5x Halogen lights for under £100

6 replies [Last post]
mdoragh
Offline
Joined: Dec 5 2000

I saw these in a catalogue and wondered what they would be like as lights for videoing.

They are fairly standard 500watt Outdoor halogen lights, mounted on big tripods. They come as a pack of 5 tripods and lights for £99.99

Lights - Screwfix.com

Any comments about suitability?

I am guessing that it might be worth swapping the bulbs for 300watt ones (which should be easy). And would also be good to bounce them or diffuse them.

Would they be a good buy for lighting on a budget?

Alan Roberts at work
Offline
Joined: May 6 1999

They should be ok. The light you'll get will have a correlated colour temperature of about 3200K and will not match daylight at all well, but for covered areas (where natural daylight isn't a significant contributor to the lighting) they'll be fine. What you get with "proper" tv/film lighting is control, e.g. barn doors, slots for gels, dimmers, flag holders.... If you can live with what are essentially naked flood lights, then they should be fine.

Christian Lett
Offline
Joined: Apr 26 1999

I'd agree with Alan here - I've used these outdoor lights in the past and have had to use either a blue filter on the front of the camera, or more recently, blue gels in front of the lamps to correct the temperature sufficiently; otherwise you'll end up with a horrible orange picture!

Sticking gels in front of the lamps is a better option than putting a filter in front of the lens (filters can get dust on which can show up quite easily on camcorders) but make sure you put some distance between the lamp and the gel - 500W halogens get very hot and gels can melt if too close. The problem then is having a big enough gel so that it doesn't cast odd shadows. Depending on the darkness of gel used (I've used a 1/2 blue tungsten-daylight but this is too blue; 1/4 is a better option for 500W) it will reduce the light intensity.

We've attempted to make barndoors, which attach to the surrounds but it's still difficult to control the light properly. I'm considering renting a set of 800W redheads for any future projects (from Stage Electrics) as you get all the kit necessary for a small set-up.

Christian.

Christian Lett After Effects and Maya Artist www.quarterlightpictures.com

Nigel Longman
Offline
Joined: Apr 28 1999

Provided the lamps are your only or predominant light source you should be able to adjust your camera's white balance to get a satisfactory picture (using manual balance or tungsten preset). It's when you mix daylight and artificial light that you have to 'correct' one or the other to a similar colour temperature so that you don't get unpleasant orange or blue colour casts. That's when you need blue gels on the lights or orange gels on the windows.

I used security/builders tunsten floods before I had redheads with satisfactory results.

Regards

NL

Martyn
Offline
Joined: Jul 22 2001

You can purchase the single lamp & adjustable stand from Wicks the DIY store, they cost about £19.99. I have used these for lighting a wedding reception and some stage work and as long as you colour balance the camera they work well. I have used a blue gel occasionaly, fixed with bulldog clips, but generally I just use a 300 watt bulb.
One word of warning, they get very hot, very quickly, make sure they are secure and that no one gets hold of them.

Regards Martyn

DAVE M
Offline
Joined: May 17 1999

Rather than using Bulldog clips, try using wooden clothes pegs. You don't burn your fingers at the end of the shoot

mdoragh
Offline
Joined: Dec 5 2000

Thanks for all the comments.

Since I haven't got any "indoor" projects planned for a while i will file away your comments until suitable.

Thanks again

Mike