Category Archives: Lighting

LED Lighting

Led lighting has come a long way over the past 7 years. 

I rent Led lighting to my customers on just about every production I work as Gaffer on these days.   Ease of use is a big factor. I reach for the Astra-Lite Panels the most.  Battery powered, lightweight, nimble,  variable color temperature option on the fly and extremely powerful.  Astra light panels are quick and effective. The power consumption on LED lighting is amazing.  Color rendering used to be an issue but no more in my opinion!  You literally can shoot at night in the street with only 4 anton bauer batteries for 3 to 6 hours dependent on the brightness setting. 

Astra Lite Panels

Astra Lite Panels- LED Lighting
Astra Lite Panels- LED Lighting

“This compact 2-light kit has everything you need to light on-camera stand ups or a small location. The included
battery adapter plates make these kits a great mobile lighting solution. Both the Astra 1×1 Bi-Color panels provide soft, full spectrum illumination.”

The Advantage of LED Lighting

The big advantage of LEDs is that they tend to stay relatively cool and are super energy efficient. The light also takes Chimera diffusers or modifiers (still photographers language)  which soften, wrap and broaden the LED light.  You can mount these lights on the hood of a car on a bicycle or hold it in your hand and aim it at your subject.  If you are a 1 man crew the Astra Light panel is the hot ticket!  The Astra light panel is powerful enough to use on Miami beach to fill your subject or act as an eye light on a corporate interview shoots.  In Fort Lauderdale, LEDs are quickly replacing fluorescents as well in commercial applications.

The rental price for LED lighting is a great bang for your buck. Call Daves Grip and Lighting today for a great price on LED lighting rental.

Check it Out Film Buffs! Old Tungsten Lights at Mole and B&H Photo!

As a film lighting history guy, I was interested in tungsten lights from Mole Richardson Company.  When we traveled to Los Angeles recently, I checked out their set lights on display.  Some date back to 1930.

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According to their Wikipedia page, “Mole-Richardson invented the Fresnel Solar Spot unit in 1935, adapting the fresnel lighthouse lens for use in motion pictures. It won the first of four technical Academy Awards the company has earned.[2]”

img_5437Tungsten lights at Mole tungsten lights at Mole

Their Wikipedia page continues,  “Mole-Richardson is considered by many to be the staple of motion picture and television lighting in the movie industry today, setting the standard for tungsten fresnel fixtures. However, they do also manufacture HMI day-light lighting units. Their lighting is generally recognized by their maroon coloring and ‘MR’ logos.”

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And then to my surprise, when I traveled to B&H Photo Video Pro Audio  in NYC we saw some iconic  Mole-Richardson Company 4K ZIP lights  for sale.

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Enjoy this walk down the memory lane of Tungsten lighting.

A Great Lighting Resource – Rosco’s SoftDrop

We’re always on the search for ways to enhance our lighting kit and we recently came across these wicked cool SoftDrop backdrops by Rosco.  They look fantastic and with their extra large seamless size a Director of Photography can shoot from all angles without shooting a seam. They are 100% woven cotton and have a super matte finish so they don’t create lighting reflections — a DP’s nightmare.  They also don’t require as many lights as other backdrops.  The Rosco SoftDrops set up easily and are a great solution when shooting on a sound stage. Rosco also has some awesome Day Night SoftDrops. Hopefully we’ll be involved in a production in the future with one of these!

In this tutorial video Mike McMurray, CSC, Director of Photography talks about the Rosco SoftDrop.

For more information:

http://www.roscodigital.com/softdrop/docs/Rosco_SoftDrop_Data_NA_v2.pdf

ARRI SkyPanel Soft Light’s Debut at NAB 2015

This was one of the coolest lights we saw this year at the NABShow!

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These robust lights with aluminum bodies, simple controls have a large aperture. The light wraps beautifully for lighting actors.  It has adjustable color temperature from 2800K – 10,000K and add many types of diffusion with the front diffusion frame. Light draws 400 watts and output exceeds a 2K soft light. You can also power the light with batteries. We think the Arri SkyPanel will be relevant for a long time!

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Benefits of Renting ARRI Lighting Systems

Arri light

The  ARRI M8 is the smallest and newest edition to the ARRIMAX line of daylight HMI studio lights designed to compete with the ever-popular K5600 Joker 800 HMI fixture.

ARRI lights are the most desired lighting systems for any production, and the latest ARRI M-Series is exactly what Producers and Directors of Photography are looking for. The ARRI M8 is equipped with ARRIMAX Technology and its patented, open face design makes ARRI surpass the competition.

M8 lights can be focused between 15° and 65°, allowing for an ideal light field with crisp shadows. Its faceted reflect light output produces 800W and has a temperature tolerance of 6000K. The M8’s cross cooling allows for safe operation at 90° for that perfect shot.

The ARRI M8 was designed for mobility, but it still weighs in at 17.2 lb. making shipping a challenge.  If you are shooting in Florida, consider renting ARRI lights from Dave’s Grip & Lighting. We  can help save you hundreds in shipping, as well as frustration,  for your next off-set video production. Call us today about ARRI light rental pricing and your other grip, lighting and grip truck rental needs.

Hive Lighting Plasa Fixtures at NAB 2015

Hive Lighting brought out some cool new plasma lighting toys to NAB 2015 this year.  The innovative  Drone Source 4 Spot Kit shown here has tunable color from Tungsten to Moonlight and has other great features such as a Leko lens barrel for focus and directional control or use of an optional soft-box to diffuse the light.

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The Hive Drone Source 4 Spot Kit shown at NAB 2015
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The Drone has Tungsten, Hybrid, Daylight, and even a Moonlight color temperature setting!

For those of you unfamiliar with plasma lighting, it is similar to HMI lighting in the sense that a volatile gas is electrically charged that illuminates the bulb.  However, unlike HMI, plasma lighting uses solid state electronics and does not require metal electrodes in the bulb allowing plasma bulbs to be constructed out of a robust sealed quartz chamber instead of glass.  Additionally, plasma bulbs are dimmable, turns on and re-strikes quickly, and can operate in any orientation without fear of heat buildup.  And you might not have known it but that street light outside your house just may be a plasma light…so this isn’t new technology.  Plasma lighting is also in used with surgical equipment and microscopes for its proven reliability.

While the price point is a bit higher than some other lighting technologies,  you’ll get your moneys worth out of them with longevity and reliability.  Hive Lighting also has a rather maniacal looking stage lighting product dubbed the Honey Bee Theatrical Spot.  This modular fixture has an integrated power supply, Source 4 barrel, and yoke…and it looks like something you would find on top of a US Army Humvee.

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The Honey Bee Theatrical Spot Plasma Fixture