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Photographer
Josh C Photography
Posts: 16
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


So I'm trying to build a decent home studio.. right now I have a 1000 watt halogen lamp stand and one 500w halogen lamp.

But I'm looking to change my lights to fluorescent since halogens are not the best option.

There is a 2 set light stand with umbrellas that I'm considering to get, but my question is how much wattage would be suitable to have decent lighting from them?

they come with 85 watt bulbs, would that be enough lighting or would i need to upgrade/consider something more expensive?
Mar 24 13 09:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,261
Salem, Oregon, US


just get some strobes (i love my bees). unless you spend a lot of money constant lights are like trying to shoot with a flash light.
Mar 24 13 09:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,705
Houston, Texas, US


Josh C Photography wrote:
So I'm trying to build a decent home studio.. right now I have a 1000 watt halogen lamp stand and one 500w halogen lamp.

But I'm looking to change my lights to fluorescent since halogens are not the best option.

There is a 2 set light stand with umbrellas that I'm considering to get, but my question is how much wattage would be suitable to have decent lighting from them?

they come with 85 watt bulbs, would that be enough lighting or would i need to upgrade/consider something more expensive?

The problem with continuous light is the issue of shutter speed and stopping camera blur or your subject blur.   1000watt and 500 watt lights are the minimum you may want to use.  When you add modifiers like umbrellas, bounce and diffusion, it cuts the light down drastically.    That's why strobes are typically a favorite of people shooters.

Typically, you don't have the issue of color balance or camera shake with strobes.

Florescent are okay but unless you want to shoot at ISOs of 300 on up. you'll find that most don't have the output to avoid slower shutter speeds.  Also, I find their color balance a bit dicey.  They're fine for some video applications. 

I took two 500watt florescent lights bounced off a a 4'x6' white card for a video talking head shoot.  the light was fine.
ISO320. The exposure was 1/30th at f4.0.   My camera was on a tripod.

I like to hand hold for portraits and that exposure, would NOT be what I'd want for ISO, and shutter speed.   

85 watt bulbs for most shooting, are a waste of time for key light use unless you want a certain look. .... in my humble opinion.

Mar 24 13 09:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,526
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


at the price of strobes these days and the availability in Brampton (no shipping from china) there really is no reason to go CFL or halogen unless you are shooting video.

but to answer the OP 85W CFL is the equivalent of about 300W incandescent. (3 100 w light bulbs).
Mar 24 13 09:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fred Gerhart
Posts: 736
San Antonio, Texas, US


Strobes are not always the light source of choice. For example if one is doing fine art photography then a certain amount of light falloff is highly desirable and it would simply take forever to get a strobe setup flagged correctly to do the shoot. The modeling lamps in strobes do not accurately reflect the strobes power. They try but fail.

Constant lighting on the other hand is much faster to setup because it is "what you see is what you get lighting". However the downside is its tough if you need lots of light as usually the fluorescence's lack sufficient power.

I use 250W and 500W photo floods when shooting constant light. However they are beasts in that a tremendous amount of heat is generated and the blub usually only lasts about 10 hours before burnout occurs.

I also use CFL's. But they usually requires very fast glass as there is usually not enough light. The other challenge is that with CFL's the light has to be very close to the subject.
Mar 24 13 09:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mcary
Posts: 1,803
Fredericksburg, Virginia, US


Josh C Photography wrote:
So I'm trying to build a decent home studio.. right now I have a 1000 watt halogen lamp stand and one 500w halogen lamp.

But I'm looking to change my lights to fluorescent since halogens are not the best option.

There is a 2 set light stand with umbrellas that I'm considering to get, but my question is how much wattage would be suitable to have decent lighting from them?

they come with 85 watt bulbs, would that be enough lighting or would i need to upgrade/consider something more expensive?

