How to make an AMAZING video ring-light for just $25


In this video I’m going to show you how to
make a DSLR ring light. Because it surrounds the lens, it lights the
subject in a way that’s soft and flattering. This can help give your footage a glamour
look, and the creative possibilities are endless. To build one you’ll need 20 10w 32v LEDs.
These are pretty inexpensive, and you can find a link to them in the description. You’ll also need some paperclips, a set of
pin connectors, some twin stranded wire, a battery holder, a clear cd from the bottom
of a stack of disks, and an old lens filter that’s the right thread for your camera’s
lens. Additionally you’ll also need a voltage booster,
a link to which is in the description. Tool wise you’ll need a soldering iron and
solder, pliers, glue, and a knife. Holding clips would be pretty helpful as well. So the first thing to do is straighten out
your paperclips with a pair of pliers. Once they’re straightened, arrange your 20 leds
in a circle, and bend the paperclips so that they match the inside edge of your ring of
LEDs. If done correctly, the inside edge should be just slightly smaller than the size of
a CD. Once you’ve curved all your paperclips, you
can then solder them together to create a ring. Note that not all paperclips are good
for soldering, so if the solder isn’t flowing on very easily, you may want to try a different
brand. After checking that your ring is the correct
size, you can start soldering the LEDs to it. LEDs need to be wired up the correct way
around, so take a close look at the polarity markings on each bulb before you solder them
on. The negative side is marked with a negative symbol, so solder its corresponding tab to
the inner ring you just made. Do this for the remaining LEDs and you should
have something that looks like this. Now its time to make the outer paperclip ring,
so straighten out some more paperclips and solder them to the outer edge. The ring needs to be able to screw on to the
camera’s lens, so take a lens filter of the right size and remove its inner element by
unscrewing it. Using some blu tac to keep it from moving,
place the now empty filter on to the centre of a cd and trace around it several times
with a sharp knife. Once you’ve made a fairly heavy groove, flip it around and do the same
to the other side, making sure that the groove is reasonably deep and that you don’t slip. You should now be able to push out the inner
part of the cd. If it doesn’t come out easily, deepen the grooves and try again.
Now insert the lens filter. If it’s to tight a fit, widen the hole using sand paper until
the lens filter slides in easily. You can now glue the filter permanently to
the CD. With the filter’s thread facing backwards,
glue the ring of LEDs to the outer rim of the CD. Once it’s all dry, solder two short lengths
of wire to both the outer ring and the inner ring. Flip the light around so it’s facing
downwards and solder these two wires to the output of the voltage booster. Make sure you
get the polarity correct or else the LEDs won’t light up. Now solder the male pin connector to the input
side of the voltage booster, with the red wire going to the positive terminal, and the
black wire going to the negative terminal. Now glue the voltage regulator to the back
of the CD. Whilst it dries, get your battery holder and extend the wires by using a length
of twinned wire. Use some tape to prevent the wires from shoring out. On the end of this extension solder on the
other pin connector, making sure that the red wire connects to the positive side of
the battery pack. Again, add some tape to make sure that the wires don’t short out. Now connect the pin connectors together – take
care to make sure that you connect them the right way around, so red to red and black
to black. Your LEDs should now light up, but if not
it may be because your voltage regulator is set to the wrong voltage, so rotate the variable
resistor on the voltage regulator until it reaches at least 24v. Now there’s only one thing left to do, which
is to find the brightness sweet spot. As the LEDs are designed to work with heat sinks,
it’s possible for them to overheat without them. So what you need to do is adjust the
voltage so that the LEDs remain cool enough to touch. If you can’t keep your finger on
them for 5 seconds, then the voltage is too high, so dial it down until you can keep your
fingers on the LEDs for at least 10 seconds. For me this value was 25v.

100 thoughts on “How to make an AMAZING video ring-light for just $25

  1. Wouldn't arranging the LED's in series like that further lower the voltage supplied to each LED?

  2. Man, this is so relaxing to watch. I didn't even realize I was binge watching this channel.

  3. Nice one! I would like to try this with a rechargable battery, something I can recharge even on the go with a powerbank, it would be more lighter than with the battery holder and all those AAA batteries. What do you think, people? Is it possible, may be powering it up with a cellphone battery?

