CFYE x Fiz-Iks – Light Painting Spray Can

CFYE x Fiz-Iks – Light Painting Spray Can

By Arden de Raaij

We told you not to sleep on the CFYE/Fiz-Iks collaboration! Thanks to the talented crew from Japan we can present you with a sweet tutorial for making one of the handiest light painting photography tools for you light junkies; A spray can filled with light paint! So please try this at home, and while you’re at it, download the awesome CFYE/Fiz-Iks spraypaint label created by Meneer de Zwart!(pdf) Oh and don’t forget to send us back some pictures in use. But now what you all came for: the tutorial.

Written by Trevor from Fiz-Iks.

By now, I am sure you have seen light painting and probably done a little research and reading up on it. Maybe you have experimented with it. As you do start experimenting you are going to need some tools. A painter uses brushes and a light painter is no different. At this point no company is making any tools specific to this art so light painters must be crafty and make their own. During this article I will tell you how to make a very simple and effective spray can light tool.

Why a spray can? I guess the main reason is this shape is easy to use. It fits nicely in the hand and functions in familiar way to real spray cans making them effective. If you have any experience vandalizing decorating the city with real paint, this would make the transition to light graffiti a snap. I have found that using other shaped light sources for light painting, like LED key chains, were awkward. It was difficult for me to draw or write with them. I started to think about what made them difficult to use and it was the shape and the switch. These two points are the answer to; why a spray can? Plus, you will look so cool with a backpack full of eco friendly tins.

To make the spray can you will need a plastic bottle, a string of battery operated LED lights and a pressure switch. I used a 500ml plastic drink bottle. In Japan almost everything is sold in these bottles. I hope you are able to find one in your country. The lights can actually be any battery operated light as long as there is enough wire to solder in a pressure switch. A pressure switch is a switch that is ‘on’ when pushed and ‘off’ when released. An electrical switch that works just like a spray can would.

Now to make the spray can… First, you must solder in the pressure switch at least a few centimeters from the lights. The lights will stick out the side near the top of the bottle and the switch will go in the cap so there must be enough wire between them for them to be positioned like this. A pressure switch has no positive or negative side and can be soldered in anywhere. If you do not have a soldering iron then just make the connections with tape. Make a hole in the bottle where you want the lights to come out. I made mine in a line to give me a calligraphy style brush. The opening was big enough for me to stuff my lights inside the bottle through this hole. Put some double sided tape on the battery pack so it would stick to the side of the bottle and not rattle around. Make a hole in the lid and for the switch. The switch I used was meant to be fastened through a hole. Then put the lid on and you are done. Well, almost done. You need to get you CFYE Fiz-iks collaboration label on it and send in your pics to CFYE!

About Trevor Wiliams

I am a commercial and fine art photographer based out of Okayama, Japan. I am available for commercial shooting, including weddings, and and light painting/night photography workshops globally.View profile