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Build Your Own LED Photography Ring Light

Build Your Own LED Photography Ring Light
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Gather Parts!

It’s generally a good idea to gather all of the parts for a project before you begin. Here is the bill of materials:

Part Manufacturer Part Number
NeoPixel Ring – 24 x RGBW LEDs- ~4500K Adafruit 2862
Pro Trinket – 5V 16MHz Adafruit 2000
10K Linear Taper Pot w/ Knob uxcell a13060500ux0042
UV Protection Lens Filter – 52 mm Amazon B00XNMWCF8

An RGB 24 NeoPixel ring

 

I used a 24 NeoPixel RGBW, the 4500K variant, as the light source for this project. I originally used an RGB ring, but the RGBW ring produces a truer white and has a greater light output. At the time of writing this, the RGBW LED rings are relatively difficult to source, though Adafruit has a few options available. For this project, I used Adafruit part 2862.



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An Adafruit Trinket that controls the LEDs

 

This project uses a 5v 16Mhz Adafruit Pro Trinket, but nearly any Arduino-compatible board can be used. In many cases, the software for this project won’t need to be changed.

 

The 10k Ohm potentiometer used

 

For this project, a potentiometer is used to adjust the brightness of the LED ring. I used a 10k Ohm single turn potentiometer, but many other potentiometers would also be fine. This particular potentiometer was purchased from Amazon, part number a13060500ux0042.

In order to attach this light to a camera, I used a 52mm threaded filter. You won’t need to use an expensive filter since the glass can be carefully removed if desired.

I used an AmazonBasics 52mm UV filter. I was able to remove the glass in the filter by unscrewing the retaining ring.

 

The AmazonBasics 52mm filter used

 

Some materials are needed, the quantity of which will vary based on your construction. To make the filter-to-LED-ring adapter thin (approximately 0.1 inches thick) I used plywood. I also used approximately 9 feet of stranded wire, two small zip ties, and a small quantity of heat shrink.

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