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Old February 27th, 2013, 04:51 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Briteks still a good option?

I have doing intensive research over the past couple of weeks. I am looking for some lights to setup a home studio, spending $1000-1500. I know this topic has been discussed a lot, but so many of the threads are old and I am wondering if things have changed over the past 9 years.

Was considering the DV Creator Kit 55 when I stumbled upon a Barry Green thread talking about how great Briteks are for the price. Most of the threads I found about Briteks are from 2004 and talking about getting them from Rostronics. It appears they don't exist anymore.

So I found some other sites selling Britek lights and the price is good.

I know Lowel is designed for portability, which I don't need at this point but it may come in handy in the future.

My first application is lighting infinite white background shots. Thanks for any advice you may have for me.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 02:02 PM   #2
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Re: Briteks still a good option?

Home studio? I'd look at the CoolLights option. Flos are WAY cooler, surprisingly tough (I've taken many flights with them) and more power efficient. The only difficulty is they are a soft light, so IF you need a hard source you'll need to get a fresnel to give you that.

There are a TON of cheaper options for Flo, but CoolLights has been good for me. Their CRI numbers seem to be very good, and they come WITH bulbs.
They are about half the price of KinoFlo. While Kino has them beat on things like weight and fixture options, the CoolLights fixtures are a very viable alternative. Especially if you travel.

I have used LightPanels LED's and completely prefer a Flo option. The quality of light is hard to beat for such an efficient instrument.
always learning
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 02:30 AM   #3
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Re: Briteks still a good option?

I have only seen Briteks used once in the field. They looked much flimsier than lowel gear, but they do have the advantage of lots more sockets for CFLs (up to 8-9 versus Lowel's 3-5). Seems like they would depreciate much more quickly than Lowel gear, but for lighting infinite white backgrounds might be fine. Look into Kino brand CFLs which have a significantly higher CRI than lowel or cheaper CFL (I've done tests).
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Old March 7th, 2013, 02:46 PM   #4
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Re: Briteks still a good option?

I'd give a thumbs down to the briteks. They are cheap, but for me were unreliable. Something I could never identify was shorting in my 650s and they would flicker randomly and presumably from the stress of that would blow the bulb in a short time. (like, more than one during a 4 hour sit down interview... with bulbs costing like 20% of a new fixture)

The 150/200s and 300s were a tiny bit more reliable but the bulbs were nonstandard and I was never able to locate replacement bulbs in 240v.

So... my briteks have been thrown away or donated to students who are keen to do rewiring.

I moved my primary lighting to cool lights several years ago and have been very happy with that decision. The cool light 150w cdm fresnels are so incredibly handy.

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Old March 7th, 2013, 09:23 PM   #5
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Re: Briteks still a good option?

Bought a set of Briteks some years back (2-650s and a 300).
The only good thing about them was that the company I bought them from (Rostronics...really nice guy) donated part of the profits to a charity. Never saw open face lights with fuses before; one of the 650 bulbs blew out on the first use, but the fuses never did! Go figure. The lamp sockets were so poor that there was arcing between the lamp pins and the socket. You could see the burns.
How these things got a UL sticker is beyond me (now I'm trying to remember if they actually did).
Used them on one shoot and sold them off. The stands were equally flimsy...only went up to about 6 feet, and were shaky even at that height.
They are cheap for a reason. You can do much better with a Lowel kit or used lights from Lowel, Mole-Richardson, etc. Cool Lights fluorescent fixtures would do well for your white limbo stuff. Richard stands behind his stuff and has a good reputation on several forums.
Hope this helps.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Re: Briteks still a good option?

Home studio.......Don't forget to calculate your draw. Many homes have 15 amp breakers. I love Lowell lights for a lot of things but for a fixed home set I would go with something cooler and less of a draw as these guys said. With anything tungsten you might find yourself running AC cords all over the place to draw from more than one breaker.

Been at this so long I'm rounding my years of experience down...not up!
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