DIY Project: Build an AlienBees/Einstein Globe Modifier for Under $25

DIY Project: Build an AlienBees/Einstein Globe Modifier for Under $25

If you are fan of DIY projects or are on a budget, this tutorial shows you all the steps for creating a simple yet effective globe light modifier for Paul C. Buff (RIP) strobes like AlienBees and Einsteins. Unlike many other DIY modifiers, this globe actually attaches the exact same way the retail modifiers do. Best of all, you can buy everything you need for under $25!

Before we get started I want to make sure I say this. DO NOT USE THE MODELING LAMP WHEN USING THIS MODIFIER! The globe you will be making is made of plastic and will melt if you turn on your modeling lamp while it is attached to the strobe. You have been warned! Also, please don't cut off your fingers. Use all tools, especially power tools, with care and proper handling.

What You Need

Our supply list is pretty short. First you need your globe. As you can see from the image above, we are going to be putting this together with glue. Therefore, a plastic globe is ideal because it is light and won't put much strain on the adhesive bond. You can order the same globe I used online or pick one up at your local Home Depot. It was about $12. Secondly, you are going to need a Paul C. Buff speed ring insert. You can find them on Amazon pretty easy. The one I bought was a little over $8. Lastly you will need to pick up a small bottle of Gorilla Glue, which can also be found at Home Depot or Walmart.

Step One

The first thing you need to do is remove the little lip off of the globe. Make sure you wear proper safety equipment when doing this. I used a dremel. If you use a dremel be careful, wear safety glasses, and use the tool the proper way. Because the glove is plastic, I also had to sand off the melted bits left over after I just cut off the lip. Cutting this off will assure the modifier will fit on your strobe properly.

Step Two

This step is pretty straight-forward. Put a small bead of glue right on the edge of the inside of the speed ring insert. There's really not much more to say about this step.

Step Three

Gorilla Glue is cured by water. I know this because I read the directions! Take a wash cloth and get the surface of the globe wet. Next add a little glue to the glove in a small zigzag pattern where the speed ring insert will connect with the the globe.

Step Four

Position the speed ring over the hole of the globe and get it centered. Wiggle it around a little bit to make sure the glue makes good contact all around.

Final Step

The last thing you are going to want to do is put weight on top of the globe until the glue cures. This will take about an hour. I used a sand bag to put on the weight needed. Make sure when you flip it over to put the sand bag on it. Make sure it doesn't slide out of the right position.

That's it! Plain, simple, and easy. If you decide to make one of these bad boys I'd love to see what kind of images you create with it. You can see an image I created with my globe modifier in my previous article, "Creating Fire Elements with the Render Flame Filter in Photoshop CC 2014."

Oh and one more time, DO NOT USE THE MODELING LAMP WHEN USING THIS MODIFIER. Cheers!

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13 Comments

Tam Nguyen's picture

Cool beans, but do you have any shots taken with this modifier?

Brandon Cawood's picture

Yep look at my previous article which is referenced in the bottom of this article.

Any reason you glued the metal ring? Looks to me like you could cut the globe and slap it on the strobe and be done..?

Kirk Darling's picture

Look around at several home stores. There are sizes that fit right on with no mods. I found one at a regional store called "Menards."

Rex Larsen's picture

I purchased a white plastic globe from Home Depot for about $10. No need for any mod or monkey glue. It fits right on my Einstein. I haven't done any light tests yet but I can imagine the bare-tube light will be helpful in some situations. Joey L found a much larger globe and modified it for his Profoto. Profoto sells one for several hundred dollars that looks identical to my smaller size globe. Joey L used his globe to photograph a rock and roll singer. The pictures may still be on his blog. Some people drill small holes on the bottom to vent heat from the modeling light.

Jason Brietstein's picture

Love the DIY hacks. I should post about my westcott rapid box/ikea hack. Don't know how to do that though. Definitely going to try out this globe light hack.

I saw something like made by Chinese, but they were bolted ring not glued .
http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/goldenshell-jinbei-ball-soft-box-globe-dif...

I made one of these about two years ago out of a plastic (12 inch) globe fixture I bought from Amazon. Unfortunately, I don't remember the brand. I didn't have to glue anything as the globe fit perfectly on my Einstein hooks after removing the lip on the opening. The only thing I did was drill four one inch holes near the base to allow for heat displacement. I got the idea from seeing a Profoto globe in action. Works great!

Bill Blount's picture

Brandon,

This is not directed at you, but this thread seems to be a good place for my off-topic remarks and hopefully get the attention of the Fstoppers website.

I might be wrong, but it's been a week and II have not seen any mention of Paul C. Buff's passing on Fstoppers.

I think that some kind of tribute and recognition of this amazing man's work would be appropriate on this site. He brought more joy into photographers' lives than any of us could ever bring. RIP Paul.

http://petapixel.com/2015/03/24/lighting-gear-pioneer-paul-c-buff-passes...

Brandon Cawood's picture

Hey Bill. We did publish a post about Mr. Buff's passing. I actually linked to it in my article in the very first paragraph where it says RIP. Here's the link as well https://fstoppers.com/business/paul-c-buff-legendary-photo-equipment-com...
He def has had a huge impact on a lot of us. Thank you for your concern.

Bill Blount's picture

I missed that post and didn't take enough time reviewing previous posts, or even in reading your post carefully before I commented.

I apologize.