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Old May 17, 2009, 12:54 PM   #1
conor
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Default Light Stand Trick

I've noticed that light stands that can reach a reasonable height with a boom are relatively expensive, but I have a trick to save a bit of money.

Often you can find relatively robust three-legged microphone stands (as used in studios and on stage for music events) for less money then real light stands. Granted, they'll only hold a few pounds if you put a boom on them, but they're definitely suitable for light weight strobes or flashes. The only tough part is rigging a mount that fits on the half inch screw on the end of the mic boom....
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Old May 17, 2009, 1:06 PM   #2
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Great idea! I've been doing the same thing, and have started using compact-fluorescent day-light lamps (5500K) in simple clamp-lights (Home-Boy Despot) for less than $10. The clamps attach to the stands without too much difficulty.

The new CF lamps put out more light and less heat than the traditional floods, and are the correct colour temperature. I'm in the sound business, and so have lots of mic stands, booms, and dollies to hand.

Thanks again for the reminder!

- Wil

Last edited by Wil Davis; May 17, 2009 at 1:10 PM.
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Old May 17, 2009, 2:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wil Davis View Post
Great idea! I've been doing the same thing, and have started using compact-fluorescent day-light lamps (5500K) in simple clamp-lights (Home-Boy Despot) for less than $10. The clamps attach to the stands without too much difficulty.

The new CF lamps put out more light and less heat than the traditional floods, and are the correct colour temperature. I'm in the sound business, and so have lots of mic stands, booms, and dollies to hand.

Thanks again for the reminder!

- Wil
At one time in my life I was a professional DJ, I have microphone stands as well as halogen flood/spot lights laying around everywhere. The temperature of the light is on the hot side, but custom white-balance can deal with it pretty well.

I have a large Xenon strobe light from the club days laying around too (not as bright as a studio strobe, but it still packs a decent punch), at some point I'll see if I can figure out how to trigger it with the camera's hotshoe... I'll post the how-to if I ever make it work (since these strobes can be purchased for about 125 CAD)
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Old May 17, 2009, 2:09 PM   #4
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Great idea! I've been doing the same thing, and have started using compact-fluorescent day-light lamps (5500K)...
I've only seen two types of CFLs in stores:
1) the ones that produce light with a temperature similar to tungsten lights
2) the ones that produce light with a temperature similar to traditional fluorescents

Any suggestions on what to look for on the packaging to find ones that are around 5500k?
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Old May 19, 2009, 6:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by conor View Post
I've only seen two types of CFLs in stores:
1) the ones that produce light with a temperature similar to tungsten lights
2) the ones that produce light with a temperature similar to traditional fluorescents

Any suggestions on what to look for on the packaging to find ones that are around 5500k?
Here (N E USA) I use n:vision Compact Fluorescent Lamps:

http://www.nvisioncfl.com/

They come in a variety of colour temps, and those I use are in a blue package marked "daylight" and are marked 5500K on the lamp; they're also marked "100W equivalent", and they generate the same amount of heat as a regular 27W tungsten lamp.

Hope this helps -
- Wil

Last edited by Wil Davis; May 19, 2009 at 6:18 PM.
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Old May 19, 2009, 9:50 PM   #6
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Here (N E USA) I use n:vision Compact Fluorescent Lamps:

http://www.nvisioncfl.com/

They come in a variety of colour temps, and those I use are in a blue package marked "daylight" and are marked 5500K on the lamp; they're also marked "100W equivalent", and they generate the same amount of heat as a regular 27W tungsten lamp.

Hope this helps -
- Wil
ever seen any that were closer to 250 watt equivalent?
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Old May 19, 2009, 11:45 PM   #7
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Nope; I looked but the 100s were the largest I could find. It would be nice to get larger lamps, but the 100s run fairly cool. They take about 5 mins to get up to full brightness, so it's better to run them continuously, and also improves the lamps longevity.

Are you able to get n:vision lamps in Canada?

- Wil
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Old May 20, 2009, 12:28 AM   #8
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Nope; I looked but the 100s were the largest I could find. It would be nice to get larger lamps, but the 100s run fairly cool. They take about 5 mins to get up to full brightness, so it's better to run them continuously, and also improves the lamps longevity.

Are you able to get n:vision lamps in Canada?

- Wil
I'm not sure yet - I asked about higher wattages because I've been reading a few sites that indicated that you can get "5500k 200-500watt bulbs"

I'm hoping that I can find CFLs at least in the lower end of that range that are "daylight", even if I have to import them.

If I'm going to have to buy 4-5 heads instead of 2 in order to get the brightness I want, I'll consider strobes instead.
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Old May 20, 2009, 8:49 AM   #9
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Want a light stand that even cheaper?

My first light stands were the stands from old movie screens. I bought them in a thrift store for $3 each. I tossed the screen part except on one which made a great reflector. They donít go very high but are great for table top work or rigging a reflector or boom
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