Depends on............
What ISO you want to shot at
What aperture you want to shoot at
What shutter speed you want to shoot at
Shooting handheld vs using a tripod. 
Ext

Example single 300 watt tungsten light
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/31645348 18+
Canon 7D ISO 800 F 2.5 at 1/250th

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/13 … 56df2d.jpg 18+
HP5+ 4x5 film 1SO 1600 F 11 at 1/25th or F16 at 1/10th

Mar 24 13 09:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leggy Mountbatten
Posts: 12,560
Kansas City, Missouri, US


Josh C Photography wrote:
But I'm looking to change my lights to fluorescent since halogens are not the best option.

Why are halogens not the best option? They have a CRI of 100 (the same as the sun), whereas CFL's have terrible color.

Mar 24 13 09:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,261
Salem, Oregon, US


i think the modeling light in a strobe would be better than that?

for my part i'd rather have a window than a constant light. although we do use fluorescents for shooting products. but fluorescents can get weirdly green in the shadows.

KevinMcGowanPhotography wrote:
85 watt bulbs for most shooting, are a waste of time for key light use unless you want a certain look. .... in my humble opinion.

Mar 24 13 09:48 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,261
Salem, Oregon, US


my halogens are a fire hazard. although i do kind of like the warm tone of the light (kind of like shooting at golden hour).

Leggy Mountbatten wrote:
Why are halogens not the best option? They have a CRI of 100 (the same as the sun), whereas CFL's have terrible color.

Mar 24 13 09:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Parsons
Posts: 972
Quincy, Massachusetts, US


Fred Gerhart wrote:
Strobes are not always the light source of choice. For example if one is doing fine art photography then a certain amount of light falloff is highly desirable and it would simply take forever to get a strobe setup flagged correctly to do the shoot. The modeling lamps in strobes do not accurately reflect the strobes power. They try but fail.

Constant lighting on the other hand is much faster to setup because it is "what you see is what you get lighting". However the downside is its tough if you need lots of light as usually the fluorescence's lack sufficient power.

I use 250W and 500W photo floods when shooting constant light. However they are beasts in that a tremendous amount of heat is generated and the blub usually only lasts about 10 hours before burnout occurs.

I also use CFL's. But they usually requires very fast glass as there is usually not enough light. The other challenge is that with CFL's the light has to be very close to the subject.

Light falls off with strobes exactly like continuous light.  With even a little bit of practice, you'll have a good idea of where to start out.

And don't think that your eyes won't fool you with hot lights.  You may not see the falloff like the camera will.  And judging by your use of the word flags, you may not even be talking about fall off, more about modifying the light.

Mar 24 13 09:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,705
Houston, Texas, US


ontherocks wrote:
i think the llamaing light in a strobe would be better than that?

for my part i'd rather have a window than a constant light. although we do use fluorescents for shooting products. but fluorescents can get weirdly green in the shadows.

I agree totally with both statements.    My strobes can have llamaing lights of either 150watts or 250 watts.     And yes even "daylight" fluorescent lights are not not quite truly daylight. 

Lights that give a clean color temp are a LOT easier to deal with than those that are just close.

Mar 24 13 09:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
rfordphotos
Posts: 4,628
Antioch, California, US


Josh C Photography wrote:
[...]
There is a 2 set light stand with umbrellas that I'm considering to get, but my question is how much wattage would be suitable to have decent lighting from them?

they come with 85 watt bulbs, would that be enough lighting or would i need to upgrade/consider something more expensive?

I generally shoot with strobes, but do some video as well...not enough to warrant "good" video light, just something to get by...

I ended up with a couple ~40 inch umbrellas, one with 3- 85 watt CFLs and one with 2- 85 watt bulbs... so 5-  85 watt bulbs bounced from umbrellas, in a small room with a white ceiling will give me ~ 1/80th at f/2.8 at iso 200....

only example still shot online right now is:
18+ http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/27511935 18+

Mar 24 13 10:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,705
Houston, Texas, US


Fred Gerhart wrote:
The modeling lamps in strobes do not accurately reflect the strobes power. They try but fail.

