• Anusha

Construct your own lightbox

Updated: Aug 17

About lightbox and what it is:

A lightbox is a translucent surface illuminated from behind, used for situations where a shape laid upon the surface needs to be seen with high contrast.

It is an illuminated flat workspace that is used to trace images or patterns from one source to another. Artists will often sketch their original subject onto a piece of paper, outline it in a darker ink source and then lightly transfer it on to their choice of art paper (i.e., watercolor paper).

Kenneth Wood who is the Entrepreneur and Inventor who introduced the Lightbox

Origin of Lightbox

This device was originally used to sort photographic plates with ease. When laid flat, it may be called a light table. A lightbox uses light similar to daylight (5,000–6,000 Kelvin’s (K)) and has uniform light strength on the glass pane

Three common types of lightboxes are:

  • Fluorescent lightboxes.

Fluorescent light boxes are made quite deep in order to house the standard fluorescent light tubes they are equipped with.

  • LED lightboxes.

LED lightboxes are remarkably bright and very energy-efficient.

It is essentially backlit, in addition to this it can also be lit using a halo effect around the frame. The backlit option provides a flawless distribution of lighting, creating the biggest impact on your image. Furthermore, the LEDs come in a range of colors to suit your branding!

Edge-lit LED lightboxes.

Edge-lit lightboxes have light bulbs all across the frame edges. These lights are designed to shine sideways, penetrating the translucent film behind your graphic. Therefore, they will indirectly light up your message for your target audience to see.

Uses of lightbox

Other uses for lightboxes are embroidery, appliqués, quilting, needlework, scrapbooking, embossing, tattoos, cut-outs, filigrees, and pierced work.

  • Embroidery

  • Appliqués

  • Quilting

  • Needlework

  • Scrapbooking

  • Embossing

  • Tattoos

  • Cut-outs

  • Filigrees

Purpose of lightbox

Lightboxes are used for illuminating graphic displays and are created using an outer frame, a graphic - usually fabric which is designed to permeate light, and LED lighting - housed within the frame or back panel which illuminates the installed graphic.

Digital lightbox

In digital asset management (DAM) systems, a Lightbox is a term used to describe an area within the Web site (or Web service) or other internal DAM where users can create and store a list of assets they want to reference or use at a later time.

Creation of a lightbox

Step1. Choose a Cardboard Box

To make a proper DIY lightbox display, you need a huge cardboard box. The bigger your box is the more extensive variety of objects of different sizes you will be able to photograph.

This lightbox will serve you for a long period of time; Boxes made of wood or opaque plastic are a good fit. But keep in mind that in order to cut the panels in the side of such boxes.

Step 2. Mark Windows on Every Side of the Box

Locate the box on one of the sides for the flaps to be open in front of you. Mark a point approximately 5.1 cm (2 inches) with a ruler from every edge on the side of the DIY lightbox. Use a pencil to draw one line near the box's edges and connect the points. As a result, you would see a rectangle-shaped area near the edges.

This particular area is your window which would be covered with fabric or a sheet of parchment paper.

Step 3. Make the Windows on the Box

Cut along each drawn line of the box with the help of scissors or a designated cutter. After you’ve finished, you would be able to extract a piece of cardboard from the middle and to see a window. The same must be done on the opposite side.

The lines are super straight, place a ruler near the lines, and cut across them. Therefore, you could not only get the best photo lightbox but the one that looks neat.

Step 4. Cut a Piece of White Poster Board Identical to the Box

Locate the white poster board or a thick sheet of white paper on the upper part of the DIY lightbox. In order to fit precisely into the box, get rid of the board's unnecessary edges using the cutter or scissors. The board must be nearly twice as large as the upper side and equal in width with the box.

Step 5. Cover the Windows

Begin with the upper edge of the selected material and fasten it to one of the windows with the help of glue or tape. Then move onto the opposite sides while letting the material hang down over the window. The same must be done to all the windows of the photo lightbox.

