, and wrap the LEDs around the inside.

Like you I have been considering a mini cyclorama with them, specifically for macro photography, where it is difficult to get large softboxes close enough and still be able to get the camera in without bumping into everything. Initially I made flat panels, but am now considering the bucket idea as that will give even better lighting.

 

The current project will be about 18x18 inches large enough to light for video.

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Do you have any Norman P - 500 power packs that work? I need one. Mine blew up last week and I love them.

 

Wayne

Media_wizard@hotmail.com

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