How To: Build a Cheap Ring Light for Your Smartphone with Velcro and an LED Camping Tent Light

Build a Cheap Ring Light for Your Smartphone with Velcro and an LED Camping Tent Light

When it comes to the quality of a photo, lighting can make or break it. Too much light, and your subject looks washed out. Too little, and you can't even tell what your subject is.

A ring light can help solve these issues when you're shooting portraits or close-ups. It distributes the light evenly so there are no shadows. Simon Ellingworth of photography blog Lightism built the first ever ring light for a smartphone—and it cost him about 15 bucks (around £10).

All he used to make it was an LED camping light, a phone cover, and some Velcro. He took apart his light and spray painted it black, but that's an optional step if you don't care about the aesthetics.

To put it together, all Simon did was stick some Velcro on the back of his phone cover, line up the ring with the lens of his phone's camera, and put the other half of the Velcro on the light.

Image via

I don't think I have to tell you how to finish putting it together from here. Pretty simple, no? Here's what it looks like on the phone.

Image via

The light works better the closer you are to your subject. You don't need a lot of light in the room where you're taking the photo since the ring light will provide enough even at night.

Check out the video for Simon's explanation of the ring light and how it works.

You can find more details on how to use the ring light and what settings to use over on Simon's website. The full tutorial is on DIY Photography.

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