What are grids?

Grids are light modifiers which attach directly to the front of the small reflectors which are in front of most strobe light units. Grids are wafer-like objects with a grid or honey comb of small holes in them to allow light to pass through. Grids modify the light by restricting the angle at which it leaves the reflector. This has the effect of limiting the spread of the light beam and changing the shadow edge feathering.

The effect of a grid is measured in degrees. A 10 degree grid will have very small holes in it and will result in a tight concentrated light beam and a fairly sharp shadow edge. A larger 40 degree grid will have a much larger cell structure and will provide a broader light beam with softer edge transitions.

Grids allow better control of where light falls on the scene and are commonly used where light control is critical. One example use of grids is for hair lights and kickers where you want the light to fall on a very specific part of your subject. Another common use of small angle grids are to provide a pleasing circle of accent light on the background material when mounted to a background light.

10grid_close

40grid_close

grid_compare

StudioLighting.net

About StudioLighting.net

A Free Online Resource for Studio Lighting and Photography Information: Tips, Tutorials, DIY Instructions, Reviews, and Much More.

3 thoughts on “What are grids?

  1. les

    Thanks again for the concise information! I do like it though when you provide an example pic of what you’re teaching in action as in some of the lighting setup tutorials – you had an example portrait of what the lighting setup produces.


Vintage Sony FOOT SWITCH FS-5 JAPAN Pedal Boxed picture
Vintage Sony FOOT SWITCH FS-5 JAPAN Pedal Boxed
Vintage ACME LITE / Mov-E-Lite w/ Bakelite switch / Vintage Movie Lights BRIGHT  picture
Vintage ACME LITE / Mov-E-Lite w/ Bakelite switch / Vintage Movie Lights BRIGHT
Vintage Mayfair Automatic Projector Switch picture
Vintage Mayfair Automatic Projector Switch
VINTAGE ACE FOTO EYE LIGHT SENSITIVE SWITCH W PAPERWORK AND BOX picture
VINTAGE ACE FOTO EYE LIGHT SENSITIVE SWITCH W PAPERWORK AND BOX
Vintage Mint Green V-Pak Bar Lite 2 or 4 Light Switch Bulb Photography Flood Set picture
Vintage Mint Green V-Pak Bar Lite 2 or 4 Light Switch Bulb Photography Flood Set