Stage Designs

Air Filtered

Benjamin Davis from dv8 Youth Ministries in Crowley, TX brings us these super lightweight and simple light boxes.

They accomplished this design with air filters, duct tape, and some LED lighting.

Benjamin bought 76 air filters ($1.30 each). Then he bought 12 rolls of duct tape ($3.40 each). Total cost: $140.

First he took four filters and taped them together. Then he cut 6.5″ squares from the cardboard boxes the air filters came in. He cut those in triangles to use at the corners of his boxes to support the shape and block light. Then he taped the triangles to the corners on top and bottom of the boxes.

Finally he taped the boxes together to create a stack. He taped an air filter on the top box to keep light from escaping too much. Then he put an LED light at the bottom of each stack to illuminate it.


Twisty Snowy City

96 responses to “Air Filtered”

  1. Matt says:

    I love this idea. What LED fixtures were used?

  2. Jenifer De Figueiredo says:

    These are fantastic! I would also like to know what fixtures you used. Are the black bottom boxes wood that hold the lights?

    • Thanks SO MUCH!
      I answered the light question in previous. =)

      The Boxes are actually cardboard Boxes covered in black duct tape, using the same triangles for the corners to block light.
      The Front Two on the stage are Sub-woofers But the Back Two bottom boxes are where the lights are placed into. (A cut out i made that flips open and closes back to avoid light escaping.)

      The two lights on the subs are Flat Par Lights so they sit on the speakers without really being seen.

      • Milton Pate says:

        How much we’re the lights and where did you order them? Please post a link if possible. I tried googling and the ones I found didn’t show a price.

  3. Devon says:

    This is brilliant!

  4. Brian says:

    Where did he find air filters that cheap?

    • I actually Found them at a local grocery store. “Brookshire’s”
      They are super thin filters. They had them for the cheapest i’ve seen! (Of course, I had to have them special ordered for me.)

  5. Bill Werst says:

    Neat idea!

    I’m curious to know more about the fixtures you used. I noticed its a china import fixture.

    1) Would you buy them again?
    2) Where did you get them?
    3) Price range? The websites I saw said 4 units min and price negotiable.
    4) Do they have a good dimming curve? Many cheaper LED fixtures don’t dim well at low intensities. Do these work well at low levels?

    I hope you are having a blast coming up with creative ways of using resources to serve God and your ministry!



  6. Rick Martin says:

    I am curious about the LED’s mentioned and I have all the same questions as Bill.


  7. Verve Youth Church says:

    Those look great, We plan on making some for our youth church. Do you know what brand of air filters these are and their product number. Thanks again for the great idea.

  8. Mike says:

    I just made some of these for our church in Scottsdale this past weekend. They look awesome! I found the filters through a local dealer AZ Partsmaster (although we chose to use smaller 16″x16″ filters instead of 20″x20″). Surprisingly the 20″ were cheaper. Only 85 cents a piece. I picked them up directly from them through will call.

    I give all the props to Benjamin for this idea! I should warn you though, these took a long time to make. The fastest I could make each box was 20min. Once you add the lids, boxes below, and corners to hide light you should expect 45min-hour for each box. We made 20.

    We used some cheap Chauvet LED’s that we bought recently when Musician’s Friend had them on sale for 2 for 1. They lit up four boxes high pretty well but I could see how a brighter led would be better. Especially if you went higher with your towers. Oh, we also put tin foil on the under side of the lid so any excess light might bounce back down and fill up the tower again. That seemed to work well.

    Only other piece of advice I would add is these do bleed a little. As you can see in Ben’s pictures the walls behind them do light up a bit. We put one in front of (and below) our center screen and it bled a little. Luckily our projector is bright enough to over power it.

    Great idea Ben! We got lots of compliments!!!

  9. Jim says:

    I just did some checking, and these exact filters are $.59 at Mills Fleet Farm! (yep – I’m pumped!)

