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General Lighting Advice + Considerations

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  • General Lighting Advice + Considerations

    Hi guys,

    I'm putting in a strong effort to learn more about lighting and was hoping a few people could answer a few questions that I've had trouble finding the answers to. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    I plan on investing money into an off-brand Arri 650W, 1000W, and 2,000W to accompany a small pair of LED lights I own. A few questions in particular stick out to me right now:

    1)Is blowing the electricity in an outlet out, or the overall electricity in someone's house due to lighting equipment a real concern? (Especially in regards to 2,000W lighting units) When does this typically tend to happen and what are the best practices to avoid such a scenario.
    2) Does anyone have experience, good or bad, dealing with off-brand Arri Lighting, If so, what brand were they?

  • #2
    Here's a good video on plug-in house power: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2DPiHOfiI_k

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    • #3
      Just some basic stuff; 100w = 1amp of power and household circuits are usually 20amps each. Generally don't want to go over 16 or 17 amps on a 20 amp circuit. Sometimes I can get away with a 2K on a household circuit but it'll eventually pop, especially in older homes.

      There's a Chinese Arri knockoff brand on ebay with reviews out there, I've seen people say that it's possible they could arrive not wired properly so I've stayed away from them, unless you know how to check and rewire stuff like that. And build quality will not be close to a real Arri.

      With LED lights taking over you can sometimes find old Mole or Arri fresnel lights used for very cheap on sites like this, reduser, criagslist or ebay. That's the route I took.
      Darren Hartman
      Asyn Film | Banana Stand Media

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      • #4
        Stay away from the Arri knockoffs. It will save your house, and life. Follow Darren's advice and invest on a used genuine Arri or Mole.

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        • #5
          I have bought lights from http://coollights.biz/ They are affordable and have worked well for me. When I have had issues, they have been very responsive and do a good job supporting their products and selling replacement parts of needed.

          For the reasons stated above, I have avoided adding 2K watt and above lights to my kit - especially if shooting in a typical house. Beyond electrical concerns, it will be very hot. If I was to use more than one 2K light at a location, I would recommend having a trained gaffer managing power to make sure it's safe.

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          • #6
            Thanks so much guys, these were all extremely helpful/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by EYu View Post
              Stay away from the Arri knockoffs. It will save your house, and life. Follow Darren's advice and invest on a used genuine Arri or Mole.
              I literally busted out laughing while reading this at work. Thank you man, I think that's going to be the route I end up taking.

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              • #8
                Used Arri lights are still pretty pricey. If you're just starting out and on a budget, used Mole's can usually be had much cheaper, and will be way more reliable than the Arri knockoffs. I went that route a few years ago, and the Arri knockoffs lasted about a year before they started breaking down.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ThomasHennessy View Post
                  Used Arri lights are still pretty pricey. If you're just starting out and on a budget, used Mole's can usually be had much cheaper, and will be way more reliable than the Arri knockoffs. I went that route a few years ago, and the Arri knockoffs lasted about a year before they started breaking down.
                  Out of curiosity, how was the actual quality of the light itself with the knockoff;

                  What I will most likely end up doing is buying used Moles/Arri's and getting one knockoff to fill out a set of 3.

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                  • #10
                    I can't imagine how the light quality would be that different once the knock off bulb is replaced, if you're talking about a fresnel I guess the reflector and lens could "color" the output but it would be minimal.

                    If you don't need Fresnels check out used first gen Arrilites and Ianiro Readheads or Varibeams or Cosmobeams or Ianabeams or whatever they're calling them today. They can be had inexpensively as opposed to fresnels which hold their value forever it seems. For softboxes and bounce I prefer using open face fixtures because they're lighter and more compact than fresnels, though personally I don't light with tungsten anymore. Also check out Berkey Colortran Mini-Pros and Mini-Broads on eBay they're super compact,well built, and high output, I had a bunch of them and a variety of different wattage bulbs that I used for a long time.

                    Good Luck

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