How to make your own dirt cheap ringlight under P370
I've always wanted a ring light but I can not make myself spend P6,000 for it. I can put it down as a company expense, sure, but I already have a Glamcor Multimedia Extreme (bought from Suesh) that cost upwards P20,000 so didn't want to spend a whole bunch of money on another lighting situation! Besides, I don't have a lot of extra space in my studio slash office anymore. I just can't commit to a ring light at the moment.
Still, I needed extra lighting for product photography and my live videos on Facebook. Daylight is fine most days, but I can still use a bit more light especially when the weather is gloomy. Luckily I found this super cheap DIY while perusing Reddit. It cost me less than P370 to make - seriously! And it didn't involve carpentry, cutting, taping, or gluing anything.
Here's what I used:
- Desk lamp. I've had mine for like three or four years. As I recall, I got it at the department store for less than P250. Any cheap desk lamp will do, as long as it has a socket for a light bulb. You probably already have one at home!
- Circular fluorescent lamp. I got mine for P299 at Ace Hardware. The brand is Omni, but there are other brands available with the exact same price. I wanted to get a LED lamp but it was P1,399 a pop! I was worried this fluorescent lamp would feel too hot while I'm shooting, but I find that it's a comfortable warmth at close quarters.
- Socket converter. I thought this would be difficult to find, but I just asked for it and the Ace SA knew what I meant immediately. This was only P70! Just show them a picture to be sure. I needed this so I can fit the light to my desk lamp.
Once I had everything, all I had to do was attach the light bulb to the socket converter, then attach that to the desk lamp. Done and done! I just have to be careful about tilting the desk lamp as the "neck" so to speak can bend downwards due to the weight of the circular lamp. I just prop it on something, or just angle it correctly to support the weight.
So is this DIY ringlight exactly as good as the real one? Well. It's not. I reckon a real ringlight is brighter and has a bigger circumference to allow for more even lighting. It also has a useful camera attachment which allows it to be used as a tripod for DSLRs. BUT. This is exactly what I need. It improves my product photos tremendously while softening and brightening my skin texture nicely, but not to a ridiculous point (as some ringlights might do)! It adds extra brightness to photos during daylight, but looks great at night too.
Best of all? This cheap DIY takes little extra space. It's the best P370 I spent in a long while! Try this too if you love taking selfies or even just want a way brighter desk to work in. It's pretty useful whenever I paint too, as the light is brighter and more evenly distributed in my work area compared to my old light bulb.