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Old March 24th, 2006, 10:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Advice on building a fluorescent light bank

Im a senior in highschool and I am relatively new to lighting. Im D.P.ing a feature with other highschool students in the summer and I am trying to figure out a feasible way to light for this production. Ive done my fair share of research into possible methods, eg. renting, buying cheap lights, buying used lights, and recently Ive come across some fluorescent light banks. These fluorescent bulbs seem to give a lot of output for their power, and I recall reading that they stay relatively cool, plus they have a good CRI. They "look" like they might be easily homemade, and because I have always loved to build things, and I know many of my friends love to aswell. What I am wondering is if this is a good way to go, is it much more than building a bank to hold the sockets and then screwing in the bulbs and attaching a softbox? or is there a lot more that I am missing? And also what about their color temperature? is it a problem that they are not available in the standard 3200k? Also what about gels? is it hard to gel or correct the color temp of fluorescent bulbs?
Any info would be GREAT!
Joel Blumer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2006, 10:53 PM   #2
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I find that the combination of a tungsten light + a reflector made out of crinkled tinfoil is a very good light for low budget shooting.

Can be pretty soft; this depends on how big your reflector is.
Very high light output.
Very directional, low spill (for a soft light). This is something fluorescents and traditional softboxes don't do (unless you use an eggcrate).
It does draw power.
The stand to hold the reflector does suck a little bit of time... but this is comparable to setting up a softbox or fluorescent.

Quote:
These fluorescent bulbs seem to give a lot of output for their power, and I recall reading that they stay relatively cool, plus they have a good CRI. They "look" like they might be easily homemade, and because I have always loved to build things, and I know many of my friends love to aswell. What I am wondering is if this is a good way to go, is it much more than building a bank to hold the sockets and then screwing in the bulbs and attaching a softbox? or is there a lot more that I am missing? And also what about their color temperature? is it a problem that they are not available in the standard 3200k? Also what about gels? is it hard to gel or correct the color temp of fluorescent bulbs?
CRI indicates how different the light is from a true black body radiator. In most situations, low CRI = too green (in weird lights, the light may be too magenta). Higher CRI is better.

You can gel fluorescent lights, but the gel has to be at least the size of the bulbs. On more professional units, you can change the bulbs to move between 3200K/3000K and 5600K.


Anyways, I use the tungsten + crinkled tinfoil reflector combination because I mainly have access to good tungsten lights (i.e. lowel/arri/?iarnairo open face + fresnel) and zero fluorescents.
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