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Jayden Woodards

Lighting In Rain

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Hey there,

 

Just finished a shoot that was primarily creating a consistent daylight by using HMI's through windows of a building and found that rain is one hell of a pain to deal with.

 

I'm curious as to how you deal with water and lights outside and any methods of keeping dry outside in these situations.

 

Personally, I called in some favors and ran Marquees on top them and bunched them up in pairs.

 

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I asked from some gaffers about this some years ago and the advice was to keep the lights running, don't switch them off, The heat burns off the water, I don't know if this works in a tropical downpour,but it works in UK rain. You need outdoor connectors as used by the construction industry etc, your local regulations will provide the details.

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I asked from some gaffers about this some years ago and the advice was to keep the lights running, don't switch them off, The heat burns off the water, I don't know if this works in a tropical downpour,but it works in UK rain. You need outdoor connectors as used by the construction industry etc, your local regulations will provide the details.

 

I did see that posted on THIS POST too.

 

Wasn't too keen on having rental lights out in the rain and then if something were to happen to have to explain ' yeah, I just put it out in the rain'. I did, however I did decide to test a 1k Fresnel in the rain after letting it run for a couple minutes, and it was hot enough to not change or show any wear.

 

I saw that water could shatter the glass of a fresnel if its hot enough and water hits it?

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LED's can be iffy.

 

HMI's are usually fine but we like to cover the ballast with some rain shield. The heads are hot enough not to really worry about but we always cover those with Cello Flex wrap - the metal wire in plastic.

 

For Tungsten Fresnels, we usually just let those go. Monsoon, Hurricane, whatever. If the Gaffer or Bests get a little worried, we will but some cello wrap over those as well, but Tungsten is nigh indestructible and hot. The problem comes if you turn it off. If you are having lightning, and the genny is switched off, then I start covering lamps for sure. But so long as they are on, and its raining, no problem.

 

The only time I lens has ever cracked on me was on a Joker 800 in February when it snowed. Nothing we did saved those lenses.

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Cello is your best friend in rain. Also, I personally like swamp boxes/wood under most connections. Keep Ballasts dry, and honestly, when it's raining, bring those LEDs inside.

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Cello is your best friend in rain. Also, I personally like swamp boxes/wood under most connections. Keep Ballasts dry, and honestly, when it's raining, bring those LEDs inside.

Do you have a link as to where I can buy Cello Wrap? Googling around doesn't really show much apart from some way off topic things.

 

I used milk crates to keep connectors off the ground and taped them up with gaff with a shotbag on top of them to keep it dry.

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In Sydney; I honestly wouldn't know. Here In La we just put it on the rental and or expendables order. Most expendables shops, catering to film, should have it, but I haven't a clue where to look in Sydney for it.

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In Sydney; I honestly wouldn't know. Here In La we just put it on the rental and or expendables order. Most expendables shops, catering to film, should have it, but I haven't a clue where to look in Sydney for it.

What about a place in LA, just so I can use it as a reference for the places in Aus. May be called something different.

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For Tungsten Fresnels, we usually just let those go. Monsoon, Hurricane, whatever. If the Gaffer or Bests get a little worried, we will put some cello wrap over those as well, but Tungsten is nigh indestructible and hot.

 

I find the above a little humorous.....

Who is responsible for the electrical safety of cast and crew on set?

Who decides what precautions need to be taken for cable connections, distro and lighting equipment?

Who is qualified to decide that it's not safe to continue to power and light an exterior during a rainstorm?

I'll give you a little hint, it's not the DP.

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What about a place in LA, just so I can use it as a reference for the places in Aus. May be called something different.

 

Here's the website of the company that makes and sells it in the USA.

http://www.warpbros.com/detail.asp?section=windows&cat=screen-glass&product=24

Maybe they have a Aus. distributor or can give you the name of a manufacturer of a similar product.

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I find the above a little humorous.....

 

I find the above a little alarming that there has been no discussion thus far of ground fault protection in the rain. GFCIs are a must when working in rain in order to avoid someone taking a potentially lethal shock. When using large HMIs you will need to use film style GFCIs (Shock Blocks, Shock Stops, or Bender Lifeguards) that are specifically designed to accommodate the residual currents that HMIs shunt to ground that will cause standard GFCIs to nuisance trip. To prevent nuisance tripping film style GFCIs sense on an "Inverse Time Curve" and incorporate harmonic filters with a frequency response up to 120 hz. 3rd harmonics are attenuated by 50%, and by 500 Hz are down to 20%. Attenuated by the filter, the harmonics that HMI ballasts shunt to ground pose less of a problem.

 

ShockStop_Location_Still_Smaller.jpg

Our Shock Stop GFCI with either our 60, 84, or 100A Transformer/Distro is

the only way to bring Honda EU6500s or EU7000s

into OSHA compliance for use on work sites.

