Introduction: Color Changing LED Ring Light

Today we're going to make a 20 inch color changing LED ring light. I know ring lights are typically circular in shape but this one is going to be a square to make things a little easier. This mini project is primarily for photographers who need budgeted lighting but truthfully this is for anyone who can find use for cool lighting.

In this project I have implemented the use of Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy, STELs for short. The STELs practices that this project focuses on are Systems thinking, Creativity, and Making and Doing.

By the end of this instructable you will know how to make your very own ring light from scratch for a fraction of the cost of buying one.


  • 2 foot x 1 inch PVC Pipe
  • 2 foot x 1/2 inch PVC Pipe
  • 4 inch PVC Cleanout Plug
  • 36 x 48 Foam Core Trifold Board(grided preferred)
  • 10-24 x 1/2 inch screws(3 pack)
  • J-B Weld Clearweld epoxy
  • Super glue
  • 1/4 inch tape
  • 16.4 foot led strip lights


  • Handheld Drill
  • 1/32 in drill bitstep
  • Cone drill bit
  • Xacto Knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencil
  • Marker
  • Gloves

Step 1: Drilling Holes Into the 1 Inch PVC Pipe

OK Let's start with making the pole of the base for your LED light. Take the 1 inch pipe and drill 2 holes into it. The holes are going to be in a straight line 4 inches apart. It doesn't matter where you decide to place these holes so long as the second hole isn't past the halfway point of the pipe. On the opposite side of the pipe in between the holes you just made drill a third hole. Now you can slide the 1/2 inch pipe in and screw through each holes to keep the pipe in place.

Step 2: Cutting a Hole in Your Stand Base

You're going to use your drop and step cone drill bit to drill a hole in the middle of your cleanout plug that is big enough to fit the 1 inch base of your pipe. BE SURE TO CLAMP DOWN OR SECURELY HOLD YOUR CLEANOUT PLUG WHEN DRILLING YOUR HOLE TO AVOID SPINNING.

Step 3: Connecting the The Pipe to the Base of the Stand

BEFORE COMPLETING THIS STEP AND STEP 4 PUT ON GLOVES(for protection against super glue and epoxy). If you cut your hole a little to big you can use tape to wrap around the base of the poll to create volume and make up for the lack of space. Then you will use super glue to hold the pole in place with the base.

Step 4: Securing the Stand Pole to the Base

Now you're going to use some of that epoxy you had to buy. Squeeze about a quarter size amount out onto a paper plate or piece of cardboard. Then mix the two solutions together and let it sit for a couple of minutes before applying it to the base rim of your PVC pipe. After applying the epoxy let it sit and cure for about an hour and a half before touching it.

Step 5: Your Stand Is FINISHED

After about an hour and a half the epoxy should be set and cured. You will notice a slight color difference.

Step 6: Creating Your Light Backing

Your trifold should be full of grids on the inside. If you purchase one without a grid you can still complete this step with a ruler, the grid just make it easier. The grid should consist of half an inch squares. Pick a point on the grid and draw a 10 inch line in four directions with your pencil. Then take a colored pencil or marker and draw four more lines stemming from that same point but this time they will be 6 inches long.

Step 7: Cutting Out Your Light Backing

Now you're going to use your pencil to connect the lines of the 6 inch lines and the 10 inch lines, thus creating two boxes. Finally you will use your xacto knife to cut out both squares. The larger square with the hole in the middle will act as your light backing.

Step 8: Setting Up Your Power Adapter

Take the power adapter for the strip lights and attach it to the bottom of your light backing, two inches to the left of one of the lines you have created.

Step 9: Connecting Your Lights to the Backing

First connect your lights to your power adapter making sure that the arrows on the lights and adapter are facing each other. IF THE ARROWS ARE NOT POINTING TO EACH OTHER YOUR LIGHTS WILL NOT TURN ON

Then you will flip over the backing and slowly remove the adhesive on the back of the strip lights as you lay them down. Lay them down in a circular motion to the best of your abilities. You will struggle on the corners and they will look a little clunky but as long as you properly lay down your lights on the straight parts it's fine.

Step 10: Connecting Your Light to Your Stand

Now you're going to use the epoxy to glue the lights to the stand. Apply the epoxy along the line next to the strip light adapter for about two inches. Then place the tip of your stand along that line of epoxy. You are going to need something to weigh it down while it sets and cures. I recommend using a book or two to hold it in place.

Step 11: Final Product

Your ring light is now done! Have Fun!