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Old November 27th, 2009, 07:00 AM   #1
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Would this work? Lighting question...

I'm always looking for a cheap solution...and a Store here in Canada has a Portable Halogen work light on sale for $25.00. It is on a tripod that adjust from 3 ft high to 6.5 ft high and has 2-500 watt halogen bulbs. (which appear to be tiltable)

Would this be too bright? Not high enough. I'm thinking of using it in terms of lighting up certain areas (podium during speeches etc).

Or do I need a $1,000 set up?

Thanks!
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Old November 27th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #2
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Hi Kelsey,

I know that light, it's from Canadian tire right? Anyway, it should serve its purpose, my only concern is it looks like a construction light because of the yellow color. I know somebody in this forum once mentioned that they colored it black to make it more "video production type" so I would suggest to do the same. I have one as well,single lamp that I use as hairlight for podium. It is hidden at the back so I never colored it black, okay Im just lazy =)

My 2 cents.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 09:41 AM   #3
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Ding Ding Ding!!! Noel got it right!!! It is that light!

And I just got back from buying one so I'm happy to hear that it won't be a waste!

I like the idea of painting it black...I may have to go back to CT!

Thanks!
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Old November 27th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #4
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Kelsey, if you ask the video lighting people they'll tell you that their lamps have a specified colour temperature and a carefully designed reflector to ensure even light spread etc etc. hence the higher price.

In 1996 I was working in the old and quite famous Mosfilm studios in Moscow and people there were using similar lamps to light blue and green screen backgrounds - which require even spread of light. It was those or 40 year old arcs. I'm sure you'll be very happy, especially if you paint them black!

One word of caution, they do tend to get very hot and fastening gel or scrim in front of them can be much trickier than clipping them on to barn doors.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kelsey Emuss View Post
Ding Ding Ding!!! Noel got it right!!! It is that light!

And I just got back from buying one so I'm happy to hear that it won't be a waste!

I like the idea of painting it black...I may have to go back to CT!

Thanks!
It may well be a waste. In any case it will be a challenge to use. Not saying it can't be done, I have several myself, but given the choice between inexpensive (Lowel) professional lights and these... well my work lamps have a 2 year old layer of dust on them...
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Old November 27th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #6
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In a recent low budget documentary I shot, I used one like it to raise the ambient lighting in a meeting hall (bounced off the back wall) in one scene and as a key light on a talking head in another. I was careful though, to not mix the lighting sources on the subject.

$25 is hard to beat. My inexpensive Smith Victor 3 pt. lighting kit was still almost $250. It would cost me $25 just for my bulbs.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #7
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I believe these are way too strong for your purposes at 500W per bulb. I'd look for something in the 50-150W range for what you described. I have a 3x500W kit, but use it only as a set of floodlights for large outdoor events with zero lighting otherwise...and then, only when I have permission to alter the dark look that has already been planned.

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Old November 27th, 2009, 01:11 PM   #8
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Kelsey,

You mentioned your use would be taping someone at a podium giving speeches. One would assume you could not place lighting very close to them so yes, you would need a powerful light. So, my concerns would be: 1. If the subject is at a podium, is there other available lighting from spot lights etc? 2. Can you place this light as your key approx. 15 to 20 ft. away in a safe place where people would not accidentally get burned from the heat it produces? 3. Would the talking head be agreeable to having this light on them? 4. If there is mixed lighting, it may effect accurate white balancing a bit. 5. You might want consider adding a dimmer to this (been done and can be googled) and is your model equipped with separate switches for each light head? If not is also can be done.

When I used it as a key, I placed it at about a 45 degree and from the talking head and about 15 feet away. It actually did a fantastic job, but I did not have to worry about people, especially children, touching or running into it.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the info everyone!

I knew that 1000 watts was going to be WAY to powerful but you have the ability to turn on only one at a time.

I've been playing around with it and if I angle it straight up at the ceiling it really casts a nice light.

I don't think of this light as a "solves all my problems" kind of light, nor do I think I will find a use for it at EVERY wedding, but I definitely have been in Halls before that I would have KILLED for this light and at only $25 bucks if I only use it 4-5 times a year then I've still come out on top.

