Homemade film/studio light

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    • #37283

      Hey everyone, I was wondering if there is a way to make film or studio lights out of household objects, with a regular, everyday lamp. You know, just to save a couple hundred bucks?

    • #165090
    • #165091

      You may not even need lights, just try to purchase some really good reflectors. Check out Chimera for some good reflectors. They have some good equipment. Household items will never work as well as proffesional lighting, as most of those guys dedicate their lives to making better lighting for film.


    • #165092

      I use halogen worklamps, halogen floor lamps, and rechargable worklights.

    • #165093



    • #165094

      If you want to see the vast expanse of DIY dollies, jibs, lighting, costuming & make-up tips, I recommend a web search. I know of several sites I found useful, but I don’t recall their names or where the print-outs are now. But try “guerrilla film making” or “guerrilla lighting” including the quotes, and you can surf around to the sites that speak to you. I’ve seen articles on making reflector umbrellas, ways to gel work lights and over the door light mounts.

      Good luck & enjoy the hunt.

    • #165095

      Home Depot style work light

      Buy these for about $40 from your large DIY, barely pays its employees a livable wage, home improvement center. It is a tripod that extends about five feet in the air and has two 500watt halogen lights. These lights are closest to Lowel Tota video lights. In fact, 500-watt Tota bulbs fit in these lights (to get balanced light). They normally come with a wire protector that is great for clothes pining gels or diffusion material to. However, be careful when using this as it casts a lot of lights and doesnt offer much control. Plus, they get very hot, especially when diffused, gelled, or when using homemade barn doors like these (check this out!). Turn it off between takes. Every kit should have one or two of these lights.

      Reflector Clamp Light

      These can be found for fewer than ten dollars. It takes a regular medium base light bulb, so buy color balanced “ECA lights for $3.50. The reflector is great for clipping gels and diffusion to. Best of all, they clamp onto anything in any positions. These are very versatile. Id have 4-6 in a basic kit.

      Flourescent Lamps

      Color balanced regular 48 inch florescent bulbs can be bought to go into any regular florescent fixture. The trick is to find fixtures that dont have cheap, flickering ballasts. If youre buying a fixture, spend at least $30. But, how is it mounted it in a portable way? I know people have designed stands for whole fixtures. and that is one way to go. Alternately, pull apart the fixture and attach the light and connecting element to walls or anything else with gaffers tape. It aint pretty, but it is ultra versatile. If the thought of pulling apart a lighting fixture with thousands of volts passing through it scares you, aquarium florescent lighting is great because its comes without a metal fixture and is fully sealed, but it will be more expensive. The use of these lights are great because they dont get as hot as other lights and they diffuse naturally because they are a four foot long light source. Note: 18 and 24 inch “under cabinet florescent lights are also available for smaller areas where less light is needed. Further, you can find 12-volt florescent lights for car “emergency kits that work in and around carstry gaffers taping one to the drivers visor for a driving scene.

      Chinese Lantern

      Theses are also great for a diffused light. Consumer paper lanterns are sold for about ten dollars (30 diameter) or professional video lighting Chinese lanterns for about $40). The main difference is the pro one wont catch fire as fast. Yes, now is a good time to suggest buying a 15-dollar dry powder fire extinguisher for your video kit. Even the pros need an extinguisher from time-to-time. Back to Chinese lanterns, dont exceed the wattage recommendation and turn them off between takes. They are super easy to hang off a C-stand. Or, just make a crewmember hold it (very still), micro budget style!

      White Christmas Lights

      They make night scenes look more interesting. Hang them on a railing, in a tree, or around any post or beam to add an accent to the picture. Also, they do provide a good amount of light in larger quantities. The unfortunate thing about Christmas lights is they will never white balance, as theyre too warm.

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