web analytics

Ok So I have a photoshoot tomorrow and I was thinking that I would love to use some strip banks in the photo but I don’t want to purchase equipment here in the states since most everything else is in China. I also was not interested in spending the $135 dollars just to purchase one Saberstrip. Now I am sure that they are a great build quality and that they are effective in doing the job but $135 seems like a lot of money to me. So I was thinking I could do the same thing with some mailing tubes.



DIY Saberstrip Supplies


I purchased 2 white mailing tubes from Staples at the cost of $8. I already had spray adhesive on hand so I used that but your could use double stick tape or glue or what ever you have on hand to tack down the aluminum foil. I purchased heavy duty aluminum foil for $2 from Walmart and black Duct Tape also from Walmart for $4. So the total cost for me for 2 saberstrips was $14.

I also had an old long box I thought I would make a larger strip light out of at the same time you can see that pictured here.

I took the tube and the box and I marked a center line and cut with a small pocket knife down the center. Then I went across the top a little way to open the tubes and box up. On the tubes I cut the flaps off (in hindsight I might not have done this) on the box I left them on.









I cut a hole in the end of the box to fit my flash in tightly and the same in the tubes as well. Then I sprayed the insides with spray adhesive and placed the aluminum foil in the tubes and the box.





After I finished this I did a test to see what the light spill was like. The large box with the built in barn doors was able to control the spread much better then the saberstrip style tube without barn doors.






This was the setup process but how did they work in a lighting situation was my next step. (Little disclaimer my daughter agreed to stand in for these test shots but she wanted everyone to know that she was dressed for a portrait or have her hair ready for a portrait.)

just main light

With Main light and large strip box over head for hair light. Think the small flash might need to be on full power to fill this box it was not in this test.










With main light and Saberstrip in the same position and at the same strength as larger box. You can see the smaller size gave more light in this case as there was less room for the light to bounce around.

just the two saberstrip lights to show their effectiveness. These have the lights on at 1/2 power at f8 ISO 200











with main light and two DIY saberstrip lights. I had to feather the Main light as I could not dial it down and had no room to move it back in the small space this was shot. Overall I was pleased with the result and I am anxious to use them on a real shoot.


Leave a Reply