Enclosure Lighting Suggestions

I’m looking into ideas for lighting up my enclosure and I’m leaning towards using a drop ceiling system (metal runners) and insert the light diffusing panels along the entire ceiling surface of the enclosure so 48" x 54". I’d drop it about 2" to 3" from the ceiling and then run 4 rows of 48" led strips for diy photo light boxes and wire them to a dimmer switch.

  1. These are the LED light strips I’m currently looking at but was wondering which color temperature to get. I’m leaning towards the 5600k option so any thoughts on color temp to use inside an enclosure or other suggestions?

  2. Any thoughts on using the drop ceiling system to hold up diffuser panels? Will this invite vibrations in these panels that are just loose making more noise?

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I just rebuilt my enclosure and this time around I decided that I did not want to spend time messing with LED strips, so I took a shortcut and bought one of these:

It’s about 2" thick, the LED strip is in there, the diffuser is there, and it’s <$50.


I did no effort to integrate it nicely in the ceiling of the enclosure, but you could (and you could use two of them too).

Just a thought…


@Julien, I seem to recall you making a comment somewhere in this forum about enclosure height is never enough until you can comfortably sit inside of it… If it was you now I understand.

Thanks for the suggestion, this would definitely fit in the drop ceiling which would be dual purposed as well. I want to put that in because the air intake/vent would be at the back of the cabinet and this would allow the air to flow across the ceiling of the enclosure towards the front where I’ll have a grill along the door hinge and let the air in. Thinking this may help a bit with sound as it’s not a direct shot to exit the enclosure. Now I just need to find this type of light in a 2’ x 4’ format with high CRI (thinking of taking pictures while it’s in action)

It was, and it’s my new rule of thumb. Time will tell if this is enough.

Good call, me I added an air intake baffle:

in the spirit of this


LED lights are nice and getting better. One thing you may not have considered, if at some point you want to take advantage of high frame rate video, those flashing LEDs can be a problem.

That looks more like a transmission line speaker cabinet to me, just needs a hole for the drive unit now…


I’m fond of these LED lights. Actually, these are an improved model to the ones I bought in 2018; more light and less watts now. After 3 years I have one module that developed a “blink” in it, but I just swapped it out with a spare. (I’ll probably fix it.)

I have twenty of these in my workshop on 4 separate circuits (5 end-to-end), so I only turn on the light I need. Two would be plenty in your enclosure. Put the rest of the set up on your ceiling. You won’t regret it.


Another great option, whatever I end up going with I guess I should pay attention to the lumens output. No point putting more lighting then required and have a dimmer switch turned down to 30-40% because it’s like looking into the sun.

I’d recommend you match the colour temperature as closely as you can to the light in the room the enclosure is in. You don’t want an overly warm light if everything else is cool and you don’t want an overly cool light if everything else is warm. If that happens, it looks unpleasant and your camera may get confused.

High-CRI shouldn’t be super important for this use-case. It’s most important in cases like art, printing and reproduction where you need the colours to be really well-rendered. Unless you’re milling paintings or something it shouldn’t be a big deal.

If high-CRI is still important to you, make sure to take a proper look at the measurement report for the LEDs. It should look like this. You want all of the numbers in the “Render Index” section to be as high as possible. Often, the difference between a high-CRI LED and not is the R9 value, as R9 is the hardest to achieve.

And if you’re looking for suppliers, Yuji is great.

Good point but the flashing is a function of the LED driver/power supply, not the LEDs themselves. In particular, the flashing happens when you use PWM to dim the lights. If you’re recording HFR video, you can run the lights at 100% and therefore avoid PWM and avoid flickering.

And if you need dimming, look for an LED driver/dimmer with high-frequency PWM.

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I would like to clarify and mentioned that nearly all lights (not just LEDs) flicker to some degree or another (unless you have a linear DC power supply feeding a high speed camera). Because AC current oscillates at 60Hz, all power supplies being fed from that will flicker to some degree or another. LED power supplies use Switched-Mode-Power-Supplies (SMPS) that rectify and then oscillate the DC current around 120-150 Hz. Some higher quality power supplies will increase that to somewhere less than 1000 Hz.

This will be very noticeable in high speed video where the camera can capture this flickering. If you want to reduce this, you need to either buy a faster switching power supply or do what Winston did and install a high frequency Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) to feed the LEDs. While this can be used to dim the LEDs, even at full power, they will be fed with power oscillating at 10,000 Hz or higher, which will reduce the flickering drastically.

Source: https://www.digikey.com/en/articles/characterizing-and-minimizing-led-flicker-in-lighting-applications