I think there are usually 2 issues with modeling lights in strobes.
1.  Is what you say, they are not as powerful as the strobes..
2.  And this is the bigger influence.  Most strobes have round flash tubes and
     the modeling light is a pinpoint light source so the strobe gives a broader light due to the flash tube's design.

I think that most people don't aim strobes properly. I find i get a LOT more control if I feather the light greatly.  I rarely ever point a light directly at the subject. Doing so usually over lights the scene.  Take that light, turn it 30 degrees or more off the subject, maybe more towards the camera then point it up at a white ceiling.  It still lights the subject but with bounce light.. and looks a lot more (TO ME) natural.

When I observe light in a room, it's rarely anything direct.  It's bouncing off of things outside the windows, then bounces off of walls, furniture, ceilings, inside the room.

I find taking that "non-direct" lighting philosophy helps my lighting look more subtle.  I can still get a pretty light on my subject, but with more subtle control. 

Also I've moved to very low watt/second power settings.  I'm quite happy with settings under 50 w/s.  And that's adding modifiers like softboxes, umbrellas and scrims.

Mar 24 13 10:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,705
Houston, Texas, US


One point to make to the OP.
When deciding on wattage:
Continuous wattage output and watt/second output from a strobe, are NOT the same thing. 

I can shoot with a 25 watt/second strobe, light source and shutter speed, high ISOs are not an issue.

They become a HUGE issue if I was shooting with a 25 watt continuous light source.
Mar 24 13 10:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,822
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


OP, the Westcott site has some light output information on their fluorescents. If you know that you want a soft light and to be able to see exactly what you are getting then they can be a good alternative to flash. I've gone the other way with continuous lighting - hard light from Fresnel lensed HMIs. Some people think that there is only flash or that 'light is light'. There is quite a world out there that they are yet to explore.

If you want small apertures and low ISOs expect to use a tripod and a static model.
Mar 24 13 12:38 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,356
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


I have a three light kit for video that has five of those 85 watt bulbs per softbox (don't get the ones with umbrellas, the bulbs are sideways for them, and not as effective)

And even with 425 watts (1500 equivalent) per light... I'm pushing it to get the quality where I like.

Even with my Sub-$50 strobes/speedlites, I'm putting out a dozen times more light. Is continuous what you need?
Mar 24 13 12:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photo212grapher
Posts: 1,538
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


I tried the CFL route. Generally not too happy with the surprisingly low level of light. Constantly cranking the ISO and shooting wide open. And I placed the lights as close to the frame as possible.

I used the 4-way light sockets:
http://www.amazon.com/Photo-Basics-413- … B0028K2TXQ
with daylight balanced CFL:
http://www.amazon.com/CowboyStudio-105- … B004L75BGQ
There are softboxes with 4,5,6 sockets. Just watch your total draw on a single fuse with multiple stands.
Mar 24 13 01:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,324
Glens Falls, New York, US


David Parsons wrote:
Light falls off with strobes exactly like continuous light.  With even a little bit of practice, you'll have a good idea of where to start out.

And don't think that your eyes won't fool you with hot lights.  You may not see the falloff like the camera will.  And judging by your use of the word flags, you may not even be talking about fall off, more about modifying the light.

Well-put.  I've found that MOST modifiers work the same on continuous lighting as they do with strobes.  The only exceptions I've found have been barn doors (which are almost the same), and all the modifiers that will burn if you try to use them with a halogen.

There is a difference in the quality of the light, but the modifiers themselves work very much the same way.

KevinMcGowanPhotography wrote:
One point to make to the OP.
When deciding on wattage:
Continuous wattage output and watt/second output from a strobe, are NOT the same thing. 

I can shoot with a 25 watt/second strobe, light source and shutter speed, high ISOs are not an issue.

They become a HUGE issue if I was shooting with a 25 watt continuous light source.

Well, they kind of are.  Kind of.  Assuming that everyone rates everything the same way (they don't), a 25 w/s strobe should be the same exposure at any synced flash speed as a 25 watt bulb with a 1 second exposure at the same aperture and ISO.  Different manufacturers rate their lights more or less conservatively, but that's a ballpark figure.

