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Cheapest Method For LOTS of Light?


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#21 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 01:42 AM

I don't think "a couple of" 1K fresnels sound right for a large night interior, unless some peculiar qualifification is added....two small pools of light...etc...

 

But let's not waste energy with unnescessary argument...if there is a kernel of interesting idea in there, go to that and see what people think.


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#22 Frank Wylie

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 06:24 AM

In the silent era, they used tons of magnesium flares placed in front of mirrors, stuck in sand buckets.

 

Good luck finding either the flares or the permit to use them...


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#23 aapo lettinen

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 06:44 AM

couple of hundred pounds of Calcium Carbide + a bathtub full of water + RUN!!  :lol:

 

For post-apocalyptic lighting rigs one could also use some large insulation mineral/glass wool panels dipped in diesel oil and lit on fire B)

 

Remember to call the fire department BEFORE "turning your lights on", it may save some bucks on property damages  :lol:

 

----------

if you can get away without electric shocks you could build up a liquid cooled LED light with for example 10 or 20 of the 50w or 100w chips. 

A heat exchanger + huge low speed fan to transfer the heat from the cooling system to the outside air.


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#24 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 07:36 AM

Liquid cooling is plausible - the trick is ensuring the liquid is compatible with the silicone that's used to encapsulate the phosphors on the front of the LED, then you can immerse it fully for the best possible results. 3M make a product called Fluorinert which is used for immersion cooling of electronics in this way. It's expensive, but not impossibly so. The radiator could possibly just be mounted on the back of the head; I'm not sure you want to end up with tubes full of circulating fluid running to some sort of external box.

 

I notice, though, that nobody has felt it necessary to do this. As far as I'm aware, the highest-powered single-module LED light that currently exists is the Mole Tener LED, at 1800W. It is air-cooled, and actually uses fans designed by an Austrian company called Noctua who supply people who like their computers to make less noise. Liquid-cooled computers can be extremely quiet, but the maintenance issues are... well. As you'd expect.

 

P


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#25 Dylan Sunshine Saliba

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 08:37 AM

I hadn't noticed the Mole Tener LED Phil, that thing is a BEAST!!!  I've been extremely happy with my Aputure C300d since last November.  I've made my own batteries for it and I can get some crazy long run times now.


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#26 Simon Wyss

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 12:27 PM

Cheapest Method For LOTS of Light?

 

With some patience your scene will be as bright as nothing in a thunderstorm, especially when a lightning strikes right to your side. Wear earplugs!

 

Else old time brutes bring a lot of light, the carbon arcs give off quite actinic light.

Camera with larger shutter opening angle is an option, undercranking is also very cheap, if feasible. Fast lenses, fast film, and push processing. The sun.


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#27 JD Hartman

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 05:31 AM

In the silent era, they used tons of magnesium flares placed in front of mirrors, stuck in sand buckets.

 

Good luck finding either the flares or the permit to use them...

 

I may be totally wrong with this reference.

Didn't they use a magnesium flare in one of the scenes in the movie, The Punisher?  Held by the main character.


Edited by JD Hartman, 14 March 2018 - 05:33 AM.

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#28 aapo lettinen

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 07:49 AM

the drug manufacturing business may have complicated the magnesium purchase/use in some US states I believe....  but a qualified pyrotechnician should be able to build you a rig of them torches if needed :) 

 

I have never tested it but maybe one could just burn solid chunks of magnesium if igniting them with an acetylene torch? 

probably not practical or economic or safe but should create tons of light no problem B)  


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#29 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 02:35 PM

maybe one could just burn solid chunks of magnesium if igniting them with an acetylene torch? 

Umm, Macks did say this is for a night interior...


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#30 aapo lettinen

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 05:01 PM

Umm, Macks did say this is for a night interior...

 

oh that was not obvious from the start :rolleyes:  

then I would NOT use calcium carbide in a bathtub, the glass wool panels +diesel oil would look much nicer :lol: 


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#31 Chris Steel

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 09:56 AM

More expensive per lamp but this is one of the cheapest HMI options for buying new.

I don't know about American dealers though.

https://cvp.com/prod...de_with_ballast


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#32 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 11:09 AM

I reviewed the Platinum Blonde. Because it's an open-faced light, it has very good optical efficiency and comes off as powerful, for things like backlighting a night exterior or filling a diffusion frame. It's a blunt instrument, but a big, chunky one. Is good, I like.

 

Disclaimer: I reviewed it, I know the people to say hello to, I haven't gained anything beyond an entertaining chat.


