Customers sometimes ask us whether they would be better off buying a complete lightboard or building their own.
For customers making educational videos or commercial content, a complete solution is often the best choice. For customers who prefer to build something themselves, our DIY Component kits can offer an attractive option. While we’ve seen a variety of self-built systems those are often best limited to a quick proof of concept. Read on for more about the factors that typically help customers decide what route is best for them.
Our complete integrated lightboards have been meticulously designed and manufactured for outstanding quality including highly polished glass and are built to withstand heavy professional use from top to bottom. Customers often comment on the impressive build quality.
Our DIY component kits were created in the early days of lightboards to allow construction of a large lightboard with easy-to-assemble components and included plans. Locally sourced commercial grade glass was used to complete the lightboard. (Read more about glass).
A number of people have constructed lightboards from scratch, which can serve as a proof of concept (in particular if using any plastic for the writing surface. These materials are easy to work with but will quickly scuff.) We’ve had customers build their own lightboard as a stepping stone and then later replace that with one of our systems. We have seen some reasonably well-constructed custom builds.
For safety, we’d recommend anyone considering a self-constructed lightboard consult with a qualified design professional. Caution should be emphasized when working with a large panel of glass; a 4 x 8ft ⅜” thick sheet of glass weighs about 230 lbs.
Accessibility and adjustability for people presenting while sitting, including people in wheelchairs and standing, with a wide range of stature, is often a point of interest from our customers. Our height adjustable systems have been popular for these reasons.
Any fixed height lightboard encounters trade-offs regarding lightboard height versus the presenter height range. For users in shared spaces, there is another trade-off between accommodating tall presenters and staying under the height of existing doors. Our fixed height systems have been designed to fit through most commercial doors and yet be reasonable for most taller presenters, but occasionally fixed-height lightboards are set on risers to accommodate tall presenters at the desired camera position.
Our lightboard products are designed to allow for portability whether that be across the room, across the building, or across the campus.
How many days do you have until you want a complete lightboard?
- Our DIY kits typically deliver in a week or less. Locally sourced glass often takes 1-2 weeks. Be mindful of quality variability and potential delays if needing a replacement when sourcing your own glass. This has historically been a source of some frustration for lightboard users building their own, even when our kits take the guesswork out of every other step.
- Many of our complete lightboard systems can deliver and be set up in 1-2 weeks after ordering.
- If you have a tight schedule there is rarely time for researching and constructing a new, untested design, then troubleshooting unforeseen issues, in particular if there are high quality expectations.
How many hours can someone dedicate to coordinating setup of a lightboard?
- All of our lightboard products are designed to take the guesswork out of setup.
- With our complete lightboard systems, you have a fully integrated lightboard from a single supplier. If any questions arise, you can email or call us for quick support.
- Our lightboard products are designed and packaged with quick assembly in mind. Typical assembly times:
- DIY kit based models: 3 hours
- 35", 45", & 66” Table top models: 30 minutes
- 66” height adjustable system: 2 hours
- 82/95” height adjustable systems ship pre-assembled in two sections to allow final assembly in under 10 minutes. Uncrating: 30 minutes.
- Studio packages typically take about a half day to set up, including lightboard and all studio equipment. A substantial amount of pre-assembly happens at our production facility prior to shipping.
For customers looking to build a lightboard on a budget, our DIY Component kits were historically a popular option. Commercial glass is then sourced locally. (Read more about glass).
However, over time our manufacturing volume has allowed the cost of our lightboards to come down substantially so that a user can purchase our complete, professionally built lightboards for less than building themselves.
Our 66" height adjustable lightboard can be purchased for less than just the materials for a 4x6 DIY lightboard built using our kits and locally sourced glass. The 66" lightboard is only about 10% smaller in usable space (we also offer larger sizes...). The 66" lightboard option would provide a much higher quality system with additional features, yet just a single purchase with minimal logistical burden.
The spread in the cost of materials is a little greater for our 82" and 95" height adjustable lightboards, but the end result is a notably nicer system including push-button height adjustability, a working surface/table, polished glass, pre-assembly for easy setup and more. If considering the time saved in setup and coordination, the cost is not overly far apart. For this reason it has become increasingly rare that a customer selects the DIY option over buying a complete height adjustable lightboard. That said, both are still options we support!
If you are accounting for all planning and setup time, a custom built lightboard is typically a more expensive option without the associated quality that either our complete lightboard options or DIY component kits would provide.
Our complete lightboard studio packages are a popular choice for customers who want a complete high quality studio that is easy to use, robust, and featured packed. Plus if there is ever any questions they can pick up the phone and call us for support. Customers who start setup in the morning are typically recording videos in the afternoon. Learn more about our studio packages.