So if everything is on the up-and-up, then a 1000 watt halogen shot at 1/60 should be as bright as a 16.7 w/s strobe.  Which is actually pretty crappy.  That means that if you were using umbrellas,(warning: head math) you'd probably need to be at something like 800 ISO if you wanted to shoot at f/5.6.

Mar 24 13 05:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Silver Mirage
Posts: 1,560
Plainview, Texas, US


Nothing at all wrong with using continuous lights. With more clients expecting video along with their stills a lot of us are going to be making a shift.

My educated guess is that 3 - 85 watt fluorescents in a softbox will give marginally hand-holdable lighting at ISO 100. But with most of today's cameras you can easily work at ISO 400 or 800, biving you a little margin. Or if it suits your style you can use a tripod. You will want to do a custom white balance.

You can still get more light for your money with flash, but fluorescent or even LED is a viable option.
Mar 24 13 07:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Schlake
Posts: 2,334
Socorro, New Mexico, US


I built two trees of light socket splitters and I have four 27watt CFLs in each tree in cheap clamp on worklights, for a total of 216 watt of CF light.  I think my original rational was that I was tired of it being dim in my gaming room, but I quickly learned that I had plenty of light for lots of photography.
Mar 24 13 07:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Arznix
Posts: 517
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Here is an example of fluorescent tubes used as lighting in a bank. You do need quite a few tubes to get a decent depth of field and sync speed. In this example it was F5.6 at 1/125 second at 400 ISO.


http://diyphotography.net/shooting-beau … cent-tubes

You might want to go this with route with banks of tubes as opposed to CFL.


I am playing with white LED's in 15 foot strips bought off of Ebay to make some strip lights. The team over at underwaterrealm.com used this approach to film their independent movie underwater.
Mar 24 13 08:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Broughton
Posts: 2,203
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:
at the price of strobes these days and the availability in Brampton (no shipping from china) there really is no reason to go CFL or halogen unless you are shooting video.

+1. i just got one of these. working great so far and roughly equivalent to a 30,000 watt cfl at my camera's sync speed.
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/230747380434?ssP … 1497.l2649

ordered one of these too, but they're out of stock right now. sad
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/320889939296?ssP … 1497.l2649

Mar 24 13 09:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,533
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Zack Zoll wrote:
...
Well, they kind of are.  Kind of.  Assuming that everyone rates everything the same way (they don't), a 25 w/s strobe should be the same exposure at any synced flash speed as a 25 watt bulb with a 1 second exposure at the same aperture and ISO.  ...

No.  A 25WS strobe should dissipate the same amount of energy as a 25W light bulb does in one second.

Unless the two have the same efficiency at converting power to lumens, they will produce different amounts of light.   For instance, a 25W compact florescent will generally produce about four times as much light as a traditional 25W incandescent, even though they both dissipate 25W of power.

Even different strobes tend to have different efficiencies.  When the Alien Bee monolights first came out, they were more efficient than the popular pack-and-head systems of the time.  A 160WS Bee, put out as much light as a typical 400WS pack-and-head of that period.

Of course, it's not just the light produced, it's how much get's onto the subject.  This is affected by your modifiers.  A reflector that produces a narrow beam can get more lumens onto the subject's face than a reflector that produces a wide beam.


To be fair, most modern lights within any particular technology will have similar efficiencies.  If you are looking at 300WS monolights, the modifiers probably make more of a difference than brand variation.  However when you are comparing across technologies, you need to look at the light output of the device, not the power dissipated.

Power dissipation does tell you is how much heat you are pumping into your room.  A 100W continuous light source will add 100W of heat to the room, regardless of whether it is 100W of incandescent, 100W of Halogen, 100W of Florescent, or 100W of LED.

Mar 25 13 05:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Don Olson Imagery
Posts: 291
Eugene, Oregon, US


For CLS look here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBPDSBCoN2c

I've done this and it works a treat.
Mar 25 13 05:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 32,400
Los Angeles, California, US


Michael Fryd wrote:

No.  A 25WS strobe should dissipate the same amount of energy as a 25W light bulb does in one second.