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#33 Guy Holt

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 02:01 PM

... tungsten is cheap, but powering it is not. I've done some low budget shows where the LP wanted us to run from house power to save money, and just about all my beloved tungsten lamps had to get cut as well.

 

One way to use large tungsten lights, or more  smaller ones, is to step-down a 240V circuit to 120V with a transformer. Common household 240V circuits include Range Plugs, Dryer Plugs, and special receptacles installed for Window Air Conditioners. Like it does with the enhanced 7500W/240V output of our Honda EU7000 Generators, a step down transformer will convert the 240 volts supplied by these household 240V receptacles to 120 volts in a single circuit that is the sum of the two single-phase legs of 30/50 amps each. Now that you have a larger (60A or 100A) 120V circuit, you can operate larger tungsten lights, or more smaller ones, than you could otherwise.

 

I regularly use transformers to power not only 5ks, but also big HMIs  (2.5-4Kw) in situations where a tie-in is not an option and the budget doesn’t permit for a tow generator.  For example, I have used this approach repeatedly at a historical mansion in Easton MA called the Ames Estate.

 

Transformer-Distro_Sam1.jpg

Scene from "Unsolved History"  powered from 50A/240V range outlet through step-down transformer/distro at the Ames Estate.

 

A popular state fee free location, the Ames Estate, like many historical house/museums, does not permit tie-ins and the electrical wiring in the house is so antiquated that it is unusable. Fortunately, they have a 50A/240 volt circuit in the carriage house for a welder they use to repair the mowers they use at the park. Our standard mode of operation when shooting there is to run 250V extension cable from the welding receptacle to our 60A Full Power Transformer/Distro placed in the entry hall of the house. Using a 60A Siamese at the Transformer/Distro, we then run 60A 6/3 Bates extensions, down to the library, to the second floor,  and  back to the maid’s pantry. At the end of each run we put another 60A Siamese.   A 60A snackbox  on one side of the Siamese gives us 20A branch circuits. The other side we leave open for a large HMI or Quartz  Light.  Now we can safely plug HMIs up to 4kw, or Tungsten lights up to 6kw, into our own distribution anywhere in the house.

 

tmfilmstrip1lg.jpeg

Typhoid Mary in quarantine on an island in New York's East River. Note the view out the window of the East River shoreline at the turn of the century.

 

To maintain continuity between shots on these dramatic historical recreations, we usually bring a 4kw HMI Par or 5k Tungsten Fresnel (depending on the effect we are after) in a window on one side of the room as a sun source and a 1200 par through a window on  the other side as a northern light source. Lights positioned outside, we power off of our modified Honda EU6500is through a Transformer/Distro. We are able to power both lights off our modified EU6500is  because our 60A Full Power Transformer/Distro steps down the enhanced 7500W output  of the generator to a single 60A/120V circuit  (for more details on how this is accomplished I suggest you read my newsletter article on the use of portable generators in motion picture production available on our website.  And, since the Honda EU6500is can be placed right on the lawn, we are saved from running hundreds of feet of feeder back to a tow generator in the drive.

 

tmfilmstrip2lg.jpeg

The exterior of the actual location used for the quarantine island.  A 30' blowup of a picture of the East River at the turn of the century was rigged outside the windows of a house in Arlington MA.

 

We have been able to use this same basic distribution package (two Transformer Distros, 1- modified EU6500is) at numerous museums and historical houses throughout New England including Sturbridge Village. Fortunately for us, to make ends meet, many historical houses rent themselves out for events and weddings. For that reason, they usually  have at least one updated service  with 30 or 50 Amp 240 volt circuit for the warming ovens of caterers. By giving you safe and legal plug-in access to more house power through common 240V house outlets, a transformer makes it possible to use less expensive tungsten lights without the need for tie-ins or generators.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting rental and sales in Boston


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#34 Jason Nolte

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 12:09 PM

I think renting maxi-brutes and putt putts is still the most cost effective way to get a large amount of light.. Easy to source and reliable.. Outside of large, heavy, loud and hot..!


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#35 David Mawson

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 07:01 AM

 

 

50W LEDs run without enormous heatsinks, or heatsinks with fans, will catch fire.

 

attachicon.gifdnbof.jpg

 

This is probably a crazy thought and I'm certainly not willing to try it, but sometimes PC builders fill the cases of overclocked machines with cooling oil. Really - this is NOT a joke. Perhaps an aquarium filled with oil and LEDs would work. The LEDs would need attaching to the glass and a heatsink attaching to each to transfer the heat to the oil, after which convection cooling should kick in. You'd want to keep the case vertical and direct the light with reflectors or fresnels.

 

Good luck getting insurance... (And I hereby disclaim all legal liability if someone wants to try this.)


