Light Box – What It Is and When you need One

Have you heard of a light box yet? If you want to take great product photos then this post is for you.

A light box or light tent is a box with translucent sides that diffuse the light. It produces even lighting against a simple, solid background. You can purchase one or you can built one yourself.

Why use a light box?

Without one you can get unwanted and harsh shadows, uneven lighting and overexposed fronts. Indoor lighting without it often does not offer enough light for product photography.

Standard Setup.

The standard setup is as follows:

  • Place your light box on a table.
  • Place your lamps on either side of it, opposite of each other.
  • Put your backdrop in a gentle curve so there is no harsh line.
  • Place your subject directly into the center of your light box.
  • Use a tripod for you camera.

Variations in Setup.

If you are looking for different results you can also vary your setup:

For more shadows one one side, just use one lamp instead of two. This can give you more depth and dimension if you are looking for that.

If you want to eliminate any shadow you can add a third light on top. When you are using a white background this makes it really crisp.


Most purchased light boxes come with several colors of backdrops and at least two lamps. I purchased mine and it came also with a small tripod in addition to three backdrops and the lamps. There are a lot of companies who produce them. If you do want to make your own, you can do that with a simple cardboard box and translucent paper.

Product photos.

With product photography I am talking about anything that you need to take great photos of for the web, catalogs and posts. A light box will simply help you do that consistently and reliably. It’s easy to use and produces great results.

Your turn.

Show me photos of yours that you took with the help of a light box.

Say something good!

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