Macro LED Light - Cheap - Home Made By You!!!

Macro Photography Light

Most of us who try to attempt super macro or macro photography discover very quickly that lighting is a major problem. If the light is bright enough to give you a sharp image it is often impossible to place the camera where you can get the shot you want without having a shadow from the camera itself. The cost of commercial macro lights are from $90 US and up. NOTE: The following is not an original idea from me, I found the idea published in a web site that some one had posted. I did a search for macro lights on Google. I have tried to find the web site again so I can give credit to the person who had the idea but can no longer find it.

I bought a 24 LED Camp light from Ebay for less than ten dollars including shipping. I noticed the other day that Walmart had them for just over *8. So you should be able to find one. My macro camera has an outside lens barrel diameter of two inches so building mine was relatively easy. I was able to keep the battery mounts inside the light so I didn’t have to change any wiring. With a larger barrel diameter camera the idea will still work but becomes a little more involved. You will have to remove the battery holders (they can be broken off using a pair of pliers) and solder wires (they can also be twisted together and taped but are not as secure as soldered wires) to the wires that connect the batteries in the light. You will then need to purchase an additional battery box with a switch and wires to solder (or twist and tape) to the confectioning wires in the light. Radioshack’s on line web site sells a four battery (AA) box which is a series box giving you six volts, with switch and wire leads for around two dollars. The batteries have to be in a series (+ to – + to – + to – + to -) so that you have a six volt supply to run the lights.

I located the center of my camp light and drew a two and one eighth inch circle on the front and back plastic pieces of the light. I then used a rotozip tool to cut out the circle in both the front and back. There are a number of different tools you can use to cut the plastic in a circle including a box knife. Because the camp light I bought had a built in switch originally in a hole in the front of the light. I was able to cut a slot in the back of the light and place the switch there without having to rewire anything.

I used a piece of old insulated extension cord (the round type) to make a rubber protective ring for the holes in the light to keep my camera barrel from getting scratched with the plastic since the camera is placed through the hole in the camp light. I carefully split the insulation on the extension cord so I had a straight line cut then removed the insulation, cut it to length and used a hot glue gun to glue the insulation rubber ring to the inside of the hole in the camp light. You can use any protective material, felt, rubber that you want to line the hole just so the outside of your camera barrel is not scratched. I used rubber and made it fit tight so I can slide the light on the camera and I will stay without having to hold it in place. I have to admit that I could have made it look a little neater with more time spent on the glue work

When using LED light for photography you will often need to adjust the white balance of your camera or edit the image in your computer because of the blue quality of light that LED lights emit. It is also possible to buy similar light rings with IR (infrared) lights to make your own light ring which does not have the blue light quality. You can also make one without using a camp light just by using LED or IR lights hand wired to a circle you cut from different types of materials. To get more ideas Google “Macro light or LED Light Rings”

Now an example of images without and with the Macro Light!!

An Image with the camera shadow

An Image with the light

Good luck with your creation and Enjoy.

Journal Comments

  • Susan McKenzie Bergstrom
  • barnsis
  • wahumom
  • barnsis
  • BarbL
  • barnsis
  • NatureGreeting Cards ©ccwri
  • barnsis
  • stephaniek
  • barnsis
  • Robert C Richmond
  • barnsis
  • mindbaby
  • barnsis
  • Linda Bianic
  • barnsis
  • Lynn Bawden
  • barnsis
  • joedog
  • barnsis