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Xenon lighting


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#1 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 12:20 AM

I am gaffing on a short film in a few weeks and the DP wants to use 2k Xenon lights as spot lights in a circus scene. I have never worked with these units before and was wondering if someone could breifly explain how they work. I will be getting a demonstartion of them in 2 weeks at a rental house, but I wanted some info before I began. Thanks.



...after doing some reading in older posts, they sound a little dangerous to use on a small set. At this point I am the only certified electrician on the set, so I am wondering if I should look into something a little more simple that would have a similar effect? Perhaps a HMI Molebeam?

Edited by Chris Pritzlaff, 08 August 2006 - 12:24 AM.

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#2 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 12:47 AM

I am gaffing on a short film in a few weeks and the DP wants to use 2k Xenon lights as spot lights in a circus scene. I have never worked with these units before and was wondering if someone could breifly explain how they work. I will be getting a demonstartion of them in 2 weeks at a rental house, but I wanted some info before I began. Thanks.
...after doing some reading in older posts, they sound a little dangerous to use on a small set. At this point I am the only certified electrician on the set, so I am wondering if I should look into something a little more simple that would have a similar effect? Perhaps a HMI Molebeam?



I used to repair them at William F. Whites here in vancouver. They can be very dangerous if you damage or aim the rig wrong. The beam is very hard and just as hard to mimic because its so spotty and narrow with an amazing output. They have a ballest, a warm up time, and a motorized focus on the head. When striking your 2k lamp you will want to aim it downward 40ยบ (or it may hot strike) at the floor until it is fully powered (we ran it for 10-15min to warm up)... and watch what you aim it at because it can start a fire... a lot of people don't even use them direct but use a mirror board to bounce the beam off so it doesn't cause fires or burn an actor. You probably wont need that with only a 2k but it may be a good idea to use a mirror rather then sending it what up in the air. Make sure the rental place knows how many hours the lamp has been used and just be careful when setting it up... the bulbs have a high amount of atmospheric pressure and if cracked it will explode. I mean, when changing the bulbs I had to wear a led vest and a mask. Besides that the light is great! Just tell your lamp ops what I told you and put the fear of death into them and nothing will go wrong.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 12:50 AM

I'm not an electrician so excuse me if I get the terminology wrong, but I believe a 2K Xenon is "three-phase" or "two-phase" (???) which requires more cabling.
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#4 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 01:26 AM

I'm not an electrician so excuse me if I get the terminology wrong, but I believe a 2K Xenon is "three-phase" or "two-phase" (???) which requires more cabling.


220 volt single phase.
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#5 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 12:25 PM

All this sounds like more than we would want to deal with on a shoot of this size. Again, I am the only electric on the shoot thus far, at its doubtful that they are going to find any more since they decided that they can't pay anyone below gaffer. Unless there are any electricians willing to work for free out there in LA??? Is there something that would be more simple to operate such as a molebeam?
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#6 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 12:42 PM

All Xenons are DC units. That's what the 'ballast' is - a rectifier. They run arund 80 amps on 220V. Also worth noticing is that the units can not be operated at all angles (at least not the big ones), so aiming them straight down or up is a big no-no. Tremendous output of clean, white, flicker-free light.
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#7 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 01:11 PM

All this sounds like more than we would want to deal with on a shoot of this size. Again, I am the only electric on the shoot thus far, at its doubtful that they are going to find any more since they decided that they can't pay anyone below gaffer. Unless there are any electricians willing to work for free out there in LA??? Is there something that would be more simple to operate such as a molebeam?


At least test it... it is a wonderful light. It "delivers 13,750 footcandles at 100 feet" and i remember reading like 24 footcandles at a mile or somthing like that.

Edited by Chayse Irvin, 08 August 2006 - 01:13 PM.

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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 01:13 PM

Xenon lamps are widely used for theatre projector lamps. They operate on relatively low voltage well-filtered DC supplied by a rectifier, at high current ranging from about 50 amperes and up (depending on lamp size). Light output has "daylight" spectral quality, with lots of UV (can get severe eye damage or sunburn from the raw light). Cold lamps are under several atmospheres of pressure, and hot lamps even more so. A lamp explosion is very dangerous, with severe injury, blindness, or death possible from sharp shards of quartz. Protective gear MUST be worn when handling or installing the lamps, and the lamp must be properly shielded and cooled when in operation.

http://smad-ext.grc..../chapter_26.pdf NASA Xenon Safety Manual

http://ecom.mysylvan...ENGR_BLTN11.pdf OSRAM Technical Manual
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Technodolly

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Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products