  4. Neat, never really had any desire to sharpen my soldering skills or learn anything electronics (that's what m'husband is for), BUT definitely will be putting this on my list

  5. I'm looking to build a 6"spot light replacement lens for my patrol vehicle. I'm struggling with the math and what size driver and if I'll need a booster. I want to use 3 20w cob LEDs. Anyway to message you and get some help?

  6. It's very nice. One thing though, if you film reflecting objects it is clearly to see all the separate LEDs. Wouldn't it be good to add something like a diffuser to make the light less sharp and pointy. Maybe let the light reflect on a piece of cardboard, you think of something.

  7. I made mine and it lives!!!!! 馃榾 now just have to figure out how to make universal lens body… 馃檪 Thank`s dude!

  8. you got one very informative,useful and highly do it your self channel,only one problem……….i've seen all you videos already!! now what am i to do….o well,guess i will see them again 馃槈 love your channel and can't wait for the next new videos to come so keep creating and keep filming what you create,greetings

  9. What about current limiting:? they would light up differently 馃槓
    Heat shrink is also cooler!

  10. One thing I'm wondering, why go through the hassle of using such a big battery holder when you could just use a 9 volt battery? Nice video by the way!

  11. Matt, You inspire me to a whole new level! Also, I have a question about the ring light! I went with your same concept using the paper clip ring but I am using standard 3 volt LEDs wired with a 110 resistor, and a 5V 1A Dynex cellphone backup battery charger for power. I am using 16 LED circuits in parallel with each other and when I power it with a 5V wall charger, the LEDs light up no problem. However, in order for me to actually get the whole circuit to light using the backup battery, I have to short one of the LED circuits. I did make sure that the battery was charged. When it lights the whole circuit by shorting one of the LED Circuits the voltage read out is 5.8 volts. Any ideas on what I am missing? Any who keep on nerding on and hope to see more awesome videos! With love from Southern California Suburbia!

  12. Wow! Beautiful tutorial. Thank you so much!! One question: How long are you able to keep the lights on…? Does overheating ever happen? Thank you very much for your response and keep up the creative flow… 馃槈 Hope you are having a merry christmas! 馃檪

  13. What if…
    … I use a 12V battery for outdoor shots?
    … I use a PC transformer (19V) for indoor shotting?
    I prefer not using the voltage booster (to avoid buying more staff).
    Thanks for the video!

  14. I ordered all the parts apart from the voltage booster, I choose to order the XL6009E1 (as it should be a more recent design) and yours I wasn't in. I only have to manage to order 19 (odd number, I know) power leds and my ring will be existing of 16 or 18 leds. The spare leds will be used to make other projects.

    Looking forward to build this myself.

    For the casing, I'm not sure what I will choose, as I don't use CD's for years any more …

    Thanks for the guiding!

  15. Hey Matt, I was just wondering if it was possible to attached a mains plug to one of these and what extra equipment would be needed? Cheers mate

  16. Why would you use 10W LEDs for that? you are only driving them at maybe 3 watts each. It would have been much better to buy the 3W LEDs with the star shaped heatsinks. You would have gotten the same amount of light for a fraction of the cost

  17. Mr DIY, would you answer for this please? Why the voltage booster works fine with 19V 4Amp power supply and doesn't with 9V 1.8Amp one ?? On forst one I achevied 44V boost, on second exactly ….nothing. Mind I have got the same V booster as you did use to your project, even the same LEDs…. Thanks in advance

  18. Help please! I am making something similar to this, but I was wondering, this doesn't control current, so wont the LEDs draw more current as they get hotter and burn out? Do you just have to keep an eye on the temperature?

