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Old August 21st, 2003, 08:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richardson, TX
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Recommendations for home made lighting?

Purchasing a light kit isn't possible at the moment, so I'm forced to try and make do. Can anyone recommend an avenue?

I'm wondering if I can get a few clamp lights (250W) at home depot, and use 250W 3200K bulb's purchased from a local camera store? Do they make proffesional bulbs that fit in a standard socket? I'm assuming they give off more heat than regular bulbs. Should I look for 500W lights, and use 250W bulbs?

Any help wpuld be greatly appreciated.

chris kirby
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 02:25 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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Most of the halogen lamps available in home depot or hardware stores are in the 2900-3000 K range. So if all the lights are the same color temp just white balance and go with the cheaper ones.

To each his own, but in my view any outlay on makeshift lighting is wasted money. If all you can afford is one piece of pro lighting, just make do with that. Read some of the past postsbefore you spend money. Some seem to have that pioneer spirit and a will to hew a lighting kit from what's available.

By all means use a work light to get by until you buy your first real piece of gear, but don't settle for second best.

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Old August 26th, 2003, 11:39 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 1,205
This is what I do:

1) I have purchased the Home Depot 300 watt clamp lights with the 11" reflectors. They make fabulous lights regardless of budget. Then I called B & H Photo in Manhattan and ordered three sets of 12" clamp on barn doors for the Home Depot clamp lights. Voila! Fantastic studio and location lights that clamp easily anywhere a clamp can, er, well, clamp!

2) I am a flea market junkie so comb the flea markets and pick up the handheld 650 watt sealed beam movie lights that used to go with the old super 8 millimeter cameras, and the old "light bars" that use the old screw-in 375 watt photofloods. I have never paid more that $3.00 to $5.00 average for each light set and when you think of the cost for new lamps, hell, what a bargain! Some of the 650 watt Bell and Howell sealed beam movie lights only cost me a buck! Sometimes two bucks! Know why? Because the people selling them have no idea what in hell to do with them and they think they're useless (but we know better!)

Soooo... buy whatever you can and add a healthy dose of ingenuity. Remember what the old French New Wave directors did in the early 60's? They did just what I described above! GOOD LUCK and happy shopping!
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Old August 28th, 2003, 06:58 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
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The most important thing is that all your lights be the same color temperature.

Personally I don't think cheap lights are wasted money, just don't build a big kit from cheap lights. If you're spending enough money to buy one pro light then get that and use a reflector or bounce card.

Basically the most frustrating thing with cheap lights is hot spots. However if you bounce the light or punch it through diffusion I think you'll be happy.

I bought a couple Mole Richardson's which pushed me way over a grand with stands and umbrellas... Recently I brought 3 rechargeable spot lights to a remote location. (I'd modified the spots by taking them apart and putting a 5/8 stud on each so that I could put 'em in stands... I also got the Manfrotto umbrella adapters so that they can be locked at ANY angle... I have a couple BIG stands and a great little "backlight" stand...) Spotlights came from Costco and were $24.95 each. A bargain.

ANYWAY, I just wanted to let you know that the little cheapy setup worked surprisingly well. I also used an umbrella and a Photoflex translucent "silk" and reflector.

Get the B&H lighting sourcebook. It's free. In the meantime use your browser to get a look at Altman fresnels or go with LTM Peppers. You can also get a look at the SV worklight type lights... These three options are CHEAP... take a little browser stroll right now.

Good luck.
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