I like to first say, this is not my design. I’ve looked at all the available DIY designs on YouTube, and I liked this design the best. I think it’s a better design than the real Eyelighter for a few reasons, 1. It only cost approx. $20 (or less if you already have a few of the pieces) and 2. It stores better, and having a small studio that made more sense to me. It’s made by a guy named Patrick Luke you can see his video HERE. He uses a tripod quick release plate to mount it, but I didn’t want to use my one and only tripod so I modified it to fit on any light stand which I have plenty of. That being said here’s how I made mine.
The secret sauce to this entire design is the 1/8” thick Eucaboard. It’s a very flexible wood made out of the Eucalyptus tree. It’s available at Home Depot or Lowes. You can buy a 4’x8’ sheet for approx. $8. Sorry, you have to buy the whole sheet not just apiece. I only had them cut one (4×2) piece, but in hindsight I should have had them cut two 2’x4’ (maybe make a white version) and one 4’x4’ sheet (to make a white & silver reflector). I recommend you do this because you did buy the whole thing!
* One 4′ x 2′ Eucaboard
* 4”x4”x ¾” square piece of SOLD wood (don’t use particle wood)
* Space blanket (very shiny material you can buy at any camping store/dept)
* Spray on adhesive
* Galvanized pipe floor flange (1” or smaller)
* 4” galvanized pipe (to fit in your flange)
* 5’ string or 30 lb. test fishing line as long as it can hold at least 20 lbs.
* Two Large screw nuts
* ½” screws (8)
* Single grip swivel head bracket clamp like THIS ONE. NOTE: I’ve tried looking for the swivel head I use, but I can’t seem to find that by it self. I already had two and It’s part of a reflector holder set like THIS ONE.
Step 1 – Drill a small hole in the center of the 4’x2’ Eucaboard and 4”x4” solid wood. This will help in aligning the two pieces together later. To find the center just draw an “X’ line going from corner to corner.
Step 2 – Cut a 1” slit on both sides of the Eucaboard. This is where you will slide your string.
Step 3– Using the ½” screws, screw the 4×4 sold wood to the back of the Eucaboard (drill from the face side of the Eucaboard). Use the drill bit you used to make the hole to align them.
Step 4 – Glue the Space blanket to the smooth side of the Eucaboard using the spray adhesive. Try gluing a section at a time, not all at once. Don’t worry so much about creating air bubbles (it’s going to happen). Just roll the bubbles to the side or poke a small hole to release the air. Note: In hindsight you can probably use reflective tape instead of gluing the space blanket but it’s up to you.
Step 5 – Screw your galvanized pipe floor flange to the 4×4 sold wood, then hand screw in your 4” pipe
Step 6 – Tie one large screw nut to your string or fishing line. Slide it into one of the 1” slits. Bend the Eucaboard to your desire then tie the other large screw nut to the other side of the string.
You can watch YouTube videos on how to use your Eyelighter but in a nutshell just sit where the talent is and eyeball the angle you desire. I can’t see the white string in my shots so it’s up to you how invisible you want your string. I hope this helps in adding to your lighting repertoire at a fraction of the cost.