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Peter Bishop

LED vs Tungsten

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Hi All

I am a Uni student studying film and working as a spark and gaffer on low budget productions in London and was wondering if you might be able to help me out with my dissertation.

I am doing it on LED vs tungsten and the effects on the industry, changes to the working environment compared to tungsten and the more technical sides of LEDs.

Many thanks in advance

 

Peter

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The rough takeaways I've gotten from working with both is LED is very safe/easy however renders color poorly and can at times not look natural.

 

Tungsten looks/renders beautifully and I feel like I have the power of God's sunlight when using them. With great power comes great responsibility and the smaller the crew you're working with, the more dangerous they can be from an electrical/heat perspective. If you find yourself on a legitimate set where you can hire your own dedicated grip, tungsten will be wonderful for you.

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The rough takeaways I've gotten from working with both is LED is very safe/easy however renders color poorly and can at times not look natural.

 

Tungsten looks/renders beautifully and I feel like I have the power of God's sunlight when using them. With great power comes great responsibility and the smaller the crew you're working with, the more dangerous they can be from an electrical/heat perspective. If you find yourself on a legitimate set where you can hire your own dedicated grip, tungsten will be wonderful for you.

 

Dangerous? Really.

 

LED lights produce heat as well.

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thanks very much JD. How do you think it affects the set atmosphere? such as a working environment for actors that is not cluttered and hot, the speed of adjustments such as not needing to compensate with CTB when dimming tungsten and do you think it will make the world of lighting more accessible to people lower down the chain who cannot necessarily afford generators and sparks need to run cables etc?

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sorry and macks

 

 

Alexandros.

From my research, the CRI does not seem to matter because sputniks have a lower CRI value but have a better colour render because they have looked at what the CMOS sensor of cameras pick up and only output that, unlike other units which may have a higher CRI but miss a lot of the spectrum out which means if part of the spectrum is not given out by the light then it will not be able to reflect back and there for that colour will not appear in you're image. Attached are some spectrums.

post-71978-0-36722400-1486043450_thumb.jpeg

post-71978-0-75912500-1486043458_thumb.jpeg

post-71978-0-80085100-1486043466_thumb.jpeg

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I guess the thing to realise is that the choice isn't really LED versus tungsten. They behave about as dissimilarly as it's possible for two things to behave while still doing the same basic job. HMI is a much better comparator.

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Dangerous? Really.

 

LED lights produce heat as well.

Very hot lights can start fires if mishandled, especially if you're a student who happens to buy cheap ones leading to a slew of potential electrical issues.

 

As for LED producing heat as well, touch your average LED and your average Tungsten with a bare hand and get back to me with the heat results.

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How big a problem for movie lighting is the CRI of a LED light? The CRI is 92? Does CRI matter at all?

It's not like a 92 CRI light is going to shine in on your subject and suddenly make the saturation look unusable but the color response for tungsten(incandescent) is preferable for its smooth/natural/gradual properties.

54d11defcb70b_-_lightbulb-wars-00-0911-x

 

I liken it to the frequency response of certain condenser microphones, where the cheaper ones will show more bumps in their frequency response thus leading to coloration.

$100 AT2020

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As opposed to a $3000 mic like the U87ai

0860.png

Edited by Macks Fiiod
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Very hot lights can start fires if mishandled, especially if you're a student who happens to buy cheap ones leading to a slew of potential electrical issues.

 

As for LED producing heat as well, touch your average LED and your average Tungsten with a bare hand and get back to me with the heat results.

 

How many times have you personally witnessed scorched and bubbled paint, discolored or singed draperies because of improperly placed Tungsten lights?

 

The question may have been posed by a student, but it wasn't worded as, "What's best or safer on a student shoot?

 

Student shoots and cheap lights??? Last NYC undergrad shoot I was on, All lighting supplied by the school was ARRI, at Columbia, it was all Mole.

Edited by JD Hartman

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How many times have you personally witnessed scorched and bubbled paint, discolored or singed draperies because of improperly placed Tungsten lights?

 

The question may have been posed by a student, but it wasn't worded as, "What's best or safer on a student shoot?

 

Student shoots and cheap lights??? Last NYC undergrad shoot I was on, All lighting supplied by the school was ARRI, at Columbia, it was all Mole.

 

Kid buys a cheap enough tungsten with barn doors and position them just right and the flaps catch on fire in under an hour. I've seen that twice.

