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Daylight low energy bulb spotlight?

petet66

Active Member
Does anyone know of a supplier of budget spotlights using daylight blanaced low energy bulbs? I have some light boxes which use low energy daylight bulbs and these are great for general lighting or where I need a diffused light source. However I sometimes need a more focusable light source and the only spot lights I can find use tungsten bulbs and I would rather have a colour balanced set for the lighting withou the need to introduce filters etc.

Are low energy daylight bulbs inherently soft by nature and so unable to be focused in a spotlight?

I keep saying low energy - the bulbs I have are 125w but claim give an equivalent output to 525w tungsten lighting. The light boxes I got were under £100 for the pair from Ebay with a flight case and stands. They are cheaply made and no doubt won't stand to the rigours of use as well as more expensive products but I'm impressed and hope to prolong their live with careful handling. Ideally I want to find a spotlight in the same (sub-£100) price range. I don't want much... :)
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
I would probably go for LED lighting. 120-160 LEDs in a frame. Perhaps get three or four units. I have a 126 bulb unit and find it very effective as a fill in light for video, the unit comes with three gells to vary the colour temperature.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Can you give us more info about these lights? There are some with frabric reflectors (so they pack flat) which take (rather expensive) CF bulbs which do claim to be either 300W or 500W equiv. Such lights are very useful for lighting most situations.

+However, as you have discovered CF lamps don't make good spots.

Technically the reason for this is that amy focussed light must come from a single point - this is impossible in practice, but a halogen light is pretty close . . . . think back to cine projectors and see how their lights are constructed to make the source very small (in an attempt to reach the ideal).

Can you say how much light you need - in reality you may need to but a pro-lamp which can be focussed - these arem't cheap, but the effect is well-nigh to create any other way.
Softlights can be made DIY-style or (as you have ) bought cheaply....but spots are not possible, other than use the sun - beamed into yr studio with a mirror . . . . but hardly practical for regular use.
[ an alternative CHEAP spot is possible by buying "Buliders' Lights" - these are 500w and come complete with a short flex and stand (go for min =2m). They cannot be focussed - and you'll need to fabricate some "barn-doors" for these "spot-like" lights . . . . considerably cheaper than the real thing, but not good to impress clients.
=
Good Luck.


PS
Terfyn, those LED lights are probably intended for use "on-camera" - and as you have noticed, they are good at fill-in . . . but this almost implies "soft" and curiously I find these lights create a kinda "sparkle" .

PPS
If you want a real laugh look at these £150 floor-standing BHS "spots" -Item code: 9769970001 - these have a horrid tripod and will accept up to 60W bulbs - er, excuse me?

PPPS the real-deal is Arri Junior....Prices (inc. VAT)
Arri 150w: £305.35 | Arri 300w: £317.60 | Arri 650w: £357.45
+ + + + wish I had one!
 
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Terfyn

Well-known Member
True, if they did not have the flash shoe fitting, they would not sell. I mount mine on a tripod and it is just as effective.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Effective as lights, for sure, - but not compared with a spot-light which produces really deep shadows and modeling. I have an ex-IKEA spotlight (discontinued, don't look), with an Iris and Focussing lens . . . it can projects a fairly tight "spot" from a halogen 50w lamp (but these are difficult to replace, being a narrow angle also).
It is very useful for lighting small objects "table-tops", etc. but less-so for portrature (but it has been used as a "hair-light" where the narrow angle means it can be kept out of shot . . . eg for interviews. I made an adaptor for the 16mm Dia Lighting stand fitting, with safety-screw-lock. Looks pretty good too.

Those LED ligts are essential-kit which can rescue a situation and are easy to carry. I bought a couple of thisose car-lamps (for working on the engine?) and as rechargeables at £10 each they chuck out good light . . . but do suffer from that "Sparkle-effect" I described.

