Tutorial: Cheap Video Lights/Gels

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    • #49744
      Avatartimcarlielle
      Participant

      Hello everyone,

      I am new to the forum, although I have lurked a lot, and found lots of answers to questions on here. I am posting a link to a tutorial I just made, demonstrating how I built a simple yet effective light for use with cheap ebay gels. This is a very simple piece to add to your kit, however I’ve found it can not only dramatically increasethe quality of my footage, but also clients are quite impressed by them πŸ™‚

      I hope you enjoy the video and make yourself a few of these lights! Thanks for checking out my post.

      Tim Carlielle

    • #203543
      Mike WilhelmMike Wilhelm
      Keymaster

      This is really great, Tim! Keep it up!

    • #203544
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      Great Tim – but now you’re going to have to make another on how to weld. I suspect many people would love to have your skills in that area. Those work lights are on sale in the UK and I noticed you throwing away the wire guard. I’ve always thought the purpose of this on a building site or wherever is to stop outside objects breaking the glass. The grill creates horrible shadows – but few people remove them. You’ve also solved the problem of premature fading of the gel. The popular PAR64 1000W fixtures we use on theatre and music events burn darker gels very quickly – and your two inches of air space would really help there too, giving a chance to provide some convection cooling. I’d seriously suggest getting hold of a Rosco or Lee gel swatch book, as there are some really useful colours that often get overlooked. Lee 126 violet is a great one for effect – everything goes purple/blue apart from anything yellow – which turns red. So this can have some very strange effects on costumes. I use a maglight to shine through the swatch book to see what happens rather than holding them up to the light.

      Good luck

    • #203545
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      on the welding issue… yep, that is a tough one to get by for a lot of other people…
      here are three tips for those that do not weld..

      barn doors can be made from tinfoil baking pans and a utility knife and some black bbq paint.

      take out the work light guard and the heat glass… this lets the light run cooler.. wayy cooler.. (use the guard & glass anywhere you think your light might get tipped over or splashed)…

      use wood or metal picture frames for your gels and clothpins or legal styled spring paper clips to hold your gels in place…

    • #203546
      Avatardagunner
      Participant

      You might be able to use a high heat 2 part adhesives like JB-Weld and not weld at all….

    • #203547
      AvatarYvon
      Participant

      Hi,

      Is not legal to remove the glass protection and grill over the quartz lamp. I am agree that dissipate the heat but is the bulb blowout you can injure talent facing the lamp. Better to buy led light or swirl neon this cost about same price and this is safer.

      Also experiment home made equipment in studio versus approved manufactured equipment for impression with your customer and talent. When you charge decent rate for a job you must use the right and safe equipment. Also when you shoot in exibit or in business location you must have an insurance just in case that something wrong arrive. Read your contract just in case…

      Regards,

      YR

    • #203548
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      we are talking about using these light for unintended purposes anyways.. in their intended usage, construction work, yes it is illegal to remove safety features of tools…on site… this is for fire and electrocution safety…

      as for the unintended use of lighting a video scene… hacking equipment is fraught with risks..

      but you can buy bare bulb halogen pro video lights so your argument about bulbs exploding seems invalid, in fact in many years experience, I’ve only seen the safety heat glass shields explode, randomly… on the constructon units as well as on indoor use halogen floor lamps..the safety glass..not the bulbs…

    • #203549
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      Many years ago I was attending a stills shoot for a high-end magazine spread when a Lowell quartz lamp exploded, showering molten glass all over a $6,000 Oriental rug . . . Ever since I’ve tended to favor Fresnel instruments with quartz lamps and glass lense in front. Okay, they aren’t all that cheap, and they aren’t all that light weight; but these days they don’t have to be all thatlarge either. Whereas in the film days 1K and 2K instruments were common, these days 300 and 650 watt instruments do very well for video. I bought an ARRI knockoffkit directly from China which is every bit as well built as the originals.

      Rick Crampton

    • #203550
      Avatartimcarlielle
      Participant

      Thanks for the comments and discussion everyone.

      Paul – I appreciate the suggestions. I looked into the Lee 126 violet and will definitely be getting some soon! Video lighting with gels is new to me, however I am really enjoying the possibilities and things I can do now that I couldn’t before.

      Don – I’ve seen the tin barn doors before – this certainly is an easy and cheap way to do it, which is great for beginners like me so I can try out the equipment a bit first before I lay down the cash and buy a professionally made one. I’ll put this on the to do list πŸ™‚

      Dagunner – I’m sure this would work just as well, and you could probably even bolt the pieces together somehow, which would allow them to be more compact for transport. For an item like this, the joints aren’t under a whole lot of stress so welding isn’t essential.

