Build This Sturdy Light Box for Bright, Clean Photos

Craft & Design Furniture & Lighting Home Photography & Video
OMC Light Box
OMC Light Box
Take professional looking photos with this inexpensive photo light box. Photograph by Owen Smithyman.

Ever wish you had a dedicated space for taking bright, clean photos of your DIY projects, Etsy products, Kickstarter mockups, or whatever your weird obsession is? With professional lighting boxes running up to $2000, you can save a lot of money by making your own.

Owen Smithyman works at Other Machine Co., the awesome team behind the Othermill desktop mill. Owen takes all the photographs for OMC’s online store and support guides and needed a dedicated photography lighting box to make product shots less of an ordeal. His design, which you can read about in depth on the OMC blog, works to both block ambient light in the room while blasting the objects inside the box with a 36–watt LED panel, equivalent to 240 watts of incandescent light.

Photo of OMC light box fully lit.
With the LED panel turned on, the items inside the box are bathed in a bright, diffused light. Photo by Owen Smithyman.

The Illustrator template for Owen’s lasercut panels can be downloaded here, though honestly there’s not much to them. The 2′×2′ birch panels are simply joined together with nails and a lasercutter is absolutely not necessary to create them. That said, if someone wanted to send Owen a version of the file with some fancy lasercut finger joints, I’m sure he’d be thrilled.

The interior of the box is decked out in white foamcore, and a seamless white styrene sheet for the backdrop. The results look great, and because the light is so insanely bright, Owen can even get away with using a point and shoot camera without running into the ISO noise those things have in low light situations.

Photo lighting box shot
An example photo take in the box. Photo by Owen Smithyman.

What do you think of the project? If you’ve got a better DIY photo lighting box project or have seen one online, share it here for the rest of us.

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I make stuff, play music, and sometimes make stuff that plays music. Fan of donuts, Arduino, BEAM robotics, skateboarding, Buckminster Fuller, and blinking lights.

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