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Old June 24th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #1
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Lights from Home Depot

Hey guys,
I have to record a music videoclip and some scenes are also indoors.
I was wondering if it's possible to use lights from Home Depot to light out the room nicely.
For example if you use 2x500 watt Halogen lamps behind a big white bedsheet.
Like these lamps : http://www.partyhireauckland.co.nz/P...0TRIPOD_lg.jpg

Or do you have some other alternatives ?
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Old June 24th, 2009, 10:33 AM   #2
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These tests are done with a single 500w work light and a white translucent shower curtain. Don't let the shower curtain melt (or in your case, the bedsheet catch fire)!
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Old June 24th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #3
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I saw a still photo shoot done using hotlights like this... a pair of 500W halogen work lights with the carry handle turned around backwards and a large shoot through umbrella stuck in the handle. It looked reasonably professional and put out lots of nice soft light.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 01:28 PM   #4
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It looks really nice.
Then I just don't understand why people are saying you have to invest 1000's of dollars in special lighting.
Ok, the result may be better, but I think it will do aswell with a 500w halogen lamp of 40 dollars. no ?
I'm just trying to understand the relation between bigger price & quality.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 01:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Wierzbicki View Post
It looks really nice.
Then I just don't understand why people are saying you have to invest 1000's of dollars in special lighting.
Ok, the result may be better, but I think it will do aswell with a 500w halogen lamp of 40 dollars. no ?
I'm just trying to understand the relation between bigger price & quality.
There are plenty of limitations with the work lights...

The stands they come on are very short. The single 500W and 250W heads I have conveniently attach to the 1/4" stud on a standard light stand or umbrella swivel though. I haven't figured out a sturdy way to attach the dual 500W head to a light stand yet.

They don't have barn doors, so they flood a huge area with light. There's no easy way to put the light into a small area without going through to trouble of fabricating barn doors yourself.

They often don't even have power switches. Plugged in = on. Unplugged = off. So you have to buy or make your own dimmers, but the highest rated dimmers at my local hardware stores are 600W so if you want to dim a dual 500W head you have to put a dimmer on each head, otherwise you run the risk of burning out the dimmer. Plus if you're trying to save money building your own dimmers you're going to be dealing with enclosures that weren't meant to be hauled around, abused, kicked, stepped on etc. They're designed to be tucked safely between studs and protected by a slab of sheetrock so... they work if you baby them and don't get them wet. (I also recommend putting the dimmer in the middle of a single outlet extension cord so you can still use your worklights outside without the dimmer without worrying about getting shocked)

There are probably more limitations, that's just off the top of my head. But I'm willing to deal with all that because I can't spend money on real production lights and worst case scenario I'll still have a few sets of work lights in case I ever want to work on projects outside at night : )
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Old June 24th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #6
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You have to remember to think about colour temperature, and set up your camera accordingly.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 07:14 PM   #7
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More control with pro lights, more precise color temperature from the pro lights, more even light due to precision engineering on the reflectors and fixtures.

That said, it's not that hard to add barn doors (coollights.biz has patterns and instructions - and parts)

Photons are fundamentally all the same (it's how they move and how they're put together that matters).

Dimmers are cheap ( - Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices ).

Sandbags are easy to make - basic saddlebags made from canvas, 5 lb snow melt bag in each side with a nylon handle through the middle... pockets to the inside :)

You may want to invest in actual stands to put these lights on as they come with pretty cheap and cruddy stands that don't tend to go up very high.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 08:41 PM   #8
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Few years ago I had 2x500watts Home Depot type lights, even built some nice barn doors but I found as I got to shoot more and more they got too much to handle.

As Jacob pointed out the limitations will get you and the biggest one for me was the heat they put out along with the fragile stands. Just too dangerous you have to watch them constantly.

So I bit the bullet and bought 2 Chinese focusable Redheads at a new outfits sale here. They are 2x800watts with barn doors and clips for filters. 2x9' stands with slots to hold the white umbrellas that were included plus sandbags. Whole lot for $A700 ..lights better, looks better. Soft boxes from the same outfit next.

