When it comes to project photography, I've always relied on my cell phone and any available ambient lighting. This will only get you so far, though, so I decided to build a Light Box with materials I had lying around.

For the frame, I used OpenBeam, a fantastic aluminum extrusion product that's more affordable than alternatives like 80/20. For the light panels, I used some thick paper and adhesive-backed white LED strips I've had for awhile. 

The panels run off of 12V, which I route through a little power distribution board I designed with KiCad and milled on my Othermill. Milling a simple PCB also allowed me to add some headers for accepting momentary switches, which allows me to turn each panel off when needed. I didn't know how useful this would be, but turning off the top light seems to help mitigate annoying reflections when photographing shiny things.

My only gripe with the Light Box right now is the low brightness level, although considering it was made with materials and LEDs I had around, I'm pretty happy with it. The panels themselves may come in handy for other applications as well.


Eric Weinhoffer || CC BY-SA 3.0 Creative Commons License