Construction Lighting vs Made-for-Video at

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Old February 24th, 2009, 10:58 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Shoreham, NY
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Construction Lighting vs Made-for-Video

I'm a newbie to everything. I'm low budget, too.

I compare the costs of construction lights
ConstructionComplete : Light Towers

and video/recording lights $800 for this set
Steve Kaeser Backgrounds & Accessories

What is the reason that I should drop so much into one of these sets as opposed to going to Home Depot or and assembling a lighting kit?
Matt Danish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #2
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Location: Milan, Italy
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Wow, you really have apples to oranges there! I suggest you read a lot of the posts in this forum to get you up to speed on different lamps, quality of lighting, and general usage before you spend money either way.

If you have to have lighting immediately, the worklights are an easy and cheap way to get into lighting and you quickly learn about their limitations and what your real needs are. A lot of people, myself included, started out with them. A few of them will cost you around 50 bucks, and when you outgrow them they are still useful around the house.
Ken Campbell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #3
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Location: Honolulu, HI
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Look carefully and you will see that the only practical construction lights start at $95. The Steve Kaeser kit has 5 lights for $800 which is less than twice the cost of the construction lights. The big problems with construction lights are that they are too hot, kick circuit breakers, have no control, and are usually too short. The light stands must be at least 7' tall to get the lights over standing talent. In most cases, it looks unnatural to have lights emanating from the same level or lower than people's faces. If your talent is standing or walking you need at least two tall light stands. If you live in a warm climate you won't like halogen light for more than about a minute. If you are in older buildings or in a remote location with little electricity you won't like the huge draw of halogen.

On the other hand, halogen lights can be cheap. If I had a tight budget and had no lights to start with, I may very well choose halogen for my lighting. I don't think anyone can criticize the usefulness of a 650w fresnel and the like. I used a light recently that I didn't consider before and that is a Lowel pro-light which is about $200 with barn doors, lamp, and light stand. It was very handy to have on a dimmer with a few gels as a backlight/hairlight and background light. The ability to focus and control the light can not be underestimated once you are comfortable with your lighting skill level. You will crave professional light features once you really jump into cinematography.

It would be very helpful to know what your needs and desires for your lighting are before you spend any money. There are a few affordable options that provide professional results but it is also very easy to waste money if you buy lights that don't fit your needs.
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