DIY Light Tent on Table

5 DIY Photography Lighting Hacks You Should Try

Finding photography equipment at an affordable price can feel like an impossible task. Even if you do have a decent budget, why would you spend your money on expensive gadgets when you can create beautiful photographs with homemade studio lighting?

In this article, we are going to share with you some DIY Photography Lighting hacks that are going to change the way you look at lighting again!

The hacks we are going to talk to you about are:

  • How to make your own lightbox
  • How to put together a budget lighting system
  • How to build a spider light
  • How to make your own Softbox
  • How to create your own diffusion panel
DIY Fluorescent Lighting

If you’re a blogger, vlogger, a product creator or a product reviewer, these hacks will be a stepping stone to elevate your photography from so-so to exceptional.

Keep in mind that these DIY projects may require the use of power tools. If you don’t have the necessary tools, you may have to purchase those tools or find a hardware store that will let you rent them.

With that said, let’s get started, shall we?

How To Make Your Own Light Box

Lightboxes can be pretty expensive, but with this hack, you can have a homemade photography lighting box that is customizable to fit the aesthetic you are hoping to achieve with your photographs. Linda Loosli shows us how simple it is to create a box with just some wood and muslin in this article.

DIY PVC Light Box

The box she created measures 20” high, 31” wide, and 20” deep, but you can customize the size to suit your specific needs. Once the frame was built, she stapled white muslin to the top and the sides of the box, leaving one side open. Then she put cedar boards that she stained on the bottom of the box and bead board inside, which she can remove whenever she wanted to change the background.

How To Put Together A Budget Lighting System

Going all out and purchasing the best lighting for photography is going to set you back quite a bit of money. However, ShutterTalk's article shows us how you can build a DIY photo lighting setup relatively easy. All you need is a system of three hot-lights that range from 200W to 500W each.

Mother Taking Picture of Daughter

The article then tells you how you can use a coat rack from Ikea as a diffuser, how windshield shades for a car can be used as a reflector, and how you can make your own flash diffusers out of translucent white Perspex.

How To Build A Spider Light

Typically a spiderlike can cost several hundred dollars, but Ray Dennis at PetaPixel shares how he made his own spider light for a lot less. This homemade photography lighting setup is going to require the use of some power tools and knowledge of electrical work, but the end result will turn PVC pipe, an umbrella, and your ingenuity into a great addition to your set up.

How To Make Your Own Softbox

Softboxes are relatively affordable on their own, but if you’re feeling like you want to partake of some DIY goodness, you can make your own Softbox by checking out this article on DIYPhotography. With this box, you can make it to the size you want, it’ll be portable but solid, and you could even hang it if you are short on floor space.

DIY Photo Softbox

The items you will need for this DIY photo lighting hack includes items like foam board, diffuser material, aluminum foil, velcro, duct tape, metal bars and other bits of hardware. The article shows you a pattern of how to cut the foam board and shows you step by step photographs of how the pieces fit together.

How To Create Your Own Diffusion Panel

Diffusion panels are among one of the best accessories for your home photography set up. These lights provide you more control and flexibility than softboxes, they are easy to transport, and they are available in a variety of sizes. However, like Usnea Lebendig mentioned in his article about how to create a DIY diffusion panel, they can be expensive.

If you don’t want to spend an arm and leg on premade panels, you can build your own for under $30. Just follow the directions Usnea provides in his article, and you’ll be all set.


Instead of going out in search of the top of the line accessories for your photography gear, you could save a decent amount of money and build your own. With the hacks we talked about today, you can take great product photographs with the light box. You can diffuse the light to create soft light with the diffusion panels and the Softbox, and you can even create a brilliant light set up without having to purchase an overpriced big of equipment.

Young Girl Photo Session Under DIY Lighting

With a little bit of ingenuity, patience, and a love for DIY, you can fortify your home studio lighting set up for a fraction of the price—a perk that beginner photographers can definitely appreciate, we’re sure.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us via email or in the comments below! Do you know of any other DIY photography lighting hacks to share with the rest of the community? What nifty little tricks do you use to make your lighting setup work for you? We’d love to hear from you!

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