The Internet is full of DIY instructions to transform cardboard boxes into light boxes, but I decided instead to go upscale and use PVC tubing instead. Why PVC? Because I lacked a suitable cardboard box.
After bribing my son with a drive through Dunkin Donuts, we went to the hardware store and returned with this:
- 3 ten foot lengths PVC
- 8 three-way joins
- 3 utility lights
- 3 daylight 5000K lights
To this collection we added a white sheet and poster board already on hand. The price was under $60 which was more than I intended to pay. Lighting was the most expensive components. I’ve seen light tents selling for a little more money, but they lack the satisfaction of building it yourself.
Not So Complex Instructions
Step 1 Cut PVC into segments. Length is up to you. I chose 22 inches.
Step 2 Make a box. Everything fit together so tightly I didn’t even bother with glue.
Step 3 Clamp-on lights and cover with cloth and slide in the poster board. While you can clamp the lights to the cube, I turned the little wooden table you see in the pictures above upside down and clamped the lights to the legs. I originally built the table with my son as a surface he could use to assemble Legos. Since he has outgrown his Legos, I put the table to other uses.Put a camera on a tripod and put something inside the lightbox. Take pictures. Try different lighting combinations. Use all three lights. Two lights. A single light. Re-position the lights. I also tried swapping out the white poster board with another we had on hand. Overall this was an easy project and something new to play with. I am already thinking about what I can stick in the box next.