More lighting.....

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Existential Angst, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. In my demo studio, I have a bunch of gooseneck floor lamps, table lamps, and
    wall sconces (made from gooseneck table lamps) -- proly 10 in all. All but
    the sconces can be moved around, but the gooseneck on the sconces allows
    them to at least be aimed.

    Altho there are only 4 wall sconces, I was thinking that if I installed
    enough of them all around the perimeter, I could selectively turn them
    on/off for any shot, and not have to clutter up the space with fixtures.
    Since the space is dual use -- I actually use the apparatus being demo'd --
    being able to get by with bunches of sconces would be helpful. But if not,
    I'll do whatever needs to be done.

    But my initial attempts with the 4 sconces and other lamps, with 60 W
    incandescants, has not yielded great results -- still relatively low-light.
    How can I use these more effectively? 100 W bulbs? Higher? Reflector-type
    bulbs? Halogen flloods (with trad'l bases)? LEDs?
    Is this avenue pointless to begin with? If not, I'd put up a dozen more
    sconces. If pointless, I of course won't bother.
    One problem is, these fixtures are "rated" at 60 W, surely from a pure
    heat/temp pov, rather than an electrical pov.
    But mebbe I can get away higher wattages, if I let stuff cool off once in a
    while. Or use a different style of bulb.

    If this doesn't work, I would like to try 4 ft two bulb fluorescent
    fixtures, standing on end, as I mentioned in another post.

    Any other affordable/diy lighting solutions?
    Existential Angst, Feb 13, 2013
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  2. Existential Angst

    mkujbida Guest

    First of all, forget about your wall sconces as they provide little if any useful light.
    On the DIY thing, the biggest issue is that most basic fluro bulbs are at the wrong color temp and are also all over the place in that range (anything from cool white at 3800K to warm white at 5600K).
    I suggest taking a look at two offerings from Digital Juice to see if they will fit your needs.
    They are and
    The former set is on sale until the end of today for $298.00
    The latter set is $699 but was on sale two weeks ago for 1/2 price.
    Another set to think about is at and it's $799.
    Without knowing what you're using them for, it's hard to make specific recommendations.
    I highly recommend signing up for the Digital Juice newsletter as they have deals like these all the time.
    I've bought a number of things from them and have never paid full price.

    mkujbida, Feb 13, 2013
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  3. Mounted on the camera? On the cameraman?? :)
    Nice. BH has them, at the lower price.

    Nice!! Like the profoto, but MUCH more complete/cheaper. I gather these
    are not regular ole fluorescent tubes?

    What's the functional diff between this style and the above fluorescents?

    Instructional videos on fitness/rehab apparatus I developed. Not this
    Zumba/Insanity jumping around silliness, altho there is certainly movement
    involved, at times vigorous/fast, but not crazy.

    A lot of diagramming, pontificating.... :)
    Existential Angst, Feb 13, 2013
  4. Existential Angst

    j Guest

    On 2/13/2013 7:55 AM, Existential Angst wrote:> In my demo studio, I
    have a bunch of gooseneck floor lamps, table lamps, and
    low-light. (applies to continuous also)

    Light intensity falls off rapidly with distance from its source. This is
    called the Inverse Square Law, which says the intensity varies with the
    square of the flash-to-subject distance, this way:

    Light at 2x the distance is 1/4 as bright, and light at 1/2 the distance
    is 4x brighter (2 stops)

    Light at 3x the distance is 1/9 as bright, and light at 1/3 the distance
    is 9x brighter (8x is 3 stops)

    Light at 4x the distance is 1/16 as bright, and light at 1/4 the
    distance is 16x brighter (4 stops),


    In fact, I've seen photographers adjust their lighting just by distance
    (instead of turning down the head). So, your lighting should be closer,
    not scattered on the wall.

    You really should read up on photo lighting. The position and size of
    the light source make a huge difference.

    I'm running on the cheap cheap here. All CFLs. You can buy better color
    balanced CFLs in higher "wattages" (CFLs can be quite large). At the
    least, all your lights should have a similar "color", if you don't
    spring for the photo bulbs.

    Home Depot, I know, sells 200W equivalent CFLs. Adjust your camera color
    balance to match whatever you have.

    j, Feb 13, 2013
  5. I imagine that was a typo, but here I go anyway :)

    Normally lower color temperatures are called warmer and higher color
    temperatures are called cooler...

    Physics-wise, the color of higher temperature (more degrees K) sources
    is bluer and that of lower temperature sources is redder, but as color
    temperatures in lighting, the terms used are psychological, not
    physical. Red is physically cooler but psychologically warmer.

    Sort of the colors of fire and ice...
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 13, 2013
  6. Actually, the inverse square law, strictly speaking, applies only to point
    The intensity of a "line of light" varies as a logarithmic function, and a
    sheet of light doesn't vary at all with distance -- infinte lines, and
    infinite sheets, of course.

    But the point is well taken anyway. The reality is, closer = brighter.
    But, otoh, closer point sources leads to more shadows, less uniformity? As
    opposed to more distant, diffuse.
    My brain is already hurting. I'm hoping to get "lucky" with a relatively
    humane (read: cheap, easy) solution.
    Altho I did like that 3-pack of barn door fluorescents, with all the
    goodies, and that led camera light. I'm hoping for a little more feedback
    from the group on those.