 

For more detailed information on how to use film style GFCIs to provide tiered ground fault protection on wet locations, use this link for a series of articles I wrote for Protocol magazine.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lightng & Grip Rental in Boston

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I find the above a little humorous.....

Who is responsible for the electrical safety of cast and crew on set?

Who decides what precautions need to be taken for cable connections, distro and lighting equipment?

Who is qualified to decide that it's not safe to continue to power and light an exterior during a rainstorm?

I'll give you a little hint, it's not the DP.

 

Ha, J.D. , most of the time, I find myself running around yelling at people because they don't know better. Someone has to teach safety, and more often that not, its me.

 

I was, however, only speaking of the lamp heads.

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In Australia for a handful of reasons we tend to go a bit overboard when wet weather hits.

 

- Heads are covered with either Hogsmesh, or an umbrella.

 

-Ballasts are elevated and ideally placed out of the weather, or covered with an umbrella, or hogsmesh.

 

-Distribution boards are elevated and at least tarped.

 

-Electrical connections are elevated. If not a weather proof type they are also covered/taped.

 

The power on nearly every film set in Australia is RCD (GFCI) protected. Our power distribution equipment has RCDs or ELCBs built in as standard. Our safety code also stipulates the use of plug in type RCDs if in a building without RCD protection (this is getting rarer since safety switches became mandatory in all new builds and electrical upgrades).

 

You can buy Hogsmesh from Barbizon and John Barry Sales in sydney. Most gaffers and rental houses generally will gladly send out some wet weather gear like Hogsmesh with the hire if you ask.

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It's called 'Hog Mesh', here in Australia. You can source through John Barry.

 

Aye, thanks for this one. I was under the impression it was called something different here. Nonetheless, that is hella expensive and above my budget.

 

I find the above a little alarming that there has been no discussion thus far of ground fault protection in the rain. GFCIs are a must when working in rain in order to avoid someone taking a potentially lethal shock. When using large HMIs you will need to use film style GFCIs (Shock Blocks, Shock Stops, or Bender Lifeguards) that are specifically designed to accommodate the residual currents that HMIs shunt to ground that will cause standard GFCIs to nuisance trip. To prevent nuisance tripping film style GFCIs sense on an "Inverse Time Curve" and incorporate harmonic filters with a frequency response up to 120 hz. 3rd harmonics are attenuated by 50%, and by 500 Hz are down to 20%. Attenuated by the filter, the harmonics that HMI ballasts shunt to ground pose less of a problem.

 

ShockStop_Location_Still_Smaller.jpg

Our Shock Stop GFCI with either our 60, 84, or 100A Transformer/Distro is

the only way to bring Honda EU6500s or EU7000s

into OSHA compliance for use on work sites.

 

For more detailed information on how to use film style GFCIs to provide tiered ground fault protection on wet locations, use this link for a series of articles I wrote for Protocol magazine.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lightng & Grip Rental in Boston

 

I did have a similar setup to this going. I found it easier to use what I had on hand which was a bunch of milk crates to elevate GFCI's and all connecting points of cords and covered them from the rain with other means. Only things hitting the ground were the cables that were insulated ( not damaged? right terminology for cable rubber not being torn or such?).

 

In Australia for a handful of reasons we tend to go a bit overboard when wet weather hits.

 

- Heads are covered with either Hogsmesh, or an umbrella.

 

-Ballasts are elevated and ideally placed out of the weather, or covered with an umbrella, or hogsmesh.

 

-Distribution boards are elevated and at least tarped.

 

-Electrical connections are elevated. If not a weather proof type they are also covered/taped.

 

The power on nearly every film set in Australia is RCD (GFCI) protected. Our power distribution equipment has RCDs or ELCBs built in as standard. Our safety code also stipulates the use of plug in type RCDs if in a building without RCD protection (this is getting rarer since safety switches became mandatory in all new builds and electrical upgrades).

 

You can buy Hogsmesh from Barbizon and John Barry Sales in sydney. Most gaffers and rental houses generally will gladly send out some wet weather gear like Hogsmesh with the hire if you ask.

 

Thank you so much for this one, was pretty in the dark when it comes to the different practices or terminology between US and AU.

 

Do you practice putting umbrellas above heads? I bought a few but we've been stuck in that terrible rain in Sydney and wasn't completely sure it would do the job if the rain starts going horizontal again.

 

The ballasts, RCDs and cable connectors were all raised above ground with milk crates. Connecting points were raised, gaffed and had a shotty thrown on them to keep them dry.

 

Hogsmesh turned out to be hella expensive for what I can only assume isn't a whole lot. Do you have any insight on how much Hogmesh you'd put on a single light and how to place it?

 

I ran my cables through RCD's placed all on their own circuits, outside with milk crates elevating connection points (taped and shottied on top), with a marquee above lights. Was what we had on hand and I always ensured that there was enough headroom for heat to not become an issue under there. Ballasts and RCD's were raised above ground on another milk crate under the marquee.

Edited by Jayden Woodards

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