Cheers.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 08:58 PM   #9
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My first set of lights was a twin pair of worklights from home depot (with stand - total $40 i think). They light up the place well (really only need one of them) but the heat was just too much for me to deal with, especially indoors where you're likely to be not very far from the light, and the lights will heat up the entire room - the lights get so hot they're actually a bit scary to be around, if somebody bumped into one they could get a really nice burn (fortunately this never happened)

For indoor house I don't really need a huge amount of light, I ended up getting a used lowell for not much more than I paid for the work lights. I still need to complete a kit but I'd recommend trying to find some good deals on the cheaper but decent equipment (lowell, bogen stands, etc) and learning how to bounce them unless the home depot lights are absolutely all you can afford
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Old June 24th, 2009, 10:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
o I bit the bullet and bought 2 Chinese focusable Redheads at a new outfits sale here.
Online store link? I'd love a budget option to get me "for now" quality lights better than the Smith and Victor photo 3 point kit I've got and the dozens of clamp lights and work lights.

Mods, feel free to kill my question and the response if you like, but the sponsors don't have anything in my current price range as they are reputable and sell quality products ;)
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Old June 25th, 2009, 09:08 AM   #11
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Hi Cole, I just came across your post, I didn't get an email notification and my posts have never shown up in New Posts at all. That doesn't bother me but an emailed heads up would help kill my growing reputation as a stand offish sob who .. oh never mind.

The outfit here is Dragon Image, stores in Syd. Melbourne and Brisbane. But the freight to Sauk Rapids would undoubtedly kill the sale. Have you seen the rates lately oh boy! The guys at the Sydney store were very helpful.

But these Redheads with similar attachments are all over Ebay, and now at much the same prices. As time goes on the heavy competition is going to reduce the freight charges too.

IMO look around, I wouldn't grab the first ones you see.

BTW I've just ordered 2 of these filters from HK as clipping daylight sheets to the Redheads was getting me down. I only found 2 sites selling these, they haven't arrived yet. I didn't get a tracking email from them either.

New Dichroic Daylight Filter for Redhead 3300K to 5600K - eBay, Studio Equipment Lighting, Photography. (end time 06-Jul-09 18:19:59 AEST)

Sent you an email in case the mods arrive.

Cheers.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 09:09 PM   #12
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Robert rodriguez made elmariachi with straight up 2, 250W halogen light bulbs.

sad thing is i work at homedepot. the 250 clip ons are like 19.99, the 500's are like 30, the highest they go is like 2,500 or something like that and its like 100+. they are totally innexpensive and work great. ive shot with the clip ons before, just a towel or some bed sheets over them (despite the posibilty of fire hazards) they work great.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 01:25 AM   #13
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I have a bunch of ACDelco clamp lights, they work like a champ and are much more rugged than the other brands that are out there (no knuckle joint!). I recommend them if you're going the clamp light route. You can get them online, I got my first at home depot, then they stopped carrying that brand :(
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Old June 29th, 2009, 12:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Wierzbicki View Post
It looks really nice.
Then I just don't understand why people are saying you have to invest 1000's of dollars in special lighting.
Ok, the result may be better, but I think it will do aswell with a 500w halogen lamp of 40 dollars. no ?
I'm just trying to understand the relation between bigger price & quality.
There are some scenarios where you really don't need expensive, specialized lighting. Like if you want to light up a room the quick and dirty "tv-eng-type" way: Bounce as much light as possible off of a white ceiling. You won't see the difference between an Arri Fresnel 1000W and a dual head 2x500W worklight in that scenario.

However you can point the Arri (or other brand name) fresnel to your talent's face directly and have a very even yet hard keylight. You can also flag that keylight easily with the barndoors and make it hit only the talent's face and nothing else.

The flagging you can also do with a worklight, if you put a lot of work in it (like making barndoors, or flagging it with blackwrap). However you will never achieve the even yet hard light of good fresnel.

Usually professional lights are very easy to work with and save you a lot of time and nerve. But if you have a lot of time and no money, you can do also achieve a lot with cheap diy lights.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 08:21 PM   #15
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Guys,

the daylight filters in post 11 arrived promptly well packed. The face size is 6 1/2 inches diameter and matches my Redheads, BUT the clip dimensions are wrong to fit my barndoor wire frames.

For anyone considering these your Redhead wire frame needs to be 7 1/2 inches square. Mine are 8 2/10 inches so I'll have to make extensions to 8 clips to use these 2 filters. DRAT!

Now I look at the pix again you can see if the filter face on the right matches the Redhead face on the left then those filter clips are not going to reach that wire frame to clip onto.

Cheers.
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