Magic Floating Ring Light

February 28, 2016

I don’t typically post my own photos on the SeniorInspire page, but a few people have asked about the floating ringlight I occasionally use with seniors. This is an idea I got from David Mullenix when he spoke at Sync several years ago.

The light here is a circular bulb you may be able to find at a local hardware store, but don’t worry if you can’t find one because I’m going to show you where you can get what you need online and the cost is less than $20.

You’re also going to need a ballast and electrical cord with a plug.  If that sounds foreign, don’t worry it’s pretty simple and mostly a matter of twisting a few wires to put everything together. Believe me, if I was able to put this together without electrocuting anyone…  you can do it too.

Here’s a quick pullback of what it looks like before any Photoshop trickery.

 

When I put mine together, I screwed the ballast inside a short piece of pvc to get it out of the way. In the picture you can see where the plug from the ballast comes out of the PVC and gets plugged into the bulb. The connection to the bulb is pretty loose, so I added a safety cord that is attached to each side of the PVC and strung through the bulb. The safety cord has saved me from having to clean up a shattered bulb many, many times.

You also have to attach an electrical cord to the ballast and though you can’t see it here, the plug is coming out of the other end of the PVC. Here’s a crude drawing of the light all put together…

I usually shoot these at ISO 400, 1/125, F4.0. Once I get the image in Photoshop I use the clone stamp tool  to get rid of the wires and finish off the bulb. To make the bulb glow a bit more, I use the Magic Wand to select just the bulb, copy it to a duplicate layer and add some gaussian blur.

Here are links to the bulb and ballast I bough online from lightbulbsurplus.com.
The Bulb
The Ballast

The bulb has been sold out at lightbulbsurplus.com for a while now, but I did find the same one one Amazon…
the bulb on Amazon

I don’t use this contraption every time – maybe once every 10-15 seniors – but when I do the senior always seems to have a fun time with it!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below….

By Nick

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