The DIY VAL assistant’s light stick

DIY VAL light stick

Often while working at weddings I will rely on an assistant holding a light for me while moving around with me and the action. Gridded flash gives dramatic results allowing you to highlight single couples on the dance floor and control how much chiaroscuro occurs. The downside is that your assistant can’t hold a flash above their head for long, and taking a collapsed light stand on the floor is cumbersome and intrusive. A monopod would work, and well, but seems an expensive solution to the problem.

A simple light stick would be slick looking and functional, wouldn’t it?

Turns out these things practically build themselves!

parts to make DIY light on a stick

The extruded aluminum stock was purchased at the local hardware store; bought in a precut 3 ft length just perfect for the task. The other part is a manfrotto 013 double ended light stand stud/ spigot. We will just be using the 1/4 threaded end of it but the other end will serve to anchor the adapter to our aluminum rod. With some careful work, you could use less expensive spigot adapters, but this one makes it easy.

nice parts fit for DIY light on a stick

Serendipity! They fit almost snuggly, a little epoxy and paint and we will be good to go.

Voice activated light stand DIY light stick

After a few coats of self-etching primer and then some gloss black spray paint, things are looking rather professional.

A little Sculpey polymer clay makes a good end plug for the other side.

This is a super simple and fast project that, like I said earlier, practically builds itself. You should be done in a day of intermittent work. Total cost for parts should be under $15 if you buy right and use paint on hand.

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