Let There Be Light; On the cheap like.

I did another 15minute project today. I have been looking on eBay for some solid LED lights that run on battery and are perfect for shooting. I need a simple solution but most “Cheap” options are still £120 upwards for anything of any good size. I wanted dimmable, that hikes the price up, I wanted portable and stand mounted, that hikes the price up. In the end I did find a few units, but £90 with no stand and it was the size of an iPhone… so, I thought, why not make my own.

I had seen an LED light in the shops that runs 72 ultra bright LED from 4 batteries for over 6 hours, so I started there. £3.99 a pop is a great price. I got 6 of the units. Here are the stages to get to this magnificent specimen in the image.





1. I thought about attaching the 3 to a board. I used woodglue, real strong stuff. I measured out a board but made sure to glue the units with an overhang for the battery housing. Easy to change on the go.

2. From here I let it dry and then measured the back against a tripod head that fits in to the spare tripod I have.

3. I drilled some holes, whacked on some glue and screwed that head onto the back of the board, making sure I didn’t screw into the batteries underneath.

4. After letting it dry, I attached it to the tripod and locked it off. voila!  I can now use the lights on two spare tripods I have and use a series of ND filters to soften the beam. I haven’t made them dimmable yet but as they are three separate lights, its almost like a three stage dim. I could solder a pot on to the units and dim them, but that’s for version 2.0.




So for £24, some glue, wood, screws and two old tripods, I now have a small, compact, portable COLD light kit, ready to go in seconds and pack down in less time than it takes to drink a Coke. Boom!