Step 6. Fasten the Poster Board Inside of the Box

While keeping an eye on the tape, fasten it to the inside part of the lightbox photography closer to the upper part of the backside. Fasten the opposite edge of the board to the box's bottom using one more piece of tape be careful not to wrinkle or fold the poster board. Make the board slightly curved by angling it along the back bottom corner.

Step 7. Use Lightbox

Put the photo lightbox on a broad smooth surface. Make sure that you have the space for lights. Place the object that you want to shoot in the middle point of the white area and take a shot!

Working in animation:

Old Disney videos where they took you on a tour of the animation department and you could see the animators drawing Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck and they had stacks of paper on the lit-up contraptions that helped them see what they had previously drawn?

They were using lightboxes and while these days, most animation is done on a computer, some design professionals still use lightboxes to transfer their drawings and sketches to a physical medium for presentations. we wondered what the Best Light Boxes for creatives were!

Here are the best light boxes for tracing, animation, photography, illustration, and graphic design.

The Best Light Box for Casual Artists

Dimensions: 15.8 x 10.6 inches | Working area: 12.6 x 9 inches | Weight: 2.2lbs | Thickness: 8mm | Brightness: 1500 lux

Carrying around bulky sketchbooks is not something that they envision doing during their day. Thankfully, the battery-powered LB 4 LightBox from Huion is perfect for any causal artist looking to sketch outdoors or in their favorite coffee shop. With a 12.6” x 9” working surface and weighing only 2.2 pounds, it is perfect for a day of sketching outdoors. The biggest draw here is the battery life. On a single charge, you can expect the lightbox to last about 3.5 hours before you need to plug it in.

The Most Portable Light Pad

Dimensions: 12.2 x 8.7 inches | Working area: 8.2 x 12.2 inches | Weight: 550g | Brightness: 1100 Lux

If you’re sick of sitting in an office all day but know you have work to do, having a light pad that is easy to take with you is important. This is why the L4S Light pad from Huion is a great choice, with adjustable brightness levels plus a brightness memory function; it is a great pad on the go. While the working area of the light pad is small compared to other choices on our list, it’s a fair tradeoff for the portability that it offers.

  • The Best Light Box for Large Paper Sizes

Dimensions: 23.6 X 15.75 inches | Working area: 20.5 x 12.6 inches | Weight: 2.7kg | Brightness: 2000 Lux

As the name implies, the lightbox from Huion offers a large working area of over 258 square inches and despite its size, it is also super thin at 0.28 inches thick. Powering the device is easy with its 6.5-feet long cable and plug. The brightness is adjusted gradually instead of in steps like other lightboxes which allow you to have a more precise selection of how bright you need the pad to be. While it can be tricky to get used to holding down the power button to do this, it’s easy to learn, and best of all, there is a brightness memory function.

The Best All-in-One Light Box

Dimensions: 25.4 x 18.7 inches | Working area: 23.8 x 17 inches | Weight: 8lbs | Thickness: 0.3 inch | Brightness: up to 3100 lux.

Packaged with a carrying case, the Led box tracer from Voilamart has everything you need to take it with you wherever you need to go. The lightbox features a surface area of 23.8 x 17 inches, which is pretty large among its competition. While the weight of the lightbox may take some getting used to, it’s energy-efficient LED bulbs will last up to 50,000 hours so you have plenty of time to do so.

The Best Budget-Friendly Light Pad

Dimensions: 14.2 x 10.6 inches | Working area: 12 x 9 inches | Weight: 680g | Thickness: 0.2in | Brightness: 4000 lux.

Not everyone is looking for a top of the line lightbox to get their work done. Some are looking for an affordable option that doesn’t take up a ton of space and is easy to take with them. The A4 Tracing LightBox from Lit Energy fits that bill. With a 12 x 9-inch working area and a fully-adjustable brightness of up to 4000 lux, the value offered by this lightbox is excellent.





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