Beauty ring flashes are popular for photography headshots because they provide an interesting catch light in the subject's eyes. Not sure how many of you caught this video, but this was a DIY ring light I seen a while back from Flickr photos. Here's an old version of this http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodolfonovak/196220050/
Now that DSLR's are shooting HD, this project seems to have resurfaced for use with video from Vimeo member TLA Productions. It's a simple design that anyone with a bit of electrical knowledge might be able to tackle, but if your clumsy or clueless, then you can probably just build out the basics and ask an electrician to finish the wiring. Shouldn't be more than a few bucks, and a couple of hours and would be great for Photos or even a Photo booth project too. It's going to provide a much different look than smaller LED ring lights. The bigger your light source, the softer the light and it really shows when used in this video. Looks like i'll have to revisit this project again...
Here's another idea. If you want something closer to Daylight, bulbs that aren't as Fragile, draw less power requirements, and generate almost no heat, check out these LED house bulbs for the DIY Ring Light project. They might be something to look into as an option.
Quick over view of what to expect from the Z96 Dimmable DSLR LED Video light that everyone is raving about. As of now, since it's fairly new, it might run you about $20 dollars more than the 126 LED lights. I personally think that $20 dollar difference is well worth it, considering you'd be buying a $400 dollar unit similar to this from the brand names.
The Z96 carries many of the same features that make the 126 very popular. Dimmable lighting, multiple battery sources, LED technology, and cheap cheap cheap. Originally LED video lights were hitting the streets for over $400 dollars, so even thought this is NOT as cheap as the 126, it's still a bargain you can't complain about.
It's smaller, but feels more solid than the 126 LED video light. Smaller is nicer since it doesn't take up bag space. Too much spotlight is offending to your subject, so it's very nice that the LED's on the Z96 (even without the diffusion panel) work better than the 126 LED. The adjustable shoe mount neck is a much better design as well. Not as tall, but definitely solid enough to keep from adjusting off position. I like everything about the Z96 and the additional price I feel is well worth it. The 126 has been a solid performer for me and I currently own 3 of them still in use today. I haven't thrown the Z96 around as much so we'll have to hear about the long term durability. For now when i'm ready to work, this Z96 is the one LED video light i'll always grab first.
DLSR's are great with low light settings, but when possible, it's best to light your subject and bring that ISO noise down. LED lighting is now becoming mainstream with DSLR HD video cameras since it's lightweight and lasts longer. Problems are LED + Cameras = High Markup costs.
When searching for my LED Video Light, I had a few requirements. Broad diffusion, daylight temperature, tungsten filter, uses batteries that can be replaced, and most important DIMMABLE! I'm not a fan of rechargeable LED lights, because when you need it most, there's nothing you can do. With replacement batteries, you can quickly swap out batteries and keep shooting. You want to get an LED video light that is also Dimmable so you can keep it from blowing out your exposure.
After searching around for and LED light that has all of these features, now we're talking hundreds of dollars. Luckily, after searching around the web, YouTube brought me to the video above. Wow!! All the features that are most important for an LED light and under $70 dollars!