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Old August 13th, 2007, 10:50 PM   #1
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Holy Heat! Low Heat Lighting Solutions?

I'm doing some dry runs for my documentary interviews using an Omni and a soft box. I just don't feel comfortable asking someone to sit in that heat for potentially 45 mins. An actor, sure, but a regular person who's agreed to be interviewed in their living room, no way.

I've seen references to Cool Lights, but found the website confusing and the intro video sparse on details. But it looks like a possible solution.

I imagine a Kino Fo fatboy (4 tubes, 2') or the ikan S400 are alternatives. And this DayFlo kit seems unusually inexpensive: http://www.pclightingsystems.com/DF/1500-kit.html

But incandescent is just too darn hot, IMHO.

Any other ideas?

Last edited by Peter Moretti; August 13th, 2007 at 11:54 PM.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 11:37 PM   #2
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What can I help you with that the website didn't? Generally if someone has a question, they use the contact us page and send an email to me and everyone will tell you they are answered very quickly. The following is the product page for the CL-255 and its just made for interviews and intimate settings:

http://www.coollights.biz/cl255-cool...ight-p-30.html

Comes with 2 free tubes in either 3200K or 5600K. An optional baby stand adapter can be chosen too in the option drop down box at the bottom of the page.

As far as the intro video, we have some videos about DIY solutions and that type of thing but I haven't done videos on our preassembled / packaged solutions like the above.

What would you like to see in a video on these products? I guess one reason I haven't done more product videos is because we've sold hundreds of fixtures in our first seven months and maybe two inquiries for more product video introductions. I had planned to do more there but we have many new products coming up so I've been spending my time there where it would seem to be most effective.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 12:05 AM   #3
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Richard,

Thanks for your reply! To be honest, the intro video left me wondering the extent to which your offerings are DIY versus completely fabricated. The same with the website, I imagine this is because a lot of (useful) DIY info/FAQ's are interspersed.

So along those lines, I read your description and the website's. Just to be sure, is the kit you're recommending ready to go out of the box? (I caught the part about the optional stand.)

Thanks again for your help!
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Old August 14th, 2007, 05:35 AM   #4
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Richard,

Thanks for your reply! To be honest, the intro video left me wondering the extent to which your offerings are DIY versus completely fabricated. The same with the website, I imagine this is because a lot of (useful) DIY info/FAQ's are interspersed.

So along those lines, I read your description and the website's. Just to be sure, is the kit you're recommending ready to go out of the box? (I caught the part about the optional stand.)

Thanks again for your help!
Yes, the "intro video" you saw wasn't an intro video but just an excerpt of our original product my DIY fluorescent lighting video. All the DIY stuff has slowly been taking a back seat as we've been offering fully assembled solutions at very reasonable prices since I moved to China and have been doing all my R&D here as well as manufacturing and overseeing all that. It was this strategy that's let me offer things at the price point that I can. Plus I'm a video person too so I know what people want and need. In the meanwhile, I just haven't totally updated the site, so its sort of in the middle now of a transition to the new offerings and way of presenting them.

The CL-255, 455 and 655 are completely assembled and ready to go but we're out of stock for a bit on the 455 and 655. The stand adapter is optional because some use other kinds of attachments such as pipe clamps or whatever so we give them the option of a lesser price if they don't need a stand adapter.

In October when some of the older products are back in stock, we'll soon have some new plastic portable (CL-255P and CL-455P and maybe a CL-655P too) units. The CL-455P for instance weighs 8 lbs with the tubes--I believe people on the go will really like this model. Along with dimming versions too (CL-255PMD and CL-455PMD). They'll have a lolipop type mounting on the back to allow swinging them around horizontally or vertically and at angles. Looks a little like a Diva but it isn't a clone. Has some totally new ideas and improvements in durability and weight using a kind of plastic I've found which is very tough and lightweight.

I won't say you can't break it but if you hit it with a hammer, the hammer bounces back. This stuff is typically sold in transparent for atrium roofs in buildings so it's hail proof. We're using a black opaque version. The ballasts are hidden so they aren't in an obtrusive metal "hump" on the back and there are edge protection extrusions which are tougher as well as some aluminum end caps to protect the sockets, reflectors and tubes. When folded up, the 455P is super easy to tuck under your arm and go.

There are special lightweight but thick aluminum extrusion reflectors which add toughness and body and keep from having to have other metal backing plates which just add weight. Finally, there is a special PVC corrugated gasket that runs the length of the barndoor on each side and acts as an accessory holder for things like eggcrates to make them super easy to put in and take out, but won't fall out thanks to the grip of the PVC. Pictures included below...
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Old August 19th, 2007, 09:00 PM   #5
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Fluorescents are the way to go. Kino Flos. A pair of 2' x 4 tube Kinos are great for interviews. Lots of light and much less heat.

There are several manufacturers that have them, Arri, I think now has something, Mole, Balcar. I think Wescott has a softbox ring that you can screw up to five worm lights into and use a regular soft box. I think high CRI screw in fluoros are getting cheaper. Even if they aren't they last quite a long time, so it's still a good investment
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Old August 21st, 2007, 08:43 PM   #6
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Richard,

Thank you very much for your info. and time putting together your post.

I had the opportunity to visit Kino Flo's office. I have to say the combination of nearby location, supporting the local economy and the time and effort they spent going over various options, including offering to lend lights for a film test, won me over.

I'm sure Cool Lights is a great product. And hopefully, when I want to add to my kit, I'll be able to include some cool lights. Thanks again.