    • Troy R says:

      I visited their site and they don’t provide info for square filters. (i.e. 16×16 or 20×20) Are you using the rectangular filters or is there a way to find square ones? I see there is a phone number. Will they have to be special ordered to get the squares???? Help please? Thanks!

    • Troy R says:

      forgot to get the reply via email….

      • Mike says:

        Troy, those links are pretty old now. Not sure why the pictures shows them blue. They were not blue in the picture or in person when we received them. What we got was slightly different than the picture anyway but was still what we needed. And ours were square. This is just one of many companies that offered them. You can do your own research and find them elsewhere, others have as you can read below. Or simply call that company and ask. As far as disassembly, I would say they don’t come apart once tapped. You could I guess take a blade to the seems and take them apart just to later retape them but that would be a chore, especially if you added corner pieces on tops and bottoms. That does make storing them a challenge. As far as lights, many different lights would work. Just try something and make it your own. We’ve enjoyed ours.

    • David says:

      so where did you find filters for $0.59?? Im in Athens ga and I can’t find a good price do to this… Please help…

  10. BEN DAVIS says:

    Yes mike they are time consuming! But if you have the right help they shouldn’t take to long. Yes 20 mins a box is about right :)
    I’m excited to see others using my idea !

    Rick and Bill. Let me see where we buy them and let me get back to you. Yes they are china imports that we get and our actually pretty goog lights in my opinion.
    Let me check and ill post a new comment.

  11. Aaron Bailey says:

    Gonna try this, love the look

  12. Delisa Goudeau says:

    I can wait to do these for our women’s ministry. This is brilliant!! Great job!

  13. Thank you! Praise God! Love the sharing of ideas on this site!

    I was searching around for a way to make our own version of “atomic pillow walls” because renting them is cost prohibitive.

    I believe these will work for that purpose as well. I’m just going to hang them together with “s” hooks, and should be able to reconfigure into many interesting designs and set changes over time!

    If anyone has tried it that way, or has feedback before we go for it, please post! My only concern is how reflective they will be when uplit from the outside. I’m hoping close enough to look like a real “atomic pillow wall”.

    We will be hanging them in columns of 6 or so over a black draped backdrop. Then uplighting from the stage with color led’s that are DMX controlled so we can change scenes as needed. Actually we have the ability to downlight them too, so I guess we’ll experiment with what works best!

    Thanks again!

  14. Nate J says:

    Where did you get these filters? I cannot find anything in that price range. Everything I have found has been anywhere from $5-15 per filter. I love this idea and want to try it. Any advice on where to find something similar to what you have here?

  15. Craig Taylor says:

    Ben, you never put on here where you got your lights at. Would you care to add that? Of course, I’m scouring the internet for the cheapest ones, so it may not be necessary anyway – just wondering tho! These look great and I’m excited about giving them a try. How creative!

  16. Holly says:

    Like this idea! Wondering about fire hazard

  17. Craig Taylor says:

    Any idea where you get duct tape that cheap? Best I’m finding is a generic name on Amazon for $4.97. Thanks.

    • Craig Taylor says:

      Never mind, I think the difference is the one I found was 60 yards, the cheaper ones are only 20 yard, so the one I found on Amazon was cheaper. Thanks!

  18. Kelley Fousel says:

    We have some of the old traditional PAR can lights that we aren’t using. Could these be used instead of the LED PARs?

    • Daniel says:

      I wouldn’t recommend it. There is a risk of fire with old traditional style par cans though if your looking cheaper American DJ Mega panels can work in a pinch. They are about $99 per which is relatively cheap for this kind of application.

  19. We just ordered 250 of these filters for a version of this for our easter set. Thanks for the idea!

  20. Jen says:

    LOVE this idea– thanks so much for sharing! We’re doing a stage redesign for Easter, and I’ll be making some of these asap! Thanks, everyone, for the insight… good to know it takes some time for assembly. :)

  21. First Off I would like to apologize about the late replies. I’m so blessed that there are so many comments and people using my ideas!



