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OT: Cheap LED Light Panel (DIY)

Community Expert ,
Jun 10, 2022 Jun 10, 2022

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Need more light on a budget?  I found all I needed at my local dollar store (up to $1.25 now thanks to inflation).  No electrical know-how required.

 

Grab 8 push-type battery powered LED lights and sufficient AAA batteries to power them (3 x 8 = 24).

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Also grab a 13 x 9" (33 x 22 cm) metal baking sheet.  For added convenience, look for one with holes in the tray if you can find it.

image.png

 

Arrange LED lights in an array inside the metal baking tray.  For better adhesion, you can rough up the pan's surface slightly with steel wool or sandpaper (optional).  Attach LEDs with self-adhesive/velcro (included).

 

Use Chenille Stems (aka pipe cleaners) or nylon Zip Ties to secure your LED light panel to a light stand or tripod.

 

Light output is adjustable with a few taps and ready to use anywhere.

 

Cost: $18.75 (excluding nylon Ties which I had on hand).

 

Nancy O'Shea, Product User & Community Expert
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media
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Community Expert ,
Jun 10, 2022 Jun 10, 2022

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Clever ! Can you upload a picture if the final product ? How much light does it emit ?

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Community Expert ,
Jun 10, 2022 Jun 10, 2022

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I don't have a picture handy.  But it emits quite a bit of light when the total array is turned on.  I was pleasantly surprised.  🙂

 

Nancy O'Shea, Product User & Community Expert
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 11, 2022 Jun 11, 2022

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Well if you want a different effect...turn the lights around and use the hole pattern for hard light and some plastic or paper for a dappeled light. Angle the panel for different light strengths through the holes on the subject.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 11, 2022 Jun 11, 2022

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Each LED has it's own on/off switch, so adjusting light intensity is a no-brainer.

 

I haven't used it enough to know for sure yet but I suspect light intensity may drop some as battery strength diminishes.  LEDs typically last a long time.

 

 

Nancy O'Shea, Product User & Community Expert
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Expert ,
Jun 12, 2022 Jun 12, 2022

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Some Background knowledge on power supply: You could also exchange the batteries for a power supply, if you are technically talented to do so. Batteries normally give geographical independency. If you want using rechargables: NiMH accumulators have a nominal electric potential of 1.2V, meaning 3.6V for three batteries instead of 4.5 V for alkaline batteries. Generally, circuits are done in such a way, that with half of the power, they stop working, meaning here 2.25V. 

As Leds are different from the standard wire bulbs, The either work or don't work. You probably do not see much of the "getting weaker" phenomen as with the standard bulbs. Dimming with leds is done, by switching selectively leds off.

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Community Expert ,
Jun 11, 2022 Jun 11, 2022

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I have used office led-lamps with goosenecks to get enough light for macro photography. However, it is very difficult to control the light intensity because you have full light or no light.

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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