Mixing fluorescent and incandescent lights?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Jacques E. Bouchard, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. I'm shooting a scene in a bookstore and because the owner is donating the
    time and space, I'm trying to be the least intrusive possible: I'm not
    moving anything, and I'm not re-lighting the whole place (I don't think I
    have enough lights to light the 20-foot-high store, anyway).

    The store is lit by fluorescents on the ceiling, and I'm wondering what my
    options are for fill. I know you're not supposed to mix incandescent and
    fluorescent lights, but what can I actually get away with? I have blue gels
    (but not green) and I have reflectors. There won't be any daylight
    streaming in through the window.

    I'm not going for awards in lighting and cinematography, but I'd like to
    avoid a flat look if possible, so any suggestions are welcome.

    Jacques E. Bouchard, Feb 8, 2008
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  2. You have two color temps. Convert the one you can most afford to

    If you mean your video lights are incandescent and the store is
    flouro, yes, you're going to have to buy the proper gels for the video
    lights to make them match, losing a lot of power in the process. Or
    get some of the store's spare flouro tubes and buy a cheap flouro
    fixture from the home center, and shoot all-flourescent. Won't take

    If your reflectors were colored a bit, they could modify whatever
    light they are reflecting, so your halogens, bounced into a green
    colored board, might match a little closer to the overheads for the
    price of a spray can of paint, but getting the exact light-color mix
    would be tricky and you said you didn't want flat, soft lighting?

    You could also just average-out the white balance by balancing to a
    non-white card, or thru a gel, such that you deliberately have a poor
    color balance but it's *consistent* across the board, and that may be
    easier to adjust in post.
    nobody special, Feb 8, 2008
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  3. Jacques E. Bouchard

    David McCall Guest

    Different types of flos have substantially diferent colors.
    I haven't had to deal with it much since everybody switched
    to chip based cameras. With tube cameras you could get
    away with 1/4 to 1/2 daylight correction blue much of the time.
    If you ballanced favoring the flos then your tungsten lights
    might tend to look a little magenta which is preferable to
    ballancing favoring the tungsten lights with blue correction
    where the flos tend to look greenish.

    The few chip cameras I worked with before shifting to post and
    graphics seemed to be more critical to the green tinge than the
    tube cameras were. You might have to create a gell sandwich
    to match to the flos with current cameras.

    David McCall, Feb 8, 2008
  4. Thanks to the both of you.

    I've been meaning to add a greem gel to my collection for precisely this
    situation, but there's no time to mail-order one for the shoot. So
    instead I'll rely on the ceiling fixtures and use scoops with fluorescent
    bulbs for additional lighting.

    Jacques E. Bouchard, Feb 9, 2008
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