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Here is cheap light and softbox that I built for getting professional looking photos and video.

The Softbox is especially useful for three point lighting, probably the most common of all professional lighting methods.

This light should never be left alone when it is turned on! This applies to all movie lighting equipment!

This easy project uses modern compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) to provide warm tungsten (3000k) colored light.

YOU MUST USE A CFL LAMP OTHERWISE THINGS MIGHT GET TOO AND... HOT AND WOOSH! UP IN SMOKE!

Step 1: The Materials & Tools

You will need the following items:

Materials
- 1 Microphone boom stand( the stronger the better).
- 48WATT CFL Bulb ( I used a Warm 3000k model)
- Plastic PAR 38 floor lamp holder ( check that the bulb can screw into this holder).
- 50 Liter plastic box with lid
- About 10 long cable ties
- A bag of sand.
- Gaffa Tape
- Aluminum Foil
- Baking paper

Tools
- A drill and bit ( Make sure that the cable ties can fit through this size drill hole).
- A Chainsaw Drill File ( the cheapest circular file available and its is tough as nails).
- Some some cutters to trim the cable ties

Step 2: Prepare the Box for the Lamp Holder

Open up the plastic box and grab the Lamp Holder (without the bulb in it for now!)

Place the Lamp Holder along the short wall of the box, with the two prongs pointing towards the back of the box and align so that it is in the middle.

Mark out with a marker where the two prongs touch the plastic bottom of the container.

Turn over the container and carefully drill two holes where you just marked them

Check that the prongs of the lamp base fit through the holes.

Step 3: Holes for Lamp Base and Power Cord.

While the lamp base is inserted into the two holes you made in the last step, mark out the holes on the side of the container that match the holes in the lamp stands base.

Remove the lamp base and drill the two holes.

Now replace it and make sure that they line-up!


Next, take the power plug and trace around it on the some free space the bottom of the box were have been working on.

Step 4: Make a Hole for the Power Cable

Trace out a hole around the power plug at the end of the box we have been working on.

This hole needs to be big enough to so that the power plug can fit through it.

Next drill lots of holes around the edges of the shape that you outlined and punch the shape out using screwdriver.

Use a rounded file to carefully smooth the edges of the hole.

Now take some short strips of gaffer tape and line the hole edges so that the won' rub against the cable.

Now thread the lamp plug through the hole to make sure it fits!

Step 5: Make Holes to Attach Box to Microphone Stand

Now turn the box so that is open side down.

Take your microphone boom and lay it down lengthwise down the base of the box and trace out some lines across the ridges of the box. Also make some marks every inch or two for where your cable ties will go!

Using your hand circular file, carefully fashion a slot in each of the rides along the back of the box. Make these slots just deep enough so that microphone boom fits snug in to the slots.

Take out the boom for a moment and carfully drill the holes you marked for the cable ties.

Thread each cable through so that the tie is on the outside of the box and loosely fasten the ties.

Step 6: Tie the Lamp and Add Ventilation Holes

Now turn the box on its end and thread a cable tie though the lamp base and the drilled holes and tighten it very tight.

Now on the opposite end of the box, the one that will be facing upwards, drill a large number of small holes to ensure that hot air can escape from the box.

Step 7: Boom Tie Down

Now we need to fasten the boom the box..

Thread the mic boom through the cable ties so that the end of the boom sits just in the slot at the top of the box.

Tighten the adjustment washer at the microphone end of the boom so that it grabs into the plastic..or if you have no adjustment washer, use a mic clip and tighten the box on with that.

Now tighten each cable tie really tight and clip off the excess

Chuck the bag of sand onto onto of the mic stands feet and raise her up to the upright position for the first time.

Step 8: Add a Foil Reflector and a Baking Paper Diffuser.

Line the sides and back of box with aluminum foil fastened with Gaffer tape.

Next, screw the bulb into the slot.

Now find the lid and cover the outside with a single long strip of banking paper fastened at both ends with more Gaffer tape.

Now put the lid on the box and turn on the lamp and enjoy the smooth light!



I used this again the other day to take some snaps of my gear
<p>1. You could probably also use 4 or 6 keyless lamp holders (<a href="http://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-Plastic-Keyless-Lamp-Holder-R50-08829-CW4/100356849#%29" rel="nofollow">http://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-Plastic-Keyless...</a> with widely available 23-25 watt CFLs without overheating the box.</p><p>2. Another way to attach the foil would be spray adhesive.</p><p>3. Would one of the plastic boxes with a double hinged lid provide enough diffusion for the light?</p><p>4. Any comments on how much light you're getting with a single 48 watt CFL? What kind of exposure settings (e.g. aperture, shutter speed, ISO) are you typically using, and at what distance from your subject?</p><p>5. If you used cool white or daylight CFLs, you could use your pop-up or hot shoe mounted flash for additional lighting.</p>
Where did you get the plastic PAR 38 floor lamp holder? I have been trying to find them for days now, and none of the electrical supply stores I have been to, phoned or gotten hold of via the web know what they are... :(
&nbsp;I did something similar on my Softbox ible <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Large-Photography-soft-box-on-the-cheap/" rel="nofollow">(Here is a link to the ible)</a> but yours makes more sense for a smaller version of what I have done. But maybe we should combine our ideas. If you put in a powerbar and some plug in light sockets you can make the build a little easier and manually dimmable by un screwing CFLs .&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Food for thought. Dont think I am hacking your idea it is really really solid what I said is just a suggestion.<br /> <br /> Looking forward to more ibles from you...<br />
I like your idea .. maybe put three fixtures in there.. maybe.. heat might be a concern with too many fixtures. <br><br>I love the idea of PVC framing.. I'm going to build a 12 foot scrim using PVC!
You can buy dimmable CFL's and you can use a dimmer switch I have done this and it works great
I THINK THIS IS THE MOST USEFULL INSTRUCTABLE I HAVE YET SEEN.<br>I SHALL BE BUILDING MY OWN UNIT SOON AND IT'S MOST CLEVER INDEED.<br>ILL TRY BUYING A BLACK 50 LT BOX AS WELL AS A CLEAR ONE. AND USE THE CLEAR LID ON THE BLACK BOX. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.<br>WHAT DO YOU THINK?. DO I NEED TO SAND BLAST THE LID TO GIVE IT MORE <br>MATT EFFECT? ANY IDEAS?
I just use the oven proof cookie sheet inside the lid to diffuse the light. I have no sandblaster :) Good luck!
This looks much better than my cheap craft store lamps (simmilar to desk lamps, but can clip to anything... Those things like to "beam" the light more than disperse it evenly like these appear to do.

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