DIY Ring Light: Easy Tutorial for Beginners

By Tata Rossi 2 days ago, Lighting & Studio

If you are not ready to invest in buying ring lights for photography yet, then in this step-by-step tutorial I will tell you how to make a ring light with your own hands.

The Internet is full of instructions for making ring lamps, but most of them require pro skills or complex materials. My simple yet effective tutorial is suitable even for DIY newbies, the process will be fun, and the result will be workable.

DIY Ring Light Materials

diy ring light tutorial materials

With some pretty basic supplies, a little time, and some creative inspiration, you can make a homemade ring light for makeup or conversational vlogs, or just to give your photos a professional touch.

Below you can find a list of materials and tools that come in handy when making DIY photography lighting. Many of them are already in your home, except perhaps LED lamps and cardboard. You can find these and other missing materials in almost any store at an affordable price.

1. Determine the Size of the Ring Light

diy ring light tutorial led lights

To get started, you need to determine the required length of LED strip for making a ring light for camera. The length of the tape should match the diameter of the circle of your future DIY ring light. For the manufacture of a standard type, approximately 2-3 meters will be enough.

When calculating, consider the size of your camera and your expectations for the lamp. After measuring the diameter of your camera lens, add a couple of inches or more to provide extra space. Mark the resulting value on cardboard using a ruler; this will be the diameter of your future lamp.

2. Cut the Foam Board or Cardboard

diy ring light tutorial cardboard

Cut the cardboard along the outlined circle, preparing the basis of your future ring light. Do this carefully with scissors or a utility knife, leaving no roughness and bumps.

Look for a sample for a smaller circle to outline it in the center of the first one, for example, a plate or a glass. Make sure the smaller circle fits your camera lens and is exactly in the center of the larger one. When you’re done, cut it out the same way you did the first circle.

3. Attach the LED Lights

Peel off the LED lights for photography from the backing by sticking them onto your cardboard and foam base. Start from the center outward, sticking the diodes tightly together and evenly.

It is necessary to carefully fill the entire base of your future DIY led ringlight with diodes.

4. Diffuse your LED Lights

diy ring light tutorial diffusion

To make the light from the lamp softer, more even, and make your photos even more compelling, it needs to be diffused. To do this, you will need a white fabric, which also often acts as a DIY photo backdrop. Cut your fabric into a square large enough to cover your entire homemade ring light.

Spread the fabric over the cardboard smoothly and evenly, without creases, and glue it with hot glue. Make sure that the fabric does not wrinkle or sag in the center.

Pro Tip:

Frosted acrylic sheet is a great alternative to white fabric and is more suitable for longer and more frequent use of your lighting gear. The mounting process is pretty much the same as with paper – cut a sufficient size to cover the lamp and attach it to the front of the LED strip using hot glue or double-sided tape.

5. Add a Stand

diy ring light tutorial stand

Now that the DIY ring light is almost ready, you may want to use it as a standalone device, which means you need to come up with some kind of cardboard or PVC pipe stand.

The first option involves cutting two cardboard circles out and attaching them to a piece of cardboard or PVC pipe with hot glue. In this case, the lamp should be placed on top of the cardboard circles and secured with tape.

The second option is suitable for those who have a tripod for DSLR. Simply attach your homemade lamp to it with tape or glue. Make sure it fits well and is placed in the center of the camera lens.

6. Done!

diy ring light tutorial results

All that’s left is to connect the LEDs to a power source. Read the included instructions to do it properly and learn how to use a dimmer switch to make the light more or less bright.

You’re done! Now that you know how to make ring light, you can improve the quality of your photos and videos by playing around with lighting angles and distances to create different effects.


  • • What type of LED strip lights is more suitable to make a DIY ring light?

The optimal choice is the daylight or white color temperature, which creates a natural daylight effect. I don’t recommend buying warm or cool effect diodes as they can look yellow or blue in the frame with different camera settings. You can find the appropriate markings on the LED packaging to help you make the right choice.

Yes, you can make a DIY led ringlight to pair with your iPhone. The process is the same as above, with a difference in the size of the circle for your lamp, it should match your iPhone camera lens.

I advise you to fix the smartphone and the ring lamp on a tripod for stability. If you don’t have one, make a DIY iPhone tripod – it’s as easy as making a lamp.

  • • Can I make a DIY ring light that is battery-powered?

Certainly! Just buy a battery-powered LED strip or a battery pack compatible with the LED strip. This is a great solution for those who are going to carry such equipment even in a place where there is no way to connect to an outlet, for example, to use the ring light for Tik Tok on the street.

  • • Is it safe to use DIY ring lights?

If the user complies with the conditions for the use of LEDs and power supply, any homemade ring light does not pose a danger to him. At the same time, you should be careful when cutting cardboard with scissors or a utility knife so as not to get hurt. It is also important to ensure that your lamp is stable when mounted on a high-end or budget tripod.

  • • How do I choose the right size of a ring light?

When choosing the size of your future ring lamp, you should start with your goals and expectations. If you’re going to make videos outside, then portability is a priority, so the lamp needs to be small enough to be easily transported.

If you are engaged in portrait photography, then a larger size will be optimal. Roughly speaking, the diameter of the lamp should be twice the size of the model’s face to create a flattering effect.