Intro: Cheap Softbox Movie Light
Here is cheap light and softbox that I built for getting professional looking photos and video.
The Softbox is especially useful for three point lighting, probably the most common of all professional lighting methods.
This light should never be left alone when it is turned on! This applies to all movie lighting equipment!
This easy project uses modern compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) to provide warm tungsten (3000k) colored light.
YOU MUST USE A CFL LAMP OTHERWISE THINGS MIGHT GET TOO AND... HOT AND WOOSH! UP IN SMOKE!
Step 1: The Materials & Tools
You will need the following items:
- 1 Microphone boom stand( the stronger the better).
- 48WATT CFL Bulb ( I used a Warm 3000k model)
- Plastic PAR 38 floor lamp holder ( check that the bulb can screw into this holder).
- 50 Liter plastic box with lid
- About 10 long cable ties
- A bag of sand.
- Gaffa Tape
- Aluminum Foil
- Baking paper
- A drill and bit ( Make sure that the cable ties can fit through this size drill hole).
- A Chainsaw Drill File ( the cheapest circular file available and its is tough as nails).
- Some some cutters to trim the cable ties
Step 2: Prepare the Box for the Lamp Holder
Open up the plastic box and grab the Lamp Holder (without the bulb in it for now!)
Place the Lamp Holder along the short wall of the box, with the two prongs pointing towards the back of the box and align so that it is in the middle.
Mark out with a marker where the two prongs touch the plastic bottom of the container.
Turn over the container and carefully drill two holes where you just marked them
Check that the prongs of the lamp base fit through the holes.
Step 3: Holes for Lamp Base and Power Cord.
While the lamp base is inserted into the two holes you made in the last step, mark out the holes on the side of the container that match the holes in the lamp stands base.
Remove the lamp base and drill the two holes.
Now replace it and make sure that they line-up!
Next, take the power plug and trace around it on the some free space the bottom of the box were have been working on.
Step 4: Make a Hole for the Power Cable
Trace out a hole around the power plug at the end of the box we have been working on.
This hole needs to be big enough to so that the power plug can fit through it.
Next drill lots of holes around the edges of the shape that you outlined and punch the shape out using screwdriver.
Use a rounded file to carefully smooth the edges of the hole.
Now take some short strips of gaffer tape and line the hole edges so that the won' rub against the cable.
Now thread the lamp plug through the hole to make sure it fits!
Step 5: Make Holes to Attach Box to Microphone Stand
Now turn the box so that is open side down.
Take your microphone boom and lay it down lengthwise down the base of the box and trace out some lines across the ridges of the box. Also make some marks every inch or two for where your cable ties will go!
Using your hand circular file, carefully fashion a slot in each of the rides along the back of the box. Make these slots just deep enough so that microphone boom fits snug in to the slots.
Take out the boom for a moment and carfully drill the holes you marked for the cable ties.
Thread each cable through so that the tie is on the outside of the box and loosely fasten the ties.
Step 6: Tie the Lamp and Add Ventilation Holes
Now turn the box on its end and thread a cable tie though the lamp base and the drilled holes and tighten it very tight.
Now on the opposite end of the box, the one that will be facing upwards, drill a large number of small holes to ensure that hot air can escape from the box.
Step 7: Boom Tie Down
Now we need to fasten the boom the box..
Thread the mic boom through the cable ties so that the end of the boom sits just in the slot at the top of the box.
Tighten the adjustment washer at the microphone end of the boom so that it grabs into the plastic..or if you have no adjustment washer, use a mic clip and tighten the box on with that.
Now tighten each cable tie really tight and clip off the excess
Chuck the bag of sand onto onto of the mic stands feet and raise her up to the upright position for the first time.
Step 8: Add a Foil Reflector and a Baking Paper Diffuser.
Line the sides and back of box with aluminum foil fastened with Gaffer tape.
Next, screw the bulb into the slot.
Now find the lid and cover the outside with a single long strip of banking paper fastened at both ends with more Gaffer tape.
Now put the lid on the box and turn on the lamp and enjoy the smooth light!