Ring Lights - specialist application for stop-frame animators

This is an adaptation of the more common large scale version used on larger cameras. Developed specifically for stop-frame animators, this customiseable and flexible lighting solution has the following features:

• range of colour temperatures available
• fully dimmable
• even illumination of subjects without shadow from 6cm to 1m
• very low footprint
• adapter ring for push-fit mounts to 52mm and other common digital SLR stills cameras
• no heat
• long-life l.e.d.'s will last in excess of 100,000 hours

jump down to: • applicationscolouroperationconfigurationspricesexamples - 24 x warm white, 12 x full colour, 12 x switched


Typical applications are usually lighting of subjects at very close range - say 15cm, without any bulky lights and reflectors, and without affecting the background illumination levels. Because the l.e.d.'s can be switched in patterns, wiping of illumination from one side of a face to the other is possible, simulating someone looking at a car passing them at night.

Colour Temperature Options

The question every d.o.p. is going to ask - "what's the colour temperature"?

I'm trying to get this data from the manufacturers at the moment, and I'll post it here as soon as it arrives. In the meantime, here are the options that are available at the moment.

This sample was prepared with 4 different 5mm, 20 l.e.d.'s with the surface buffed to diffuse the light. From left to right, the manufacturers' names are:
golden white, sunny white, warm white, white.

Here is the above sample in a dark room, starting at 100% brightness and going down to 25%. It's been rotated to fit the page!


This is very straightforward. There is a small controler with a power-in socket (6V d.c.), as many switches as the option requires, and a dimmer. It has a velcro backing to attach it to a large spring clamp, so that you can keep it close to the camera - on the tripod, for instance.

Indicator bulbs show which circuit has been selected. This example controls 12 individual l.e.d.'s, so 12 switches and bulbs are used.

Simply flick on the l.e.d.'s required, and adjust the brightness with the dimmer.

The ring is a simple push-fit over your chosen lens or filter - just push it on and go.

The controler and ring are attached by a cable, cut by the meter.


Example configurations:

(a) 12 x 'warm-white' l.e.d.'s in a ring, all switched and dimmed
(b) 24 x 'warm-white' l.e.d.'s in a ring, switched in two sets of 12 (odd + even) and dimmed
(c) 12 x 'warm-white' and 12 x 'sunny' l.e.d.s in a ring, switched by colour type and dimmed
(d) 12 x 'warm-white' diffuse and 12 x 'warm-white' spot focus l.e.d.s in a ring, switched and dimmed by focus type
(e) 12 x RGB full colour l.e.d.'s in a ring, each colour fully dimmable and switched


Because we custom make these, prices are very dependant on what you want, so we ask you to contact us for prices. The cost of l.e.d.'s also fluctuates, so these sample prices may also vary slightly - either way!

Typical prices for the examples above, as of mid-March 2006, are:

(a) 97 UK pounds
(b) 79 UK pounds
(c) 82 UK pounds
(d) 90 UK pounds
(e) 112 UK pounds


Here's the basic set-up. All I could find for a test subject was a brightly coloured rag doll, which was placed 50cm from the camera. An overhead flourescent light rack gave this picture. A can of spray-mount was placed 1m behind the doll, and illuminated with a 20W tungsten lamp positioned to leave the doll in shadow. The ring lights were used to illuminate the doll, leaving the background untouched.

24 x warm-white l.e.d. light ring


These percentages relate to the power applied to the ring - note that the spray-mount can doesn't change.

12 x RGB full colour l.e.d.

The l.e.d.'s are on full here and they've saturated the camera - better shot soon.

The RGB unit 'tuned' to tungsten (left) and then white (right).

The tungsten mix above, with first the red, then green, then blue notched up 20%

100% red, then green then blue - note the untouched background.

12 x warm-white, each l.e.d. individually switched - some effect shots next week.

more shots soon.....

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