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#36 Jaron Berman

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 10:08 AM

Cheapest has to include ALL factors.  A cheap light may be expensive to power, and that's including labor as well as cabling and electricity.  A more expensive light rental (like the mole LED tener) may save a lot of time and energy (pun may as well be intended).  Or a cheap light with tons of output may work if you can easily power it and place it.  Not enough info in the OP.

 

1) What exactly is the overall goal?  Lots of light is pretty vague... evenly from all directions like an arena?  A shaft of light?  A club-look?  A glowing floor?  Do you care what color the light is?  Do you care about the quality of shadow(s)?  

 

2) What is and how big is the space itself?  Large space means different things to different people.  If you have to hang your lights at 50' trim, a 1k mole is not very bright.  How high are the ceilings?  What's the widest frame?  Do you care about seeing sources?  

 

3) What access do you have to grip/mounting, lifts, etc?  Renting a single huge source means nothing if you can't place it.  Or if you can't cluster smaller sources, then that option is off the table.

 

4) What access do you have to power?  House power / wall plug?  Tie-in?  Generator?  

 

5) What access do you have to crew?  Do they know what they're doing?  If you have a gaffer that's comfortable tying-in, that's a big factor in 4) - but if you're saving money on crew you may need to pay more for lights or power.

 

6) How much time do you have to build your rig, including prep?  Homemade solutions take time.

 

7) Are you recording sound?  Some cheap lighting options are loud, as are some power options.  But does it matter in your case?


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#37 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 11:52 AM

 

This is probably a crazy thought and I'm certainly not willing to try it, but sometimes PC builders fill the cases of overclocked machines with cooling oil. Really - this is NOT a joke. Perhaps an aquarium filled with oil and LEDs would work. The LEDs would need attaching to the glass and a heatsink attaching to each to transfer the heat to the oil, after which convection cooling should kick in. You'd want to keep the case vertical and direct the light with reflectors or fresnels.

 

Good luck getting insurance... (And I hereby disclaim all legal liability if someone wants to try this.)

 

Possibly I've already mentioned this but there's a non-conductive fluid specifically intended for this sort of thing that's made by 3M. I'm not sure if mineral oil, which works, would affect the silicone-encapsulated phosphors on the front of an LED chip, but you could possibly cool just the rear of the device.

 

There are two concerns. First is that the liquid coolant is really only useful for getting heat from one place to another, by heating the coolant with the load, then moving it with a pump. If you don't pump it through a radiator, it will eventually heat up to the point where that's a problem.

 

Second is just the practicality of a liquid-cooled light on a film set. Even if it were a one piece unit I'd fear problems but you might even end up with a separate cooling unit, with a big radiator and large, quiet fans, which would be cabled (piped) to the head like a ballast. It could be built but the risks of leakage and unreliability seem too much to bear.

 

I'm not sure this has ever been done.

 

P


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#38 David Mawson

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 12:04 PM


There are two concerns. First is that the liquid coolant is really only useful for getting heat from one place to another, by heating the coolant with the load, then moving it with a pump. If you don't pump it through a radiator, it will eventually heat up to the point where that's a problem.

 

No, with the right tank design you should be able to convection cool. The LEDs would heat oil and it would rise to the cross stroke, where the large surface area would let it cool fast, then it would sink again. To aid flow I'd put baffles in the tank like those shown in the convection cooling system here:

 

https://en.wikipedia...mersion_cooling

 

600px-Natural_Convection_Circulation_by_

 

And I'd probably make the top of the tank much wider than the body - think of an L rotated through 90 degrees, or maybe just a T. That way you'd have a lot of air-cooling at the top. The baffle design would need a little modification for that. And/or the top could have the fluid rising into a system of fins or you could half immerse a system of copper fins in the liquid.

 


It could be built but the risks of leakage and unreliability seem too much to bear.

 

Those would be my concerns, yes.


Edited by David Mawson, 26 May 2018 - 12:06 PM.

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#39 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 01:08 PM

...and now you have a light that only works in one orientation. Or tubes, and then you need pumps.

 

Yes it's interesting. It could possibly be built. I'll leave that one to you!


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#40 David Mawson

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 01:37 PM

...and now you have a light that only works in one orientation.

 

Yep. That's the biggest problem of all. And getting it up high would be appalling business.

 

You could steer the light with reflectors and fresnels, I suppose. But honestly, if I thought a system like this was viable outside of a few very special niches - eg a low budget film that needed a lot of light and had a tech savvy crew - then the last thing I'd do is talk about it publicly.


Edited by David Mawson, 26 May 2018 - 01:38 PM.

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