    You have to contact them for the pricing cost.


    The LEDs That we use have a great cooling system and they stay pretty cool.

    I would NOT use regular PAR lighting. They tend to get really hot, really fast. (For this situation anyways)


    WHERE: Walmart
    COST: $3.40ea


    After Taping them all together they become Big and hard to store.
    We have since then, Cut the boxes apart and just use them as separate boxes. Many more ideas have come from this and moving them around to make new designs is a cinch.

    I thought the lighting escaping would be and issue, but it hasn’t.

    Let me know if you have any still. There are some good links above already.

    Love all you guys! I want to thank all of you for taking the idea God has given me and for using it all over the world.



    • Paul says:

      Hi guys wondering if you know where I could get these AC filters in Australia ? we so love your design and lighting

  22. Nancy at Westside says:

    Ben, As we are taping the filters together we are finding it hard to make each side the same. The tape is a wider strip on two sides due to the way the filters fit together. Yours all look uniform on all sides. How did you tape them together where you don’t have wide strip on some sides? Thanks!

    It is an awesome idea and it’s exciting to see how many folks liked it! Guess our congregation will like it as well!

    • Benjamin Davis says:

      @Nancy at Westside
      I taped the two outer filters to the two inner filters. Thus doing this you really don’t get squares. They are actually longer one way than they are the other. (Rectangle) . As long as you place your squares on top of each other properly they look square.

  23. Troy R says:

    Alright,I found the filters and I’m preparing to scour for duct tape. I saw that you use 2 rolls per fixture. What size roll? 60 yards? Thank you in advance!!!

  24. Benjamin Davis says:

    They were actually only 20 yards, so 60 should get you a fixture and a half :)

  25. Kelley Lee Fousel says:

    Does it matter if the filters are blue?

  26. Benjamin Davis says:

    I have not tried blue filters. I wouldn’t think they would glow quite at well. Don’t take my word for it though. I feel the white helps reflect the light. Ben.

  27. Bonnie Pickartz says:

    I can’t find plain white filters. The filters at the link provided ( ) show up as blue.

    Thanks for this great inspiration!!!

  28. Christa Hutchins says:

    For those of you asking about using the blue filters, we did it and it works great. Here is a link to a picture of our version:

    The colors are a lot brighter in person than on this picture. and our lights change colors so I love the effect of the colors fading from one to the other. The tall towers on either side and the small boxes in the front are the 58 cent white ones from the Fleet Farms link above. When we set them up, it wasn’t quite enough and we didn’t have time to order more white ones, so we bought cheap blue ones locally.

    The blue ones look good but it does limit your colors to darker versions. A white light glows blue, a red light glows purple and a yellow light glows green. Just like kindergarten art class!

    The little boxes in the front and all of the blue ones are actually triangle. They stand up just as nice as the squares and save 25% of the cost in filters, tape and time. The letters are stuck on the front with velcro dots. They stay pretty well, but I did put one loop of thin clear thread around the top center of each letter just in case the velcro got tired.

    Thanks Ben for this great idea! We are hosting 500 kids from area churches this weekend and I love the way our stage looks!

    Christa Hutchins
    Amite Baptist Church
    Denham Springs, LA

    • Benjamin Davis says:

      Your welcome @Christa
      And thank you! You may have given me another great ideas with the filter concept!
      It looks great on the stage! :)
      Hope all goes well! God bless.

    • Gary Smith says:

      Christa, what kind of lights did you use and did you have any heat issues since your light boxes were triangles instead of square?

  29. alba galaviz says:

    I reside in Los Angeles can I find this boxes in downtown LA?

