How To Build a DIY Kino Flo

February 20th, 2017
How To Build a DIY Kino Flo

Lighting is a key part (see what I did there?) of any video or film shoot, but powerful and ‘everyday use’ fixtures can be hard-hitting on the bank. So why not build your own? James Codeglia, DP from Ghostlight, did exactly that for a film shoot. Here’s how!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNdkbZ4QO1E

Kino Flos are a staple lighting choice for many shoots due to their versatility and soft light output. They are essentially tube bulbs that can be switched between daylight and tungsten. Codeglia’s approach was to build a fixture that’s not as wide as the Kinos for mounting in small spaces, so he used four 150W round-style bulbs, totalling a reasonable 600W output.

Replicating the Kino’s design, the backing wood is painted in reflective silver, and to heat-proof the material he also used metal plates. In true DIY style, chicken wire can be used to protect the light bulbs and attach any diffusion paper to soften the light further.

Mounting the light couldn’t be easier, using a metal rod that can be attached to C-stands. Rather than a simple on-off switch, a dimmer control can also be added for further light output adjustment, or you could simply switch out the bulbs for a lower or higher Watt output.

Check out the shopping list in the video description for what you’ll need to embark on the DIY project. You should be able to get the materials for around $160, which is considerably cheaper than most large soft lights. Do build with caution though, and consult an electrician for any advice you may need on wiring the light together.

Building your own projects and custom builds are a perfect way to achieve the look or usability of expensive equipment. We’ve already seen many custom camera rigs, steadycam setups and more in the past, so why not give it a go?

Have you embarked on your own DIY video kit project? Let us know in the comments!

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Johann Hütter
Johann Hütter
Member
February 21st, 2017

I have done my fare share of diy-video kit projects – from self-built stabilizer to lights to sliders and dollies. in the end I always bought the professional equipment too, because it was less bulky, less fragile, smaller, safer and not that much cheaper when you factored in the time building it.

next time will be different, though: i’m going to build that: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qlMtakaa7u8
but i already got my professional lights. :-)

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