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Melting lights


Matt Rosen
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I was on a shoot this weekend, and we were using Lowel Pro 250W lights. It was in a tight space, and we needed a backlight, so we pointed the light downward onto the character. After a while, we noticed a strange smell and realized that the light's plastic housing was melting.

 

Am I crazy, or is it absurd to build a light out of a material that can't withstand the heat of its own bulb?

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I was on a shoot this weekend, and we were using Lowel Pro 250W lights. It was in a tight space, and we needed a backlight, so we pointed the light downward onto the character. After a while, we noticed a strange smell and realized that the light's plastic housing was melting.

 

Am I crazy, or is it absurd to build a light out of a material that can't withstand the heat of its own bulb?

 

No you are not crazy, you just don't read the instructions. :) The user manual clearly states not to do what you did. The light is made of Ryton, which is a high temperature polymer and can stand a lot of abuse, (above 500d) but using it for a long time pointed down can have consequences. In fact most all light fixtures made of metal or polymers blends suggest never pointing them strait down. Kind of sucks, but this is the danger of pointing any fixture strait down for long periods of time. Lowel lights were designed for mostly ENG use and in that realm they work fantastic.

 

prolight.jpg

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So I am crazy. ;)

 

I figured it was something like that. I borrowed the light from my school, and they don't come with manuals. Looking at the picture you posted, though, it seems like it should've been okay, since it more closely resembled the lamp on the top right than on the bottom left.

 

In any case, I'll definitely try to be more mindful of that in the future. Thanks for the help.

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So I am crazy. ;)

 

I figured it was something like that. I borrowed the light from my school, and they don't come with manuals. Looking at the picture you posted, though, it seems like it should've been okay, since it more closely resembled the lamp on the top right than on the bottom left.

 

In any case, I'll definitely try to be more mindful of that in the future. Thanks for the help.

 

There is never a guarantee with lights. Even used in the perfect situations, they sometimes have problems. Any fixture aimed more down than out for any long period of time is going to be stressed. Add being near a ceiling, or where there is no air circulation and you can have problems.

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Like anything electric, it gets hot and needs proper ventilation. I remember once we were shooting in a mansion with real nice wooden walls and someone put a light too close to the wall and it started smoldering. The wall that is. It was probably and expensive fix if the owner even found out.

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