Instructables
Picture of Build an LED Ring Light
The ring light is a useful tool for photographers that goes back many years and has been especially useful in scientific and extreme close-up work where the physical camera and lens makes other types of lighting difficult. Both strobe and constant-on versions for video are available. But ring lights are very useful for many photographic situations because they provide what the camera sees as a perfectly shadowless fill light. Many videographers use small lights that mount above the lens to help fill shadows and boost overall illumination in dark situations, but these lights do cast ugly little shadows under the nose, chin, and so forth.

 
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Step 1: Introduction

Picture of Introduction
For a few hundred dollars you can buy LED Ring Lights that are large enough for a typical still camera or small video camera with the sun shade removed. I wanted one that would allow for the sun shade to remain in place on one of our Sony HD cameras, an HVR-Z7U. I figured one this size would work with almost any video camera. (The Z7 was on location the day this picture was taken -- the camera shown is an older SD Sony)

Chee Seng8 months ago
Hello :) great Instructable, very thourough. I wanted to share my own ring light build which I made for my GoPro.

http://www.instructables.com/you?show=PUBLISHED

I've been wondering whether I can put 12 volts on the ring to get rid of the battery pack...thoughts?
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courtervideo (author)  Chee Seng8 months ago
That looks like a very nice attachment for a GoPro! But since it is so small I'm not sure where you could stash some batteries. Maybe you could make space for a bunch of little button batteries?
Thanks for the response :)

I considered button batteries, but the capacity is very limited. I found some 3.7 V 600 mAh rechargeables in the AAA form factor, they should give me about 58 minutes so i'm going to give them a try.
diy_bloke1 year ago
do you drive these leds directly from 3 volts? or do you have 2 in series with 5 parelel groups of 2 in series?
diy_bloke1 year ago
if you made that completely from scratch i am impressed. looks very professional
Ghost Wolf3 years ago
Don't you have anything better to do than harass your wife/girlfriend with a light!? She checking her myspace account which means 'my space leave me allow or die'
lol JK love ur project
courtervideo (author)  Ghost Wolf3 years ago
Ha, ha, thanks for your insight. I know our extremely helpful office assistant will appreciate your comment! She was quite willing to pretend to work in the dark so I could demo the light!!!
What's next fill her cubicle with packing peanuts?
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zieak3 years ago
This is cool. I've been wanting to take on something similar for a while!
courtervideo (author)  zieak3 years ago
thanks for your comment! It is a bit bulky but the light quality is very good.
How about sharing some sample photos?
courtervideo (author)  zieak3 years ago
Lets see if this link will work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_HcZRNsYvM

Very nice results! Thank you!
courtervideo (author)  zieak3 years ago
You're welcome. I think the best use so far was inside a car.

courtervideo (author)  zieak3 years ago
I use it with a couple of video cameras, but maybe I should shoot a demo and put it up...
metasj3 years ago
This is fabulous and simple. Thank you for a lovely instructable. Now if only I had the patience to figure out those 3D camera instructions...
courtervideo (author)  metasj3 years ago
Thanks for your nice comment. Yes, I think the 3D rig instructable makes it look complicated, when really it is mostly a matter of properly placing four mirrors and a camera on a base plate. The added parts that make it easy to set the convergence are not really needed -- you can adjust the mirrors by hand very easily.