You could say "Oh they're idiots for buying cheapo lights" but that just wouldn't happen at all with a cheapo LED or fluorescent cause they don't get as hot. Incandescent bulbs in general were replaced with stuff like fluorescent for a reason, just an option that requires a tad more maintenance (just a tad).

 

If you're on a decently manned set; of course tungsten is 100% fine, but many people lurking these forums are teenagers who roll in 1-3 man crews and it's worth mentioning "Hey just be careful".

 

And not everyone has the cash to enroll at a film program in Columbia. The majority of the "media studies whatever" students I run into are taking their courses at community colleges or lower end in-state schools that lack funding for a legit film program, the equipment offered is embarassing.

 

I'm sure it'd be nice to have the money to go to a school that let's you use ARRI lights though. Take me some time!

Edited by Macks Fiiod

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Kid buys a cheap enough tungsten with barn doors and position them just right and the flaps catch on fire in under an hour. I've seen that twice.

You could say "Oh they're idiots for buying cheapo lights" but that just wouldn't happen at all with a cheapo LED or fluorescent cause they don't get as hot. Incandescent bulbs in general were replaced with stuff like fluorescent for a reason, just an option that requires a tad more maintenance (just a tad).

 

If you're on a decently manned set; of course tungsten is 100% fine, but many people lurking these forums are teenagers who roll in 1-3 man crews and it's worth mentioning "Hey just be careful".

 

 

the flaps catch on fire in under an hour?

 

Did you mean the barndoors? The metal (usually aluminum) barndoors caught fire, that must have been a sight!

 

An ultra low budget shoot isn't going to have the funds to buy an Astra, Celebrity, Litepanels or Kino knockoff either.

 

You're not making any sense.

Time to put you on ignore.

Edited by JD Hartman
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Did you mean the barndoors? The metal (usually aluminum) barndoors caught fire, that must have been a sight!

You coat metal in a cheap black paint and yes, the paint will catch on fire. You seem to be underestimating how dangerous cheapo knock-off products can be in general.

 

Buy a 10 dollar balisong and get stitches. Buy a 60 dollar tungsten light off some random website with no QC and get the extinguisher.

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Less distro/cable/power consumption to run with LED's that could all be powered with Extension cords and cube tabs.

Less heat output = less cost of Air Conditioners with LED's

 

 

And YES our LARGER 24k tungsten will set things on fire if to close!!

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so my question becomes, ... from reading this thread, ..

 

what is a good LED that is equivalent to a 2K tungsten Fresnel ???

something a "student" can afford?

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so my question becomes, ... from reading this thread, ..

 

what is a good LED that is equivalent to a 2K tungsten Fresnel ???

something a "student" can afford?

 

I've never seen one. Buy the 2k tungsten, be happy.

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There are 900W LEDs from Mole, I believe, which would outshine a 2k significantly. Most of them are 200w and under (perhaps approaching 1kW tungsten equivalence), although there are just beginning to be units in the 500W range which would approach a 2K. The fundamental parts required to make them became available in 2016, so expect many more this year.

 

P

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The cost argument will not work currently as the prices for LED are just way too high.


Mole 900watt LED Fresnel...$4,197.00

 

(1200 watt HIM equivalent)

 

 

Arri T2 Tungsten Fresnel $917.00 add 130 more for BD

 

 

The cost right now isn't anywhere close to what a student could afford :)

and you can find cheaper Tungsten-used market.

 

 

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so my question becomes, ... from reading this thread, ..

 

what is a good LED that is equivalent to a 2K tungsten Fresnel ???

something a "student" can afford?

 

You don't need a 2K LED Fresnel, a conventional 2K Fresnel will work fine all day on a 20A residential circuit. You will find such a circuit unless you are working in an old house with a 60A service.

 

You won't burn the house down with a 2K unless you are a complete moron.

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Also take into account that a LED should be close to 50k hrs compared to a EGT that lasts about 250 hrs in a perfect world.

Could be up to additional $7k in globes compared to 1 LED

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so my question becomes, ... from reading this thread, ..

 

what is a good LED that is equivalent to a 2K tungsten Fresnel ???

something a "student" can afford?

Arri L10-C Pulls 400 watts but is equivalent to a 2K. If you mean, afford to rent. But get it from ArriRental or you'll be gouged as I've recently learned.

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This is completely unscientific but I simply do not like the look of LED. Outside of the very high end Arri fixtures the light that comes from them never looks natural to me. I love Tungsten and how it looks on both film and digital. Of course there is a time and a place for both. I own some LED for quick interviews and travel. I rent Tungsten for big shoots when I can afford gennies and a grip trick.

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