Build Your Own Set of LED Strip Lights for Less Than $300

Continuous strip lights have become quite popular for portrait and video work in recent years. Nonetheless, they can be very expensive. In this video, Joe Edelman walks us through his process in creating a full studio kit of strip lights for a fraction of the price.

The awesome photographer who takes my headshots, Michael Cavotta, works with Kino Flos, and I have to say they're pretty awesome, but alas, they're a bit difficult to justify for someone like me who spends the vast majority of his time outside the studio. Nonetheless, I dig their look and would love to have a set of my own. This video offers an excellent solution. There are a few drawbacks: they're not dimmable (though such an upgrade would not be significantly more expensive or more time intensive), and the bulbs have a CRI of 86, whereas most high-end lighting has a CRI of about 95. Nonetheless, a CRI of 86 is still a good value, and they make for a great set of 5,000 K studio lights that would be sure to please any DIY type. With only an hour of work involved in putting them together, they're an interesting afternoon project for experimentation or upgrading your studio setup.

[via ISO 1200]

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I noticed the Moto G phone I used to have had two different colored LEDs for a light source, a standard, larger one, and a smaller one with a warm-tinted lens. I suspect Motorola did this to get a better spectral distribution. I would think somthing similar here would improve the CRI.

For home made ring light what would you recommend? LEDs with 5k~5.5K color temp? Dimmable? The LEDs don't have a refresh rate that's noticeable in video? Are there any other parameters to watch out for? :)

I have four of these paired up that I use in studio for beauty looks. Two 4' LED fluorescent style fixtures mounted together with a swiveling mount so they can be used vertical or horizontal. Work great for soft low contrast fill light.

Cool instructional video, cheers

Cool DIY, but holy crap was the video annoying. It looks and sounds like a children's TV show.