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Old June 20th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #1
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Lighting outdoors?

How can I power tota and spot lights outside? A generator? A battery? Can I get it at home depot?
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Old June 21st, 2009, 01:20 AM   #2
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The easiest option is probably extension cords that go inside.

For the power required for Tota lights and similar or larger lights, batteries are generally impractical.

Generators work, but the size required depends on how many lights (how many amps you need at once), and generators are noisy unless built to be quiet, and even the quiet ones have to be some distance away when recording sound, requiring extension cords.

As has been discussed here a lot, LED lights can be powered reasonably with batteries and are good for some situations outside.

A very famous DP with at least one Academy Award to his credit (I don't recall his name at the moment) is famous for lighting outside with the sun as a backlight and a single reflector as the front light.

That said, reflectors, foam core, discs, silks, etc. can solve a lot of outdoor lighting problems without introducing a whole new level of new problems (such as noise, color balance, cabling, permits, crew, etc.).

The company California SUNBOUNCE (while their products are expensive) has created a whole new cottage industry with their line of reflectors, screens and light bouncers:
reflector, diffuser, softbox, scrim, flash diffuser - California Sunbounce

But back to the original question, it is first necessary to know how many lights at what wattage you need to power, in what kind of situation you will use them, and what kind of crew will be operating in order to make power suggestions that are most relevant.
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Old June 21st, 2009, 03:47 AM   #3
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Extension cords... colour balance to daylight... blue gels on the lights... and reflectors... and people who know how to use a reflector.

LED lights are not as powerful as halogens...

Ben
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Old June 21st, 2009, 01:57 PM   #4
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I need to use 2 tota lights outdoors no where near any extension cord. 1500 watts total.
Lowel | Tota-Light Two Light Kit (120-240VAC) | TLKQ | B&H Photo
Is there something I can get at a home depot so that I don't have to wait for shipping? Please let me know.
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Old June 21st, 2009, 03:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aric Mannion View Post
I need to use 2 tota lights outdoors no where near any extension cord. 1500 watts total.
Lowel | Tota-Light Two Light Kit (120-240VAC) | TLKQ | B&H Photo
Is there something I can get at a home depot so that I don't have to wait for shipping? Please let me know.
Here's a 2000 watt portable generator at Home Depot on special for $199:
Sportsman 2000 Watt Sportsman Portable Generator - GEN154 at The Home Depot

Here are more generators at Home Depot:
Generators - Outdoors - Promotions - Special Values at The Home Depot
and
Portable Generators - Generators - Outdoors at The Home Depot

If you are near a Home Depot store, just go there and see what they have.

You can also check Lowe's, Sears, Orchard Supply or any other hardware store.

You can also rent portable generators, from either a equipment rental company or Home Depot.

Regarding Home Depot, the Quincy store [617) 479-0707] rents small generators, and the Somerville store [(617) 623-0001] should have them as well. (The Rockland store does not have a rental department. Some Home Depot's have rental departments, and some do not.)

All the Home Depot Stores should sell the small generators.
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Old June 21st, 2009, 03:15 PM   #6
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Car headlights can work well for outdoor lights in the right situations. They can be used directly, reflected or diffused. They can also be used when you need quiet, since they will run off the car battery.
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