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Pvc Light Stand For Under $5

Posted by: Angelina Vick on 01/17/2013 - 1:23 PM

I found this video, because I want to make some indoor light sets to shoot paintings, as cheaply as I can. Pretty cool video.


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Paul Ge on 01/17/2013 - 2:06 PM

Thanks Angelina!


Posted by: Angelina Vick on 01/17/2013 - 2:13 PM

You're welcome! =)


Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 01/17/2013 - 3:52 PM

Good for you, Angelina! I love DIY projects!

I print prints that are 5 feet long, and the curl of roll paper can be a problem.

Instead of buying this overpriced product for $220 to $250:

I made my own from two items bought at Home Depot for about 7 bucks.

Good post.


Posted by: Rich Franco on 01/17/2013 - 3:57 PM


Very good! Make sure when you go to buy the pvc, you get the "thick wall", not the thinner stuff. I've had a 6 foot frame/panel just like his, that's now probably 25 years old! I of course, had to paint it flat black! And for my copying work, I also use the same bulbs he had, the Compact Fl bulbs, big "soft" spots, in the metal relfectors and they work great!

Beth, this should be saved somewhere for others to learn how to make these cheap stands!



Posted by: Karyn Robinson on 01/17/2013 - 4:23 PM

Gotta love pvc!


Posted by: Andrew Pacheco on 01/17/2013 - 5:38 PM

Very cool, thanks for sharing the link, Angelina. I've been using some microphone stands since I had them hanging around, but I need more options. I think I'm going to give the pvc a try.


Posted by: Nature's Details on 01/17/2013 - 5:53 PM

That is really cool Angelina!!!! THANK YOU!!

Here in southern Ontario, the winters are long and I was considering trying some indoor work, with some flowers from local stores and some other still life projects. I really can't afford to buy complete "pro" light sets and this is a great idea.

Does anyone have any opinions to share regarding halogen (like in the video) VS using LED?



Posted by: Kip DeVore on 01/17/2013 - 6:03 PM

Thank you, Angelina.


Posted by: Janine Riley on 01/17/2013 - 10:19 PM

Great help - thanx !
I would consider the Reveal natural light bulbs Tiny.


Posted by: Rich Franco on 01/17/2013 - 10:36 PM


Try cheap Compact Fl Soft Spots first!



Posted by: Darryl Dalton on 01/17/2013 - 10:41 PM

Thank you, Angelina.


Posted by: Kyong Burke on 01/17/2013 - 10:51 PM

Thank you for sharing! I don't know how big pvc hole is but maybe fill with pebles in the base part/up to1-2feet to weight on? Just a thought.


Posted by: Rich Franco on 01/18/2013 - 10:25 AM


Sand would be much better and you could always pull a cap off and then drain the sand out to store!



Posted by: Angelina Vick on 01/18/2013 - 11:34 AM

So glad you guys found this helpful! You're welcome.

I think I am going to be giving this a try this weekend. I like how versatile it is.

Thanks for the tip on getting the thicker pvc Rich.

If anyone knows of good Lowes or Home Depot...feel free to post links.

It seems pretty stable...I don't think it needs weight. But you can put things on top of the base to keep or still.


Posted by: Harry Lamb on 01/18/2013 - 11:34 AM

Dang; I already have light stans, but I can use this approach for making stands for my reflectors! I have light discs by Photo Flex in Gold and Silver. Of course you could always use a 4'X4' cut of foamcor for a reflector also.


Posted by: Angelina Vick on 01/23/2013 - 1:07 AM

Anybody try it yet? I didn't get a chance this past weekend.

I am hoping to this weekend.


Posted by: ANA MARIA EDULESCU on 01/23/2013 - 3:18 AM

What great ideas... Thank you for sharing this video, Angelina.


Posted by: Nina Prommer on 01/23/2013 - 3:35 AM

great, thanks for sharing


Posted by: Rich Franco on 01/23/2013 - 10:01 AM


This is the set-up I recommend for people that need to copy artwork, every once and a while. If copying art weekly, then a more permanent set up should be used. I also have the written "recipe" if anyone needs it,

"Here's the reflector light I use, CFL bulb, rated at 23 watts or about 75 watts if incandescent. It's a "Soft Spot" I like these CFL bulbs, because unlike the "work lamps" they don't get too hot.

Art Prints

Here's the light set up that I use. The art work itself is about 14" x 20" and a 2 light set is good. If the art was 24" to 30" on the short side, I would add another light. I think for every 12" or so, there should be a light. This is just the right side of course, there would be another 2 light set up on the left. And also, this would be done indoors, not outside, during the daylight hours.

Photography Prints



Posted by: Angelina Vick on 01/23/2013 - 2:09 PM

You're welcome Ana and Nina!

