Introduction: RGB LED Light Stick (for Night Time Photography and Light Painting)

About: My name is Andrei. I love paragliding, photography and making different stuff with my own hands! =)

What is the RGB LED light photo stick?
If you like photography and especially photography at night time, then I'm pretty much sure, you already know what this is! If not, I can say it's a pretty awesome device which can help you in creating amazingly cool light effects.

This is an extremely simple device to build, and it definitely will help you to reveal your creativity. In the stores such devices can be indecently expensive, that's why I suggest you to build it with your own hands!

But enough words, just take look at the pictures and you can see what you can do with it! =)

Step 1: What We Need

This project does not use Arduino or similar controller board. The preference is given to the simplicity, so right after assembly you can just turn it on and go to street with your camera! ;)

Here is a list of parts we need:

1. RGB LED stripe - 1-1.5 meters - (in any hardware or LED store)

2. Controller with IR remote - x1 - (in any hardware or LED store)

3. Aluminum profile for LED stripe - x1 of 1.5-2m length - (in any hardware store)

4. Aluminum profile for handle - x1 of 1-1.5m length - (in any hardware store)

5. Some fastening with nuts and screws (in any hardware store)

6. 12V Battery (I used 3S LiPo Battery from my quadcopter)

7. Battery alarm if you also use a LiPo (I had one from AliExpress)

8. Couple of velcro fasteners (also AliExpress)

I used the RGB stripe with 5050 SMDs and 60 SMD/meter and it looks nice! The controller was the cheapest in the store and it also works fine. Aluminum profile comes with the diffuser line, but I removed it. You should keep it, if you want the light to be more smooth. For handle I used round aluminum profile. Fastening, screws and nuts are M4.

Step 2: Assembly and Versions

Unfortunatelly I didn't photograph the process of assembly, but it is extremely simple and you can figure it out by yourself just only looking on the images.

First version looked like some kind of a lightsaber, but it was not comfortable to rotate it and draw paths near the ground. So I made another one looking like letter "T", it's much more comfortable to use it. The only thing you should know - you need to balance the stick while building. I didn't do that, so mine is always trying to turn the side with the battery to the ground. Second advantage of the version 2 is its possibility of assembly and disassembly, so it won't take much place in your pantry. On the picture you can see the process of assembly.

Step 3: Control

The control of the color and brightness is performed from the IR remote. All buttons are intuitive and don't need to be explained. But I should say that even a cheapest controller let you to choose one of many preset modes, such as continius glow, flashing, strobe, rainbow and others.

To create dashed lines or dots on the picture you should play with brightness on the remote.

Step 4: Alternative Usage

This device can be also used as a pretty powerful flashlight. Just turn on the white color on the maximal brightness an that's it! =)

Another idea is to use it as a portable light source for creating specific color atmosphere in different photosets, where you need something more than just cold or warm white light!

If you have an idea for some other use of this device, please, write it in comments!

Hope you liked it!

Best wishes and let it be light! =)

LED Contest 2017

Participated in the
LED Contest 2017