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Old February 10th, 2008, 09:28 AM   #1
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Chinese Lantern with Florescents

How can I get florescent color temperatured lights into Chinese lanterns? I don't want to use Tungsten colored, but I still would like to get the same lumens output (500w tungsten equivalent, for example).

Can I use the ones like these but with higher light output, or are they too noisy? http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...66B&lpage=none

Thanks.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 10:04 AM   #2
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The smart-aleck answer is, just screw'em in instead of the tungsten bulbs.

Seriously, you'll probably have better results with compact florescent lamps (the spiral kind). They run cooler per lumen output, and the electronic circuitry that drives them (built into the base) runs at a much higher frequency than 60 hz, so there are fewer flicker problems.

I run daylight-balanced CF lamps in my lights (usually packaged in blue sales packing to show they're not the soft light version). No "noise" problems so far, either from audio hum to electronic "noise". I find they need a couple minutes to warm up when turned on cold to reach full output (usually 60 seconds or so), but that's no big deal. HMI's and halogens do the same thing.

Martin

eta: link to CF light unit thread:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=103161
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Last edited by Martin Catt; February 10th, 2008 at 10:18 AM. Reason: Add link
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Old February 10th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #3
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Martin, thanks so much for that link! That was an awesome project you did. How's it working for you? Any new ones to share?

As far as my orig. question, I wasn't sure if those types of spiral lights were okay to use in video because of humming or flickering. But after seeing your light setup you built, I see that they MUST be okay for video else no one would be using them, right?

So for the Chinese lanterns, I assume i can just throw a few spiral lights into one of them, flip the switches, and call it a day, right?
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Old February 10th, 2008, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd Claycomb View Post
...I wasn't sure if those types of spiral lights were okay to use in video because of humming or flickering. But after seeing your light setup you built, I see that they MUST be okay...
Humming and flickering are reserved to magnetic ballasts on the flo fixtures. CFL uses electronic ballasts, as do almost all conventional flo fixtures in new commercial construction. Electronic ballasts are fully available to the home market, but slightly more expensive, so you never know what might be installed in a home.

The issue is that a mag ballast turns the tube on and off 60 times per second (or 50 in many areas of the world), and an electronic ballast 18,000 times per second or more.

Of course older home and commercial are almost always magnetic ballasts.

About the flicker - it is not universal with older fixtures, nor is hum.
But the combination of "it may flicker, it may hum, the color rendition is probably off" is what makes older flo fixtures such a headache on location.

OTOH, walking into newer commercial/gov buildings you (almost) never have flicker or hum, and often a near-daylight bulb with decent color rendition, so choices will then be driven by the aesthetics of the lighting. Typically that will be overhead, extremely soft and even (which flattens the depth the camera sees), and eye sockets will be dark, deep sockets unacceptably dark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd Claycomb View Post
...So for the Chinese lanterns, I assume i can just throw a few spiral lights into one of them, flip the switches, and call it a day, right?
Basically, yes, right. There're a few more details to deal with, eg. engineering multiple sockets if needed, what size lantern to get...
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Old February 10th, 2008, 04:15 PM   #5
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Nothing new to add that Seth hasn't already said. Even though I get 900 watt-equivalents of light out of each unit, they only draw about 230 watts power. I can run one off a 12-volt DC to 115 VAC inverter, rated for 400 watts, without overly taxing the inverter. Great for field shots where regular wall power isn't available. The idea is to use a gas generator for setup and lighting, then switch to the inverter during the actual shot for quiet.

The chinese lanterns I've seen usually have an opening big enough for one lamp at the top. I'd probably keep things simple by using one of the larger-wattage CF lamps per lantern. No modifications necessary.

Martin
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Old February 10th, 2008, 05:00 PM   #6
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Just purchase normal Edison household CFL's in the proper color temp your looking for.

I have had great results mixing homemade CFL rigs with my other lights.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 06:24 PM   #7
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65w 3200k CFL setup.
Attached Thumbnails
Chinese Lantern with Florescents-65w-cfl.jpg   Chinese Lantern with Florescents-65w-ii.jpg  

Chinese Lantern with Florescents-setup.jpg   Chinese Lantern with Florescents-mounted.jpg  

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