Thanks for the descriptions and visuals Rich.

Why are you shooting outside with the light set up instead of inside?


Posted by: Murray Bloom on 01/23/2013 - 2:48 PM

It looks like a pretty good idea. I'd also check out the used stuff at the local camera shop.

You never know what you're gonna get. - F.G.


Posted by: Angelina Vick on 01/23/2013 - 2:50 PM

Have any suggestions for the right kind of lights to attach to it?


Posted by: Angelina Vick on 02/21/2013 - 1:34 AM

I finally bought it.

I didn't buy the Harbor Freight tool...the one I got at Lowe's was $10.

Rich, I couldn't find any that said 'thick wall' but there were PSI numbers. I think the thinnest was 200, I picked up 400.

I spent about 30 bucks, but I got additional parts and pieces for versatility.

I didn't see any lights with reflectors, so maybe that can't be bought at a hardware store?


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Posted by: Rich Franco on 02/21/2013 - 10:35 AM


You got the right stuff, the "thin wall" pipe is very thin and not something that would hold up a light,used mostly for irrigation here in Florida.

As far as the lights, they should be everywhere,any hardware store and of course,Home Depot and Lowe's. Here's what I think I bought a few years ago. What is important here is the size of the reflector,mine is 10" and the depth,and mine is about 5". The wider the reflector, the broader the coverage, just like using a photo-umbrella.|1

It's a Bayco product, but I couldn't find any brand on my lights.

Let me know if you have any more questions, good luck!



Posted by: Angelina Vick on 02/21/2013 - 3:40 PM

Thanks for the link Rich. Now I have a item number to ask for. =)

Ok...I will make sure it's at least 10".

Thanks...I'm going to need I need to measure everything


Posted by: Rich Franco on 02/21/2013 - 6:00 PM

Post a photo when you're done! I used 2 lights on either side for most copywork stuff, since the larger the lght source, a nice soft light source, the more even the light will be hitting the art work. See above,



Posted by: Angelina Vick on 02/21/2013 - 6:26 PM

I will. =)

I am going to make a few so I can bounce the light different ways/heights.

I have been holding off on rephotography my paintings until I have this light setup ready. I'm looking forward to it.


Posted by: Angelina Vick on 02/22/2013 - 12:57 PM

Bumped for Andy.


Posted by: Andrew Read on 02/22/2013 - 2:14 PM

Thank you Angel, just played 1st few seconds of the vid and it stopped...i'll try again.


Posted by: Angelina Vick on 02/22/2013 - 3:23 PM

Bummer. I have had no issues with it. Tell me if you can't watch it...I can write up directions. Seeing the video would be better though.


Posted by: Rich Franco on 02/22/2013 - 4:18 PM

Here's the original link for Youtube:



Posted by: Andrew Read on 02/23/2013 - 6:14 AM

Got it to play after...phew! i think my wireless connection is a bit erratic,
Thanks Rich for the link too :)
It's amazing though Angel, a really smart and economic way to make this.


Posted by: Shasta Eone on 02/25/2013 - 6:46 PM

THANK you all for this thread. Most informative and helpful.

Years ago doing commercial art projects, I had a " copy stand" : The four photo lights ( blue ) were set in the 45 degree angle with the copy board, and the camera always set into a fixed position off a platform on a telescoping pole at the top/ center of the copy board.

It's been lost through the years and the various moves. Sure wish I had it now.


Posted by: Rich Franco on 02/25/2013 - 7:06 PM


A copy stand is incredibily easy to make,but if you think beyond shooting down on a table and then decide to shoot 90 degrees from that, like on a wall, it get's even easier. The wall becomes the copy stand platform and the tripod now is the piece of equipment that held the camera pointed down. Then it's a simple matter of getting the light evenly balanced on the artwork and just focus and,BAM! you're done! Copystands were great for small documents or old 8x10's,anything larger and the wall is your friend!



Posted by: Shasta Eone on 02/25/2013 - 7:19 PM

Very true Rich. My living / working space is small, and wall space limited. Because of this, getting that spot on angle becomes difficult, having to set up, tear down and store away each time. When I moved into senior housing, I had no clue to computer, digital camera or even that I'd be returning to painting after some forty years. So in this " second childhood," I need a larger play pen ! ( giggle )


Posted by: Rich Franco on 02/25/2013 - 7:27 PM

Well,when you get ready to copy some artwork,let me know and I'll be happy to assist!



Posted by: Angelina Vick on 03/20/2013 - 4:28 PM

Bump...I don't want to lose this thread.

I have the parts, I just haven't measure it and cut it yet.

I had a week where I was out because of pain, last week I had a flu...and this week I have to have the stations of the cross prepared for church...because I am leading it.

Maybe I should delegate the measurement portion to my son. ;0)


This discussion is closed.