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Simulating light from gelled windows in small space


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#1 David Grantham

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:09 PM

I need to buy and set up a pair of semi-permanent low-temperature lights (CFL?  Kinoflo? LED?) in some sort of controllable-throw diffusing configuration (Softbox and grate? Diffusion in front? Square? Strip-box?) mounted out of sight but near (usually above but perhaps below also/ instead) two large windows in a small room to augment the light coming through these gelled windows to simulate the windows lighting the room. The arrangement should be dimmable in some way and - ideally - disguisable as a practical or decorative element so as to not be obtrusive when it has to appear in a shot. This is one of my living spaces and will be shot in often - ideally I'd set something up which can stay in place and contribute to the decor.

 

The room's 13' x 11' with a 10 foot ceiling - the two 6' high x 2' wide windows face south and east.

 

It would be great to be able to have the ability to adjust the throw of the light so as to adjust the darkness of the walls.

 

I'll need to make an excellent choice - retaining continuity despite changes in sunlight penetration will be challenging enough. (The plan is to shoot south and westward when the penetration's as desired, and the opposite way when it's not.)

 

It's going to take some experimentation, of course, but it would be great to get some ideas to help me narrow down the options and maybe decide which of these demanding objectives might require some compromise.

 

I'll be using an FS100.

 

 


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 09:31 PM

I don't know of any soft box-type lights that could be seen in a wide shot and not look like what they are... at that point, all you can hope is that it looks neat and tidy, not have a bunch of rigging and cables visible.  But the light itself is going to be fairly visible by nature of being soft.  A row of hard small lights could look like track lighting however.

 

If you want soft daylight, a row of daylight 1'x1' LitePanels seems like a good idea.  They take an egg crate grid if you want that, and are DMX controllable.


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#3 David Grantham

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:36 PM

Thankyou very much, David. Yes, I'm assuming soft light's the only feasible effect I could get from a versatile setup in the room. (I'll have to experiment to see how I work with sunbeams in the shot coming through the gelled windows, but that's a problem of a higher order.) YOur suggestion encourages me to think further.

 

As to LEDs, a light would be about 9' above the floor over  the window, and I wonder if that would be an okay height both in terms of a natural effect emulating the window's light diffusing in and bouncing around and - given what I hear about LED's fall off - providing an even enough light not to limit the blocking in the room.

 

It would seem easy to rig something decorative to cover an LED panel either all the time (if it lets enough light through) or only when it's in the shot.  I expect the light would be turned off at these times unless - when dimmed - the assembly passed as a practical sconce or wall-mounted luminaire.

 

The cost of enough LED panels looks steep though, so I am also considering an array of CFLs with some soft-box equivalent rigged over them.  Unless I could practically build (I'm a designer...) a decorative sconce-like enclosure only about a foot deep, I suppose I'd have to just put a typical deep softbox enclosure over the CFLs. In that case to conceal it I'd simply remove the box and cover the light with something decorative.

 

A small soft quartz or incandescent light might work wonders and even emulate hard sunlight in some circumstances and could easily be concealed in a practical housing, I suppose. But it would make that little room very hot very quickly. I suppose a diffusable led spot might work...


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