Videocrafts: Don't Knock It (Over)

Solve a lightweight light problem with homemade heavyweights.

Whether you light your videos with a fancy professional
light kit or those ugly-but-effective yellow halogen shop lamps, you’re
sure to encounter portable lighting’s worst enemy: gravity. Video lights
somehow have a natural tendency to fall over and crash to the floor. A fact
that can be not only embarrassing, but downright dangerous. Not to mention
that this type of disaster usually means having to replace a bulb before
you can continue with production.

If you fear that your teetering lamp stands
are a problem unique to you, take heart. The falling lamp phenomenon is
not confined merely to the hobbyist. A recent network news promo aired nationally
showing a scene in which the President and First Lady dashed fearfully from
falling CBS light stands. So what can be done? Are we doomed to the perils
of tumbling lights? Hardly. In fact, this simple Videocraft can all but
eliminate the problem.


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The primary reason that lamps tend to tumble is the fact that they’re top-heavy.
A simple homemade weight placed on the base of your light stand is an effective
way to keep your lights from crashing to the floor. While there is a variety
of ways to weight your stands, we’ve selected this easy-to-create solution
to help your stands, well … stand.

Get It Together

All that you’ll need to make this handy light-stabilizing weight is a couple
yards of material, some thread and a couple of bricks. You may have everything
you need right at home. If not, your local X-Mart store has the materials
available for just a few bucks. Select a heavy cloth that will be able to
withstand a bit of abuse, as you’ll be stuffing bricks in and out of it.
For our weight bag we chose a heavy denim. We selected a heavy gauge thread
as well, again keeping strength and abuse in mind. A lightweight fishing
line works well. To provide the bulk needed to weigh down the bag, we elected
to use a pair of bricks. While several handfuls of small landscaping stones
would provide the weight needed, the bricks are much easier to remove from
the pouch for neat and easy storage. Sand also works, but it can be messy
if the bag develops even the tiniest hole.

Make it Happen

Cut your material to size. Make sure to leave the material long enough so
that when you make your folds there is enough fabric between pouches to
straddle the leg of your light stand. Fold the ends at about the 10-inch
mark and sew the two outer edges to make a pocket. The top is left open
for easy brick installation and removal.

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