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$57 (£40) DIY Photography ceiling rail lighting system hack!

So what started off as a quick lighting test in my garage has turned into a full research and installation of my own DIY photography ceiling rail system! You might now ask why, whats the point its a garage its tiny, and thats just it, it is tiny I mean my shooting space measures 10 ft x 7ft ! not a great space for shooting portraits, ok so you might manage it with one light on a stand/boom but what if like me you like using more than one light? I tend to use a 3 light setup when shooting my creative portraits (see image below) and setting up 3 stands with soft boxes becomes very cramped in such a small space.  

It was during these sessions I decided to look into buying a ceiling rail system to create more floor space/room but they were expensive!! great systems for the studio but my garage space is intended for trying out a quick lighting setup/idea so dosent warrant such an expensive but I loved the idea. So I decided to build my own below is a quick video of it.

 Heres the bit I love the I came across this RIVETER GUN! at a local tool store and the whole concept was built from there. 

Below you can find all the gear used

Pixapro 90 cm easy open octo box

Lazy Long Riveter

Uni strutt double wheel channel trolley

41mm slotted channel

Male Screw adapter Spigot Stud

Recorded on the Olympus OMD EM10

It worked perfectly! I simply drilled a hole for a M4 bolt and attached it with a washer and 2 nuts.   It has a 400 newton force load  so you will need to check out the weight of your lights and gear and make sure you don't exceed that limit, you can google it and find a conversion calculator.

 The next step was to attach a spigot to the end of the riveter gun and if by magic at the end of the gun was a small bolt so I unscrewed that and the spigot simply screwed in and was a perfect fit!

The next step was to attach the UNI STRUT to the garage roof, easy process of screwing it to the roof joist with screws and washers. The riveter gun and channel trolley glided along the 3 meter length of  UNI STRUT down the centre , Perfect and at a cost of £40!!  I decided to build on that and try to use the full space allowing the light to reach every corner so I built a H frame with the UNI STRUT screwing 2 lengths parallel to each other down the length of the shooting area then I cut another length of strut for the width, which I then attached another two channel trolleys at each end with bolts then slotted them into the 2 UNI STRUTS screwed to the joists, allowing me to pull the light down the full length and width of the shooting space

Now I have all the floor space to use with no obstructions! and I was pretty chuffed with what I could achieve in a small space, heres a few shots using the rail system.


 Wanted to share this DIY hack with you guys as its made a great difference to my small studio!

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