DIY: Camera Ring Flash

This project was to make a type of camera flash known as a ring light. Although it's probably cheaper to just buy a complete knockoff light from the internet.

Part List:

  • Reverse EF-mount adapter
  • 21-LED White Car Light (70mm)
  • 24-LED White Car Light (90mm)
  • 39-LED White Car Light (120mm)
  • Prototype box
  • Two 9V battery clips
  • 12V Voltage Regulator
  • Two stereo jacks (3.5mm) with a locking ring
  • DC Jack (2.1 x 5.5mm) with a locking ring
  • Three toggle switches with a locking ring
  • Hot Shoe Mount (for clipping prototype box onto the camera)
  • epoxy
  • Shrink Tubing

An EF-mount lens adapter lets you mount any Canon lens backwards. They screw onto the filter mount of a lens, and then the adapter attaches to your camera. I used one to mount the ring light to the camera lens.

Find a 10-disc DVD spindle and start off by cutting out a hole slightly smaller than the adapter ring. I drilled a bunch of holes first, then cut it out with a hobby knife. I use a bit of sand paper to smooth out the hole.

I installed 3 switches, one to control each ring. The fourth hole is for a 3.5mm headphone jack that will be used to provide power. One wire for ground, one for power, the third is ignored.

Test fitting the smallest LED ring:

The tabs that make up the EF bayonet style mount keep it in place.

Hooking up all the wires. Put two pieces of shrink tubing on each wire before soldering. I melted a bit of the spindle trying to heat up the shrink tubing. oops.

Dumping epoxy all over it:

The second part is creating a little power box. It contains a 12V regulator, a DC jack, another stereo jack, and two 9V battery connectors. The AC jack has an two-way switch for the ground connection. If a DC adapter is plugged in, only the ground from the adapter will be used, otherwise if it's disconnected only the ground from the 9V battery will be used. This will prevent the batteries from getting fried.

I forgot to install a separate switch to disconnect the voltage regulator. Even when not used the voltage regulator will still use power draining your batteries.