Photograpy Light Stand - Cheap, Easy and Handy




Introduction: Photograpy Light Stand - Cheap, Easy and Handy

A useful piece of studio equipment to hold lighting units or reflectors and reposition them easily.

Step 1: Putting It All Together.

Super cheap photography light stand. If you have a few items in you garage you might not spend any money for this stand.

What you need is:

1 set of 5 leg computer chair casters. One of those that are just press fit on the seat post. If they are plastic it will be much easier. If you do some dumpster diving in an office park you might be able to get a set or two for free.

5 2" deck screws. (Bolts if you use metal legs.)

A 12" diameter circle of 3/4" plywood. You could use a 12 x 12 square of precut plywood available you know where.

A length of galvanized pipe the length you want you light stand standard to be. I used 1" pipe because that's what I had leaning over in the corner. 3/4" or even 1/2" pipe would work just fine unless you have really heavy lights.

A floor flange that fits the pipe you chose.

4 wood screws that fit the floor flange and are about 1 1/2" long.

Some tools that would help:

Electric drill with wood drill to drill for the screws and a Phillips head bit to install the screws. Metal bit if you are using metal legs.
Phillips screwdriver for adjustment.
Marking tool (pencil)
Level (optional)

What you need to do is find the center of your plywood "shelf".
Align the shelf over the leg set.
Measure and mark 5 places where the 2" screws will connect with the 5 legs.
Drill pilot holes in the plywood only.
Insert the first screw and drive it through the plywood until it touches the plastic leg.
Check that it is hitting the leg close to the center and use the drill with the screwdriver bit to "self-start" the screw in the leg. Stop just before it gets tight and pulls down on the plywood. Now install all 4 other screws in a similar manner.

Place the floor flange in the center of the plywood and mark for the holes. You can drill pilot holes or it you're feeling luck you can "self-start" the wood screws.

Screw the pipe standard into the floor flange to hand tight.

Check that the standard is close to perpendicular to the floor. If it's not then use screws (bolts) in the plywood to align the pipe but loosening and tightening them.

Now you have a great moveable light stand for you studio. You can put extra weight on the shelf if you have heavy lights. Most of the bases are very wide and strong so the will be very sturdy and secure.

Now get in there and take some pictures.

Step 2: Center and Mark You Base.

Mark for pilot holes about 1" off edge. Drill the holes a little larger than the diameter of the deck screws. The head of the screw should not slip through the plywood.

Step 3: Center the Base and Drive the Screws.

If you have a power screwdriver this step will be much easier. Center the wood base over the leg set. Use the power of the driver to self tap the screws into the plastic of the leg set. If you have to do this by hand power then us a nail to make a small pilot hole first. You want the screw threads to cut into the plastic.

If you're using bolts and a steel chair leg then you'll have to drill holes to fit and use bolts, washers and nuts.

Step 4: Attach the Flange.

Center the floor flange by eye and mark for pilot holes. Drill the holes using a small drill bit.

Step 5: Attach the Flange.

Using the four wood screws.

Step 6: Mount the Standard.

Insert the pipe standard and tighten hand tight only. If the pipe leans to one side or the other (mine did because the flange was drilled out of square) you can correct that. If you tighten a screw away from the direction of lean and loosen one in the other direction you can get it perfectly plumb.

Step 7: A View of the Finished Stand.

Here's what it looks like all put together with the parts labeled.

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    7 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I'd never thought of using a office chair wheel base for a boom stand. Just powder coated two steel pipes and connected them with two blocks of HDPE with a 3/4" canal drilled through the narrow side, and sawed in half, then stacked with a bolt drilled through all blocks.

    Thanks! Great diy!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I like this a lot and plan to build a couple. This will be particularly useful as a boom holder. For that purpose and for general use, you might want to add some additional weight as low as possible. That plywood disk looks like a good place to attach it.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Anybody built one of these beside ME? I've got 3 and use them in my studio all the time!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, great design and simple to build. I am now on the lookout for old chairs.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Dumpster diving in the office parks. Most of them just slip on and off so not tools needed and you don't have to take home the whole chair.  I use and extra one for a roll around light stand in my shop.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, This looks very handy to have in the studio. I have been searching for DIY stands rather than tripods and elaborate screens to hold lights and reflectors. My question relates to attaching the flash, light or reflector. How do you connect the light and how do you reposition it? Thanks for your consideration. I look forward to your response. Cheers!


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I built my lights out of plywood so it was easy to use "U" bolts and wing nuts to attach to the poles. I have one that uses a heavy duty spring clamp to attach. There are several inst. here about building lights and clamps that might work. A lot depends on what you are trying to attach and how it was designed to attach. Good luck and let us know what you figure out.