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Old Dec 20, 2010, 8:43 PM   #1
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Default lesson learned on lighting...

With all the reading I've done of late on studio lights you'd think I'd know better but I didn't realize how much of a problem it would be. I remember, reading a comment or 2 about how you shouldn't mix tungsten and fluorescent but, didn't give it a lot of thought. Somehow in the back of my mind I was thinking in terms of brightness instead of degrees Kelvin. Now, after the fact, I realize tungsten is a warm light regardless of how bright it is. I feel really dumb and as much as I hate to admit it, I thought I'd post my experience in hopes I can prevent some other poor soul from making the same mistakes.
Here are a few things to consider and to look out for.
While tungsten lights are "warm" 2700-3700k fluorescent lighting can be "warm, "cool" "daylight" or even bright that that! there doesn't seem to be any standard as to what temp a lamp might be just by the name a manufacture might label it as. Such as "soft white", "cool light" or "bright light". the only label that seems to be fairly standard is "daylight" but not even that is absolute. Temps vary so, be careful.
Another thing to be aware of is the rated wattage is only related to the wattage the lamp consumes and not the brightness the lamp puts out.
Another point, when a consumed wattage rating package gives a wattage equal to a tungsten bulb... say a 23w lamp equals a 100w bulb doesn't necessarily mean you will get a lamp as bright as a 100 watt bulb.
Here is why: It all depends on the design and shape of the lamp. Such as.
a 45w lamp by one manufacture, equals 150w output @ 2800 lumens.
Another, 55w [email protected] 3600 lumens.
Another 80w =400w @4000 lumens.
While still another, 85w = 300w @ 4200 lumens.

So, which lamp puts out the brightest light per wattage consumed?
The 45w lamp = 150w and puts out 18.6 lumens per watt.
The 55w lamp = 275w 13.0
The 80w = 400 10.0
The 85w = 300 14.16
As you can see, the 45 watt lamp is almost twice as bright per given wattage output as the 80 watt lamp. And to top it off, its also the cheapest right now, they're on sale.
So, there you have it. You really have to work at getting the most bang for the buck.


I'm sure a lot of you already knew this but, here it is again for what its worth.
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 3:31 AM   #2
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I knew there is a difference, but just like you never really thought about it because I didn't need it.

The only problem now is to remember it when I start playing around with it.

With my memory guess I'll forget it.

Cheers

Ronny
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 9:58 AM   #3
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The science of lighting. It doesn't take long when people talk about such things for my eyes to glaze over.

I've seen charts listing various fluorescent light manufacturer models based on degree Kelvin - it is amazing just how wide a variance there is. Don't ask me about lumens, that seems to be more incomprehensible than how blue or yellow the light is.
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 1:09 PM   #4
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LOL, Ronny! I know just what you mean.

Harriet, I'm familiar with the glazed eyes! Just the way I felt the past few days.
To top everything off... I did a little more research on the 45 watt lamps I thought were such a good deal... well, I changed my mind. Seems not all lights are tested with the same standard or somebody is cheating. Other consumers have reported less than stellar results from these lamps so, its back to the drawing board.

BTW, think of lumens as a brightness rating, it is supposed to be a more reliable way of knowing what to expect from a given lamp.
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 10:25 PM   #5
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I know it won't make you feel any better GW, but I can't count the number of times I've read a very valuable piece of advice, but it doesn't sink into my brain until after I have blown what could have been a very good photo Only after seeing the results do I finally get the point. I have no doubt you'll get these lighting issues nailed down pretty quickly. I've never even thought about an indoor studio. Perhaps that's project to take on when I get off some of the committees and civic organizations I'm active with.
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