My First Attempt At Light Painting Orbs

The light painting orb, or ‘Ball Of Light’, is a staple within the light painting world.  Earlier this week I made my first attempt at spinning some light painting orbs.

To do this I wired up a light painting orb tool using some T10 LED sockets and a length of wire. The main T10 LED bulb I used was a green corn cob style bulb (2nd from the right below), but I also tried a red ceramic package T10 bulb (1st on the right below) and a Dual Inline Package (DIP) type RGB LED flashing bulb.

T10 LED Light Painting Tools

The green T10 LED bulb was the probably the best performer for this as it had single LEDs on 5 sides of the unit giving it the most range through the rotation. The red ceramic T10 was OK but didn’t do so well at the full width of the orb. The RGB DIP T10 really only showed the blue well and the red and green only really showed up right on centre where the LED bulb was facing the camera.

Here are my attempts at light painting orbs.

My First Light Painting OrbsMy First Light Painting OrbsMy First Light Painting OrbsMy First Light Painting Orbs

I focused on trying to keep the rotation centered over one spot on the ground to create consistent circles. I did not quite get it perfect but I got close on one or two attempts. Next time I try this the things I think I need to consider are;

  1. keeping the center of rotation of the light painting orb tool consistent whilst keeping the spinning motion of my hand consistent
  2. staying on a vertical plane with the rotation of the orb tool and not letting it skew off course
  3. keeping the center of rotation of the orb tool over the intended orb center on the ground (I have heard that some people put a coin on the ground as a guide for this)
  4. moving around a bit faster and at a more consistent rate so there are not so many light painted lines forming my orb and so the lines are evenly spaced.

Meanwhile, check out Ball Of Light by Dennis Smith. He has the light painted orb down pretty well.

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      I have a couple of 12 volt power packs with switches I made. You can see them at the bottom of this post – My Current Cache Of Light Painting Tools. Inside these boxes are 8 AA batteries and they each have a switch and a couple of binding posts. I have been meaning to do a video or post on how I made the power packs, would something like this be useful?

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