How to fix a loose light stand

Good light stands are great.  And nothing is as aggravating as a cheap light stand.

Since I’m not in the habit of heeding my own advice,  I recently purchased several collapsible light stands.  They were cheap.  Not scary cheap, but cheap enough to be enticing. Despite my misgivings I ordered 6.  They were the 7′ and 9′ Flashpoint light stands from Adorama.  For a while they worked great.  But over time I noticed that, no matter how tight I got the clamp on the section risers, they wouldn’t stay put.  Slowly the light would start sliding down as the clamp lost it’s grip.  I’d tighten the nut as hard as a could but to no avail.

Finally, I’d had enough.

There are several reasons this could be happening. On my brand of light stands (The 7′ and 9′ Flashpoint Light Stands from Adorama) I noticed that the clamping mechanism was too large for the section.  To fix this I had to shim the inside of the riser clamp to make it smaller and the fit around the section pole more snug.

Fix a loose light stand

What you’ll need to fix a loose light stand

The secret ingredient is aluminum tape from the hardware store’s HVAC section.  It’s super sticky and, because it’s metal, will wear relatively well, won’t gum up like other tape, and still allows for the pole to slide smoothly through the section clamp.

  1. First you’re going to need to deconstruct your light stand a bit.
  2. Then cut a slice of the tape big enough to fit on the inside of the clamping part.  The key is to get it smooth.  One piece may be all you need.  I needed two on mine.
  3. Test the fit and put everything back together.

Fix a loose light stand

Fix a loose light stand

Fix a loose light stand

That’s it!  You’re done.  Enjoy your new fully-functioning, frustration free light stand.


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