How to Make a Cheap and Awesome DIY Strip Light Modifier for Speedlights

I love strip lights; they're probably my favorite when it comes to lighting. However, like everything that has to do with lighting, they're expensive — often much more so than their design and realization seem to command. Luckily, there are clever photographers out there with DIY projects like this one to save the day (and your wallet).

Coming to you from Joe Edelman, this fun DIY project will show you how to take about $25 and a half-hour of your time to build your own strip light modifier into which you can insert any speedlight you own. So, if you want to be really fancy, for about $350 and an hour or so of your time, you can build two of these strip light modifiers and pick up a Yongnuo transmitter and two Yongnuo speedlights to give yourself a pretty nifty, versatile, and fully wireless two-light kit (side note: I own four of those Yongnuo speedlights and think they're great). Edelman also takes some time to shoot with the newly built modifiers and show you some various setups to achieve different looks later in the video. Take an hour to head to Home Depot and try it out for yourself this weekend! 

[via PetaPixel]

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7 Comments

Curtis Henderson's picture

This is a must for me!

David T's picture

Mounting it in the middle is genius.
I have a commercial saber strip (clone) that inserts the speedlight at the end.

It works when you have the whole tube standing straight up, but if you angle it, it tips over. The resistance from the speedlight head is not big enough.

To be fair the commercial one is super compact, so that's the price you pay.

Might build the DIY one with a speedlight at both ends.

John Dunkelberg's picture

I was wondering about that too, since he mentions that as we might expect the light is a bit brighter near the speedlight's end. It does mean that you'll have the weight of each speedlight bearing down on the mounting point as a fulcrum though.

Instead of a speedlight on both ends, why not glue a round mirror inside the endcap?

David T's picture

Don't think it would make that much of a difference. Another active light source will work with certainty.

Brian Pernicone's picture

This is awesome.

Is there a reason why the end cap is not fitted with a round mirror or covered with reflective paint? That might alleviate some of the light falloff within the unit.

I'm giving this project a try next weekend.