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Spacelights...


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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 05:21 PM

I think Stuart Brereton mentioned them once for "a soft overall toplight". I'm interested, what are they? Where can I buy some? How affordable are they?

Kind Regards. :)
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#2 greg bates

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 05:25 PM

I've seen them used for as little as $100. The problem for me would be power as a 5k light is 60amps.
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#3 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 05:32 PM

They have 6 1K nook lights placed around a wagon wheel type shape, all pointing straight down into a silk cylinder, the bottom can have diffusion and gel clipped in. It uses Soca cable, which is AC bunched up into one cable and given different heads in which you need male splays (turns the soca cable into 6 individual AC heads) to connect to a distribution box, where you can control each lights output. They are really cheap to rent, not sure how much they are to buy or where to buy them. I'd call a local rental house that has them and find out where they buy them.

Edited by Chayse Irvin, 05 April 2007 - 05:37 PM.

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#4 Matthew Buick

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 05:54 PM

I've seen them used for as little as $100. The problem for me would be power as a 5k light is 60amps.


GOSH! I would have thought that they'd offer lower wattages. $100.00 is very cheap, though. :)

Thanks for the comprehensive technical details, Chayse.

Do you think that some of the nook lights could be turned off so that the wattage and amperes needed could be lowered?
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#5 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 06:03 PM

Do you think that some of the nook lights could be turned off so that the wattage and amperes needed could be lowered?


Absolutely. This is why they use soca cable. If you want 2 out of 6 lights on, you just disconnect their head (that?s attached to the splay) from the power source or kill it from a dimmer board.
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#6 John Hall

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 06:11 PM

Matt, most spacelights I've used are powered by three cables with standard AC ends (don't know if this would be the same style in Europe). Each of these cables powers two 1000w bulbs (17 amps @ 115volts).

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These fixtures don't tend to be too expensive as they aren't very hard to build. However, I would guess they cost at least $400 or so.
Plus you hae to get a silk for them, which can cost around $100 to have something sewn.

That being said, these are really more useful for lighting larger studio spaces (see photo), not really intended for locations or small spaces. In fact, all the ones Ive used aren't even approved for use outside of studios.

I've certainly never heard of anyone buying these for a beginners kit.
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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 06:40 PM

Do you think that some of the nook lights could be turned off so that the wattage and amperes needed could be lowered?


Once you lower the wattage you're basically talking about a large chinaball. If you want cheap, low wattage softlights to hang around a set, you don't need a spacelight.

Spacelights are also kinda big -- best used in multiples on larger sets with high ceilings, like the picture above. You wouldn't have much use for one in a practical location that didn't have very high ceilings.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 07:11 PM

Yes, generally I'd just use the largest paper chinese lanterns on location, or the more durable Chimera-type versions if using a bright bulb like a 575w HMI Joker.

I only once used a space light outside of a soundstage to light a large room with a high ceiling, sort of like a balloon light effect. Had a pre-rig crew come in and set it up.

Space lights are a little beyond a beginner's capability to cable & rig, etc. (time-consuming) and at 6K max, are a bit overkill.
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#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 07:32 PM

For examples of extensive space lighting usage, see the makings of "King Kong" or "Sky Captain". Where all the faux-exteriors were shot with them in studio.
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#10 Kevin Riley

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 03:52 AM

Once you lower the wattage you're basically talking about a large chinaball. If you want cheap, low wattage softlights to hang around a set, you don't need a spacelight.

Spacelights are also kinda big -- best used in multiples on larger sets with high ceilings, like the picture above. You wouldn't have much use for one in a practical location that didn't have very high ceilings.


Using a 2kw Blonde and removing the barndoors I've made a very nice spacelight fixture. I based it on a flared cone rather than a tube as a simple way to get from the small diameter of the barndoor holders out to the larger diameter at the end to maximise the spread of the light available. The bottom skirt was a simple "shower cap" design so I could have hard down light if required. As it is seperate from the white skirt it made sense to sew a black skirt as an alternative. Therefore many possibilities from one cheap source.
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 09:17 AM

Hey, Kevin -- I see you've recently joined. You need to go to My Controls and edit your Display Name to a first and LAST name, as per the forum rules. Thanks.
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#12 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 10:12 AM

space light also come with black covers/skirts making them less lantern like and more like chimeras, that's how i've usually used them. and there's also a smaller one which fits easier in location ceilings, and it only has two 800w lights so power is not a problem. we used two of those on our music video for nom de guerre recently, see my homepage. i'm not sure whether a gymnasium is a studio or a location though. the ceiling is certainly high enough and there's plenty of gear up there to hang stuff from. ;-)

/matt
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#13 Matthew Buick

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 05:26 PM

Spacelights do seem a little too much for me. I want something that gives simlar effect, but smaller.

Thanks for the professional help, guys. :)
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#14 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 07:49 PM

China balls or chimera balls are great.
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#15 timHealy

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 10:16 PM

Just a tech note:

Most space lights that I have worked with have two 60 amp 120 volt plugs with three bulbs per circuit. One can easily use bulbs less than the standard 1000 watt FCM if it is too much light. Or use less bulbs per circuit. For less light or less power consumption.

The second most common are the soco type. It can be easier to run one soco cable per lamp and connect directly to dimmer pack or use a male edison to female soco "break in" to connect to non dim power. In that case one can easily turn bulbs off and on easily from the ground without the extra expense of a dimmer system.

David is acurate that spacelights are better left to a rigging department. They take time to build, prep, and hang.

Best

Tim
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#16 David Auner aac

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 03:28 AM

Hi folks,
having followed this thread and read the advice to get china lanterns I have a question: what kind of fixtures do you guys use in these? If I get some at Ikea what's the max I can put in there? If I get a pro version (Chimera) what's the best kind instrument to use there?

Cheers, Dave
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#17 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 04:34 AM

I think in another thread I mentioned an IKEA china lantern...only I just meant the shade it comes with, not the fixture. I wouldn't trust anything that comes from them to handle high wattage bulbs.

A porcelain fixture (come pretty cheap, and have a rating of roughly 660 watts) with a chinese lantern shade safely rigged and a heavy gauge cord with switch should be sufficient. Check with an electrician friend or a specialist at your local hardware store if you need help in figuring it out.

Anyone have any specifics of a china ball that you've constructed?
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#18 timHealy

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 05:15 AM

I think in another thread I mentioned an IKEA china lantern...only I just meant the shade it comes with, not the fixture. I wouldn't trust anything that comes from them to handle high wattage bulbs.

A porcelain fixture (come pretty cheap, and have a rating of roughly 660 watts) with a chinese lantern shade safely rigged and a heavy gauge cord with switch should be sufficient. Check with an electrician friend or a specialist at your local hardware store if you need help in figuring it out.

Anyone have any specifics of a china ball that you've constructed?


Jem makes a great china ball bracket and fixture they call Harps. (there are one or two others that make a similiar item) I think they come in 14 and 19 inch sizes. I think they are rated for 500 watts. and have a stud that fits into a grip head. They don't put out nearly the same amount of light as a spacelight though.

Best

Tim

http://www.jemlighting.com/pharp.html
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#19 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 06:21 AM

Anyone have any specifics of a china ball that you've constructed?


Mine are basically a length of lamp rod with a brass and ceramic socket and some bent wire. The wire clamps in where the lampshade would normally fit on the socket.

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#20 Alex Wuijts

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 10:03 AM

I used a typical paper IKEA lantern, a little over 2 feet wide, with a 200W bulb and ofcourse a porcelain socket. I wouldn't advise anyone to put a higher wattage bulb in them though.
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