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My Current Cache Of Light Painting Tools

I thought a should do a stock take of the light painting tools I have and make sure everything works. Here is what is in my light painting bag of tricks:

T10 LED Bulbs and Sockets

T10 LED Light Painting Tools

These pre-packaged LED bulb and sockets are very easy to use. They are great for all kinds of light painting such as spinning, writing and using in various light painting tools. The LED bulb above from left to right are:

  • 1 x Forward Facing LED Bulb with a single Pink SMD LED (SMD = Surface Mount Device)
  • 2 x RGB Flashing LED Bulbs with tri-color DIP LED (DIP = Dual Inline Package)
  • 2 x Forward Facing LED Bulbs with 9 Blue SMD LEDs
  • 2 x Forward Facing LED Bulbs with 5 Red SMD LEDs
  • 2 x Corn Cob LED Bulbs with 5 Green SMD LEDs
  • 2 x Forward Facing Red LED bulbs in a ceramic package

I also have multiple T10 LED Sockets some of which are picture above.

’12 Volt’ DIP LEDs

12V LED Light Painting Tools

These DIP LEDs have a built-in resistor and lead pig tail wires making them OK to run at 12 volts (apparently). I have 10 each of red blue and white. I haven’t used any of these yet apart from making sure they work, but I do have some ideas for them.

White LED Strips

White LED Strip Light Painting Tools

These white strips run at 12 volts and are quite bright. They are ‘Chip-On-Board’ LED module. I am going to turn at least one of them into a light calligraphy tool.

Sealed, Flexible RGB LED Strip

Sealed RGB LED Strip

This sealed unit has about 20 SMD, RGB LEDs mounted on a flexible strip. It operates at 12 volts and has a common anode (common negative pin). It came with a simple controller that was pre-programmed for a slow fade cycle but it has since died so I need to find a controller that will work for a common cathode system.

Blue EL Wire

Blue EL Wire for Light Painting

This is my first EL wire and it comes with a driver unit that has a 12 volt input. There are others out there that have 3 volt battery packs that I am considering buying.

Sealed RBG Strip with Dimmer Controller

Sealed RGB LED Strip with Dimmer Light Painting Tool

This RGB LED strip is hard mounted (not flexible) and runs at 12 volts. The RGB LED package is a little unusual as it they are not LEDs with a red, blue and green emitter in each like most SMD LED strips, but instead there is a set of 3 discreet DIP LEDs each in red, blue and green. This makes the light color does mix but if you look directly at a bank of LEDs in the strip you can distinctly see the 3 separate LED’s colors. I also added the dimmer controller permanently as I bought it not knowing it is a common cathode controller and most of my LED strips are common anode except for this one.

RGB LED Unit with Soft Filter

RGB LED with Soft Filter

I poached this from an automotive interior. It has a single RGB LED and circuitry on board to handle a 12 volt input with a common anode.

‘Knight Rider’ LED Scanner Strips

Knight Rider LED Strips - Light Painting Tools

I have one red and one blue LED scanner strips which have a number of different patterns. They operate at 12 volts and have an infra-red remote controller for cycling through the patterns and changing the speeds.

RGB LED Unit with Lens and Dimmer Controller

9V RGB LED with Lens

This was a sample someone gave me for testing. It runs off a single 9 volt battery and has a simple dimmer control for each of the red, blue and green channels.

Green EL Strip

Flat EL Strip

This is similar to EL wire but in the form of a flat, flexible strip. It has its own driver and runs at 12 volts.

White LED Ring Modules

LED Angel Eyes

I actually bought these for another project but they are now part of my light painting tools. These are meant to be added to automotive headlamps as BMW style DRL rings so they run on 12 volts.

Battery Powered LED String

Battery Powered LED Strings For Light Painting

This is one of the cheapest, simplest and most flexible light painting tools I have. If you are going to start with just one light painting tool to experiment with then a set of these battery-powered LED strings is a great choice. I have two, one with all blue LEDs and the other has red, blue, green and yellow LEDs.

Single, Slow Fade RGB LED Toys

RGB Toys for Light Painting

These are the kind of things that you find is $2 desk ornaments. The LED itself slow cycles through the three LED colors and the units use button cell battery. I still have the semi-translucent white cube that one of them came with. These are a very simple light painting tool that can create some interesting results.

RGB Night Light With Filter 

Philips 7 mode night light that uses an RGB LED

In a way this unit is similar the LEDs toys above but a whole lot fancier. It has a single RGB SMD LED inside it with an integrated control circuit. The device can do 6 individual colors or be run on a cycling slow fade. The only problem is it has a switch in it that works based on the units orientation. This is annoying so I will change it to a push button momentary switch when I get a chance.

10 Watt RGB Module with IR Remote Controls

10W RGB Module with Remote

These are super bright modules that have a series of Chip-On-Board, RGB LEDs in the package with a control circuit attached and a separate driver. The unit comes with an infra-red controller. I have a super secret project to make a special light painting tool from one of these, but more on that later.

Sealed, 9 LED RGB Module with Remote Control

Sealed RGB LED unit for Light Painting

This it a simple bank of 9 RGB LEDs inside a sealed lens unit and with a remote control for controlling the color and function. It is playing up at the moment and I don’t know if I can fix it.

Flexible RGB LED Strips with Remote Control


This has two reals of flexible RGB LED strip totaling about 5 meters. The strips can be cut down to make shorter lengths and the driver unit has an IR receiver for the IR remote controls.

LED Helicopters

LED Helicopter Toy

I have a whole bunch of these LED helicopters which each have a single DIP LED.

Red/Green/Blue Emergency Flasher Strips

Flasher Banks with red, blue and green LEDs

Each of these strips has a bank of 9 discreet LEDs and those banks of 9 are grouped as 3 red, 3 green and 3 blue LEDs. It comes with an RF controller for changing the colors and flashing pattern for the unit.

12 Volt Power Supply Battery Packs with Switches

Battery packs for light painting

These are two power packs I put together which have an 8 x AA battery clip, binding posts and a switch mounted in a jiffy box. One of the units has a latching toggle switch and the other has a momentary push button switch. Given that most of my lights work from 12 volts these units really form the core of my light painting tool kit.

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