Instructables

Low Budget Photography Lights

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Picture of Low Budget Photography Lights
 When starting out as a studio photographer, lights are a necessity. Unfortunately the standard cheap dish lights don't look terribly professional when dragged out to a location shoot. This instructable aims to help you create a set of simple lights that won't look out of place at a location shoot.
 
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Step 1: Safety Equipment and Layout

Picture of Safety Equipment and Layout
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 This instructable uses power tools, so safety is critical. Remember that gloves are a very stupid idea when using anything that spins. If your workpiece gets too hot while grinding put it down. 

Angle grinders should always be set on the bench with the wheel up. This prevents them from flying across the shop when you don't let it stop before setting it down.

LIGHT is IMPORTANT! If the lights aren't good enough to photograph, then they aren't good enough for power tools!

Step 2: Materials:

Picture of Materials:
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 For each of the lights in this project you will need:

1 count 1/4" - 20 nut
1 count 1/4" washer
2 count wire nuts (small)

I didn't have the proper size wire nuts, so I cheated and substituted solder and heat shrink tubing. Wire nuts are much simpler and require less practice.

1 count full spectrum lightbulb
1 count standard 2 prong plug
10 ft or so of 2 conductor lamp cord minimum 12 gauge

Some kind of industrial strength glue or epoxy is required, but I leave the choice to you. I used loctite 495 instant adhesive because I had some lying around. Something with a bit more body (higher viscousity) is better.
tkjtkj4 years ago
'Light cans' ...wHAT 'light cans'????

(btw, re: shop safety: there is an incredible tablesaw safedevice that jams metal into the teeth of a circular tablesaw if the blade touches flesh ...i think its called a 'SafeSaw' .. if you can find it on the net, watch the INCREDIBLE video which uses a hotdog, not a finger )
What light can did you use? You didn't mention that  in your instructions. And did the housing come as one unit? A before and after photo of cleaning the cans would be helpful. Also where did you get the housing?
minorcatastrophe (author)  bluefly12154 years ago
These cans came in one piece, they appear to have come from some sort of track lighting system. I snagged them from a bin at Urban Ore in Berkeley. I was unable to find any brand name or model numbers on them.

As to the before and after, in the first picture there are two lights visible, the light in the foreground is the after, while the light in the background has yet to be cleaned up. You can see where its plastic covering is discolored and flaking away.
kearney tkjtkj4 years ago
The body of the light is in this case referred to as a can. It's perhaps a bit esoteric.
zero8384 years ago
i use desk lamps with flood light bulbs xD
tkjtkj4 years ago
CORRECTION: The saw that instantly stops on touching flesh is the StopSaw , see the video at Stopsaw.com  ... click the upper-right box on its home page, and tell me YOU're not impressed!!!
mr_step4 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
dj_nme mr_step4 years ago
I you would pause and think about it carefully, it makes perfect sense.
The difference between losing a bit of skin to getting fingers ripped right off can be gloves.
Gloves add bulk and lessens sensation (you can't feel if you're touching something as well you can than with bare hands), so it is easier to get the glove rapped around a spinning tool and injure yourself quite badly.
It's the same reason why clothing worn while using power tools should be close fitting and tucked it.

Safety first. Always.
minorcatastrophe (author)  dj_nme4 years ago
 Thank you dj_nme.

I've seen some pretty ugly stuff happen when people forget how dangerous power tools are. When you walk into a grinding room and see a glove wrapped around the pedestal grinder, it's terrible. Gloves tend to take your hands with them. Your feeling of touch is reduced, but also skin tends to not catch. You'll get abraded but you won't loose fingers.