  30. Billy Hardy says:

    I have just done this for our church. We didn’t have anymore LED lights to use, so I purchased extension cords (cut off ends, and simply plug in), and basic ceiling light fixture and electrical boxes. I wired the fixtures with the extension cords on the electrical boxes, and simply place those on the floor. I used colored party CFL bulbs (curly) in order to reduce the heat inside of the filter. This lighting option cost us around $30 for the lighting option, and it looks almost as good as the LED lights. All together including the filters and tape we spent around $65 (we got 3 different colors)

  31. Ben Dipko says:

    Hey, does anyone have another place to get the filters, because I tried fleet farm and they did not have enough. Please Help

  32. Michelle Smith says:

    I wish I had found this earlier but I had seen pics with no information and tried to make these. I bought blue filters, used black duct tape, everything you did except didn’t pay attention to them being squared and the ones I made where rectangle. I’m not liking the stacked effect because not even. Any suggestions?

  33. Michelle says:

    Thanks for posting this! We are currently attempting to create a version of this for our church in Hamilton Ontario, which runs in a school!
    It’s the perfect set design to put up and take down each week!

  34. Natalie says:

    Has anyone tried using these with blacklight spotlights? I’m a wedding/event planner and I have a request for blacklight pillars and these would be perfect!! If they work, that is…

  35. Judah Baker says:

    My questions are a little different. We have just built three towers of boxes 3 high on a base. They are working the lighting out as I am typing. Question is how long do these last with regular weekly use? Do they require a lot of maintainace or upkeep?

    • Billy Hardy says:

      Well, fr me I am still using them. We used them for about 2 months consistent on the stage. The only thing that we had to do was occasionally fix some tape. I made the mistake of using electrical tape and pulled it very tight. So it would pull off some, and I would have to re-tape some areas here and there. Then I put them away from our main service. Now I am doing a youth service on Sunday nights, and so I pull them out of the closet every week and set them up, then put them away when I am done. They are beginning to bend and fold and not be as strong as they were at first. However, once you get them up, any weakness is not seen from the congregation. I would say if left up on the stage as long as kids aren’t playing on them, they should last as long as you want them to. Personally I am trying to make them survive the year, then I will want to change it up and make fee it new again.

  36. murphs2go says:

    Another option for filters:

    Be advised, these are a special order item that takes a few weeks.

  37. Paul says:

    Hi guys wondering if you know where I could get these AC filters in Australia ? we so love your design and lighting tips

  38. Blake says:

    where did he get those air filters?? pease advise

  39. Ron Selah says:

    Hi Benja this is really creative and yet very cost effective thank you for sharing. am a worship pastor of ayoung church we planted here in uganda we are actually 3months young i like this my question is : what kind of air filters are these i have tried to google air filters and the results i get are not helping is this aspecific kind of airfilter. also i kindly request if you can do a step by step process of how these are done our little church will much appreciate. just know someone in uganda east africa found this very helpful hope to hear from you

  40. richard says:

    Nice job sir.could you kindly show where you bought the air filters?link?

  41. gsnpbc says:
    They are Filtrete Basic, Flat panel air filters 20x20x1

  42. Tins says:

    Hi..ive used this idea and it worked great at our church..wondering if theres any way to preserve these filters from tearing up? Anyone knows of a spray on to laminate or reinforce the mesh? I would greatly appreciate any input..thanks!

  43. Lucas says:

    Can you send me a Link where i can buy all this Things to Build it?

    Please i Really Need it.

  44. Shereise Brinson says:

    Hello everyone thank you so much for this great idea we are actually working on this for our 1st Youth Conference in a few weeks. Each question we had was answered by the nxt persons comment. Cant wait to pull it all together will def post pictures….

  45. Tara says:

    Will anyone be able to install this for my church in Houston, Tx?

  46. PKay says:

    I’m in Ghana is there any shop online I can order these air filters? Please help me…I need it as soon as possible

  47. Mark says:

    I think you should have made your bed before taking the pictures! :-)

  48. Danny Prince II says:

    Your’s look AMAZING!!! I am getting ready to tackle this project for our Youth Church Stage!!

  49. Dalton C says:

    What kind of tape did you use on the edges? Trying to avoid a glare from duct tape.

  50. Joicy Prestes says:

    did it for my church, thanks for sharing it!

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