Making your own UV-LED exposure unit - Aug 13-14, 2022
Making your own UV-LED exposure unit - Aug 13-14, 2022
Making your own UV-LED exposure unit - Aug 13-14, 2022
Mountain Intaglio

Making your own UV-LED exposure unit - Aug 13-14, 2022

Regular price $1,200.00 $0.00

taught by Clay Harmon


Many workshop participants at Mountain Intaglio have admired our aluminum shelled UV-LED exposure units. They are quiet, cool, and have very fast exposure times for most processes. And always a few people ask if we are going to run a workshop in how to build one of these units. That time has arrived!

This workshop is unusual in that the end product will not be a handful of prints. However, the participant will walk away with a functional and lightweight UV exposure box that can be used for any process that requires strong ultraviolet light to expose. Cyanotype, palladium, salted paper prints and polymer intaglio plates can all be exposed with the box.

Construction of your exposure unit will take place over one or two days. No particular skills are needed other than the ability to use a screwdriver.



In order to benefit from the cost efficiencies of multiple unit fabrication, all of the lightbox exposure units will necessarily be the same size. We have decided that a box that is 20” deep and 30” wide will serve the needs of the largest number of participants. A box this size will have an exposure area of approximately 19" x 24.6”.

The unit cost for the aluminum enclosures becomes reasonable when five or more are ordered. Therefore, we will want to have at least 4 but not more than 6 people sign up for this first workshop. If fewer people sign up, we will contact you and see if you are willing to pay a little extra for the enclosure since the setup cost will be spread over fewer units. Our materials budget allows $212 for the aluminum enclosure with 5 units ordered, and this would increase to $249 if only 3 units are ordered.

The workshop fee includes all materials needed to build your exposure unit. You will leave with a fully functioning and extremely well built unit that you assembled yourself.


What you will build

The workshop participants will walk away with a lightweight, aluminum shelled, fan cooled UV-LED exposure unit using high-output LEDs with a 365nm wavelength. This wavelength covers the widest range of alternative processes and works well for every process we have worked with. This is not the purple-colored “ooh-wow” purple dorm light kind of light, but one designed specifically to expose things like polymer plates.

The strips are the most expensive component in the box, so we have decided to build a unit that has strips spaced 22mm apart. This spacing should allow a palladium print to be exposed in 2-3 minutes, and traditional cyanotype in 5-10 minutes.

These exposure boxes run on household 120V AC power which is converted by a transformer to 12V DC current that powers the LED strips and the cooling fans.

What you need to bring

Just show up on the workshop day with a phillips and flathead screwdriver, some needle-nose pliers, a little curiosity, and some creative curse words at hand when you drop a screw or bang your knuckle . We will have all the parts ready for you to assemble during the workshop.

Special considerations

We are having the aluminum enclosures fabricated for the workshop, so we will close the sign-up three weeks before the workshop so that we allow enough time for the fabrication and shipping of the enclosures.



This is the 3D rendering of the CAD file that will be used to make the aluminum enclosures. It will be 0.093" (heavyweight) aluminum:


The main box will have a hinged door on the front and the rear part of the box will be riveted (by you!) to the main body.

We have made other UV units using this fabrication company. This is a smaller 13x19" box that I use for situations I need a small portable and powerful exposure unit.

This unit has an integral timer, which the workshop units will not have, since many people I have contacted indicate that they have their own timers they plan to use. 


This is a 17x22 inch box that has an external power supply and timer. It looks very similar to the unit we will be building. However, the unit for the workshop will have the power supply inside the enclosure and be powered by a simple toggle switch on the left side.