LaLD Car Week taught me a few things... Most importantly, I learned that I needed to really step up my photography game to compete with the big dogs. So, I figured I would invest in a cheap lightbox from the land of all things inexpensive.
This is a Puluz LED light box kit. It can be had on eBay for around 10 bucks or less. It folds up for easy storage and comes with an array of color backdrops. The kit includes the box itself, backdrops, pre-affixed LED strips, a carrying bag, instructions and two USB cables to power the LED strips. Not a bad deal for <$10 USD.
The box itself, is not very big. Just the right size for small objects like 1:64 Diecast cars. It’s a bit too small for 1:24 and certainly no good for 1:18. But, if 1:64 is your scale, then this will do the trick.
The most notable piece that is absent is the power adapters themselves. You can plug the USB cables into your computer or USB hub as long as the output voltage is sufficient (needs to be 5v 1A output). Or you can use dime-a-dozen cell phone power bricks. I found a couple Apple iPhone power plugs in a free pile once and they are perfect for the job with exact 5v output. Just plug in and the LED strips glow.
After unpacking and setting this up, I have to say that it’s definitely worth the money. But, it surely will not compete with lightboxes that are several times more expensive and have better lighting. The color backdrops have a VERY noticeable texture to them, which I don’t like. The light hatch on the top is a nice feature and I will have to play with this some more by adding supplement lighting.
There’s a lot to love about this box, but it does have it’s disadvantages. I like being able to move my lights around to highlight different angles on the car. The LED strips on this are always in the same place, so I lose some of that creativity.
For those of you that are looking for an upgrade from taking pics on the kitchen table or in low light areas of your house, this is a great upgrade for the price. Well worth ten bucks to show off your cars on LaLD.