Dirt Cheap Light Tent

After making photos of my previous project i was disappointed with the way they came out – wooden grain background and lighting from the table lamp just weren’t good. So i started looking into Light Domes and Tents. A lot of the items i liked were out of stock which made me wander – just how bad would be the diy solution using cardboard box? Well, it turns out not too bad at all. Here’s tent/box:

DIY Cardboard Lighting Tent

DIY Cardboard Lighting Tent - back

DIY Cardboard Lighting Tent - inside

Granted this works different from true lighting tent – true lighting tent is lit from outside and diffuses light with all it’s sides. My lighting box bounces light from top and inside of the box. Nevertheless, results are very good compared to no light box at all, so while i would recommend replacing commercial lighting tent setup with this, it should work great when no such set is available or your scale of operations just does not justify $150+ investment into commercial lighting tent and lights. One requirement though: you need an on-camera flash unit for this to work – the main path of light needs to point to the roof of the box so you need a flexibility to adjust the flash direction (pardon my crude drawing):

DIY Cardboard Lighting Tent - diagram


  • Cardboard box, bankers box preferred
  • Tape
  • Paper


  • Assemble the box
  • Cut out the side of the box that connects to the large bottom piece – that piece becomes the roof
  • Tape box together where it’s loose
  • Lay out with paper
  • Insert the roof piece and bend it to form the roof. If the piece bends too much, use following “device”:

DIY Cardboard Lighting Tent - bend limiter

That’s all there’s to it. Here’s before and after pictures of my Punch Sensor:

Acceleration Sensor

Punch Acceleration Sensor

More photos:


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