Sunday, February 01, 2009

DIY Florescent Keno-Flo Lights

There is a lot to be said for shooting with a continuous light source, You get what you see.

For me, one of the biggest reasons for using "cool" lights like these is for the comfort of the subject being photographed. As photographers we're use to the pop of flashes when using strobes however, subjects not use to being photographed sometimes find the flash of strobes uncomfortable.

I bought these two shop lights at Home Depot for about $30.00 each. These are called Lithonia Lighting Diamond Plate Utility Lights. I used daylight balanced tubes in the fixtures. The lights are good size and quite light in weight, they measure 48" in length.

I also picked up the grid ceiling fixture that you see in overhead lighting in typical office spaces. I cut these plastic grids down to size to fit over the two tube fixture.

I really like the diamond pattern on these lights, kinda looks like professional lighting gear not DIY.

Here you can see the Velcro™ straps I use to hold the grid in place, I use 6 attachments along the sides of the light, three on each side.

In order to mount the lights to a stand, I bought a mounting plate know as an Avenger F800 Baby Wall Plate - 3"

You will need some sort of Grip Head to hold the Wall Plate or light. If you have C-stands it's simple, if not use something like this to get you light on a stand.

I had an opportunity to use these lights on an recent assignment, I'll be posting about that later in the week. DT


megha said...

well these lights really rock.

Outdoor lights

MaCanuck said...

I knew there was a reason you were one of my heroes. I picked up a pair of these lights and had been consdering the best way to attach them to a stand and boom. There you go.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Kathryn Lymburner said...

I was just pondering a strip light setup the other day! Thanks for pointing me in a DIY direction, my pocketbook thanks you.

AlexH said...

Now I know what to do with kitchen fluoros when I eventually get around to replacing them!

John W. MacDonald said...

Brooks Ayola has been lighting in this manner with stunning results. I look forward to seeing your results, too. Keep up the great work!

Darren Whitley said...

I bought a set of lights similar to these with the new style of tubes from Lowes. I bought the lights hoping to do something like Joe Edelman, who was also interviewed by Lightsource.

I hadn't figured out how to mount them. The Matthews plate is genius.

Darren Whitley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kenneth M. Ruggiano said...

How much light does one of these things crank out?

michael said...

Hardware supply stores (Home Depot, Lowes, wherever) also sell durable clear plastic tubes to slip over fluorescent lightbulbs in case of breakage.

They cost next to nothing, are quite transparent, and not only provide a great deal of safety in case of that freak accident, but also cleanup in the event of such an accident is far easier: If the light itself breaks the clear tube contains & keeps the light in one piece rather than it all exploding all over the place..

Great post, and now I have my next project!

udijw said...

David, This is a really sweet design.
I'd love to see some test shots.

aleksphotography said...

Hi David,

Could you please tell me a kelvin settings for this lights?

Thank you
Best regards Aleks

David Tejada said...

These bulbs are Daylight balanced, however, with my color temp meter it get a reading of 4520k.

Mel Haynes, Jr said...

Thanks for the the post on this. I use these "strip" lights a lot, but I have been using human light stands to position the lights and they tend to get very irritated fast and never hold it still enough for me. I like the florescent colors so I stick with them, but this setup is great and I need to get my tetanus shots updated and see if I can't build one of these myself.

Debbi_in_California said...

This is so cool!

Darren Whitley said...


What brand of octobox are you using and what size is it? I really like the look of it.

David Tejada said...

Darren: Asks about the Octa box that I use, must have seen in on another post.

I use an Amvona, their largest.

chi said...

that really is a nice and thought out design. Looks great.

Bruce said...

How much difference do the grids actually make on these fixtures? I'd love to see photos of the spread with and without.