A Simple Lightbox

Message 1171. Adding versatility to your lightbox.

Posted By Michael Camp (

Date 2/21/2003 8:39:36PM

I started with a simple frosted plastic storage box ($9.95 at Staples) and taped sheets of heavy artists vellum on 3 sides, both inside & out. This diffuses the lighting from both sides and the top. Cat not included.

I then glued a black foam on the back and bottom. I bought a few colors of these at the local hobby/art shop (88 cents each).

Next was to get some foamcore board, cut it to fit in the front of the box, paste the black foam stuff on 1 side & white foam on the other side (total cost $7.00). Now cut a hole in your board for the camera lens, I cut a rectangular slot so the camera can be raised or lowered.

I also glued a piece of the white foam to the inside of the box cover. Now I can make the interior of the box white or black, with my front board white or black or not use the front board at all, or bounce light from the front using the top as a reflector. All this affects the quality of the light inside the box and allows lot’s of experimentation.

Lastly I cut a square out of some other pieces of foamcore and pasted 2 sheets of the vellum so the foamcore acts as a frame. Now instead of bounced light from the front I can use direct light diffused by the vellum. This also affects the lights quality.

Available for lighting is 4 60W incandescent desk lamps and 1 60W clamp light to illuminate from the top($9.95 each at Staples. Also there are a couple of squares of foamcore left over to block out any available light if I want. All 5 lights are very rarely used at the same time (maybe never), usually 1-3 lights at a time.

Well, there you have it. By the way, all the accessories fit inside the box so when you store it there is one box with a cover to pull out of the closet.

*Content and photos used with permission from the Authors*