The FVCC lightboard build is based on the work of Professor Michael Peshkin of Northwestern University, whose own lightboard build is detailed at  The two most significant innovations to that design involve the frame and the lights: the FVCC lightboard has an extruded aluminum frame made of 80/20 material rather than the welded steel frame used by Peshkin. We have found that external LED lights (positioned as shown in the diagrams below) work just as well if not better than LED lights positioned at the edges of the glass for internal lighting. Both of these modifications reduce the cost and complexity of the overall build and improve the portability of the unit.

Material kits to build the frame can be ordered through an 80/20 Inc. distributor. Visit to find a distributor in your area.

FVCC1_Lightboard_Angle (2)FVCC2_Straight_On

These renderings demonstrate dimensions of the FVCC Lightboard.


  • One 4 ft by 8 ft sheet of architectural glass (Starphire or equivalent) 10mm (3/8 inches) thick.
  • One frame “kit” made of 80/20 extruded aluminum angle. See attached Quote, parts list, and contact information for supplier. This is a custom designed item that you must acquire from this supplier.
  • LED photography lighting and camera (all from B&H Photo (
  • One Genaray SpectroLED-14 Three Light Kit (120VAC/12VDC). B&H # GESPAD75Q
  • Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder B&H # CAXA10 Mfr # 4922B002 (there are many substitutes that will also work)
  • TWO Savage Accent Solid Muslin Backgrounds (10 x 24′, Black) B&H # SABGSM1024B Mfr # SD2024
  • Sennheiser ew 100 ENG G3 Wireless Microphone System Combo – G (566-608 MHz)
  • B&H # SEEW100EN3G
  • Expo Neon Dry Erase Markers (Stapes or other office supply stores)
  • For the computer: Higher end PC capable of video editing, CAMTASIA video editing software, internet access, etc.
  • FVCC’s 80/20 Materials Quote

Space Considerations:

At FVCC, the Lightboard studio is in a 10’ x 25’ room with no windows, as lighting is crucial in shooting high-quality video.  The room walls are draped with black photographic background fabric to eliminate reflections on the glass and yield the high contrast scene. Although a high quality microphone like the Sennheiser we suggest does an excellent job of eliminating ambient noise, it is important to choose a space that has as little extraneous noise as possible. Audio quality is of paramount importance-students are not able to listen to bad quality audio for long. Exact positioning of all three LED lights is a straight-forward task for an experienced studio photographer with a trained eye.

The FVCC Lightboard Studio
The FVCC Lightboard Studio layout