Without fail, any time I post a picture I took while using my DIY ICE Light, I get questions about it. How I did it, how I made it, etc. And I’ve been promising for a while that I would write a blog about it.
I’ll keep it short and sweet – the “build” is very simple, the material list is short and this is a nice addition for the amateur photographer, or photographer on a budget.
Let me make something perfectly clear though: I LOVE the ICE Light. I think it’s a fantastic light that is very well made. It does what it’s made for extremely well. But I know many people that can’t justify spending $500.00 on a light that they won’t use almost every time they shoot. I’m one of those people. And with that in mind, a while back, I started looking into methods of creating my own ICE light, without the expense. And while mine is far from perfect and is not as pretty, it does the job very well, as you can see from the sample images included here.
My DIY ICE Light has evolved slightly from my original to what it is now. I’ve also created a second, smaller DIY ICE Light to my bag, using the same materials.
Initially, instead of the flourescent light diffuser, I used a cutout from a one-gallon water jug (DON’T use milk jugs…they will smell bad. FOREVER.) It worked well, but was a bit too bright. After discussion with the usual suspects, my friend and fellow photographer Joe Hoetzl?came up with the idea of using the fluorescent bulb diffuser. It has made a world of difference!
The beauty of this is, you can also use gels if you want. Just about any type of somewhat transparent colored paper will allow you to alter the color of the light. I’ve also found that layers of tracing paper help to further diffuse the light, should the need arise.
DIY ICE Light – Building It
Rechargeable?BAYCO 66 LED Worklight (purchased at Walmart, but doesn’t seem to be available now. This is essentially the same light on Amazon, which I now want because it has a black casing)
2″ Flourescent Light Diffuser from Home Depot (for T5 Strip Light)
That’s IT. Total cost was less than $50.00.
I trimmed the diffuser down to the length I wanted it using a small, handheld saw with a very fine-tooth blade. It was almost like sanding through it, instead of cutting it, so I would have a smooth edge. I sanded the edge a little more with a very fine sandpaper.
From there, I just popped it onto the light. The diffuser is just the right size for the housing of the light and it does not require any kind of clips or bands to keep it in place. It couldn’t be any simpler!
DIY Ice Light – The Photos
Here are a few examples of photos I took utilizing this light. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them!