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Quick Tip on building up a Low Budget Lighting Kit

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    Great video !

    I would like to hear what you do for light stands because that becomes important if you have to do 2-hour stage shows and truck all of this materiel all over the place.

    I have been using construction lights for the past couple of years - two stands at $60 each, 2 light boxes per stand, 2 x 300 w per light , giving me a total of 2400w for my left and right lights. I use Bounce fabric softener sheets to diffuse (one or two over each of the lights, using spring clips to attach the sheets on the protective grid cages so the sheets don't start cooking).

    I painted the stands and light boxes black to avoid too many raised eyebrows.

    Before the spring clips, I recorded a concert and noticed that something was changing as time advanced. The fabric softeners slowly went from white to yellow. The singer/narrator was a musicologist who specializes in old songs from 1910-1950. The latter part of the recording had a "sepia" look that she really liked but she made the comment that a reverse of the lighting (starting off yellow, moving to white as the songs went from early 1900's to mid 1900's) would have been an improvement.

    The only thing is the stands don't go high enough, so I have to bring 2 x 2 wood pallets to add about 1 foot.

    Pros, cons of this approach, anyone?
    Last edited by kwkeirstead; 10-17-2012, 08:00 AM.


      Hi kwkeirstead,

      Thanks for the comment - you are correct. Light stands are incredibly important, especially as you start to use larger lights. The last thing you want is to be worried the whole time you are shooting that a light is going to fall over onto someone or something. You can get really good deals on new light stands made for photography flashes and umbrellas, but you want to make sure to take your current lighting set up into consideration. I wouldn't trust one of those cheaper stands to hold up a 2K fresnel, so I would want to use a beefy baby or c-stand for something like that.

      I recommend purchasing solid light stands. Depending on how involved your local city is in film/video production, you can often find good deals locally. If not, I turn to eBay where you can find good solid stands for $30-50 each.

      Recently, I purchased a bulk of stands from Craigslist here in LA - walked away with 6 c-stands, 3 avenger baby stands, and 2 bogen light weight stands for $150 total. The deals are out there, you just have to know how to snag them.

      I hope that helps!
      I'm an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, owner of Filmmaking Central and co-host of the No-Budget Filmmaking podcast.


        Hey Guys. I just acquired a mini pro kit. I then realized this is a very old thread. I hope these lights are st GTG,,,lol.

        I paid $125 local pick up. I think I done pretty good. I'll have a 4th matching blue light tomorrow.

        Well crap. I took the sideways pic with my phone turned the other way. Can't get it to show right for nothing. Sorry.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Quick Cal; 02-19-2015, 02:45 PM.