October 23, 2019

How to Make Your Own LED Tube Lights

DroiMedia - LED
Those fancy LED tube lights are all the rage right now, and you can make them yourself with this DIY guide.

You may have seen some high-end tube light models like the Lumin8 or theĀ YONGNUO YN360, or maybe you're into traditional LEDs like the ones from Aputure.

But if you're working on a super-low-budget project or need some LED tube lights in a pinch, a good option might be to make your own.

DroiMedia has put together an awesome, easy tutorial for making your very own LED tube lights. According to the video, these homemade lights are ultimately priced at about $25 per foot. Watch the video below.

Here Is What You Need

This is a fairly simple project with a few materials. You'll need:

  1. LED strip lights (which come in warm and cool)
  2. Wire for LED strips
  3. Frosted acrylic tubing
  4. End caps
  5. 12V power adapter with four-way power splitter
  6. 1/2" wooden dowel rod

You'll also need a soldering iron, wire cutters, a screwdriver, and a hot glue gun. If you want to cut the tubes, you'll need a saw and file, too.

The Build

After securing your spare wire to the dowel rod, wrap the LED around the rod from top to bottom, leaving about a half-inch of space. You can trim the light strip where indicated.

DroiMedia
Credit: DroiMedia

Strip one end of your wires and solder the wires to the end of the LED strip.

On the other end, connect your spare wires to the ends of the wires on the LED strip using the solder-less power adapter that should have come with the LED strips themselves. This adapter is what will get plugged in.

Drill holes into the caps like below. You'll screw the caps onto the dowels, while the larger hole is for the power adapter (which you can glue into place).

DroiMedia
Credit: DroiMedia

All that's left to do is insert the LED-covered dowel rod into the frosted plastic tube, secure it using screws and the caps, and then plug in your brand-new LED tube light!

These can be used individually or attached to lighting boards.

DroiMedia
Credit: DroiMedia

Check out our other DIY lighting tips!

If you're still working on a tight budget, here are some easy DIY lighting kit builds you can try. You might even have some stuff lying around the house that could work perfectly on your next shoot! And here are some DIY production hacks everyone can use.

Have you ever built your own lighting kit? Share your insights in the comments!     

Your Comment

2 Comments

This is very interesting to see how they work practically in a shoot. I've always have been a fan of custom DIY projects like this because it shows that you can build cool stuff for your own projects that you can use later on. I've built a custom LED dimmable ring light, the Deakins ring light style, that gives a nice soft fill and ambient light to it. I'd love to build both a Daylight and tungsten version of this light or find full RGB strips and have every color.

October 24, 2019 at 8:50AM

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Bennett Todd
Director of Photography, Gaffer, Key Grip (IATSE 491 Grip)
84

Awesome tutorial.. Making your own stuff is sometimes better than buying off-the-shelf. You can really get specific and meet your exact needs for the project at hand!

October 24, 2019 at 4:54PM, Edited October 24, 4:54PM

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John Watkins
Consultant
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