  19. Hey guys, could you please check out my version of ring light, it is a little cheaper design but it works great, i would really appreciate your comment either good or bad ones, thanks

    P.S. Matt i really like your videos and sorry for this shameless advertising

  20. Everyone don't own a soldering kit, so apparently it will be more then 25.

  21. Pretty cool! I would add a hotshoe adapter to hold the battery pack, that way you'll have more freedom of movement.
    Thanks for takingt he time of making a video and sharing!

  22. very Talented. @ hints if i may? 1 use heatshrink tube for wires Much better than Tape and use a LIPO battery from an RC hobby shop they are much lighter and you can velcro the battery to the camera bottom 馃榾

  23. Hi, I'm interested in this project, I am wondering if you could use a USB battery instead of the 5×1.2v batteries, also what led did you get warm or cold light?

  24. A question: Why paperclips?
    I'm not nitpicking, but wouldn't it be easier (and better) just to use single core copper cable?

  25. Is there another solution for the battery pack? Like the led driver or something … i just have a feeling the AA battery wont last enough

    Thank you

  26. There聽 seem to be some confusing options when ordering these LEDs. Would not a warm/white color be more flattering for most human subjects?

  27. I don't subscribe nor watch many YouTubers who are sponsored because once sponsors get involved honesty & content control goes out the window; however, I love that this guy adds links to the products he uses. Based on that, along with the excellent instruction without any annoying background music and the goofy opening title sequencing others expect people to sit through time and again he gets my subscription. I'll click auto play on his channel just so he gets his three tenths of a cent per. He deserves it. Excellent work sir! I hope you get a percentage from my purchasing from the links you've so kindly added.

  28. Hi Matt. Does your voltage booster get hot to the touch when you power your LEDs? It gets to the point where hot glue will melt and my booster will fall off :c

  29. Would it be better to use 18650 batteries for this instead of aas?

  30. i have made 2 lamps of 20 x 10w 12v leds i will like to know which driver i need or power supply i have to use to light them up? they are connected in parallel.

  31. Any thoughts on how you might improve this these days (If any)?

  32. there's too much good stuff on this channel, jesus man. I start watching one video and literally wanna click the other 3 on the recomended bar

  33. The advantage of underrunning leds is the raised efficiency (besides easier thermal management). Driving the ring @ 200W will result in the same amount of light as driving it at about 130W. But with way more heat created.

  34. very creative, instead of using batteries however you can use a small powwer bank, it will definetly last longer

  35. Not really 25 bucks when you factor in the cost of the soldering iron, solder, multimeter, glue, battery holder, wire, and so on. The entire project is more than 25 bucks.

  36. Do you have actually an idea how to make it dimm-able? Or is there a controller with dimmer in one electronic board?

  37. And as of Nov 9, 2017, 173 people are jealous of your mad skills. Your videos are too cool for school.

  38. If you don't fancy making this yourself here's an already made one from Amazon: http://amzn.to/2irnLRv

  39. Please, could you make a ring light? But with larger size, for model portraits. I have no ideas to do. thank you!

  40. 1 Mio Subs on a diy chanell and you don`t use proper heatshrink but tape? come on

  41. Best channel ever, period. I also loved that star trek reference at the beginning. 馃枛

  42. Ring light. Cool. Ant suggestions for making exterior pot lights, sometimes called recessed lights?

  43. First off, awesome tutorial, thanks a lot! I tried building it using an old power supply instead of the battery pack , but the LEDs won't light up. The step up converter gets insanly hot though, so I guess the power supply works. Do you have any idea what I could've done wrong?

  44. great video. This will save me a ton of money that I can then use on my car insurance. lol

  45. Is there any way to modnthis to become a ring flash that can hook up to the camera?

  46. Can you make an update for this ringlight? maby with some color temperature adjusting dials or a more robust housing? maby 3D printed? and with another mounting option? I would love to see that!

  47. Can you make led 100 watt or 200 watts light for fishing which can last for atleast 10 hours

  48. It's a lot easier and cheaper to buy an Angel Eyes from eBay or Amazon for under $5.

  49. Which glue is best for something like this? I tried to find the one in the video in the UK but I cant see it.

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