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Old September 5th, 2003, 07:40 AM   #1
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using Halogen lights

I've seen those cheap Halogen light in Home depot:

http://www.homedepot.com/cmc_upload/HDUS/EN_US/asset/images/eplus/320588_3.jpg


and i had some questions on mind:

1) is halogen good for video (any problems using them)?

2) it looked like Tungsten to me. are they the same?

3) what color cast does it give, if any?


I know they're huge, but I can use them for lighting big outdoor scenes, if they're good.
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Old September 5th, 2003, 01:59 PM   #2
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Halogen/quartz halogen are the same type of bulbs used in many light kits. You should be okay with them. However, I can not say what their color temp is. Would be interested to see what results you get, have been thinking of using similar to light/accent a building at night.
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Old September 5th, 2003, 05:33 PM   #3
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Halogen is tungsten. The lamps are between 2800 and 3200 K. The closer to 3200K the less the filament life and the more expensive they are. They say we can detect 150 deg K difference with the naked eye.

A lot of people use work light bulbs in their lighting gear. So long as you white balance , who cares what the temp is.

Give the Ushio catalog a read. The lamp codes are generic. The ushio catalog is earier to navigate than the GE one.
http://www.ushio.com/files/entcatalog3.pdf
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Old October 5th, 2004, 07:26 PM   #4
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Diffusing work lights

I just bought a pair of 500 watt halogen work lights that come on their own stand and I'm looking at ways to diffuse the light. One technique that came to mind was to scuff up the surface of the glass that protects the bulbs with steel wool. I'll probably use some kind of screen, such as a shower curtain, but I was hoping this technique will help out.

What do you think?
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Old October 5th, 2004, 08:49 PM   #5
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About 3 years ago, I thought hey, everyone is going insane about the silly low price of just such a solution. There has been much discussion since. And many new pro lights added to the stable as my work lights sit in the garage buried under the tools I use to repair the many 4 wheel drive components that fail quite frequently on my Jeep.

Anyway, to directly answer your question, I did just this by removing the glass protective plates that cover the worklamps. They then met with the punishment of the glass beading machine at the bodyshop my pal owns with stunning success!!! Unbeleivable results with perfect diffusion and a soft cast on the background!!!

Just don't take 'em to a pro shoot. You'll look silly.
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Old October 7th, 2004, 12:40 AM   #6
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Assuming the glass on the lights were safety glass, it is interesting, even amazing that they didn't disintegrate when you removed the surface tension on one side. I'd be a bit careful around them.

One can just clip some high-temp diffusing material to the wire guards on the lights. The material is inexpensive and easy to work with.
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Old October 7th, 2004, 08:49 AM   #7
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That's interesting ... I went that route also when I was looking for the right solution: Tough spun, diffusion gel etc. The heat was just too much. And you know what, I really didn't consider the implication of the surface tension issue but that could be disastrous! Good point!
Assuming there is a physical realtionship between the elasticity of glass and the smoothness on one side versues the other. If there are any molecular physicists out there who would like to weigh in on the subject of crystalline silica and it's practicality in high heat conditions, I am all ears!

Just kidding.... I see your tag line has changed though ... very witty.
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Old October 7th, 2004, 09:33 AM   #8
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Off-the-shelf solution

I've already started down the path of using off-the-shelf equipment -- shop lights -- to save money on my lighting solution. What store-bought materials or items could be used as some form of diffuser? If I don't scuff up the glass lenses in the shop lights, what can I hold in front of the lights, either by hand or mounted in some fashion, to diffuse the light? I had thought about getting some embroidery hoops and stretching some kind of thick material between them -- obviously these would be held a safe distance in front of the lights by a crew member. Suggestions?
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Old October 7th, 2004, 10:00 AM   #9
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I have one of those DIY shelving units that is pretty generic. They sell them in home depot, the prefabricated white wooden boxes that you screw together. Anyway, I got one of those, about 3 feet long, 18 inches high and 12 inches deep. It's got four sides. I put 2 250 watt clamp lights suspended from the top of the board and taped a length of confectioners paper across the front. It works great as a soft box and you can buy all the parts for about $60.

It's a pain to move it around though, but I guess that's what the trade off is.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 05:08 PM   #10
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If you are intent on fooling around with the halogen work lights, you might try the following:

Get a shower curtain, or good sized piece of muslin. If you can put this material in a six by six frame, it would be a good thing. Failing that, hang it from a curtain rod, and support the curtain rod with some sort of stands.

Now take this contraption and move it close to the subject you want to light. Get so close that is just out of camera view. Now place the lights behind the curtain, at least six feet away, and fire those suckers up. You may only want to use one light, depending on results, but you will get a very soft light.

You can adjust this set-up to various situations. For instance, if you need to light more area, you may need a second shower curtain and another halogen light. But the secret is to keep the curtain as close to the subject as possible. This will give you the softest light.

DO NOT get the lamps close to the shower curtain, or muslin.

Want to experiment without the lights? Make the shower curtain frame, and take it outside in the direct sunlight, when the sun is reasonably low in the sky. Angle your subject so they are lit 3/4 frontal from the sun. Pretty harsh light, yes? Now slip in the shower curtain frame, and observe the results. Get it in close to the subject. Still too harsh? Add another layer of shower curtain.

Congratulations, you are now a "grip."

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old October 15th, 2004, 09:08 PM   #11
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Steve Williamson writes:

>I just bought a pair of 500 watt halogen work lights that come on their own stand and I'm looking at ways to diffuse the light. One technique that came to mind was to scuff up the surface of the glass that protects the bulbs with steel wool. I'll probably use some kind of screen, such as a shower curtain, but I was hoping this technique will help out.

I have two 18 x 24" frames I made out of 1x4, which I staple relatively inexpensive diffusion gel (less than $6.00 apiece from your local theatrical supply house) onto, which I usually hang in front of 500W PAR64 theatrical lighting instruments, but I am sure you could use a broadlight or even two with it. You might have a bit of trouble controlling spill from a broadlight (the Par Cans work terrific!). I find these assemblies a lot easier to deal with than a huge sheet of shower curtain, as a single light stand with an arm can handle everything, and there is a little more 'direction' to the light. I don't have any problems with the heat from the PARs. If there is a foot or so of a gap between the broadlights and the gel, you shouldn't have much trouble either.

Good luck!
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