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Jamie MacLeod

UK equivalent of Can Light? (Would a work light work?)/ Dedolight Alternative

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So in the UK ‘Can (or Clamp) Lights’ aren’t anywhere near as easy to get a hold of as in the USA. However work lights are. So could I go ahead and get a 150w clamp on work light and get a similar effect (e.g. http://www.silverlinetools.com/cs-CZ/Products/Torches%20and%20Lamps/Work%20Lights/459873)?

To give you some context. I am trying to get something that is a more DIY alternative to a set of 150W DedoLights. Ideally I wan’t something that is a bit more of a focused light than just a full wash, which is why I originally gravitated towards trying to find clamp lights instead of using work lights.

If anyone has any other suggestions they would be greatly appreciated!


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Often, that sort of thing is referred to as a "sun flood", although the term is mainly used with the 500W linear halogen lights.


Neither the US style clamp lights, nor linear halogen floods, are in any sense focussed. There's nothing wrong with linear halogens - in fact they're supposed to be the same colour temperature as any tungsten halogen movie light and if you're going to bounce or diffuse it there's not much to complain about with them, but they're really usable only in that sort of circumstance. As a direct light it's quite hard to control, although I have seen clamp-on barn doors for them and you are of course free to use flags as usual.


If you want something a bit more like a dedolight you could get some birdie parcans:




The one in the picture is wired for mains, although in my experience they're more usually 12 volt devices that take anything up to (sensibly) a 50W MR16 light. You would need to source some 12V power supplies (ebay) and wire them with appropriate connectors (4-pin XLRs, probably). You can get long and short birdies for various beam angles, and you can put various lamps in them with different reflectors to give different effects. They invariably come with gel frames that can be fitted with frost, diffusion, etc. although they do get very hot and you need to be cautious. You can definitely get barn doors for them, and even gobo projectors which gives you a bit more dedo-style ability.




They're lightweight enough to mount on cheap photo stands (make the cables long enough so the power supply can sit on the floor), although you'll need to get a spigot receiver for each one and attach it to the yoke. You can also fit them with LED MR16 replacements and thereby get different colour temperature and something that can reasonably be battery powered (theoretically a 50W tungsten MR16 could be, but ouch). They'll get less hot in that situation too. The LEDs will usually not be as good as tungsten from a colour rendering point of view, but that's a choice you'd need to make based on the situation you're in. The gobo projectors don't work well with some LED MR16s which are multi-emitter - you end up with several copies of the gobo, but that could be a style choice too!


Obviously it doesn't have nearly the flexibility or nice engineering of a dedo and you'll need to work harder with bits of blackwrap, flags, and so on to achieve similar results, but they're quite useful and not all that terribly expensive.



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linear halogen bulbs tend to create more uneven beam, if diffused or used as a kicker/backlight this is not a problem or if used in a way that the beam structure is not fully revealed (eg. projected to a flat surface etc.)

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That was really useful information. Thanks very much for all of that. I will have a look into some Par 16's / will probably try and borrow some from a theatre tech friend of mine.

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