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Hi, new to lighting and need some safety tips for Redheads


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#1 Ed Peretti

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 06:40 AM

Hi all,

I'm directing in my spare time and am in the middle of a shoot. I heard storys of lights blowing up on set which have triggered my concerns using lights next to actors.

I'm using 800w bulb Redheads for my next shots and was just wondering if there are any saftey precautions I should look out for or take during shooting? The bulbs are fairly small and have protective wire over them.

any saftey advice would be a bonus.

cheers

Ed

Edited by Ed Peretti, 27 April 2007 - 06:43 AM.

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#2 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:34 AM

Every once in a great while you may have a violent lamp failure. it's very rare unless someone changed a bulb with their bare hands and got their fingerprints and oil all over the bulb which then heats up and cooks the lamp leading to a possible explosion. They're generally only prone to explosions when they're at the end of their life and usually they just go out without blowing up.

As for safety precautions, with any open face source, if you're using it to light actors, you will want to have a metal scrim in front of the lens. If you're using them as set and background lights which is more of what they're meant for, you can keep them empty though you want to make sure no one is in front of them. I'd use a scrim just in case. It will cut your light amount a bit but it's worth the peace of mind.

For talent, you want to use softlights or fresnels.
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#3 Ed Peretti

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:33 AM

Thanks for the advice Michael :) The lights have a metal grill type thing on them. I'll check if that might be the scrim you mentioned. So softlights or fresnels for actors ey? great! I'm on the case :D
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#4 Ed Peretti

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 09:09 AM

Thanks for the advice Michael :) The lights have a metal grill type thing on them. I'll check if that might be the scrim you mentioned. So softlights or fresnels for actors ey? great! I'm on the case :D
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#5 Eden Lagaly-Faynot

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:37 AM

Every once in a great while you may have a violent lamp failure. it's very rare unless someone changed a bulb with their bare hands and got their fingerprints and oil all over the bulb


Another cause for bulb blowing is to move them while they're still powered on. This happens mostly when you're in a hurry and move lights fast, even a little shake can ruin your bulb... Always switch them off and there will be no problem!

I hope this helps.

Eden.
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 02:51 PM

The metal grid on the front of the light isn't a scrim, it's just there for safety.

But if you're really worried about it, just make sure there's something between the light and your talent. Be it a silk or a scrim on a c-stand in front of the light. The drop in scrims should come with your lighting kit, they come in single (Green rim, 1/2 f stop) and double (Red rim, 1 stop).

A 800w light isn't really that dangerous, but to make everyone comfortable, just take basic precautions.
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#7 timHealy

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 04:16 PM

While I agree with what Michael mentioned about the rarity of lights actually exploding I disagree about a minor off subject point. While fresnels and softlights can be used on talent, there is no reason one cannot use a redhead or a blonde as well.

For example, I worked on Unfaithful and Peter Biziou ( http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0084695/ ) used redhead and blondes through diffusion frames all day long as key lights for most of the interior scenes. Even daytime interiors. His work is beautiful.

And if I may add a comment to Eden's comment about moving lights while they are on. While it is true that bulbs can be more fragile while they are on, we actually move lights all the time from tweenies to 24ks, while they are on. It is easier for DP's to see where one is at while they are on. You just have to be careful. It isn't the moving, so much as a shock that breaks the filiment. If you have a light on, and drop it suddenly on a hard surface, the chances are good that the bulb will break. Just be careful.

And actually when using HMI's, especially pars, a gaffer and DP will go nuts if you turn off a light to move it a little. The damn things burn so hot it'll take a few minutes for a lamp to cool enough to come back on. Better to pan them off when they say turn it off.

Back to the original subject I think I have seen about a half dozen HMI bulbs and a dozen tunsten bulbs blow in 18 years. It rare, but it can happen. The worst is when an 18k fresnel blows and takes the lens with it.

Apologies about being nit picky

Best

Tim
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#8 Frank Barrera

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 05:14 AM

another saftey issue often over looked is that all double poled bulbs have a "nipple" in the center. it's a little nub of glass that directs a higher percentage of the heat that the bulb emits. this nub should always pont towards the opening of the housing. it should not point towards the reflector. pointing towars the reflector will cause over heating of the housing; melting or burning the reflector; and raising the chance of exploding the bulb. all that needs to be done is to gently spin the bulb while it's in place in the house. of course clean gloves should be used.
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#9 timHealy

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 08:36 AM

hey Frank,

There is an issue with that one too. Not only is the nipple suppose to be straight out away from the reflector, the flate side of the metal bar support inside the bulb is suppose to be horizontal. Unfortunately, the two are not always lined up. I have seen electricians use one rule over the other, but have never seen a rise in bulb failure due to one or the other.

Best

Tim
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#10 Hal Smith

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 10:00 AM

If you do touch a tungsten bulb by accident, clean it with 90% isopropyl alcohol and a clean cloth or good quality paper towel like Bounty or Scott Shop Towels. Buff it dry with another cloth or towel when done and all will be okay. Clean it as soon as possible, perspiration apparently has an acid in it that etches the glass and a "touched" bulb that's left that way will be unreliable in the future, even if subsequently cleaned.

The advice to never turn off an HMI after striking it until finished with it is doubly important. The time for a restrike is annoying, but also each strike removes a finite portion of the bulb's life. I've been informed by an engineer at GE Lighting that is even worse for hot restrike bulbs. Cooling and restrike cycles are also the biggest cause of the "hazing" one sees on the inside of the inner bulb cartridge as a bulb ages.
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#11 gregory mandry

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 07:41 PM

and if ur using three phase electricty don't have a light on one phase within arms reach of one on another phase.
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