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How to Construct a Square Ring Light for under $10

By Tuan Tran on December 16th 2013


A ring light is a great source of balanced illumination that reduces visible shadows in a variety of photographs. They are most popular with portrait and fashion photography as it provides lighting that seems to surround the subject and make them really stand out. Isiah Xiong has created a DIY instructions on how to build your very own square ring flash for just under $10. Building a square ring light is much easier than creating a circular ring one since there are simple straight edges to work with making this an easy and quick project. This is a perfect opportunity for any photographer to experiment with ring flashes without having to really invest in a professional grade one.


The ring light is crafted of foamcore pieces to shape the frame of the light. The versatile foam board is lightweight yet rigid enough to move and position where you want it. The foamcore is pieced together into a square doughnut-like shape and lined with aluminum foil using spray adhesives. The strobes go in either of the corners to reflect and bounce light inside the square to provide the ring light effects. The ring light provides a unique catch light that visibly reflects onto the pupils of the subject in these portraits.  This ring light can be put together with the following primary materials as well as some things you probably have lying around your home.

Primary Materials:
$4 – Foamcore x4 ($1 each at local dollar store)
$1 – Aluminum Foil (dollar store)
$4.50 – Spray Adhesive (walmart)

For detailed directions on how to build this Square Ring Light, see these instructions by Isiah Xiong.

suqare-ring-flash-03 suqare-ring-flash-02

What do you think of the square catchlight versus the standard halo? Let us know how your pictures come out if you decide to give this project a go!


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Tuan is a photographer with Lin and JIrsa Photography, a writer for SLR Lounge, and a freelance wedding and commercial photographer in Southern Cali.

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