Light Painting

Perfect Circles of Light

light painting circles

Light Painting by Dennis CalvertA Perfect Circle, besides being one of my favorite bands, is also an easy and cool light painting trick.

What you need:
A paint roller and handle

A stand to mount the paint roller onto. I use a stand from a utility light.

Some lights to tape onto the roller handle. I like strips of LEDs, cold cathodes, and toy swords that light up.

Lights I’ve used:
Citylites LED Stick
Cold Cathodes
Light Up  Toy Swords


What you do: Tape some lights onto the paint roller handle and attach the roller to the light stand. Using the stand as your center point, rotate the roller to create a circle of light. Since this photo was taken, I’ve painted the light stand black to reduce the amount of light being reflected by the legs.

light painting circles

Below are the two light sources I used for the photo at the top of this post. The one I’m holding is a Citylites LED Stick and the other is a pair of cold cathodes. It’s nothing fancy and just taped on. I prefer the short paint rollers like the one I’m holding in the photo over the 12” size.
lights on paint rollers
Here’s a close up of the paint roller on top of the stand I use. The pieces I had fit together perfectly. You may need to make some modifications or get a little creative to get your rig stable, but at least you get the idea.

paint roller on stand

  • Excellent tutorial, very clear and illuminating. My apologies for the pun…

    Also, I’ve always admired the top photo. It’s simultaneously striking and dynamic.

  • The photos that you have produced are just incredible. Wish that we could paint houses with light. Really creative use of a paint roller. Thumbs Up! If you’d ever like to post your work on another site to increase your “web presence” hit us up. I’m glad I stumbled upon this site!!

    Khaki Pant Painter

  • As a Newbie, I am always exploring online for articles that can help me. Thank you

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  • thank you