    I don't want to appear dismissive of Lighting Theory, but really my brain is
    at its max, and also every situation is different, so I'm hoping that in my
    particular situation -- room geometry, color, etc, -- the variables might
    stack up so that a relatively mundane setup works fine. If not, I guess
    I'll have to start reading.... :(
    See, you seem to be "getting away" with what I'm hoping to get away with!!

    That may help! I mean, 10 fixtures blasting the equiv of 200 W each oughtta
    be a LOT of light!!
    I'll give this a shot.
    Existential Angst, Feb 13, 2013
  7. What wattage cfl's are you using?
    I just checked, only online, not in store. And those are backordered!
    Existential Angst, Feb 13, 2013
  8. Existential Angst

    mkujbida Guest

    The Digital Juice set I referred to at $699 is on sale today for $399.
    Not quite as good as half price but still a real bargain. for the details.
    Read the specs as I think you'll be impressed with them.
    Because these are fluorescent lights, they can't be dimmed but you can pick up a few sheets of diffuser from a theatrical lighting supplier and be all set.
    They're claiming 2250 lux (200 foot candles) at 3 ft. which is a lot of light.
    Using the inverse square law, that's still 100 ft. candles at 6 ft. which should be more than adequate for your (and my) needs.

    I'm going to talk to my boss tomorrow and beg for the money to buy this kit.

    p.s. Gene, you were right about warm vs. cool. My excuse is that today was a crazy day at work and I left my brain behind when I responded :)

    mkujbida, Feb 13, 2013
  9. I really did think it was a typo, honestly!

    I do that sort of thing more than I will admit :)
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 13, 2013
  10. Amazon has a lot of stuff. Here are two chosen from what I saw in a
    quick search (huge URLs, so I had them shrunk):

    The first is described as 45W equivalent to 200W. The second is
    described as 65W equivalent to 1200W - but that's for 4 bulbs, so 300W

    Check it out...
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 13, 2013
  11. Existential Angst

    j Guest

    And you are much closer to a point source than any of those.
    Lights are not really point sources, they have some width, and that
    width is a greater angle if it is closer.

    But, all you really need is a bit of butterfly lighting:

    although that is for a headshot.. Your distances will be greater.

    Two lights at about eye level in front. That is it. Nothing more.
    Butterfly lighting is nearly fool proof as the shadows of one light are
    filled by the other. And it is even and gives some depth.

    Add a optional third light from behind to give an edge of light to the
    subject and separate it from the background.

    Add the 4th light, if you want to light the background.

    Get a couple of reflectors (or soft boxes) to make the light appear
    larger and therefore softer. Softer light is easier to work with, but
    butterfly lighting is tolerant and easy.

    Less is more.

    j, Feb 14, 2013
  12. Existential Angst

    j Guest

    On 2/13/2013 6:38 PM, Gene E. Bloch wrote:> On Wed, 13 Feb 2013 17:35:01
    Those look like 6500K (pretty cool,ie bluish relative to normal daylight).

    That is fine in digital, but will probably be much bluer than
    whatever other lights you have around. So be aware.

    I would probably be more comfortable with something around 5500K,maybe
    these (quick Google):

    or even:

    Note that higher K bulbs tend to be brighter for the same power
    Also note that the 65 watters are very big bulbs. 45W may be enough.

    j, Feb 14, 2013
  13. Existential Angst

    Steve King Guest

    +1. And experiment with pulling one or the other front lights back a foot
    or three to give faces and objects a little more shape.

    Steve King
    Steve King, Feb 14, 2013
  14. Your second link distinguishes between 5500 and 5600K !!
    Could anyone really tell the diff?

    In a fitness demo vid, would the 6500K be noticeably diff than a 5500K?

    Gene's links (Loadstone, 6500K) are markedly cheaper. Also from his link:
    45, 65, 85 and 105 W cfl's !!
    Existential Angst, Feb 15, 2013
  15. Existential Angst

    j Guest

    Not really. but if you looked at the bulbs side by side, you would see
    the difference. Go down to HD or Lowes and look at the the lighting
    demos they have. You can see different lights side by side.
    Digital lets you adjust to any color temp. But 6500K does not come close
    matching anything you already have. The camera will attempt an
    adjustment on auto, the daylight setting on your camera will be close to
    5600K. So you will have to either let the camera do it's own thing or
    set up a custom setting. For your lack of knowledge of lighting, I would
    think 5600K would be less trouble.

    So, choose 6500K,if you want lowest cost. Choose 5600K if you want
    something closer to your ambient lighting.

    Once you choose 6500K any new lights should also be 6500K. 5600K is common.

    Bulbs used to be listed as warm or cool (daylight). 3200K is warm light,
    5600K is cool light. 6500K is super cool, like the light at sunset.
    Check out the physical size. 105W CFL is a monster.
    j, Feb 17, 2013
  16. Why is a photog site pushing 6500K lites, when 5600K is, apparently, better,
    more natural?
    Existential Angst, Feb 17, 2013
  17. Sunset light is super *warm*.

    Maybe at noon on a sunny day an artist's studio illuminated by a north
    window (in the northern hemisphere) would be super cool.
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 17, 2013
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