Definition: Honeycomb grid (light modifier)

Definition: Honeycomb grid (light modifier)  | Glossary entry

Honeycomb grid (light modifier)

The honeycomb grid is a tight structure of a similar shape to the honeycomb made by honey bees. It’s affixed to the front of a studio strobe. Or it can be fixed to an off-camera flash. The light shines through the grid and creates a tight beam of light. The aim is to create a focused beam with little diffusion. It is effective in creating such a beam, but it is not as intense or focused as a snoot.

The "honeycomb Grid" is a simple device to direct the light in a tight beam.

The “honeycomb Grid” is a simple device to direct the light in a tight beam. It is an example of a range of grids used in front of lights to harden the light source and prevent the light from spreading out into a wider, more diffused beam. This small section of a honeycomb grid is part of a fitting that goes over the end of an off-camera flash.

The honeycomb grid is named after the bees wax equivalent where bees store honey. The grid is usually made of many different channels. Each is about the size/shape of a drinking straw. The colour is black to prevent light bouncing off the sides of each little channel. Bounces would diffuse the light. The colour and tightness of the channels creates the tightness of the beams focus.

The honeycomb grid parts can be various sizes. Common sizes are around the size of drinking straws. In fact black drinking straws are often used to make honeycomb grids. There are larger grids than straw-sized and different designs for making them. The size of the grid itself dictates the tightness of the beam. Thus, the exact grid for the work being done should be assessed ahead of the shoot. Often honeycomb grid light modifiers are used for precise work. For this reason the need to create the right shape, size and intensity of light will need to be subject to experimentation.

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