In this video and blog we going to make a Cyanotype image with UV LED box. Normally Cyanotype are traditionally developed in sunlight. The print are often called sun prints. But it is winter and it is cold! The UV light isn’t so strong and readily available as within the summer. Wouldn’t be great to make Cyanotype, Van Dyke Brown, Salt Papers at anytime during the year ? Even before the sun comes up or after it goes down!

This box will produce an  A3 or A4 size cyanotype print just after 5 minutes by use of UV LED lights. This box was design to be inexpensive and simple. The total should be no more than 70 euros.


The video demonstrates the UV LED Box in action and goes through the construction in detail.


Parts list


When working with electronics and electricity use proper caution and safety. Ensure not to short circuit cables. I’m by no means responsible for any damage to anyone or anything. By building this kit your are responsible for UV exposure and electronics etc..


UV LED Box - LED Strips
UV LED Box – LED Strips

I have split the LED light into two side, for best current distribution and have the added advantage of controlling the light power – half power or full power.

UV LED Box - Soldering LED Strips
UV LED Box – Soldering LED Strips
UV LED Box - Wire Lengths
UV LED Box – Wire Lengths
UV LED Box - Testing LED
UV LED Box – Testing LED

Note: The box will get warm after 20 minutes of use which should be no problem. I’ve used it for hour without issue. However switch off the box when not using.

If you wish to make a more robust version, I recommend placing everything on an aluminum plate. This I may do in the future. For now everything work pretty well.

Strip Test

Download the strip test negative and print it out on A4/Letter size transparency on a laser or inkjet print.
[Download Strip Test]

Exposure the strip test page on the Cyanotype sensitized page for 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 minutes.  Use a book to cover the each section and slide it along at 1, 1, 2, 2, 2 minute intervals.

UV LED Box - Test Strip
UV LED Box – Test Strip

Washing and Drying

Then  leave the print face down in the slow flowing water. After 10  minutes inspect the results. Agitate the water with your hand from time to time. If there isn’t any yellow left on the paper it’s ready to hang up and dry.

UV LED Box - Band plays on Schmittgasse, Graz
UV LED Box – Band plays on Schmittgasse, Graz
UV LED Box - Book day Hauptplaz, Graz
UV LED Box – Book day Hauptplaz, Graz



I was super excited by the results of my Cyanotypes using the UV LED Box. If you happen to build this box please do let me see your results. Happy Printing!

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January 14, 2020

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