Unless the two have the same efficiency at converting power to lumens, they will produce different amounts of light.   For instance, a 25W compact florescent will generally produce about four times as much light as a traditional 25W incandescent, even though they both dissipate 25W of power.

Even different strobes tend to have different efficiencies.  When the Alien Bee monolights first came out, they were more efficient than the popular pack-and-head systems of the time.  A 160WS Bee, put out as much light as a typical 400WS pack-and-head of that period.

Of course, it's not just the light produced, it's how much get's onto the subject.  This is affected by your modifiers.  A reflector that produces a narrow beam can get more lumens onto the subject's face than a reflector that produces a wide beam.


To be fair, most modern lights within any particular technology will have similar efficiencies.  If you are looking at 300WS monolights, the modifiers probably make more of a difference than brand variation.  However when you are comparing across technologies, you need to look at the light output of the device, not the power dissipated.

Power dissipation does tell you is how much heat you are pumping into your room.  A 100W continuous light source will add 100W of heat to the room, regardless of whether it is 100W of incandescent, 100W of Halogen, 100W of Florescent, or 100W of LED.

+1

Mar 25 13 09:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FBY1K
Posts: 900
Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany


Michael Fryd wrote:
A 100W continuous light source will add 100W of heat to the room, regardless of whether it is 100W of incandescent, 100W of Halogen, 100W of Florescent, or 100W of LED.

Not entirely true.

Equivalent flo and LED sources produce less heat than incandescent, halogen, and HID.

FBY1K

Mar 25 13 10:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FBY1K
Posts: 900
Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany


Josh C Photography wrote:
So I'm trying to build a decent home studio.. right now I have a 1000 watt halogen lamp stand and one 500w halogen lamp.

But I'm looking to change my lights to fluorescent since halogens are not the best option.

There is a 2 set light stand with umbrellas that I'm considering to get, but my question is how much wattage would be suitable to have decent lighting from them?

they come with 85 watt bulbs, would that be enough lighting or would i need to upgrade/consider something more expensive?

Flos are great for producing soft light. The light sources are larger than strobe and halogen.

Plus they are (from my experience) best used close to the subject when used with a modifier which enhances the softness and produces nice light fall-off.


Starkey

Mar 25 13 10:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 32,400
Los Angeles, California, US


FBY1K wrote:
Not entirely true.

Equivalent flo and LED sources produce less heat than incandescent, halogen, and HID.

FBY1K

Equivalent in what sense?

Mar 25 13 11:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Josh C Photography
Posts: 16
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Thanks for the replies and advice guys.
It was very helpful.

After some research, and reading threads and posts.

I think I've decided I'm going to buy some strobes, or at least one decent strobe to start off (300 watt)
At first I thought it would be easier to work with continuous lighting, because I'm not super experienced. But I'll learn to work with strobes.

Because it seems that a LOT of CFL's are required for good lighting.. which would require much more money than just a few decent strobes.
Mar 25 13 12:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Light and Lens Studio
Posts: 1,257
Sisters, Oregon, US


I've been shooting with fluorescent lights for about 6 years.  I also have 600, 1200, and 1800 w/s White Lightning strobes with several soft boxes and mods.  Personally, I like the fluorescents much better. 

I built several light banks using 4' fluorescent tubes in electronic ballast fixtures (two per fixture).  These tubes are available in various color temperatures ranging from 2700ºK to 6000ºK.  By mixing and matching you can pretty much achieve whatever color balance you like.  The completed light bank has 10 tubes and is mounted on a base with wheels.  The equivalent to tungsten wattage is approximate 1500w per bank.  The cost of each bank was: about $30 for the aluminum rectangular tubing, $50 for the 5 fixtures,  $24 for the wheels, and $30 for the fluorescent tubes.  I did my own welding on the aluminum, but if you don't weld aluminum, it should not be expensive to have it done.   

