Lighting is more important than almost any other piece of equipment, but versatile lighting built for video professionals can be heavy and expensive. Why not make your own DIY ring light and save some money? Let’s start!
This tutorial is also available as a video here:
What is a ring light?
The ring light is a simple device. This is a series of light sources (usually LEDs) arranged in a circle. They are most often used as trap — a way to draw attention to the eyes of the character and evenly illuminate his face. You can use them for anything, but they are especially suitable for lighting tasks because they can fill dark spots in your scene.
You can see this light reflected in my eyes:
Ring lighting is especially great for YouTube vlogs or makeup tutorials where the host is talking to the camera. Youtuber David Woutersen explains further in his video «What is Ring Light»:
What you need
This DIY project requires a few components, but you can easily modify it to use the supplies you have.
You will need:
- 1 x round frame
- 1 x 5m RGB led strip kit
- 1 x clamp
This is it! The round frame is what you will be attaching your LED lights to, and the clip is needed to attach your light to a stand, tripod, or camera. This project can be easily done for less than $30 and you will need some basic tools and supplies such as scissors, paints, a soldering iron and solder.
Make a frame
This frame is the most important part of the project. Without this, you won’t have any way to attach your LEDs, and you won’t be able to attach your light to anything else.
you can use Almost all for frame. Cardboard, plastic, or recycled wheel-like items. However, I recommend making your own, as not only can you learn some woodworking skills, but you can get a sense of accomplishment by creating a new light.
This lamp has diameter 10 inches and has a hole 4.5 inch diameter in the middle — this should look at the lens of your camera. Your light fixture can be any size, just be sure to buy enough LEDs to cover it all. This light source requires approximately 5m of LED strip, so make sure you adjust the parts lists accordingly if your light source is a different size.
Start with a 1/4-inch sheet medium density fibreboard (MDF). Make sure it’s big enough to fit your light. You can purchase small pieces of MDF online or at your local hardware store.
If you want to be present economical, you can get a large round plate, which will save you a lot of time cutting, sawing and sanding, but you still have to cut a hole in the middle.
Go ahead and draw your light figure on your tree. I used a large plate as it was the perfect size. Draw a smaller circle inside this larger circle. This inner circle is where your camera will look. I used a small bowl for this.
Safety first: MDF fibers are hazardous to your health. Always wear an appropriate protective mask when working with it!