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"Free" Flourescent Tube


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#1 Jonathan Engborg

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 01:42 AM

Hi there,

I would like to experiment with a free flourescent light... with free I mean like the tube Gary Oldman dances with in Tony Scott's Beat the Devil. I am not planning to actually have anyone touch the light, but what I want is a flourescent tube free...

I have worked with kinoflo's when I've been helping out with some gaffing but I am a poor (international) student in the US, so I am simply wondering what I have to buy and where I can buy it as cheap as possible.

You'll have to excuse my english and if you don't understand what I mean then here is a link:
Beat the Devil Screenshot

I will not be shooting this in color, so a discontinous spectra is not really a problem (right?).

Grateful for answers!

/The Swede lost in US.
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 03:17 AM

All you need is the right ballast and the terminals, which are available from hardware stores. You may need to splice in some extra wire to the terminals to get enough length from the ballast. Keep in mind that a fluorescent tube needs terminals at both ends, so there will be a wire running down the tube to the far end (two thin wires, actually). You can try to hide the wire from camera on the backside of the tube, or just just try to blow it out with exposure.

Color temperature won't matter in B&W, but the wrong frame rate could cause flicker.
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#3 Jonathan Engborg

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 01:32 PM

Right, I'll read about the flickering as I've seen posts about that on here before.

Thanks for the help!
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#4 Jonathan Engborg

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 02:51 AM

Heh, so I made my first light... which seems to work pretty nicely. Don't know how good it is for color photography but it seems allright. Now, I have been reading a few posts on the internet about which lights that are the bests... and I've been looking to get tubes with the best CRI and Ballasts with the best "Ballast Factor" but when I got to Home Depot I can't seem to find a lot of tubes... they have a lot of ballasts though, which is good.. OSH os pretty much the same thing... I live SJ/SF and was wondering if anyone knows of stores that have a greater supply of both lights and ballasts.

Thanks!
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#5 Robert Aldrich

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 09:00 PM

I live SJ/SF and was wondering if anyone knows of stores that have a greater supply of both lights and ballasts.

Thanks!
[/quote]

If you're really broke, why don't you just go by some company that sells lighting equipment to contractors and talk to some of the contractors hanging around the sales counter. (or better yet the ones outside) Probably someone will give you a fixture with ballast that came out of a supermarket or something. I've seen many of these things being thrown away as the fixtures are so cheap, it's less trouble to just replace them these days. As for the bulbs, most supermarkets replace the bulbs all at once before they ever go bad so you can probably find some of those for free from the same contractors.

Edited by Robert Aldrich, 06 July 2006 - 09:03 PM.

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#6 Jonathan Engborg

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 02:21 PM

If you're really broke, why don't you just go by some company that sells lighting equipment to contractors and talk to some of the contractors hanging around the sales counter. (or better yet the ones outside) Probably someone will give you a fixture with ballast that came out of a supermarket or something. I've seen many of these things being thrown away as the fixtures are so cheap, it's less trouble to just replace them these days. As for the bulbs, most supermarkets replace the bulbs all at once before they ever go bad so you can probably find some of those for free from the same contractors.


Allright, I guess I'll give it a try. Aren't first time filmmakeras always broke? ;)
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