How to Make a Bright LED Panel for 20$




Introduction: How to Make a Bright LED Panel for 20$

- What is up everybody, In this tutorial I am going to show you how to make a super bright LED light panel which is great for video lighting due to its natural white color temperature and it wont cost you more than 20$ to build it.

Step 1: What You Need?

- For this project we are gonna need a 10m of led stip wire and a 100W step down voltage regulator.

- We also gonna need a wooden or plastic sheet that is about 45 x 35 cm in length and a steel bar that will serve as a base holder. You could also use an aluminum that you would need to bend in a bench vise but I had a steel one already in my shop.

Part list:

- led strips - 12$ - :

- 100W step down converter - 3$ - :

-plastic sheet - 3$ - :

-steel bar - 2$ - :

Step 2: Cutting Strips...

- LED strips have marks on every 5 cm where you can cut them in half so I cut it on every 40 cm which gave me 25 equal strips that we are gonna glue it on plastic sheet later on.

- Now we need to cut our plastic plate to a length of 45 x 35 cm.

- I also draw a line which will help me place all the strips in parallel to each other.

- Now simply peel back the adhesive backing and attach your strips to a plastic sheet.

- Some strips had a very bad adhesion, so I need to hot glue them back in place.

Step 3: Soldering and Making Connections

- Next thing we need is an old cable that is at least 60 cm in length.

-Peel of the plastic insulation so you end up only with a bear copper wire.

- Cut off the excessive length and hot glue it on both sides to prevent it from moving while soldering

- I strip down some old cable and cut it on every centimeter to make a connection between the main cable and led strips.

- I choose that my first side is going to be a plus so I connect a plus terminal on every strip to a main cable wire. I did the same on the other side except I connect a minus on every strip to a main wire.

- That is probably gonna take you a lot of time so after you finish cut of the ends and we can test our panel for the first time.

- For now everything is working fine, so lets continue with building the frame.

Step 4: Making Frame and Steel Base

-I cut 2 x 45 cm and 2 x 35 cm wooden strips at 45°angle and glue them in a solid frame.

- While we are waiting for glue to dry I cut 2 x 16 cm and 1 x 35 cm steel bars with an angle grinder.

- Then I weld them together with a stick welder on 45 amps and smooth the corners with a grinder.

Step 5: Finishing Frame

- Now we need to drill some 6 mm holes in the wooden frame and the steel base.

- If it is everything ok after inserting the screws the final thing is to sand the whole frame a bit and mount the led strip panel to our frame with a few screws.

- At the back also attach a step down converter with two small screws in the middle and connect it with main cable with another two 20 cm in length wires.

- After that, drill a 5 cm hole in the middle of the steel base so we could later attach it to the tripod.

- To prevent iron from oxidizing I quickly coat it with anti corrosion paint and we are almost done.

- While waiting for paint to dry I modeled a simple wing nut frame for a nut and bold so we can easily adjust the angle of our panel.

- For the power source I used an old laptop's power adapter which is just right for this project . Strip the ends and connect it to the step down converter. I also put some velcro tape on the back of the panel so it can hold the adapter in place.

- Last but not least, we need to mount the whole panel to the tripod with a M5 screw and a bold. Secure it tightly and our panel is finished.

Step 6: Results

- With the potentiometer at the back we can adjust the output voltage and with that dim the LEDs for how much we need to.

- The panel is ideal for video shooting or product photography due to its natural white color temperature.

- We can also easily change the angle of the panel in case we need to and that is pretty much it.


Step 7: Watch a Video



    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Fix It! Contest

      Fix It! Contest

    60 Discussions

    Thanks for taking the time to post this Jake. With your help, I was able to build the portable work light. My first LED project. Thanks again!

    17, 4:04 PM.jpg
    2 replies

    Wow, amazing idea to use a parts organizer for this. I was thinking about using a transport case with handle, but this is so much easier.

    Sorry for late reply huddleto, Holly molly that is soo cool. Very well made!

    Wouldn't it be possible to set the voltage too high and burn out the LEDs?

    1 reply

    I know it's been some time since you posted this comment but just thought I'd reply in case anyone else runs into this problem…on the LED strips that I used (iNextStation 5M 5050 Day White 300 LEDs IP65 Waterproof Flexible Strip Lighting12V using a step down converter, the LED strips just start blinking/flashing if you turn the voltage up too high. They'll keep flashing until you bring the voltage down.

    Can you give me an example of a 12V, 60W power supply that can be bought for $4-$8? I'm not finding any.

    1 reply

    Good project, but I think $40-$50 is a more realistic cost. Lots of stuff is not on the materials list. Mainly, the AC/DC power supply, which I'd estimate to cost between $25 and $35.

    1 reply

    Thanks for sharing this project. Do you know what the Kelvin rating is? I'm looking at some leds that are 6000 to 8000k.
    thanks again.

    1 reply

    The ones he links to in the materials list are 4000-4500K. I assume that is what he is using.

    très utile pour la photo à pas cher merci pour le partage.

    4 replies

    good job . I liked . I watched the videos and I liked your work, and I have a couple of comments I want to send them to you. 1. The use of regulator illumination intensity so we can use the intensity suitable for every place and time lighting. Second, it can be used as part of lcd screen. Or any other scrap screen. Thank you

    Sauf que ça ne fonctionne pas !

    Thank you for this tutorial! I truly appreciate it.


    1 year ago

    Hi, I'm looking for a project to light up a pond for hockey this winter, would you say this gets bright enough to cover a rink? Or would I need to make more than one? Thanks!

    1 reply

    Light coverage falls off by the square of the distance. (Someone PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong or not saying this correctly!) Thus, a single panel won't light a rink; you'd potentially need dozens of them. You can see a light from 10 miles away, for instance, but you cannot read by it. And because of this phenomenon, for an alternative to dimming, you can adjust the amount of light by moving the panel closer to or farther from your subject (e.g., when lighting a static portrait or a video interview). LED light panels for photography are so darn expensive; I'd love to be able to build my own.

    Great job! Maybe you should replace the dimmer with a "non-flicker" one. You won't get those weird flickering lines when shooting videos/taking pictures...