DIY Ring Light

DIY Ring Light

I’ve noticed a lot of people asking questions about ring lights lately so decided to write a quick post on what it is why you would use it and most importantly how you can build one yourself for $150 or less.

So first off what is a ring light?

As the name says it is a light in the shape of a ring.

Why are they popular or why would you want to use one?

The first reason you would consider using a ring light is because it casts an extremely even light onto the face.

Since it is lighting from every possible angle, it helps to smooth the skin but filling in all shadows giving a very smooth look, it also has really smooth fall off.

What is light fall off?

Light fall off is how quickly you go from the brightest area to shadow, with a ring light from the tip of the nose which is closest to the light to the back of the ear can have a nice smooth transition into shadow area.

This look is really good when doing portrait shots.

The second reason is that it gives an amazing catch light in the eyes so you can get really creative with the catch lights.

So why wouldn’t you use a ring light¬†for everything if it creates smooth skin and beautiful catch lights?

The light it creates is relatively flat which means it can work for portrait or some beauty shots but if you want to create drama it’s definitely not the right tool for the job, also the catch lights will get old soon if every photo you shoot has them.

See below an example of the catch lights from the ring light.

Catch lights

Diagram on how to make your own right light, dimensions are in meters not feet.

You can use wood or perspex to make the frame and I used daylight balance 4 watt LED bulbs for the lights.


Ring light plan

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