Lights Lights Lights

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by TruckLover, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Hi Guys

    I need some help on getting some new overhead lights for my room to take better pics

    I want "white" lights, and to only use the "yellow" ceiling fan lights when not taking pictures....

    I was thinking i could get a couple of the long "white" tube bulbs and hang a couple strips on the roof to provide some good overhead light when taking pictues. I was thinking maybe 4-6 strips should be good for my room size. I have a 10x12 room, with a ceiling fan dead center in the middle. So i was thinking a strip on each side of the fan would do (of coarse not under the fan blades, they would be mounted just outside the fan blades radius)

    These strips would be mainly used for Module Photography, so they dont need to be over or close to the walls where a layout would typically be (even tho they would be close enough to the walls that if i did want to take pictures on the old layout, i could)

    I would also like something that would be fairly easy to hook up and not so much wireing if possible. Really hopping i could just plut them into an extention cord and run them to an outlet lol

    So what do you guys recommend I use? I know nothing about lights lol. but i would like to have a couple stips, just dont know what kind would work the best for provideing "white" light
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I kind of included an answer to this question on your thread about your new camera. Don't bother with tubes. You want some flood lights for picture taking. Portable is best so that you can put the light where you want it. You need additional lights to provide fill lighting to eliminate shadows where you don't want them. You can get inexpensive flood lights from Lowes or Home Depot. The clip on type will work if you make some simple stands that will allow you to put them in different places around the room. You want daylight spectrum bulbs for your main lighting. I don't think the spectrum makes a lot of difference for the fill. You will also want some large reflectors, white foam core will work. Sometimes reflectors work even better than lights for fill lighting. I suspect you won't need more than 2 or 3 flood lights and 1 or 2 sheets of foam core for reflectors. You won't have the lights turned on for long periods of time, so incandescent bulbs will work fine. Just be sure to keep the lights away from the models so that you don't get heat damage. Beyond that, all I can recommend is to practice.
  3. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    As I recall, TomPM has a unique lighting system....A table lamp without the lampshade, set just "off-screen" of what he's taking a picture of.....
  4. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Flood lights ehh? :mrgreen:

    Russ what are foam core reflectors?

    And i would really like to get get something i can hang from the ceiling, would you still suggest steering away from the light strips? Right now, i want what will be cheaper lol

    I do like the idea of them being portable, how would you make some stands for them tho?
  5. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    lol thanks Gus, if i had a spare lamp, i would prolly try that out lol
  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    My suggestion (worth less than you paid for it) is to make a board(s) with 3-4 swivel spot or flood light fixtures on it - perhaps 4 ft long with lights about 16" to 24" apart. Make sure the fixtures take standard light bulbs, and use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) instead. When you wire them up, gang the fixtures together, and install a 12 ft switched cord on the end. Then you can mount the board on the wall or ceiling as you see fit. And you can aim the lights individually. Kind of your own home-made track light setup.

    I would use the "daylight" or "cool white" CFLs, not the "warm white" which are supposed to be similar color to incandescents. But your tastes and camera reaction may vary. The CFLs keep the wiring, wattage, and heat load reasonable, but don't cost a ton of money.

    Making or buying the stands (or even rail hanging from the ceiling) for the clamp-on reflectors is probably slightly more difficult than the light board, but is a valid alternative.

    my thoughts, your choices
  7. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    You can probably find the clip on type spotlights cheap during the holidays. They are an aluminum reflector dish that surrounds a standard-base bulb. There is a clip on the back for attaching it to things. You could make a simple pole for attaching them by taking a 2x3 and standing it up vertically on a base. The base could be something like a christmas tree stand, or something you cobbled together out of scrap wood and some weights.

    Or, you could take a 1x3, and somehow fix it to the ceiling in such a way that you can clip the spotlights to it. You can move the spotlights around, as needed by unclipping them and moving them along the board.

    Fluorescent shop lights are pretty cheap, and relatively easy to install. These are the long tube kind, and there are varieties that simply hang from hooks you put into the ceiling, and then the wire can plug into an outlet or an extension cord.
  8. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    I like the idea of having a couple boards at the top of the ceiling and moving the lights around on it, I think that might be what i will do, it sounds pretty easy and effective. I will be able to move a couple lights around on the boards, and i can spotlight stuff easy, which is really what i want to do. I figure maybe 2 or 3 boards and like 3 or 4 spotlights would be sufficient for my needs :mrgreen:

    Thank-you Fred and Kevin

    I need to go to Lowes and see what they got :mrgreen:
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Your layout lighting should be part of the room's decor. You really should have your layout design, lighting, etc look like a planned decorating theme for the room, not like a store room. As such your lighting won't be portable. Your photography lights should be completely portable. Do you want your modules restricted to the point that the only place you can do decent photography is in your room? Even if you photograph your modules outside in day light, you may still want to use fill lighting to reduce or eliminate harsh shadows.

    I'm in a car club here in So Cal. A student at the design center in Pasadena wanted to photograph some of the cars in the club to build a portfolio because he wants to start a professional automobile photography business. We met near my house to photograph my Firebird. Even though he was photographing it in daylight, he still used flood lights and reflectors for fill lighting.

    The "foam core reflectors" are simply light weight foam core board in white that are easy to carry and store. You can set them up with simple spring loaded paper clips to bounce light off of for filling shadows.
  10. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Russ, i would like to have both types of lighting. I would like to be able to have a light system in my room (mounted to the ceiling on the 1x3's) and also have a stand or 2 to clip the flood lights on like you said. My problem is, i dont know how to build such a stand. that is why i leaned more towards only the ceiling boards.... But you make a good point, that i might need extra lights when taking pictures outside.

    I read what Fred and Kevin said about making the stands, and i think that i could do something like that. Ill have to talk to my grandpa about making a couple stands. Hes good with this kind of stuff :mrgreen:

    Once again, thank-you to all that have helped me in my threads, its all greatly appreciated and its all going to help me so much :wave:
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Josh, I don't think making the stands would be too difficult. Have you ever seen an old fashioned hat & coat rack? They are basically a pole set on a tripod about 5 feet tall with hat and coat holders at the top. You do something similar with a board mounted cross wise to the top of the pole which could be something as simple as a 4-5 foot long 2x2. Mount a 1x3 board about 12 inches long or so on top and you have a convenient place to clip flood lights to.

    If you want another idea, I was at Lowes yesterday and they have some "rounds" about 2 inches thick of various diameters in the same area as the stair rail spindles. A decent diameter wooden round would make a nice base for a pole and cross bar.
  12. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    That sounds fairly easy and effective Russ, thanks for the ideas :mrgreen:
  13. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    So i went to Lowes tonight and i was talking to my old boss (one of the managers) and he helped get a set-up with the Clip Lights:


    These were the small sized ones, and take up to 75 Wats. Is this the clip flood light fixture you guys have been telling me to get? They were $6.50 each, not to bad :mrgreen:

    We tried a few different light bulbs out, most of them being way to yellow. The last one we found and tried was the most expensive but gave the best results for "white light".



    Its a reveal light, full spectrum 75 wat flood light. There $10.00 each and give the best results to anything Lowes Carry's.

    Will these work?
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    That is exactly what I was talking about. Using them for layout lighting will run your electric bill up if you use those floods, but since you only turn them on for a few minutes once in a while for photography they work well for photography flood lighting.
  15. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Russ, thats what i was hoping to hear, im going to go buy 4 or 5 sets of them today :mrgreen:

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