An LED ring light for jewelry photography
I came across this post on how to make a LED ring light for a camera and I thought I'd make my own for photographing jewelry and the like, instead of working up a more traditional three-point lighting setup. I ordered the same rings from (90mm and 120mm), they took about three weeks to arrive and cost about $14 shipped. Then it was just a matter of getting out my dial caliper to take measurements and creating tool paths in Illustrator. From Illustrator I export to svg and then use Blender and custom code I wrote to generate g-code, which I run in EMC2 under ubuntu.

The scrap plywood I used has a very thin veneer face and it chipped a bit in one spot during milling. Oh well. The holes in the rings are for passing through the LED ring wires.

My camera (Canon Powershot S3IS) takes a barrel for lens attachments, so I used that to mount the ring. Simple friction fit. It can still take filters and lenses and the like.

The LED rings need a 12v power supply, which I got from an old, non-functioning DSL modem. I also desoldered the power jack from the PCB, CA'd it to the back of the wooden ring and soldered the LED ring wires to the lugs.


With no diffusion the LEDs show up as points of light. A piece of paper held over the ring doesn't do much to change that...
...but held a short distance away it does a nice job. I'll probably make another ring to hold a diffuser. Of course I'll cut the center out silly! Oh, there's a color difference between the two LED rings, which is pretty clear to see in these photos. Not ideal, but workable.

A couple of test photos. The first one looks a bit surreal, like it's been photoshopped, but it hasn't. The white balance was on the wrong setting though.

Cat hair? Really? I swear it gets everywhere.

Anyhoo, I've got to work on my camera technique but I'm pretty happy with how the ring light working.

If you have any comments or questions you can use this form to leave me a note. Or you can just email me.

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