Again, not for everyone however! :)
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Old November 27th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #10
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You might want consider adding a dimmer to this (been done and can be googled)

Thanks fro the tip!

I think I will look into this!
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Old November 27th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #11
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IIRC you can get 300W and perhaps lower wattage replacement bulbs as well. I've got a couple of these around for use as WORK lights... but with a little work they can be jerry-rigged into something usable - just remember they get VERY HOT, and behave accordingly to avoid burns, fire, etc...
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Old November 27th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kelsey Emuss View Post
I've been playing around with it and if I angle it straight up at the ceiling it really casts a nice light.
You ever take a good look at what top light does to a persons face? Next to light coming from under the chin, this is the second most unflattering type of light. BUT, if it's all you can afford, it's all you can afford.

To those that suggested dimmers... remember that basic tungsten is around 3200-3500K These work lamps are around 2700K. If you dim them, they will warm just like any other tungsten. You may end up with a 200w light at 2000K It will look like a sodium lamp.

Also bear in mind that buying a 1k dimmer and this light would put him at about the same price as just getting a real video light in the first place.

Cutting corners where you can is fine. But there is a reason that movie lights cost what they do. If he's got to shape this light by flagging he's going to need some clamps and stands. And then a movie light with a set of barndoors would have cost less...
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Old November 27th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #13
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I agree with Perrone, but as said, if that's what you can afford the so be it. You just have to learn how to best use what you have. Instead of bouncing off the ceiling which will give terrible shadows under the eyes, under the nose, under the chin, get a couple pieces foamcore which you canget at pretty much and hobby store, use a clamp or tape to hold that to a stand and bounce the light into that. By moving the light and the "reflector" aound you can achieve some very nice even lighting without hard shadows.
Of course by the time you buy the lights, another stand, clamp, foamcore etc, you might have been able to pick up a couple of used Lowells or something similar.
Play around with the lights and some foamcore see how it works out.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 06:35 PM   #14
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Kelsey,

I picked up some 2' x 2' cool flo softboxes from Vancouver (via ebay) that work out very well and were really quite cheap (relatively speaking) the compact flo (daylight temp)are arranged in a cluster of 5 and each bulb has a separate switch on the back so they are essentially dimmable. The only thing that really separates them from their expensive cousins is that the softbox frames have to be kept assembled as they were pretty nasty to put together the first time. They look good, are tiltable, don't leak light, run cool, and came with adjustable stands and have the built in diffusion.

I found a link to them - probably won't last long (or will be pulled by Mod) They are sold under the brand name "Inspiron"

http://cgi.ebay.ca/2000-W-Video-Phot...item53dddd15d4

I've used the cheapo worklight system and while you can (sort of) use them on a film type set, where 'what goes off camera - stays off camera', I think the set up can be potentially disasterous at a wedding, because a) they get so hot - so fast, and b) look like a worklight, and c) you really need to diffuse them - and the diffusion screen needs to be fairly big (to be away from the light, because of the heat).

This is not a great video but you can see the softboxes at 00:20. I can't remember how much I paid (something like 229.00 for a pair of them with stands, but i use them quite a bit, and they have been great.

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Last edited by Ken Diewert; November 27th, 2009 at 06:41 PM. Reason: I found a link to them
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Old November 27th, 2009, 07:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
I agree with Perrone, but as said, if that's what you can afford the so be it. You just have to learn how to best use what you have. Instead of bouncing off the ceiling which will give terrible shadows under the eyes, under the nose, under the chin, get a couple pieces foamcore which you canget at pretty much and hobby store, use a clamp or tape to hold that to a stand and bounce the light into that. By moving the light and the "reflector" aound you can achieve some very nice even lighting without hard shadows.
Of course by the time you buy the lights, another stand, clamp, foamcore etc, you might have been able to pick up a couple of used Lowells or something similar.
Play around with the lights and some foamcore see how it works out.
Thanks! That is a great suggestion! And one that I am going to look into!
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