Introduction: Build a Versatile PVC Light Stand for Under $5

About: I'm a tinkering filmmaker who likes to build stuff for my films.

You need to add light to properly expose your image (whether for photography or video).  I had assembled a decent DIY light kit, but needed somewhere to properly hang my lights.  The lowest cost retail stand I could find was $20.  I managed to come up with a PVC design that served the same purpose at 1/4 of that price and could do things a retail stand couldn't.

Step 1: Parts List

(1) 10' length of 3/4" PVC pipe
(4) 3/4" couplers
(3) 3/4" tee joints
(4) 3/4" end caps

PVC ratcheting cutters

Step 2: Cut Up 10' PVC Pole

(3) 2' lengths.
(6) 6" lengths.
(1) 1 1/2" length.
(1) 10 1/2" length.

Step 3: Assemble Basic Stand Parts

Press fit the couplers onto the longest pieces.  This will give you 3 longs and a short that resemble futuristic clubs.

Cram 2 6" pieces opposite each other into each tee. 

Add end caps onto 2 of the assembled "tees + shorts" parts.

Add 1 1/2" piece in non-end-capped tee.

Step 4: Assemble Stand

Push the two end-capped tees onto the piece with the short insert.

Add lengths for different heights, all the way up to 7'.

Step 5: Attaching Lights

How to attach a work light, a clamp light and a florescent light.

Step 6: Accessories Make It Versatile

Step 7: A Bag to Carry It In

You're going to need a way to transport your new stands as they can be awkward and heavier than the retail version.  Any big bag will do.

For more nanobudget tips, please visit The Frugal Filmmaker...

Step 8: And Here's the Video Version...