The 650w Arri is about 10x the price of those multi-LED lights - but if you can face the initial cost - WHAT a light! - - - huge degree of control, barn doors, coloured gels and by illuminating the ceiling (for example), you can "fudge" a huge soft-light which will do wonders for blushing brides, Mother-in-Laws and bouncing babies.
They can also be focussed as "Floods" -which adds to their value for wider shots, etc.

However as an investment (for anyone wanting a Business), they really are the Biz.
(Er, I only wish I could justify buying one!).
 
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petet66

Active Member
Thanks for your replies.

The daylight bulb lights I have at the moment are the folding softbox type that you mention (125w bulbs with an equivalent 525w output allegedly). They are great for general lighting and give a good even spread of light with soft shadows. However there are times when I would prefer a harder ligth and so wanted to add a spot to my kit for those occasions.

I've looked at the Arri and other lights you've mentioned but these are all tungsten balanced lights with a colour temperature around 3200 whereas the daylight bulbs are in the 5000s. Yes I can colour correct with filter gels but I was hoping to find a focusable spot that would be in the same temperature range from the outset. The answer might be that there isn't one I'm thinking!
 

DocJackal

Well-known Member
Not quite in response to main question, but while we're on lighting... If anyone needs dirt cheap, yet highly effective fill lights, try getting a cheap mic stand and gaffa taping a fluorescent strip light to it vertically. Mega cheap, nice & bright, plus you can even link them together if you wanted :)
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Post#7: beware of Health and Safety, If this tube is mains-powered, you need to enclose the tube, in the event it's knocked over. I recall a (what looked like a Pro-gathering), when an actor got up, after the "Cut" and managed to knock over a tripod-mounted light. OK it was an accident waiting to happen (it seems) . . . but the consequence was the light was lost for the remainder of the shoot. No-one was hurt because the light had a robust plastic guard, but its innerds were no so good.

pete66: I think you are aware of the problem - to get a sharp-light you need a very small light-source, this tends to mean Halogen, and that will be under 5000degK.
That" 3200degK" is rather low for Halogen, but yr comment is well-intended.

Maybe in a year, or two, we can find ppoint-source LED emitters that can give us both needs . . . . but at present those available in small-numbers (at reasonable cost) are only a few watts. Whether one could build a multi-lens "spot" so the images formed a single-like beam I don't know, but it might be worth attempting. The ability to move each LED image independently would mean that maybe 6x LEDs could be placed together . . . . but that is still a long-way from the output from an Arri650 . . . . and the LEDs are likely to cost £5 each - and need a massive PSU - and design time, lenses etc.
- as I said before; the Arri starts to look like a Good Deal, if you can justify the initial cost.

I did see a 3-spots Arri-like offer on Amazon - significantly cheaper than one Arri - but what a shame you can't buy one to try . . . . going for three just doesn't seem a good deal.

Have you tried a Builder's light? Typically these are 400/500w halogen with safety-screen, tripod and flex - about £20 for a tall tripod version.
 

petet66

Active Member
That" 3200degK" is rather low for Halogen, but yr comment is well-intended.
I didn't mention halogen, I said tungsten with is 3200 (as are the Arri lights you suggested). I've not used halogen lights but a quick Google seems to suggest that many halogen photographic lights output in the same 3200 range so they can be used uncorrected alongside tungsten lights.

It's probably a throwback to film days when cine film was either daylight or tungsten balanced. It these days of white balancing correction for colour temperature is more simple process as long as you don't have mixed lighting sources.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
pete66 you are right, those Arri lights are 3200K and use tungsten halogen bulbs. It can be "tricky" to mix light sources, although sometimes a warmer light has some artistic benefits, eg a little pink can help "kill" green-spill, so I guess a halogen lamp might do much the same.
The Ari uses a very compact bulb, hence the ability to focus from Flood to Spot . . . nice - I wish I had one.
I have some spare bowl-shape reflectors, and a Builder's light - in small shoots this can flood a room (provided the ceiling is white!) - although I will take a small roll-up cine-screen, as Insurance.
 

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