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Advice for Lighting Set Up

Ernest Kabashi

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I am starting to acquire lighting equipment for my production company. Usually I rent from local places but i want to own some equipment so i can really just pick up and go.

Im looking for some advice on a lower-budget for lighting set ups that have worked for you

Just fyi i shoot on super 8 and 16mm exclusively so that's what this equipment will be used for. I shoot a lot at night and love street lighting - indoors i shoot a lot in big industrial spaces


I am certainly no expert in this field, but so far i have acquired some equipment (not a lot but a start)

-Arri Fresnel Kit 150 300 650 

I love tungsten lighting have used it a lot on my films but usually when rented i also rent the chimera boxes and buying them is way to expensive. are there any alternatives? 

In the future i want to buy a baby and a junior and have some lined up but i know i would need softboxes so I'm apprehensive 

(side complete question - there is someone selling an arri 4k fresnel that they found in an auctioned storage locker - how would i run that light? standard american outlets cant run it i dont think and i have a generator but its only rated 3500 watts)

-Nanlite Pavotube 15x 

I bought the pavotubes for practical lighting and also more stylistic stuff for close ups like moonlighting and that extra touch. but i know they really arent gonna provide my the night time help i need

-Ryobi Work Light

I am using a work light for portable led light right now because for $180 i got the light and two spare batteries that run up to six hours at full power. This is a good solution right now because the light has panels which make it better for using/clipping diffusers on and is dimmable from 3k lumens to 2k to 1k. 

Any suggestions on led lights to upgrade my set up on a budget? When i rented lights i would rent a pair of Astra x6 LED panels and those were amazing because they are dimmable, color controllable, and have softbox attachments - but each light + battery is $2500 so not an option haha


Basically this is my set up right now but im looking for advice on how to elevate it, more equipment i can add, or suggestions on how to use any of it. Also looking for advice and products i can buy to elevate the use of the equipment i already have like softboxes, bounces, etc

thank you




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that's a pretty good start.

I'd suggest a 1k and 2k open face to fit in softboxes or for bounces (look at photoflex starlites for an easy system) .

If you'd prefer LED the Amaran 200x is the most affordable decent choice.  It puts out roughly what a 750w tungsten would.  

 those fresnels are still useful. pavotubes are useful

get a couple dimmers.  the Ryobi light will have bad color unless it's used for effects, which may work for on the street or industrial setting.

You probably need more grip gear than lights. 



Edited by JB Earl
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If that fresnel is 4K it's an HMI.  Tungsten fresnels would be 5K.  You need a transformer or 6k generator for it.  Or it can be rewired and relamped to 240v if used with a double pole switch.

Edited by JB Earl
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  • 2 weeks later...
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I really like the Aputure 120d II I got it on eBay for much less than the retail, it is daylight but very nice fixture.

I would look for some Kino-Flo 2 and 4 bank fixtures for soft light you can get both Daylight and Tungsten Fluoro bulbs and they are dimmable.

Alost look at Ianiro RedHead PARs or Mole-Richardson Teeny, Baby etc. fresnels they are really solid and usually less $$ than Arris.

Edited by Robert Houllahan
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