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Lighting Rig involving 100 bulbs


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#1 Jeff Calder

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 04:59 PM

I'm gaffing a music video for a friend in which he requests that a 15' by 15' room be lit from 100 or so bulbs hanging from zip cords from the ceiling similar to the photo link.

http://www.gossip-gi...nghollywood.jpg

I'm thinking of using 60w squirrel cage bulbs. I was wondering were I could get sockets that could easily attach to the cord as in the photo; also any logistical advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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#2 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 05:45 PM

You can rent strips of sockets from prop houses, I don't know exactly where but I've seen them brought to set several times. Unfortunately, as with most practicals art brings to set, they aren't always in the best condition - I've had to deal with with exposed wire or shorts hidden in the line, so be careful if you go this route.

If you're going to make them yourself keep in mind the costs are going to mount up, as well as the time required to build it.

The standard quick on socket would be the eagle medium base socket

You are supposed to be able to place the wire and twist and the spikes should pierce the wire perfectly. Often they don't, so it's a good idea to have a voltmeter and check them. Fortunately they can't really short out so you should be safe even if the points don't line up perfectly.

I recommend not using zip cord (18 gauge) as it has a very high resistance - you'd be safer at 12 or 14 gauge.

Don't over-amp the cable - I'd probably stick with no more than 20 globes a strand (20 x 60w = 1200w) and give you roughly 10 amps a strand which leaves plenty of headroom.

Close off the exposed ends with electrical tape so you don't get bit.

Remember it's going to get pretty damn hot in there when you're burning 100 60 watt globes.

Have fun and be careful.
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#3 Jeff Calder

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 07:13 PM

Thanks Mathew!
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#4 JD Hartman

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 08:36 PM

You could make your light strings using this type of cable: http://www.awcwire.c...t-Festoon-Cable It would give you the ability to have more than one cicuit for dimming. Even stranded THHN wire will work with the suggested sockets, it just won't be very flexible.
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 08:47 PM

I doubt that those are 60's in the picture. They look more like 25's. When you have 100 of them, it makes a big difference. Dimming 60's to match the output of 25's could paint you into a corner on color temperature. What will you be adding from the front?




-- J.S.
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#6 Jeff Calder

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 01:09 AM

I was thinking to bounce with some photo floods or fresnels, I need to discuss options with DP. Originally I was going to use Edison squirrel cage bulbs, but the expense will veer me towards a lower wattage clear bulb.
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#7 JD Hartman

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 10:00 AM

You may find that using anything but "standard", frosted/soft white, hardware store bulbs will increase costs dramatically. $1 for a name brand 4 pack vs. more than $1 for a single clear bulb. Worked a music video with a rig similar to the one in the photo, 60w clear bulbs. They seemed to have a short life, right out of the pack (individually packed), some were brighter than others, others seemed to blow out in a "super nova" fashion. After half a day, were replacing bulbs after each take that would suddenly become brighter as if someone had upped the voltage to a single socket.
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#8 Olle Kirchmeier

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 08:11 PM

I'd shoot a music video with around 100 light bulbs in a very small room and as the only light source. (expect from some small light panels for some shots). We did use low energy lights because of the heating normall 60w bulbs produce, it worked out pretty well, but still got very very hot. The room was like 2.5 x 4m. I heard that the low energy lights can be very different in color temperature but nothing that we noticed, and we didn't have any problem matching them with the light panels.

Good luck!

/Olle
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