Quick Tip on building up a Low Budget Lighting Kit


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Hi fellow DVX Users!

I just posted up a new video about compiling a lighting kit with professional lights, but on a budget. The lights I have in the video, as well as the ones I didn't show in the video all cost under $50 each (most of them were closer to $20), and I've used the lights on professional shoots including the latest feature film that I produced.

If you want to check out the video you can see it on our host website Media Monstrous or on YouTube.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Awesome dude, good stuff. Just as I was getting ready to come here and ask "But alex, where do I find bulbs for these?!" bam, you answer it in the video.
Nice video, well done!

It's important to note the colour temperature and G/M shift of these lights as they may vary between units.

btw, you are cute :p haha
Oh man, thanks!

I need to get some 1k's and bigger fixtures, and this looks perfect.

These definitely seem more common in LA craigslist and such, but they're definitely around.

Thanks again dude, this rules.

I might need help finding the bulbs, but should order some first.
Oh man, thanks!

I need to get some 1k's and bigger fixtures, and this looks perfect.

These definitely seem more common in LA craigslist and such, but they're definitely around.

Thanks again dude, this rules.

I might need help finding the bulbs, but should order some first.

Yeah, they are definitely around...probably hidden in people's storage units just waiting to be discovered and sold.

These are perfect, in my opinion, for someone graduating to bigger fixtures. They do make 2K fresnels, and I've even seen a 4 bank 4K...almost like a molefay but open faced...that can run on house power because it had 4 independent power plugs.

As for finding bulbs, the lights themselves usually have bulb information printed on them somewhere - and you can take that information and google it to find different options for replacement bulbs near you or online.
Awesome! I have a few of those Multi-Beam fixtures, and I use them all the time. One of the tips I have planned for the future is making barn doors for light fixtures and I was going to use the Multi-Beams for that. The other one I haven't seen before, but it seems cool! Almost like Mole Nooklite - and the Multi-Beams are similar to the Mickey-Mole fixtures.

I hope you get some good use out of them!
Great video!

I've moved this from Cinematography to Lighting. However, I've left the links as expiring re-directs for three days. I hope you get some views and responses! Might sticky this, too. :)

This is a question many people on DVXuser are searching for. So please let's not have the conversation end with this one suggestion of colortrans...

Let's talk about other affordable lighting solutions!

these use halogen bulbs correct?
besides the cost, would fluorescents be a better choice due to heat?
I wonder if you could paint them? With a new paint job non professionals would have no idea how old they are...
You can paint anything, if you put in the necessary work. You have to properly prep (sandblast or wirewheel) the units before painting them to get better adhesion, and get high heat paint so that it won't melt off or smell extremely bad.
Right, you can definitely paint them or have them painted. I know there are places out here in LA that specialize in painting light fixtures and they will do the whole shebang as they say - sandblasting and painting it with high quality paint so that it looks brand new. This option is expensive though. For a DIY solution, I'd check out BBQ paint, which usually is matte black and resists peeling and rusting from high heat, but definitely do as much prep work as possible before hand (rust removal, etc) to make sure the paint job lasts the longest.
These are halogen, that's correct. I actually just picked up another one today! It's a 4K broad light that uses 4 x 1K bulbs that are all powered independently, so you can run on house power with no problem, using different circuits.

As far as if fluorescents are a better choice, it depends on what your needs are. Fluorescents are definitely better if heat is a problem, and they are more power efficient if power is a problem.

Price-wise, professional fluorescents are going to be more expensive. I've been lucky and gotten some really great deals on flos, so I know they are out there. You just have to keep looking.

I'd say, if you are putting together a general kit without a specific need, it's better to have an assortment of lights in different styles and types, because each one is better for different applications.

Another great type of light to keep an eye out for are Lekos. These you can find for REALLY cheap. I bought a set of 10 Strand - Century Lekolites for $100 on CL a few months ago. These are especially cool because you can use the gobo patterns in them for different lighting effects, or if you need to create a really crisp spot, they are the best.

Thanks again for all the comments, I hope you enjoy collecting lights and creating your kit as much as I have!

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?
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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!
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. :happy: 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.


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