Lightbox: Should You DIY or Purchase One? - The Flashery

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Lightbox: Should You DIY or Purchase One?

March 12, 2020 2 min read

Creating awesome product photos is essential to marketability and sales conversion. High quality product photos create a positive first impression that ultimately convert to sales. The quality of your product photos translates into how potential buyers form their first impression of your brand image.

Natural lighting in an area where sunlight passes through, is good for most product photography, but this is not always possible as you will get different results depending on the time of day. You might have to invest in professional lighting systems to get the best results. The best alternative would be purchasing a light box.

A light box is a simple lighting system for small to medium sized items that allows you to take good product photos any time of the day. Whether you’re a professional photographer or amateur, using this tool can assure you of well-illuminated items that is designed to eliminate uneven shadows, creating a high-contrast, quality image.

There are many different types of lightboxes, in various sizes. The question is: Should you build a Lightbox yourself or do you just purchase it?


In terms of monetary value, it is cheaper to build a Lightbox yourself. All you need is a cardboard box, duct tape, and white fabric. You can use it right away, especially if pressed for time and you an’t wait to have it delivered in a few days or a week’s time.

While some swear that it is more cost-effective to DIY a lightbox, others prefer to buy and here are the reasons why:



The number one reason why some people prefer to buy a lightbox instead of going the DIY route is durability. A DIY lightbox is made of light cardboard, light fabric, duct tape, and white tissue paper, all of which will not last long. If you’re in the e-commerce business, it is more practical to just buy a durable lightbox for long-term use.




Top-down shots compliments food photography as most of food photos are taken in flat lays. Top-down shots are also good for jewelry and handicrafts, best taken with a lightbox not made of light fabric, which usually makes up a DIY lightbox.



Choosing the right light sources and types of bulbs for a DIY lightbox can be tricky. If you want to save time and money, buy a ready-made lightbox. If you build a lightbox yourself it may take a few tries before you find the correct lighting for different types of product photography.



DIY wooden lightboxes are too bulky and on the heavy side. Chances are whether these DIY boxes are wooden or not they are not easy to store. Ready-made lightboxes are often collapsible, light, and easy to store.


If you value your time and money, it is always best to go with professionally -made lightboxes that are made to be durable and portable. Most of these quality lightboxes have one top and three front openings, with an adjustable diffuser so you can adjust the brightness according to your needs. For a serious product photographer, a lightbox is one tool you can’t do without.