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Old March 5th, 2005, 08:50 PM   #1
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I have these big, yellow... cheap light systems :)

from Wal-mart

what can I do to make them look more professional?

a guy on dv.com said to spray paint them black, because its the yellow that gives them away

they are kick ass lights
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Old March 5th, 2005, 09:13 PM   #2
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to make your lighting look pro...

...get pro lights.

This topic has been covered many times and these are just not worth it.

Flimsy tripods, risk of falling over.
Heat sheilds cast unwanted shadows.
Heat sheilds removed create fire hazard.
Lamp housings are a fire hazard.
No spill control. (barndoors)
Hard to attach gels without them starting on fire. (ok overheating and getting really crispy)
Difficult to diffuse.

BUT! If you are just using them for your own productions and aren't setting foot anywhere near a paying client, these are great! See benefits below.

Sh*tloads of light.
Bulbs are cheap.

As for breaking out the high temp manifold/bar-b-q paint, save yourself the effort. You'll end up with a lovely set of worklamps with a paint job that will flake to bits unless you shot peen or sandblast for proper surface prep.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 10:51 PM   #3
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Let me disagree with Jimmy. I have shown up to ad shoots with my Home Depot worklight with absolutely no reservations. I've even purchased 3200K color temp bulbs for them, in order to get the best use out of them. In fact, there are at least two websites with instructions on how to build barn doors for them. This is my next project for the worklights.

In situations where you need to throw a bunch of light, illuminate a larg room, etc, worklights can do a fine job. Obviously, I would assume that someone buying worklights isn't expected to delicately cast subtle lighting with them.

But he is right in that if you want to "look professional" than get professional gear. But I'm not too interested in "looking pro." I'm interested in getting good footage at an inexpensive cost -- for me and the client. If I were charging more, then my clients would probably be right in expecting something a little more "pro" for their money. For now, I have no problems pulling out the yellow worklights. You shouldn't, either. Stay yellow and stay proud.

Now, that said, at some point I'd like to pick up some Briteks from Rostronics. But when you need light, then some Big Yellas (with 3200K bulbs, if possible) will give you light.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 10:05 AM   #4
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Hi John,

You are correct in that these can be tweaked to perform exactly as the Lowel/Ianiro version by blasting the area with the needed 500 watts x2. No argument here. It's just that every business has it's operational costs (variable expenses) and cost of sales (fixed expense). I guess I have a strong credo of separating hobby/experimentation from the day to day pro gear that is used to get the job done.

But every beginning requires thoughtful planning and of course, a budget.

I guess I was spoiled that fateful day the guy posted a horrible ebay ad for a 4 pack of red heads including manfrotto stands. 400 bucks!

Here's my final caveat to all who use these worklamps: These can be a tremendous fire hazard. Babysit them and you should be fine. But do think about upgrading when your business plan allows for expansion of your lighting stable.
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Old March 9th, 2005, 01:42 AM   #5
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I've used worklights for a long while, but I bought gray ones from Lowes that were 250/1000 watt adjustable and diffused them wonderfully using portable clothing racks with frosted shower curtains hanging on them.

But i recently upgraded to the Briteks mentioned above. At these prices, it's really worth it to get away from worklights ASAP. The barndoors and softboxes are perfect. Check em




Over at DVXuser Jarred called the owner Tom and got us a 5% group discount. I would suggest DVI do the same, Toms a good guy to do business with and a lot of people are very satisfied with his stuff.
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