I also do a lot of video, which was the motivational factor for me to build these units.   The electronic ballasts do not hum (hum= really a big no no for video) and they are "instant on".   I have never detected 'flicker' on any of my video.  I've also used these lightbanks for studio digital photography and found them excellent.  I don't shoot film any more, so I can't say how they would be with film.

Personally, I really prefer the quality of light from these banks to most strobes I've worked with in the past.

If anybody is interested in photos of the completed units,  and the type of fixtures to get, I'll be happy to PM photos of the light banks and components along with measurements and dimensions of the aluminum tubing used.
Mar 25 13 12:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,533
Miami Beach, Florida, US


FBY1K wrote:

Not entirely true.

Equivalent flo and LED sources produce less heat than incandescent, halogen, and HID.

FBY1K

"Watts" are not a measure of light output.  They are a measure of power, a lot of which is not turned into light.


My point was that a 25WS strobe probably produces a different amount of light than a 25W bulb with a one second exposure.

For instance, let's use a traditional incandescent 100W bulb as our standard.  A typical 100W incandescent light bulb puts out about 1,600 lumen-seconds per second (about 16 lumens per Watt).

A 23W compact fluorescent also puts out about 1,600 lumen-seconds per second (about 70 lumens per Watt).  Thus many would call this a bulb a replacement for a 100W bulb or a 100W equivalent.


Monolights are somewhere in between.  A 160WS B400 puts out about 7,000 lumen seconds (about 44 lumens per Watt).   By the above reasoning, the B400 is a 438W equivalent, because  you would need 438W of incandescent light for one second to get the same light as from a 160WS Alien Bee.



My point is that the term "equivalent Watts" tends to confuse people.  A 100W incandescent is not the same as a 100WS strobe.  The best way of comparing light output is to compare light output.  Look at the lumen rating, not the power input.



When it comes to lights, "Heat Load" is pretty much synonymous with Actual Wattage.

You are correct in that more efficient technologies can produce the same light with less power, then older technologies.  7,000 Lumens of LED light will likely require less power than 7,000 Lumens of incandescent light.

Mar 25 13 12:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FBY1K
Posts: 900
Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany


Michael Fryd wrote:

"Watts" are not a measure of light output.  They are a measure of power, a lot of which is not turned into light.


My point was that a 25WS strobe probably produces a different amount of light than a 25W bulb with a one second exposure.

For instance, let's use a traditional incandescent 100W bulb as our standard.  A typical 100W incandescent light bulb puts out about 1,600 lumen-seconds per second (about 16 lumens per Watt).

A 23W compact fluorescent also puts out about 1,600 lumen-seconds per second (about 70 lumens per Watt).  Thus many would call this a bulb a replacement for a 100W bulb or a 100W equivalent.


Monolights are somewhere in between.  A 160WS B400 puts out about 7,000 lumen seconds (about 44 lumens per Watt).   By the above reasoning, the B400 is a 438W equivalent, because  you would need 438W of incandescent light for one second to get the same light as from a 160WS Alien Bee.



My point is that the term "equivalent Watts" tends to confuse people.  A 100W incandescent is not the same as a 100WS strobe.  The best way of comparing light output is to compare light output.  Look at the lumen rating, not the power input.



When it comes to lights, "Heat Load" is pretty much synonymous with Actual Wattage.

You are correct in that more efficient technologies can produce the same light with less power, then older technologies.  7,000 Lumens of LED light will likely require less power than 7,000 Lumens of incandescent light.

Copy that!

Starkey

Mar 25 13 01:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FBY1K
Posts: 900
Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany


The Space Cowboy wrote:

Equivalent in what sense?

Wattage.

FBY1K

Mar 25 13 01:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FBY1K
Posts: 900
Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany


Josh C Photography wrote:
Thanks for the replies and advice guys.
It was very helpful.

After some research, and reading threads and posts.

I think I've decided I'm going to buy some strobes, or at least one decent strobe to start off (300 watt)
At first I thought it would be easier to work with continuous lighting, because I'm not super experienced. But I'll learn to work with strobes.

