May 13, 2017

Learn How to Build Your Own $45 Light Wand That Can Change Colors

If you've got $45 and a little time on your hands, you can make your own DIY color-changing, Wi-Fi enabled light wand.

Light wands are great for a lot of reasons. They're lightweight, portable, and come in handy when you need to add a little extra light without a whole lot of fuss. However, units like the Westcott Ice Light are crazy expensive at $500, so many indie filmmakers aren't able to take advantage of their great dexterity—unless, of course, you're up for a little DIY project. With just $45 worth of materials, this tutorial from Macroscope Pictures shows you how to build your own light wand that has all the features you'd hope to see in a conventional unit, including the ability to change colors and Wi-Fi capability.

Yes, this is a bit more labor intensive than many of the tutorials we share here, but the result is worth it. Check out the material list courtesy of DIY Photography:

  • A saw or a PVC cutter
  • Metallic file
  • Wrenches
  • PVC or multi-purpose adhesive
  • PVC pipe – 1/2’’ x 4’
  • PVC pipe – 1.5’ x 2’
  • PVC bushing 1.5’’ to 1/2’’
  • PVC Couplers 2 x 1.5’’
  • Threaded PVC bushing 1.5’’ to 1/2’’
  • PVC cap 0.5’’
  • 1/2’’ x 1/8’’ hex bushing
  • a 3/8’’ to 1/4’’ 20 adapter (optional)
  • Waterproof RGB 5050 LED strip (5m/15ft/300 LEDs)
  • AA battery housing
  • 9V battery clip 5.5mm x 21mm male DC barrel plug
  • Foam/sponge/paper
  • Tape
  • WiFi Wireless LED Smart Controller (optional)

If you're not much of a DIY person, you're not doomed to pay half a grand for a light wand. Yongnuo's popular YN360 light wand is the dirt cheap answer to Westcott's Ice Light, and for about $80 you can pick one up. However, if you are a DIY person who wants to pay half that for your handheld lighting unit, head on over to DIY Photography to get more information about Macroscope Pictures' build.      

Your Comment

2 Comments

This is all awesome, but adding up the Amazon cart for this. minus any of the tools of course, is $88+. A few things may get cheaper if you shopped elsewhere but looking at their link on the youtube page the only thing you get for this quoted price is the lights, the battery back and the wifi controller, with no PVC etc in sight. Fairly misleading. Granted it seems for $88 you are getting a cool product that many on the market.

May 15, 2017 at 11:04AM

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Seth Evans
Editor
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I just added up the electronic components I linked to on amazon and it's (at the current price) a total of $40.36. Are you outside the US? Further, PVC is dirt cheap at hardware stores. You're individual constraints on purchasing parts at the same rate doesn't make me misleading, it makes your situation unfortunate.

May 15, 2017 at 1:21PM

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Oh me. No need for that whit. You can re-read my comment for further reference when needed. The other prices were from the amazon links in the attached blog post, hence why I said it " may get cheaper if you shopped somewhere else" . All that being said (already) Let's take your $40.36 for electronics and go from there. I'll even take away the PVC glue from the equation. Even dirt cheap, I don't agree that you can get PVC Pipe - 1/2' , PVC pipe 1.5', PVC bushing, PVC couplers, Threaded PVC bushing, PVC cap, and Hex bushing, all for $4.64. The threaded bushing alone when going to Wal-mart is $2.50 by itself. I'll end by saying again, this time with better spelling, even with a higher price, you are getting a cooler product than many on the market. I wasn't trying to be a dick, just pointing out that $45 while catchy sounding, is misleading to recreate what is made in the video.

May 15, 2017 at 2:32PM, Edited May 15, 2:55PM

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Seth Evans
Editor
318