Ridiculously Easy Diffused Photography Lamps





Introduction: Ridiculously Easy Diffused Photography Lamps

About: Where there's a will, there's a way! Never give up, never give in...BE the good you want to see in the world. :)

So I just took Instructable's Photography Class, and learned a great deal about the essentials of photography. One of the class assignments was to build dimming photography lamps from a plethora of bought materials in order to diffuse the light source. (Diffusing light from photography lamps helps to soften the shadows, and it creates an overall pleasing affect on your in-studio photos.) Well, long story short, I didn't have those materials on hand, and didn't have the money to buy them, so I got creative! This 'ible is the result of that creativity.

It's SUPER easy and cheap (if not free). As a bonus, it reuses/recycles materials, which keeps them out of landfills and helps protect the environment. Win-win. :)

Are you ready? Let's go...

If you'd like to take the free photography class, click here:https://www.instructables.com/class/Photography-Cla...)

Step 1: What You'll Need

Here's what you'll need:

  • Lampshade (or multiple if making more than one lamp)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Parchment Paper
  • A light (use LED lighting for a more "green" impact)
  • Pins, tape, or glue (if making permanent lights)
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Dimmer (optional)

NOTE: Parchment paper doesn't catch fire like wax paper can (that's why you should only use parchment paper in an oven when baking). Therefore, if the light bulb ever gets too hot, it will be safe with the parchment paper. Also, there's no weird tints produced by the parchment paper. In fact, professionals will use parchment paper on their photography lamps, too! :)

Step 2: Wrap It

1. Keeping the most reflective side of the aluminum foil face up, add the foil to the inside of the lampshade (covering it completely).

2. Fold the top of the foil over the lip of the lampshade, making little tears in the foil to help it lie flat along the curve of the brim.

Note: You can add tape to secure the seams if you deem it necessary.

Step 3: Diffuse It

1. Add a sheet of parchment paper over the top of the larger side of the lampshade.

2. Secure with pins, tape, or glue.

3. Trim away the excess of the parchment paper and/or aluminum foil if you want to improve the aesthetic of the finished lamp.

Step 4: Attach to Your Light Source

1. Slide the upside-down lampshade over your light source. Mine fit easily back on to my lamp.

2. Secure the shade to the light source. For the purpose of illustration, I secured mine with blue painter's tape. If you only need a temporary fix, tape or clips will do the job. If you want to make these permanent, use glue or other means of permanent attachment.

NOTE: You can attach these shades on to ANY light source. So if you have a clip light, or a hanging light (etc), feel free to add these to those, too. You can also use a dimmer to have more control over the brightness and strength of the finished affect.

Step 5: Photo Shoot!

You're done!

Use these for all your indoor photo-shooting needs (plus, you can move them in any direction you need them to face). They are extremely versatile and get the job done quite effectively.

Many blessings for your photography journey! :)



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11 Discussions

I was planning on making an I'ble similar to this!

I experimented with this a bit a few days ago. I used wax paper (though it might've been something else - not sure), and it did soften the light, but gave it a green tint that I didn't like. Tissues also work, but they rip easily, so I was thinking about covering them somehow with plexiglass.

I'll have to see if there's something that works even better!

8 replies

Well wax paper can catch fire, that's why you shouldn't bake with it in the oven. And that's why I used parchment paper. Plus there's no wax film on the parchment paper (eliminating that weird tint). The parchment paper worked perfectly :) Thanks for commenting and visiting!

Correction: You've reminded me that while typing part of it up, I forgot how it was called! I called it the "baking paper thing"...

What I used was some kind of reusable baking paper sheet, so I understand that what I used is parchment paper. Maybe I should see if we have a different kind.

Ok. Well just trying to help troubleshoot. :) If it was reusable, it wouldn't be parchment paper, as parchment paper browns in the oven. It could be silicone treated parchment paper though. Also, if it had any film on one side of it, it sounds like wax paper etc (which most people still consider a baking paper, though it's unsafe to bake with). Yeah, i don't know what it is exactly, but the box it came in will tell you. Actual parchment paper will not leave any tints on your photos. Maybe try looking for regular parchment paper again? Hope this helps!

Hmmm... I'm planning on using a diffuser that I salvaged from the screen of an old laptop. I have quite a collection of those, and I figure they should have a perfect amount of diffusing/not blocking too much light/not changing spectrum, considering the stuff those huge companies take into consideration...

I will use it for SpectrumLED V2.0(pics below). I'm planning on making it removable, but my question is: do you think it would change anything if I attach it so it's convex or concave, instead of just flat onto the LED's? Do you think it would change something, or be totally insignificant?

Thank you so much! :)


Hey there. I am not even going to pretend to know as much about photography and diffused lighting as you obviously do. (That's why I took the photography class hahaha.) But here's a link to someone asking about using them convex, maybe it will help? If not, I guess Google is your best bet. When you figure it out, maybe you could come back and share what you learned for the rest of us? Thanks! :) https://www.quora.com/Does-a-convex-lense-focus-diffuse-light

Yup, I Googled it, but without having any luck finding it...

I guess I can share a picture when I do it. Thanks for your help

I'll see if I can find something else, or read more about it. Thanks for the help! :)

Simple, cheap and awesome it ticks all the boxes in my book. I never thought about using parchment/baking paper in this way love it

1 reply

So glad you found it useful! Thanks for stopping by :)