      Signmax – Illegal? I highly doubt it, although maybe not the best idea πŸ™‚ In my video, I never removed the glass, so if the bulb did decide to explode it still would be protected. I simply removed the wire grill, which only serves to prevent objects from hitting the glass in a construction setting. The wire grill is large enough that it would not do anything to prevent the scattering of exploded glass, and as I said, the glass cover is still there. Also, as it stands I can’t afford the right equipment, and I don’t have the experience or knowledge to use it to it’s full potential. As I stated, I am new to the world of lighting with gels, and these lights allow me to add a bit of value to my services and learn some techniques, eventually I’ll hopefully be able to upgrade to a professional lighting kit, but I’m just not there yet.

      Rick – Scary to think about the damage equipment can do when it malfunctions. As with anything though, a little bit of planning for the worst can go a long way in terms of minimizing the potential for damage. Again, why I left the glass on the cover of the work lights! In the long run, it pays to just lay down the cash and get a good quality tool for the job… if you can afford it. If you can’t, you’re left to hacking up bits of aluminum in your garage like me! I will keep that in mind though, for when I do upgrade my kit in the future, thanks for the comment.

    • #203551
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      @gldnears… just to be clear.. are you certian the bulb exploded or did the safety glass explode and take the bulb with it?

      for example the same safety glass used in fireplaces explode… no bulb required:
      http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1755&dat=19950111&id=ehQcAAAAIBAJ&sjid=d3wEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6733,14930
      in fact tempered glass shower doors have also exploded with no excess heat required..
      it is a result of the manufacturing process that store a lot of energy in tension inside the glass… what makes the glass tough and proned to shattering in chunks as opposed to shards can make it spontaneously explode….

      I once had a halogen tochire floor lamp pop and spray glass… the heat sheild glass exploded the bulb was intact and still working… I removed all the heat shields after that… they are there to prevent fires if something lands on the bulb… not protect people from exploding bulbs…

    • #203552
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      ” . . just to be clear.. are you certian the bulb exploded or did the safety glass explode and take the bulb with it? “

      There were no safety glasses on the Lowell lighting fixturesback then. ( it was ‘ 69 or ‘ 70 )I believe the malfunction was traced to an assistant who had replaced the lamp, touching the lamp with his fingers . . . which is a no-no for quartz lamps!

      Rick Crampton

    • #203553
      AvatarYvon
      Participant

      Hi,

      Edison invent the traditional Tungsten lamp the element is a tungsten wire like the element in a toaster the quartz halogen the bulb is quartz and inside fill with an halogen or metal halide. The light produce similar to a neon tube but tinted yellow and very bright and very hot. All light is cover with a glass and a grill. Never touch with your finger a quartz light when you install the bulb because just the grease or oil in your skin on the bulb during lighting can help to melt the bulb. Is scarce that an explosion occur but this is possible and for this reason that the lamp is cover with a special glass plate and a grill the grill is to protect the glass plate and probably keep away any material touching the hot surface. Remark you can build your own material to work at home but the day you move outside to work with border line material like me that one day go to shot the interior of a brand new jet and the lamp fall on a seat I am very lucky this day. The lesson, today we have all new lighting device better to invest then get in trouble for nothing. Think that the quartz light can explose, that you can burn your fingers or burn clothe, burn gel etc… Also we have one case that a talent during a repetition be injuried by a bulb explosion.

      Halogen is the family of fluor, chlore, brome and iode (Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine) metal halide is like NaCl a metal combined with an halogen.

      Regards,

      YR

    • #203554
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      Here in the UK, an open face fixture for domestic or professional use MUST have a method of preventing the glass escaping. They are designed to run enclosed, and have toughened glass for this purpose. In the pro world, it’s very common for bigger places (and union aware) to have H&S staff who would lot let you plug an open faced fixture in with no safety glass or mesh. It’s also simply stupid practice that can damage both people and flammable objects.

      As has been said very clearly above – these things without protection are DANGEROUS – no messing around, dangerous. Over the years I’ve had hundreds of pro lighting lamps fail – when they fail, if you are lucky they just go out, but when you look at the floor after a failure and see a bit of glass that has melted into the studio floor, you get a healthy respect.

      If you remove a safety glass and injure someone, do not expect your public liability insurance to pay out. You made a negligent choice and if somebody is hurt, it’s your fault. Despite your best attempts, people will still hit them by accident. Never recommend people to do such ridiculous things as remove the manufacturers safety feature because you think you know better – I understand the reasons for doing it – but the danger far outweighs any benefit.

    • #211752
      AvatarSinder Films
      Member

      If you dig tungsten lighting and just want some cheap heads Britek makes plastic heads at 300w and 650w and you can stick arri bulbs in them. Not the best heads but if cost is a concern…

    • #214813
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      There is a HUGE difference in the ‘quality’ of tungsten light. rotten old cheap flood fixtures have hot spots and weird reflections and Arri linear maps themselves are not special – they’re just the correct lamp for the landholder. Putting the wrong, or much worse – more powerful lamps is band news from every point of view. The cheap floods also have painfully weak connectors that arc and fizz away. In that video from 4 years ago – the one thing that wasn’t explored was the place light comes from. low angles, such as work lights often are restricted to give very strange results on people!

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