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LED lightbox

Article about: Hi folks. Some expressed interest in the lightbox I built, so here's what it looks like. There's not much too it even though the design looks complicated, and LED's do very well for the ligh

  1. #1

    Default LED lightbox

    Hi folks.

    Some expressed interest in the lightbox I built, so here's what it looks like.




    There's not much too it even though the design looks complicated, and LED's do very well for the light source. I based it off of the Foldio2, which is a commercial 15" lightbox. But, mine is foamboard from hobby lobby instead of corrugated plastic (which is a better material I wish I could have used). I couldn't find corrugated plastic to save my life. All in all, it's about a $40 project of ebay materials if you have a soldering iron already and solder. White duct tape joins the foamboard pieces, and allows everything to fold and flex when broke down for storage.

    It works by using high strength rare earth magnets that connect to each other to hold the sides together and make the lightbox. The LED's are natural light toned white high brightness 5630 LED tape that I got in a 12v power supply, LED tape kit I bought on eBay that handles all the lighting and power. Pure white toned LED's would probably also work, but you don't want to go the other way towards warm white and those that take a more yellow tone. White paper (or colored if you can find some long enough) is held on by magnet tape at the top back inside of the box, and comes down over the inside to hide the seams and edges of the box.


    The sides fold in:


    and then fold over each other:


    to allow the lightbox to break down for easy storage out of the way, to about the size of a large binder:


    I soldered three rows of LED tape onto a flap that angles inward to control the angle of the light. The connectors all came with the kit.


    The magnets are held on by white tape stickers I got on ebay. I've had to super glue some of them on, as the magnets pull are almost too much for the adhesive on the stickers, but that's a minor and easily fixed issue.


  2. #2


    Very nicely done and effective...
    I'd rather be A "RaD Man than a Mad Man "

  3. #3
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    Like the idea of the light bar. I have some standing led lights and for the life of me, I can't get the right angle from them. That said, I'm a terrible photographer with a cell phone for a camera...the florescent basement lights don't help either...
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  4. #4


    My wife's iPhone takes great photos with our setup. But, the LED tape makes all the difference. I used to build models that used LED's in them, and the kids these days have it so easy with that LED tape. I litterally spent hours stringing individual LED's in a model of the Enterprise D, and today I could do it all in a night and end up with a better result to boot since the tape's LED cells seem to have wider angles on the light distribution.

  5. #5


    Thanks for the how to article. I have been curious about the LED lighting and how it works for photography. Looks like it works quite well! Bob

  6. #6


    Thanks Bob. It definitely works well with the right light tone. This site has a pretty good visual representation of the different white tones:

    Color Difference: White, Cool White and Warm White

    You really want to get something in the 5500-6000k range, which will be a more daylight/pure tone. Higher than that and the light takes on a bluish tone, and less it takes on a yellow tone.

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