Because it seems that a LOT of CFL's are required for good lighting.. which would require much more money than just a few decent strobes.

New gear may not take your "game" to the next level. Have you exhausted all options from your current setup?

Starkey

Mar 25 13 01:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,533
Miami Beach, Florida, US


FBY1K wrote:

Wattage.

FBY1K

100 Actual Watts will produce the same amount of heat whether it is an incandescent light, an LED, a TV or a coffee warmer.

'Watts' are a measure of power, and all the power ends up as heat.

'Equivalent Wattage' is a made up term that leads to this sort of confusion.

Mar 25 13 02:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Arznix
Posts: 517
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


If you are short of money to start you might might want to check out these 250 w/s Blazeo strobe for $65. They will at least get you started.  I use them as part of my location kit with an Alien Bee Mini Vagabond power pack.

http://www.linkdelight.com/flashes-strobes-heads.html


You might be able to get something similar off Amazon.com for cheaper if they are on sale.

They will get you started, but you will probably move into something like an Alien Bee in short order due to the great range of modifiers. I  shoot primary Alien Bees in the studio. They have good re-sale value if you move up and on to more advanced and expensive strobe systems.  When you buy strobes you are really buying into the system. Starting with the cheap Blazeo will help you figure out what features you value the most before you put your money down on a more expensive system. Start with one strobe and add more if you find that it is limiting you.
Mar 25 13 02:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
KRISTEN MARIE
Posts: 484
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


He's going to be getting a 320W strobe light kit, comes with the umbrellas, the light stand, 2 bulbs, and and hotshoe smile  It's only around $150

I think that will be good for him to start off.

I'm his wife (his main model) lol.

smile
Mar 25 13 03:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rob Photosby
Posts: 2,307
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


Michael Fryd wrote:

100 Actual Watts will produce the same amount of heat whether it is an incandescent light, an LED, a TV or a coffee warmer.

'Watts' are a measure of power, and all the power ends up as heat.

'Equivalent Wattage' is a made up term that leads to this sort of confusion.

Not true.

Heat is infrared light and the proportion of infrared light emitted falls as the temperature of the emitting body rises.

The notion that all power ends up as heat is true only in the long run. As far as light is concerned, it is true only once all the visible light has been absorbed by bodies cool enough to re-radiate the energy solely as infrared (every body above absolute zero (i.e. zero degrees Kelvin, or -271 degrees centigrade) radiates infrared).

This is elementary physics.

Mar 25 13 03:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rob Photosby
Posts: 2,307
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


Josh C Photography wrote:
So I'm trying to build a decent home studio.. right now I have a 1000 watt halogen lamp stand and one 500w halogen lamp.

But I'm looking to change my lights to fluorescent since halogens are not the best option.

There is a 2 set light stand with umbrellas that I'm considering to get, but my question is how much wattage would be suitable to have decent lighting from them?

they come with 85 watt bulbs, would that be enough lighting or would i need to upgrade/consider something more expensive?

Halogens are not all that efficient and represent a distinct fire danger, so I think you wise in changing sources.

The comments above about strobes are all good advice, although I prefer compact coiled fluorescent lighting because they make it much easier to see what you are getting as far as lighting is concerned.

How much power do you need?  I work with 2200 watts, mainly 105W and 150W bulbs (so I have five stands, each taking at least 4 lamps).  That is also about the maximum power that a domestic electric circuit can supply.

The bulbs can be bought for $12-$15 each, so the set-up is not wildly expensive.

I shoot at ISO 200 and 1/125 or 1/250 shutter speed.

Mar 25 13 03:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Roy Nelson Photos
Posts: 206
West Hollywood, California, US


Been there done that.  125 watt fluorescence lights are available for about $25 and are equivalent to 600 watt incandescent.   You need about 6-8 for video.  The issue with them is that they really soften the image.  Flash/incandescent/outdoors gives you high contrast photos.  As usual, what you need depends on what you are going to do.
Mar 25 13 03:43 pm  Link  Quote 
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