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Photon Management
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 09:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Belleville, MI
Posts: 17
Light kit

I have about $650 to purchase a light kit. I want the kit to mainly provide lighting for music videos and interviews. I looked at the dayflo lights but they got a lot of bad reviews. What do you think would be a good kit to start with? Most of the videos on here seem very well lit.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 12:07 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Los Angeles, california
Posts: 228
$650 is tough. There isn't much available, as you know, at that price point. If I were you, I'd figure out the minimum number of instruments you need, and purchase them individually over time on Ebay. I've bought a lot of equipment on Ebay from established sellers and have done very well with it.

I have Lowel DV Creator kit that I paid $1100 for new, that I use for interviews and such. I like it a lot. It's has four instruments, is fairly light (35 pounds) and packs up easily. I just worked with a friend who is a Sundance Award winning documentarian, and he loved working with it. I've flown all over the nation now with it, and it's held up quite well under some rigorous wear and tear.

I'd encourage you to rent lights until you have the money to buy a full kit. Lighting that doesn't work isn't worth the time or effort. It'll make you crazy and you want production to be as simple as possible. Don't ask for trouble.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 01:49 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: France
Posts: 558
Hi there

Yes the Lowell lights are great value for money...
If you are on a tight budget, you might start off with a couple of Tota's and a Prolight .... this will give yo a three point interview kit.

I started with such a kit and you can get all these lights for under 150 $ each...
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 10:34 AM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 885
Working with, I helped spec out the Lowel DV Creator Kit and have travelled to every major city in the US across Canada and Mexico with the base kit (Tota, Pro, and Omni fixtures). They travel very well. Collapsing down into a very small area and can handle a bit of abuse). I'm now testing out some fluorescent lights for the studio, but you'd laugh if you saw how big the "portable" carrying case was. Now I travel with Lowel DV Creator Kit 55, which is the same as the above base kit, and adds a 60 second set-up 500 watt soft box. So you can start with the $800 kit and work up to the bigger kit by later adding a Rifa softbox. The softbox is the pricey part of the kit, but it is the light I grab first and use the most often.
Before you get a light kit though, you might want to first watch our tutorial, the "DV Enlightenment" DVD and see how the tools work, that way it's like having a professional show you all the tools and you can pick and choose what you need. It does show even how to make a low budget kit out of foamcore, a desklamp, home depot lights and a china ball. Kind of nice to see the "Why" behind each piece of the puzzle. Of course the low budget kit doesn't travel well, look very professional or offer the easy, fast control, but you'll get the gist of it and can make your own, better informed decision.

Watch a few of the demo movies here DV Enlightenment at

Lowel DVcreators Light Kits at

Hope this helps,
Guy Cochran
DVinfo Sponsor, Cool Gear - DVeStore!
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 06:21 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Belleville, MI
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Thanks for the advice. I think I will do as suggested and just rent the equipment and invest that money into getting one of the lowell dv sets. I contact a place and they charge around $75 for day one and half of that for each additional day.
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