Introduction: Adjustable Video Lamp
If you shoot photos or videos, you know that you need ALL the light. A good video lamp must be adjustable - maybe you will need less light, or a little bit more warm white, less cold white. And sometimes some "color".
I decided to make my own lamp instead of buying one, because it's more fun and cheaper.
18 000 Lumen. That's a lot of light! But you can achieve this with average LED bulbs, if you use enough. 1600 Lumen per bulb, 6 cold white, 6 warm white. You can get the bulbs for $100-110, E27 sockets $20-30, assorted Wago pack $20, switches, wires, etc. for another $20. $200 tops. You can get 3600-5000 Lumen for the same price, if you buy a video lamp.
The goal is to have 4 switches, operating 2-2 and 4-4 bulbs, so you can turn on 0-2-4-6 bulbs. (0-3200-6400-9600 Lumen per warm/coldwhite "channel") A bit coarse, but totally okay for many applications.
I have some RGB LED bulbs, those cheap ones with IR remotes. They will be "always-on" since you can control them.
Steel hollow section, ~70 cm
15 E27 sockets
6 cold white LED bulbs
6 warm white LED bulbs
3 RGB LED bulbs
Step 1: Boxing
I had some spare cable with a plug on one end, so I used it.
Electric boxes have nice prepared parts, where you can easily cut a not too big hole for your wire. No drilling needed! 3 Wago terminal blocks are needed this time - these will be our base!
⚠️Dumb Mistake Alert!⚠️
Electric boxes usually come with mounting holes/tabs for a reason. No one wants extra tension on the wires, so we will mount the box on something, no hanging! Mount either on the lamp's bar (horizontally) or on a pole (vertically) or somewhere else (you decide). It's a lot of work to re-wire the box just because "the other way" would be better!
Oh, and tie a knot on the wire to prevent slipping out. 110-230V AC can tickle!
Step 2: Wires
Get a cable stripper. It will be so much easier (and prettier) to work! And you will strip a LOT of wires. They will be ~40 cm long each.
15 wires from the box to the lamps, 4 wires for the switches and some in the inside. 2 ends + 2-2 wires. That's a lot of stripping. And a lot of waste. Get a bin.
Step 3: Fixed Lamps
Connect the 3 fixed sockets, make a hole in the box, plug it in. Thex will be always-on, so we can connect them directly to the main junction. Use an extra wire for that. (and 2 Wagos)
Step 4: The Adjustable Lamps
And of course, you will have to connect each lamp to a wire.
Now start grouping the wires. 2 warm whites, 4 warm whites, 2 cold whites, 4 cold whites. Each with its own Wago for mains and neutral. (you can group the neutrals to spare some Wagos and space, we switch the mains)
Step 5: Switches Get Stiches
4 wires will come from the mains, go through a switch, go back and go to each lamp group's mains Wago. It will be a bit confusing, the blue (neutral) will take the power to the switch, and brown (mains) will take the power from the switch to the lamps.
My switches (and probably every switch on Earth) are not prepared for this kind of job. They switch one wire and patch the other. No one said we can't loop it back!
Keep track of the switch-wire combo. I used browns for the warm whites, white switches for the cold white lamps. Color coding rules! Connect the "feedback" mains to each lamp block mains Wago.
Step 6: Final Box Assembly
The only thing remaining is to connect the switches to the mains. Blue wires suddenly turn to brown and supply the switches with power. We COULD have used Wagos here, but think about it: "4 blue wires going in a BROWN BLOCK???" while it's totally OK. We practically finished the wiring.
Step 7: Structural Parts
Electricity flows to our command, now mount the whole thing on something rigid. I had some remaining steel hollow section, 25x25 mm. About 60-70 cm long is sufficient.
I hope you got mountable E27 sockets. The principle: drill small holes in the frame according to your mounting holes. How? That L shaped steel is screwed on the socket. Detach all of them, arrange as you wish (⚠️DMA⚠️ keep enough distance, the bulbs are much wider) and I prefer riveting in this case. Maybe that L shaped steel has a thread and it's tempting to screw them, but it's either impractical (screw from the inside, how???) or too much work (tap every hole), so pop some blind rivets.
Step 8: Finishing Steps and Test Run
If everything went fine, the lamps will brighten your work and future!
The lamp can be mounted in many ways. You can have an unused tripod, some spare space on the wall, it's really up to you at this point. Tilting is optional, but recommended!
If you used steel hollow section or a tube, get some end plugs and paint the whole thing. And one more thing:
⚠️Don't forget to connect the protective earth/ground to the metal parts!⚠️
Thanks for reading and please share your opinions!
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