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Old July 31st, 2003, 10:01 AM   #1
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Roll your own Fluorescents?

Anyone here ever build their own custom Fluorescents?
Buying a ballast and mounting the bulb contacts to something sturdy, popping in a bulb and lighting?

They have of course consumer fluorecents that give off light very close to CTB, but of course, they need bigger and more expensive ballasts.
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Old July 31st, 2003, 09:10 PM   #2
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I think if you are going to go to the trouble to buy continuous spectrum flo's, you might as well go ahead and power them with a high-frequency source so you can do two things: 1. avoid any flicker and 2. give your self some control over light output.

The home flo dimmers operate at about 20 Khz and allow a fair amount of dimming. I don't know their price but I'd guess they aren't a dollar two-ninety-eight

I'm just guessing that the two can be married. Andre will probably know more about the technology.

I'd take a look at these Ott-lights that are meant for sewing and are quite nice and relatively inexpensive. Not dimmable but they seem to do a fairly good job in my limited testing. You can get small clam-shell lights of about 12 watts for around $50. Floor models at 18 watts for about $80.
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Old August 1st, 2003, 12:30 PM   #3
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Check this link out on roll your own: Creating a Low Cost Fluorescent Lighting System by Studio-1
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Old August 6th, 2003, 02:06 AM   #4
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It is a flicker thing..

If you can make flicker free lights then go for it.. otherwise..
I would look at Kinoflo
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Old August 7th, 2003, 07:55 AM   #5
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You can make flicker free lights by getting a good ballast, they have professional grade ones. I am actually going to build two lighting gags with Fluorescents.

One is going to involved 4 2x4 peice of wood arranged in a square with Fluoescents mounts on each piece of wood. I will run the wires away to the ballasts (which need to be grounded).

Those ballasts will be wired up to quick plugs to be powered in the field. The Square will be mounted onto the front of the camera to give the person standing in front of the camera a lovely soft light that reads quite blue (6000k). Which read as a lot of sources.


The second one involved stripping down these:
http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS...ductOID=529712

Which I now recommomend. They give off light at about 5600k, they run cool and make no noise to even the most sensitive of microphones. They even have a plug on them, so you can string to together if you want to light things from overhead in a series, or created a "wall of light." They run about $20 right now in certain places, and they are really small.


They also have a spot light on top, so you can tape up the sides and use it like a snooted hotspot. Where else are you going to get a Fluorscent inkie for $20?
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Old August 7th, 2003, 11:29 AM   #6
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The Home Depot search fails because the search term is 'Fluorescents.' If you change it to 'Fluorescent,' the general page comes up. Can you give us the direct URL?
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Old August 7th, 2003, 11:56 AM   #7
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A word of caution, 2x4's and amatuer wiring don't go well with the latest electronic ballast pwered systems. The strike volatge is a very high voltage, high frequency, with fault characteristics almost like a DC. Loose connections and arcs will spell disaster. I've seen some nasty consequences as a result of sloppy wiring and assembly.

If someone takes the time and builds a metal base with stiffeners and a properly notched "light rod" to accept the lamp ends (tombstones) they'll be fine. You should be able to source mylar reflectors (very light and easy to work with). I'd recomend remoting the ballasts.



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Old August 7th, 2003, 12:29 PM   #8
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http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS...ductOID=529712

i changed the URL above. THe link was a little screwy, so I reposted it as well. It's the "Impact Resistant 13w Fluorescent Handheldwork Light With 6 Ft. Cord And Outlet For Tools" item made by Bayco.
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Old August 7th, 2003, 04:23 PM   #9
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Have you thought about one of those circular 'cold lights' that they still make for photographic enlargers?

I notice that one of the light manufacturers have one but I think they want about $600 for it. Maybe more.

How about one of those circular kitchen fluorescents? Or the double ring version? Don't know if one can get them with any kind of decent phosphor.
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Old August 8th, 2003, 05:17 PM   #10
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THey have the double ring ones now with 5000 kelvin and above.
THose are nice, for lighting someones face in an extreme closeup
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Old August 8th, 2003, 11:37 PM   #11
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Color temp and CRI are super important for fluorescents> My bet is that 13 watter probably does not have the correct temp or CRI.
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