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Thread: $40-ish 400 watt DIY video light

  1. #1
    Valued Member cdlynch's Avatar
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    Default $40-ish 400 watt DIY video light

    Let me know if anyone sees any obvious problems with this light project. Works pretty well for me so far, but I still have to get higher CRI bulbs.

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    Valued Member Thousanium's Avatar
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    Wow! That was awesome. I had to watch it again in slow-mo. Have you shot any lighting tests with this yet?

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    Legend Ian-T's Avatar
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    My Vimeo response:

    That’s pretty impressive. Cool presentation. That soundtrack would be perfect for a suspense thriller. What’s the current CRI on the bulbs you are using? Can we see a picture of the setup while on the mic stand? I would love to see how you placed that cheap diffusion.
    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" ...Albert Einstein

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    Valued Member cdlynch's Avatar
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    The bulbs are N:Vision, I think the CRI is low 80's. I whipped up one quickly to use for a 48 Hour Film Project so that's the only testing I've done, nothing technical. We were short on time and technical know-how, so it did at least the minimum we needed: added extra usable light to our scenes for short dough. I'll try to post some pics tonight.

    For the diffusion, I cut hoops from clothes hangers and duct taped the sheeting over the light. It got hotter than expected but worked for the day. I've ripped it off since while I try to figure out a better way. I made a PVC frame for a sheet of the stuff, but tape doesn't stick too well to the plastic sheet. I want to try gluing or melting hoops along the edges and then bungie to the frame. Then I could make a Mylar sheet for a hard bounce too. I made the frame pretty big so I could diffuse the sun for close shots if that's ever needed.

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    Valued Member cdlynch's Avatar
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    Default DIY light pics

    Here are the pics. There's a rose colored light in the corner. For anything other than the vertical placement shown, the mic stand isn't made for anything heavier than a mic, so to get the adjustments tight enough I use a wrench to lock it down tight enough without stripping the threads. It won't last long, but works in a pinch. The weight shown is pretty much useless. To attach the light to the stand I used screw clamps, and cut short sections of tubing for better grip.
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    Valued Member Thousanium's Avatar
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    Um, how about cutting some vents out of the back panel? I was re-watching this video and was thinking that it'd get pretty hot with the diffusion on.

    Also, maybe find a way to attach and reattach the diffusion quickly, like with a zip or button studs so you can remove it between takes to let the lights cool down.

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    Valued Member cdlynch's Avatar
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    I already removed the sealed diffusion and I'm working on a small, light frame I can attach to the light that will be open at the ends to vent, but overhang all sides. I'm also making a hand-held frame (described above) for multiple uses which will do a different job from close diffusion. I'd rather not cut vents in the actual light to increase reflectivity of the panels. If the white panels aren't enough I could glue mylar to the inside of the light eventually, but I don't think that'll be needed.

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    Forum Mogul Crosby!'s Avatar
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    This is a good thread to check out as well: http://www.hv20.com/showthread.php?t=13338

    Here's a PDF with details on making a softbox with CFLs: http://www.quitwh.fatcow.com/NanoLig...tNanoLight.pdf with a quick look contained in this video and some details here: http://www.victormilt.com/id54.html
    Note: I have been wrong before! - Typos are there for those that look for them. I try to do something for everybody. I have no loyalties to anything I have to pay for!

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    Valued Member cdlynch's Avatar
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    Default Upgrades!

    I took out the straight bulb sockets and got adjustable outdoor fixtures for about $20 at Home Depot. This is better because most of the light comes from the side of the spiral, not the top, and also because the fixture has a lower profile so it's a little harder to smash the bulbs now. I upgraded the bulbs from N:Vision (CRI 82) to Alzo Digital (CRI 91). I have yet to shoot another project, but in the meantime these make great work lights with daylight temp bulbs!

    http://www.alzodigital.com/online_st...ment_lamps.htm
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    Vimeo -- YouTube -- My band's first video -- My Camera: HV20 NTSC

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    I think your losing light by not having a reflective material under the bulbs. How about aluminun foil. May help project better. And don't forget barndoors, if your keeping it open.
    I'm feeling frisky!

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    Legend tcindie's Avatar
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    Barndoors are mostly pointless on a fluorescent light. Barndoors are really only helpful with hard light sources, and these CFL bulbs are soft light sources.. in fact, diffusion really isn't necessary either as they already put out diffuse light, unless you're using diffusion to cut down the amount of light given off.

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    Forum Mogul The Crowing's Avatar
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    Awesome DIY. Although i do agree with antman. Crinkle up some foil and glue!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcindie View Post
    Barndoors are mostly pointless on a fluorescent light. Barndoors are really only helpful with hard light sources, and these CFL bulbs are soft light sources.. in fact, diffusion really isn't necessary either as they already put out diffuse light, unless you're using diffusion to cut down the amount of light given off.
    Certainly makes sense. Im not very knowledgeable when it comes to these types of lights. I typically use halogen, but im learning.
    I'm feeling frisky!

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    Forum Mogul zagnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdlynch View Post
    I took out the straight bulb sockets and got adjustable outdoor fixtures for about $20 at Home Depot. This is better because most of the light comes from the side of the spiral, not the top, and also because the fixture has a lower profile so it's a little harder to smash the bulbs now. I upgraded the bulbs from N:Vision (CRI 82) to Alzo Digital (CRI 91). I have yet to shoot another project, but in the meantime these make great work lights with daylight temp bulbs!
    Now you're thinkin!

    Quote Originally Posted by antman View Post
    I think your losing light by not having a reflective material under the bulbs. How about aluminun foil.
    Agreed

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    Valued Member cdlynch's Avatar
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    I've considered lining with Mylar or foil, but there's plenty of light this way, and it's softer. If I need more light I'll line them for sure.
    Vimeo -- YouTube -- My band's first video -- My Camera: HV20 NTSC

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    Would it make sense to rig a similar setup in a cookie sheet?

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    Senior Member sirjoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcindie View Post
    Barndoors are mostly pointless on a fluorescent light. Barndoors are really only helpful with hard light sources, and these CFL bulbs are soft light sources.. in fact, diffusion really isn't necessary either as they already put out diffuse light, unless you're using diffusion to cut down the amount of light given off.
    Diffusion is sometimes useful to cut down on lots of reflections; but your right it is less necessary with CFLs.

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    Great work

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    I really dig the "Here come the guns" video. I like the song too. Is that a Trident console in your "home studio"? Nice!

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    In stead of using foil, aluminum fence paint is highly reflective.

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    Valued Member cdlynch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlnh View Post
    I really dig the "Here come the guns" video. I like the song too. Is that a Trident console in your "home studio"? Nice!
    Thanks! Our friend Greg Condon kicked flip-book ass on that one. Yep, that's a Trident Series 65 in our shared basement studio, but I wish it was in my place!
    Vimeo -- YouTube -- My band's first video -- My Camera: HV20 NTSC

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