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Old December 16th, 2005, 03:48 PM   #1
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Halogen work lights

Is using the "local hardware store" halogen light with stand a good start for lighting thru windows into an interior space?

Chris I am sorry if this is a cross post but I did not read anything that could reference this low cost lighting option that didn't reference actors or moving objects in front of the lense.

Any experience with this lighting "style" thru windows would be great help. We have no actors or moving objects to film, just rooms.

Thank you in advance for your response.
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Old December 16th, 2005, 08:35 PM   #2
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You could certainly try. However, I think a pair of these are usually 1k. On film shoots they are usually shooting 10k or 20k through windows to simulate sunlight. 1k might not be a dramatic enough effect, depending on what you are doing.
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Old December 16th, 2005, 11:37 PM   #3
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I've used halogen worklights for a lot of my personal work and they work great - if they're too yellow, white balance the camera or simply use a blue gel to cool them down a bit.
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Old December 17th, 2005, 09:35 PM   #4
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Thank You for the input

It will all be decided after it's all over I guess. We are just filming rooms in the state they exsist. Any "warming" or otherwise "manipulation" will only help our cause. I think we will give it a shot, save the money, and I will let you know how it all comes around.

Regards to you for being involved in creativity.

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Old December 18th, 2005, 03:22 AM   #5
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if your shooting through a window, that means youll be combining daylight with your work light. That means your mixing colour temperatures, which could cause you to get areas of orange or blue in your image, depending on whether you balance for daylight or tungsten (?) light.

..I think thats right anyway... Ive just startied shooting with some work lights and have found the mixed lighting temperature problem to be very annoying.
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Old December 18th, 2005, 08:25 AM   #6
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yes, the mixed colour temperatures can be more of an issue if you are mixing artificial lights with daylight, in which case, you'll need to cool the artifical lighting source with a bluish gel to math the natural light's colour temperature, otherwise, if you adjust it to match one and not the other, you'll have it looking either too blue or too yellow.
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Old December 18th, 2005, 10:23 AM   #7
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It sounds to me that reflecting and focusing the natural light, provided it is there, is the better way to go thru the window? This way I am balancing with one source of light.

Thanks alot for the posts. If you have anymore tips for us please do not hesitate ot post.
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Old December 18th, 2005, 07:20 PM   #8
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The problem with halogen worklights balanced to daylight with CTB (blue) gels is that you lose at least half the light. Also, these lights get hot and waste a ridiculous amount of electricity. If you need just two of the dual-500w fixtures for a scene, you will eventually kick the circuit breaker.

On the other hand is daylight-matched fluorescent light. If you get an electronic ballast 4ft. fixture from the hardware store and two daylight-balanced high Color Rendering Index (CRI) bulbs, you will have the same amount of light as a 500w fixture for only 80 watts. Couple that with the fact that a 500w halogen loses half it's brightness with the CTB gels and you get about the same daylight-balanced lumens as 1000w of halogen for only 80 watts.

The downside to 4ft. fluorescent fixtures is that the light is hard to control. They are best for fill light. What I recommend for ease of use is to go online (or, if you are lucky enough you can use a local supplier) and get some big 45w to 85w spiral compact fluorescent bulbs. They have a ballast that does not flicker and put out a fair amount of light. You can get them in different color temperatures. I have used them powered by a deep-cycle marine battery using a 120v ac inverter. There is no better way to get quiet portable light than battery-powered fluorescent fixtures.

The downside to compact fluorescents is the large size of the bulb. In one way it is good because it makes a softer source, but you need a huge clamp-lamp to hold them. They aren't very heavy, but they need a giant reflector. I am going to try getting a softbox and use it's internal reflector with some big compact fluorescents.

My source for high CRI compact fluorescents is www.naturallighting.com. Don't get a fixture with less than 80 CRI or you will probably have problems with a green spike and general lack of color.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 02:43 PM   #9
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I guess the question is: are you trying to simulate sunlight streaming through a window, or, are you just trying to add light to the interior?

As has been indicated, the 500w work lights will be virtually worthless in this situation, if there is already daylight in the room. A total of 1000w of light through a window won't go very far for toward creating a sunlight effect, and you will probably get double shadows from two sources. And as has been noted, adding blue gel will really finish off your light source.

About the minimum you can use in this situation is a 1200w HMI PAR light. This is a very punchy source that will create a very nice sunlight effect (its equal to about a 5K tungsten source), and is the right color for daylight, and will make nice shadows from window frames and such. And, it has the great benefit of being able to be operated from normal household current. The downside is cost. Renting is the best option. A smaller 525 HMI is also useful for smaller areas, or to use indoors.

Your only other option is to use good sized reflectors punched through the windows. We're talking serious shinny boards on stands, with someone standing by to "trim" each one between takes, as the sun moves. Of course you know the limitation here: sunlight.

Daylight fluorescents are only useful for adding fill to interiors. Their output drops off very fast, so they are useless through a window.

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