Last edited by Peter Moretti; August 22nd, 2007 at 01:46 AM.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 08:49 PM   #7
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Fluorescents are the way to go. Kino Flos. A pair of 2' x 4 tube Kinos are great for interviews. Lots of light and much less heat...
Kino Flo explained to me the other day the difference between the 4 bulb 2' "Fatboy" and the Diva Light 400. Essentially, the Diva is dimmable, but this dimming will affect color balance if taken too far. Alternatively/in addition to dimming, the Diva's can be switched from four to two bulbs. They said for on location video, the Diva is really the light to use.

The "Fatboy" has a special ballast designed to keep its color balance neutral, but this is defeated by the fact that you really can't lower the current to the bulbs on the Fatboy like you can on the 4' model. So the "only" way to change light output is by turning off individual bulbs.

All in all, they were very nice and extremely helpful.

Last edited by Peter Moretti; August 22nd, 2007 at 01:47 AM.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 12:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Richard Andrewski View Post
They'll have a lolipop type mounting on the back to allow swinging them around horizontally or vertically and at angles.

I won't say you can't break it but if you hit it with a hammer, the hammer bounces back. This stuff is typically sold in transparent for atrium roofs in buildings so it's hail proof. We're using a black opaque version. The ballasts are hidden so they aren't in an obtrusive metal "hump" on the back and there are edge protection extrusions which are tougher as well as some aluminum end caps to protect the sockets, reflectors and tubes. When folded up, the 455P is super easy to tuck under your arm and go.

There are special lightweight but thick aluminum extrusion reflectors which add toughness and body and keep from having to have other metal backing plates which just add weight. Finally, there is a special PVC corrugated gasket that runs the length of the barndoor on each side and acts as an accessory holder for things like eggcrates to make them super easy to put in and take out, but won't fall out thanks to the grip of the PVC. Pictures included below...
Your photos look great Richard. For travel on airlines or other abusive travel, can I unscrew the lolipop mount from the back in order to allow the back to lie flat in luggage? Having the back totally flat would also help with packing the lights into smaller cases. Also, will you be offering eggcrates with the product or as an add-on?
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Old August 27th, 2007, 10:01 AM   #9
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Yes, I've considered this issue. Here are my thoughts on it.

1). Right now its not easy to remove the lolipop because its attached with screws and nuts into the "backbone". I could use tapped holes in the backbone and spring loaded screws that stay on the lolipop and can't fall out to attach to these tapped holes.

2). Have a carrying case that has a special indented place in the bottom of the case for the lolipop (I'm trying to design a carrying case right now in fact--probably a soft sided one with lots of padding, wheels and trolley. The area around the indentation could be different compartments for the various accessories needed with the fixture including the "snake" stand adapter (until I think of a better name!) which adapts the lolipop to a 5/8" female adapter and keeps the fixture over the stand so the center of gravity is where it should be rather than out front of the stand which isn't too cool. Should be room for an adequate stand for the fixture too.

I finally have pictures of the new units with the wider barndoors, black end caps, dimmer, new switch placement and also the 2x55 model. They look great! I'm travelling right now and I don't have a CF card reader on my laptop though so I can't download the pictures from my camera till I get one in the next day or so. Then I'll post the revised pictures of the final fixture.

Yes, we will have the eggcrates as a low cost add-on and not included in the base price. It will be the same model as our studio fixtures use so they'll work in either fixture if you should have both.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 12:42 AM   #10
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I like Option #1

Richard, Option #1 would appeal to me, primarily because it allows for flexibility in packing, and it seems like the lights would have a better chance of survival in the long run. Just my $0.02 :)
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Old August 28th, 2007, 03:24 AM   #11
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Perhaps. Its probably not much more trouble as long as whatever we do doesn't add to the weight significantly because the main goal has not only been to be more durable but also to be the lightest weight portable fixture out there.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #12
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When will the 255 portables be ready? I am looking at building up a set of lighting and 4 of them might work, but timing may be too long of a wait. Also would love to know what the light output at a given distance/f stop/iso/speed is.


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Old August 28th, 2007, 09:39 PM   #13
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Perhaps. Its probably not much more trouble as long as whatever we do doesn't add to the weight significantly because the main goal has not only been to be more durable but also to be the lightest weight portable fixture out there.
If the lollipop stem were removable (as you describe above), then this seems like it would help in terms of shipping and packaging your product (e.g. smaller box and it could be square). I, for one, would prefer to assemble the stem and save a few dollars especially if that was a feature I wanted anyway for future travel with the lights. It might also mean less damage to your product. For those of us without studios, it would also mean more compact storage when the lights aren't in use. All in all, it seems like a win-win.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 05:05 AM   #14
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Most of my market is people that travel so I hear what you're saying.

The lolipop stem does come out very easily. But to be sure about terminology, I call the lolipop stem just the nylon ball and the metal rod attached to it. The other part is the lolipop holder and is cast aluminum. Right now its attached semi-permanently with screws and nuts. Thats the part I was mentioning could be changed to be removable by putting tapped holes into the backbone.

At least removing the stem would be recommended too if you transported the fixture with the lolipop holder attached in its carrying case. You'd probably get some scratching on the plastic over time with the stem left on. However, that plastic is very durable so I don't see it breaking without some serious help. It's listed as 80 times stonger than glass ;-)
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Old August 29th, 2007, 05:11 AM   #15
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When will the 255 portables be ready? I am looking at building up a set of lighting and 4 of them might work, but timing may be too long of a wait. Also would love to know what the light output at a given distance/f stop/iso/speed is.


Stephen Eastwood
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The 255 portables should be ready in the same time frame as the others in October. If you can't wait, we still have the studio model 255s in stock now. Sorry I'm not back at my office and won't be for a while but when I do get back I'll try to take light meter readings. Hope this helps.
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