Last weekend, my buddy David Cross who works with our friends over at BorrowLenses sent me a text that he was building something unusual and really cool. When he sent me the photos after he finished his project, I was immediately excited. His DIY ring light (which they are calling the spider light, tentatively) not only leaves really unusual catch lights, but is easy and fun to build. Ok, so it's not really a "ring" light, but it casts similar light and I don't know what else to compare it to. So let us show you how to make yours!
To make the light, David procured a standard speed ring for speedlights as well as six slim, linkable fluorescent under cabinet lights from The Home Depot. You'll also need six 10mm bolts and a length of flexible 20-gauge metal strap. The 1/8 inch screws are included with the lights. You might also need some electrical tape to keep the cables from getting too dangly. All this will set you back a meager $150, far cheaper than the standard run of the mill ring light and easily ten times as cool looking.
First, David drilled out the six holes originally made for soft box rods and used a tap to thread the holes to 10mm.
He then took the metal strap and drilled out every other hole to 10mm (it comes pre-drilled with 1/8 inch holes). For stability purposes, Dave drilled a second 1/8 inch hold right next to each of the remaining 1/8 inch holes so that the lights would not spin or fall over.
The lights come with a small plastic brace which he attached to the metal strap with two 1/8 inch screws (again, two for stability). When you do this, be careful to not crack the plastic base.
Using the 10mm bolts, David attached the lights with the metal strips to the speed ring.
Once all six lights were in place, he cut the wires to the proper length and connected them together.
That is it! Now you have a really sweet light that you not only built yourself, but casts really great light that looks totally unusual and highly unique. You can see what to expect below:
What does it look like in use? Check it out:
Rim lights were a pair of ikan ID 500 studio lights, which you can also rent here.
The guinea pigs, uh, I mean test subjects... I mean lovely models above are all staff at BorrowLenses: David Cross (blue plaid, blue eyes), Emily Phillips (wearing yellow), Julia Meineke (blonde), Ronald Palarca (sunglasses), and Mark Gurevich (bearded one and owner of BorrowLenses). Product photos and portraits by Jonathan Fleming.
So what do you think? Will this be your weekend project? Let us know in the comments below.