View Full Version : Portable lighting setup?


OrchidsofWrath
01-20-2008, 07:37 PM
Hey everyone,
I am new to the world of movies and have been doing some research on lighting, and i have a question that i couldn't seem to find good direct answers too. How do people take their lighting setups to remote locations? (such as in the woods or something). There must be a cheaper (and quieter) solution than having a giant and cumbersome generator! I've seen battery powered LED lights but their rare and don't seem to be in the mainstream.
So how would a tight budgeted indie film maker get some on location lighting!
--
Any input appreciated!

indietalk
01-20-2008, 07:48 PM
:welcome:

OrchidsofWrath
01-20-2008, 07:57 PM
haha thanks founder! Even the noobs get a warm reception!

DeceptionA
01-20-2008, 08:52 PM
How big of lights you talking?

We have battery powered lights attached to poles that are good for up to 5 feet away. We use them when we have to tape dark bars or places of that nature, where being portable and not having a cord plugged into a wall and tripping someone is important.

But, yeah, for bigger lights, generator is about the only option. As far as I know.

Joe999
01-20-2008, 08:55 PM
Are you talking night shooting or day shooting? The sun is quite powerful for day shooting and using reflectors could fill shadows, etc. But yeah as others are saying you likely will need generators or battery packs for electrical lighting. I wonder how many lumens those Coleman kerosene lanterns throw, just an interesting thought that came to me writing this reply.

Hey everyone, I am new to the world of movies and have been doing some research on lighting, and i have a question that i couldn't seem to find good direct answers too. How do people take their lighting setups to remote locations? (such as in the woods or something). There must be a cheaper (and quieter) solution than having a giant and cumbersome generator! I've seen battery powered LED lights but their rare and don't seem to be in the mainstream.
So how would a tight budgeted indie film maker get some on location lighting!
--
Any input appreciated!

OrchidsofWrath
01-20-2008, 10:34 PM
How big of lights you talking?

We have battery powered lights attached to poles that are good for up to 5 feet away. We use them when we have to tape dark bars or places of that nature, where being portable and not having a cord plugged into a wall and tripping someone is important.

But, yeah, for bigger lights, generator is about the only option. As far as I know.

What models of are the lights? Are they rechargeable? Expensive?
I will be shooting outdoors and primarily day shooting. I will certainly utilize reflectors as much as possible, but I live in a very gloomy place (Seattle, WA) and have less sun to work with than most.

Thanks for the ideas so far.

Dirtyd0gg
01-24-2008, 10:24 AM
Are you talking night shooting or day shooting? The sun is quite powerful for day shooting and using reflectors could fill shadows, etc. But yeah as others are saying you likely will need generators or battery packs for electrical lighting. I wonder how many lumens those Coleman kerosene lanterns throw, just an interesting thought that came to me writing this reply.

I have a similar problem shooting in a graveyard during the day in feb. The natural light will be poor and there may be tree cover. Generators are loud and would require a lot of cable to get it far enough away. Batteries dont last long and we would only be able to run a Dedo kit for a few hours.
Your point about kerosene lanterns is something ive been intreged about as it often how Sven Nykvist would light for Bergman
"We came to believe that artificial studio lighting was absolutely wrong - it had no logic. Logical light by contrast was light which appeared real and it became our shared obsession. A naturalistic light can only be created with fewer lights - sometimes none at all (at times I have used only kerosene lamps or candles)" - Nykvist. 'Cinematography Screencraft'

I happened to be reading this book whilst researching on here. So in order to get a natural looking external light with minimal use of electricity what would you wise people suggest? Would kerosene work, do they produce enough light? If so what type of kerosene lamps?

any advice would be much appreciated. Hope this post helps you too orchidsofwrath

DD

OrchidsofWrath
01-24-2008, 08:21 PM
I hope so too! (also hope people to continue leaving replies at all)

knightly
01-25-2008, 03:40 PM
For providing power to lights on location, I use my car's lighter and a power inverter along with my 500ft of orange power cable. I can run 3 lights off that little champ for hours on end just have to make sure I leave enough fuel to get to the gas station :)

oakstreetphotovideo
01-25-2008, 03:48 PM
I will be shooting outdoors and primarily day shooting. I will certainly utilize reflectors as much as possible, but I live in a very gloomy place (Seattle, WA) and have less sun to work with than most.

Daylight is bright ... even when it's not bright. Overcoming daylight with artificial lights generally involves very powerful lights. I bought a 100W on-camera light and I bought a filter for it to color match it to daylight, thinking I might be able to use it to fill shadows. In practice, the light has no effect on shadows, even when it's only a couple feet away. That light will drain a 15 AH (amp hour) battery in 2 hours. I'm not sure you could carry enough batteries to power 2KW of lights for more than 20 minutes.

Personally, I like gloomy days for shooting outdoors with natural light. It's not good for setting a mood, but it fits the dynamic range of video better than bright/direct sunlight.