How to make a light box with LED strip lights


Here’s a cheap and easy alternative to expensive light boxes found in art stores. I made it from an old picture frame and LED strip lights, that you can buy in hardware stores.

LED light has many advantages; they operate on low voltages, are lightweight, small, and don’t heat up.

You can make this light box as large as you need. Just increase the amount of LED strips and use a larger frame. The measurements are not critical. I used an A3 sized picture frame.




What you’ll need:

1. A picture frame with glass and mdf backplate.

2. Scrap wood to make the 4 sides of the box. I used 3 x 1.5 cm stretcher bars from an old canvas.

3. LED strip light “starter kit”.  In hardware stores you can buy a complete starter kit with transformer, on/off switch and angled connection pieces.

If you know how to use a soldering iron, you can wire the strips  yourself, like I did, and save some money for the connection pieces.

4. Wood glue.

5. Tinfoil, tape and a saw.

How to built it:

1. Remove the backplate from the picture frame.

2. Cut 4 pieces of wood to size, and glue on the backplate.

3. Cover the inside of the box with tinfoil.

4. Attach the self-adhesive led strips evenly spaced on the backplate.

5. Connect the electronics. Solder wires to the LED strips, or  use  corner pieces to connect the strips (be careful not to short circuit anything with the tin foil when soldering).

6. Glue the picture frame upside down on the box so you can remove the glass later.

7. To diffuse the light I just lay a sheet of A3 paper on the glass . You can adjust the amount of light by adding more sheets of paper.

Let me know if you would like to make one and have any questions!

Lights ‘off’. (Notice the blue pieces of tape as extra safety to prevent a short circuit with the tin foil)

Lights ‘on’!DSC_0093


With glass and paper diffusorDSC_0092




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