Lightbox with controller and storage

One of the problems in photography is exposure. For a good photography a controlled environment is required, both at the light and at the environment level.
To solve the location problem I have acquired a lightbox, which allows you to define several uniform backgrounds to create contrast. But it was still necessary to solve the question of luminosity. For this I built my own lighting system, used Ikea frames, led strips and some components.

The illumination is done through led strips glued to Ikea frames. Each frame has 2.5 meters of led strip, divided into 5 sections. This connects to the controller through extensions built with telephone cable (only one pair is required).

The controller is constructed with MDF cut in a laser cutter and has two sections, the control and storage section.

The control section uses a computer power supply to provide power through the 12V rail. Each panel has a separate section controlled by a button and a potentiometer. The button allows you to turn the panel on and off and the potentiometer controls the intensity.

The storage section allows you to store the extra components (controller connection cables to the panels, power cable and the pieces that support the various frames).

The lightbox has a frame on each side and a top. They are fixed to each other through custom-built and 3D-printed media (available from my thingiverse account).

Materials

Tools

  • Soldering Iron
  • 3D Printer
  • Laser cutter (optional)

Controller

The controller structure was cut in a laser cutter and then mounted using wood glue and 4mm screws.

lightbox with controller

Then the various electrical components (buttons, potentiometers and leds) were assembled according to the diagram below. In order not to burn the LEDs it was necessary to add to each a 470 ohm resistor. There are four red LEDs that indicate which panels are connected and a fifth green indicating whether the controller is on.

lightbox with controller

In order to change the light intensity, was used a 1 kohm potentiometers.

The system is connected to the power supply via a molex plug.

After assembly of the components, it has been tested to ensure operation.

lightbox with controller

Then the power supply was installed and the assembly finished.

lightbox with controller

Lighting

The lighting consists of an Ikea frame where the LED strips are glued.

Since the frame is larger than Lightbox, I have only installed LED tapes in the space of this one. The tape was divided into five sections.

lightbox with controller

These were installed in the frame and connected to each other in series, and later connected to the controller through a connector.

Supports

To install the frames around lightbox, I design two types of supports that were later printed in 3D. One type holds the frames vertically (side illumination) and the second type secures the frames from the side to the top (top lighting).

Final test

In the end I tested the various types of lighting to compare the final results.

 

lightbox with controller
All panels on

 

lightbox with controller
Side panels on

 

lightbox with controller
Top panel on

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