Jump to content

Lighting Basic Kit

flavio filho

Recommended Posts

Hello everybody.

It's my first post on lighting here on Cinematography.com

I'm looking for a lighting kit to use with my Black magic Pocket Cam and 16mm lenses, that could be affordable, compact, and produce good results.
Artificial Lighting is not my strong on Cinematography, I normally improvise with natural light, and have used an Arri Red kit before. Loved the results.

I know there's a difference between fluorescent, incandescent and LED... though what would be a good choice in the case of using for small productions?
When it comes to buy, its worth ask around for those who understand before go to BH Photo.

Please let me know your suggestions. And thanks in advance.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

It all depends on what you're planning to shoot. I have an ARRI Fresnel kit (a 1K & 2 650w) and it serves my purposes very well. However, the entire kit is rather expensive. You also have to factor in the look & character of the lights. Incandescent lights look much different than LEDs. To me, LEDs still give off a rather cold & impersonal look. Fluorescents can look very nice, but again, most are rather expensive.


I would start out with basic tungsten lights, like the Lowel DP, Omni or both. I learned on those in college. They're cheap, compact and good quality if you're just starting to use artificial light.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

I think if you buy one 650w tungsten lamp, you'd get to know what you can and can do with it and then figure out what you need next.


The main problem is that for general filmmaking, you need both tungsten and daylight balanced sources, and since putting Full CTB gel on a tungsten lamp cuts so much of the output, at some point, you need a few daylight-balanced sources, which means HMI's, fluorescents, and LED's. The advantage to fluorescent fixtures is that you can put tungsten, daylight, or regular Cool White or Warm White tubes in them. Some LED's are bi-color (switchable between daylight and tungsten), some are one or the other (but putting a Full CTO gel on a daylight lamp only loses you 2/3's of a stop of output, compared to the 2-stop loss of Full CTB on a tungsten.) So today, LED's are probably the most flexible except for when you want a hard projected beam effect or sharp patterns (except for the LED fresnel lamps now made, but they aren't super powerful) but LED's can be expensive.


So probably you are going to create a mixed package of odds and ends over time -- a few tungsten units, a fluorescent unit, some LED's, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

Thanks, guys! Very well explained.

I'd buy the Omni as it seems practical. Though would have to buy the tripods separate.As well as the mattebox?


Yup...stands, barndoors, scrims & all the other necessary accessories is where you run to money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

Something i've found quite useful, from homedepot, these days are Cree 100W Equivalent (18W) daylight balanced LED bulbs. They're around $25/each, but I use them on every single job anymore. They can give you a daylight source when you need them-- in a china ball (and you can put many in a chinaball with y adapters if you need to) for little amp draw, and little heat.

They do go a bit green; but it doesn't really bother me and whenever I color meter them it's seems to be just slight - green needed.


Another thing to get @ home depot to help you is the Styrofoam insulation which has the mylar (silver) side. Use them as bounces in daylight or to bounce your tungsten heads into. Cheap, cuttable, expendable. when you cut it, wrap the edges in paper tape to preserve it.


Another great light I use often, which is cheap and a workhorse is a PAR64 (Parcan, Rock and Roll, they have a few names). All of mine are globed with VNSP bulbs and i put TVMP adapters on them (and eventually will wire them with a 15' cord, but that's-- on the list). It's a very directional light but it's also lightweight, and you can always diffuse it as a form of ambiance. (e.g.bounced into something or off of something) and then augmented with Fresnel units.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I work primarily in documentary at the moment, and those Cree “100w” LEDs are awesome. So are their 3-ways. Very reliable with nice output. The frosting on them softens them up a bit. LEDs are a boon to me since many of the tight spaces I shoot in are not properly ventilated for tungsten lamps. I have yet to depend on solely LED for shooting on film, but I think for that I would need a stronger, higher-output lamp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Adrian and Kenny.

Would the Cree 100W you mentioned be this?


If so, how many of those Cree 100W should I buy? And what would be the tripod/connection to use them with?
or do you guys simply change the lamps in the environment for those Cree?

If I buy a couple of Cree, a China Ball, and a small Tungsten Kit, could I say I'm "covered" somehow?

My budget is low, but I'd like to plan to acquire a proper, simple, but effective Lighting Kit.

Thanks for the input, guys!

Edited by flavio filho
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

That's close but you want the 5000K (or maybe it's 5600K labled) version. The 2700K version is the same as an incandescent bulb-- but not nearly as nice.


Depending on the situation, yes I'll replace all lights in the house with crees (or at least in the shot). Or I'll just turn them off and use a china-ball, etc.

I don't think you'll ever really be "covered" on any budget, because the question is covered for what?

But, its a good start, and every kit starts with some of the first pieces.


For the crees I use the china-ball holders you can get at Ikea (or off of amazon). As the bulbs only pull 18W of power, you'd be hard pressed to really mess up a china ball holder


Another more-- shall we say-- involved idea is to build coop lights which are light sockets attached to a piece of wood or the like, say 6 of them, all with cree bulbs and a baby pin. Often with chicken wire to mount diffusion onto.


Also get some black wrap and some duvetine scraps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Forum Sponsors

Film Gears

Serious Gear

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

VidGear.com - Broadcast Video Warehouse

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International


Wooden Camera

Cinematography Books and Gear

  • Create New...