DIY macro ring lights

Photography & Video
DIY macro ring lights

From the MAKE Flickr pool

Flickr member fdecomite built an LED ring light on perfboard and took some gorgeous macro shots with it!

Here’s another design using SMD parts –


HOW TO – LED Ring Light for Cameras and Magnifying Glasses

Color temperature seems a pretty important variable for this type of project – anyone have opinions/experiences choosing white LEDs?

DIY Ring Light from Christmas LEDs

ECU macro assembly

8 thoughts on “DIY macro ring lights

  1. The Masked Retriever says:

    My recommendation? Add red (and maybe some green) LEDs to taste.

    In a twisted way, one could say that white light’s “temperature” is really a measure of “the RGB value of your definition of white”.

    The kelvin number is defined as the temperature an incandescent object would have to be to glow that color. Naturally they’re all fairly stratospheric since they are after all “white hot”. This is very straightforward with incandescent bulbs, obviously– whatever temperature the filament is, that’s actually what color your light will be!

    However, this goes all wrong when you start re-inventing the light bulb since you’re not using good ol’ incandescence anymore. Florescents have the same problem: their effective “temperature” is usually way hotter than any light we enjoy looking at.

    For compact florescent lights, the solution has been a judicious fiddling with the phosphorescent coating: look around and you can get lower “temperature” bulbs that look less like the doctor’s office.

    LEDs could presumably benefit from the same treatment: white LEDs are phosphorescent-coated blue LEDs. However, I’m pretty sure you could game this system by “filling in” the lower wavelengths yourself with red and green LEDs, making the overall light look more yellow and thus, lower temperature.

  2. Nick says:

    Throwing in a few colored LED’s won’t work so hot because LED’s have such a narrow beam that it will just put colored spots on your image. Even using a combination of warm white and “pure” white LED’s would cause noticeable spotting, especially at macro distances.

    My suggestion, is to make sure you are getting the best LED’s you can, but most importantly, make sure they are all from the same production batch. That way, even if the color temperature is a little weird, it will at least be consistent across all the LED’s. Then you can simply set the white balance on your camera accordingly, and take beautiful, clean shots.

  3. Gyuri Florucza says:

    72 led macro ring (72mm) with reverse EF mount adapter

    Total current drain ~ 1.2Ah at 5-6V, (4xAA rechargeable battery or indoor use 6V DC adapter)

    It is very lightweight: macro ring 76gr, battery holder with 4x AA inside 152gr

    The circuit is designed to have two phases of light, full or half (only half of the LEDs light up)

    Range is 5-20cm, ideal for super macro.

    photo gallery:

  4. Apcc DIY says:

    Nice work!
    I also made a similar macro ring with 10pcs of high power led for my 100mm 2.8 macro lens:

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