Fluorescent Lights and Headaches

Oct 22, 14 Fluorescent Lights and Headaches

Thrashing pain meets you at the forefront of your temples, and suddenly it feels like someone has continually slammed your head against concrete. It’s a migraine and the culprit can sometimes be fluorescent lighting. But what can you do? Your office is filled with fluorescent lights and that old computer you use at home isn’t helping the situation. Luckily, there are solutions to your problem, but first, let’s figure out what’s really going on with that head of yours.

read more

Poultry Persuasion: The Best Lighting Sources for Chicken

Oct 01, 14 Poultry Persuasion: The Best Lighting Sources for Chicken

Whether you have a teeny coop in the city or a larger barn for your birds of beauty, lighting is vital to the health and vigor of your poultry. Small amounts of lighting during brooding or excessive lighting during growth season may result in financial or production loss for owners. Controlling lumens, temperature and color temperature are essential for chickens.  This means that without the proper lighting, chickens may produce fewer eggs or fail to gain weight in a timely manner. Poultry perceive light differently than we do.  For instance, where we see a yellowish or white glow from a bulb, poultry perceive the light as red because of their intense sensitivity to UV rays. Incidentally, this red light has a longer wavelength which enters the skull and skin of the chickens, prompting them to lay eggs.  In the past, incandescent lamps were often used for poultry lighting, but these traditional lights are now fading due to their short lifespans, increased heat, and higher energy costs.  To ensure the health and productivity of your poultry, let’s break down a few alternative lighting options you may want to consider for your broiler house.

read more

An Explanation for CFL Pin Types

Aug 18, 14 An Explanation for CFL Pin Types

It’s never a bad idea to use energy-efficient lights, but a quick search for a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) can show far too many different types of CFLs to make the selection easy.  One of the most notable differences the type of base used by each bulb.  In fact, the standard screw-in bulb you’re looking for is the minority when it comes to base types on CFLs.  Commercial CFLs don’t typically find their way into homes, but for the new shop owner or the rare occurrence of a commercial CFL in a residential building, you’ll find a strange socket that’s unlike the typical housing bulbs you’re used to.  Let’s unpack the differences so you’ll be ready to get the right replacement bulb if you find yourself here.

read more

Light Bulb Ban: The Late Great T8 700 Series

Jul 07, 14 Light Bulb Ban: The Late Great T8 700 Series

This past January, EISA brought us the final phase out of 60-watt incandescent bulbs. But two years ago, the phase out program removed some halogen PAR lamps, T12 linear fluorescent lamps, as well as some less popular 2-ft. and 4-ft. T8s. The T8 700 series fluorescent lamps were just shy of the chopping block on the previous phase out, but were given a two-year extension.  On July 14th, 2014, all T8 700 series fluorescent lamps will fail to meet the new minimum energy ratings and will no longer be produced.  The new ratings increased the minimum allowable values for lumen efficacy (lumens-per-watt), wattage, and minimum color rendering for each lamp.  The 700 series of fluorescent T8s has terrible color rendering (averaging in the low 70s) while the newer 800 and 900 series of lamps deliver more vibrant color saturation at CRI levels of 80-85.

read more

Cinematic Lighting: From Past to Present

Grace Kelly and James Stewart in Rear Window

Grace Kelly and James Stewart in Rear Window

Have you ever wondered why actors have a stunning appearance in movies? Yes, they get airbrush make-up and the concept of photoshop does exist in the world, but the reality is; it is all about the lighting! Since the earliest movies, lighting has always been an essential part in film making with advances in lighting technology making all the difference.

In the Beginning: They Stayed Outside

In the late 1800s, film makers had not acknowledged the use of artificial lighting in film. The standard was to shoot during the day in a set that had either, an open roof or a glass ceiling. While natural light is the best light source, this methodology put a hindrance on filming anything at night or indoors; therefore, by the early 1900s, artificial light sources came into play.

In the 20th Century: Grace Kelly was Glowing

The main source of artificial lighting in film at that time was arc bulbs, the predecessor to HID bulbs. Used with a reflector, the bulbs created a bright light and allowed for directional lighting, enhancing parts of the set that needed to be highlighted. These lights also made for good spotlights, casting a brighter light on one side of the actor’s face (key light), and a softer light on the opposite side (fill light), to eliminate unflattering shadows. A third back light would be used to create the effect of a halo around the actor’s head. In the 1920s, incandescent bulbs started to become a growing sensation in studio lighting, as they produced a better color temperature, required less electrical and man power, and did not emit the humming sound the HID bulbs did.

In the Present Day: Lighting Comes in Various Forms

Today, there are so many new lighting technologies, all of which get used on film sets today. We’ve already covered HID and incandescent, but many of the other forms include halogen and xenon lamps, fluorescents, LEDs, and HMI bulbs, a technology coined by OSRAM SYLVANIA. Generally used with ballasts, the film-specific HMI bulbs are very popular bulbs used in the film industry, winning OSRAM an Oscar in 1987 and a Primetime Emmy Engineering Award in 2007.

Fun Fact: On movie sets, mashed potatoes replaced ice cream in sundaes as the ice cream would melt quickly, due to the lighting.

DIY Lighting Kit for Home Movies

Make your own film light kit! You need these items:

  • Broom Stick or Mic Stand (the mic stand does have support at the bottom)
  • Reflector
  • LED or Incandescent Bulb
  • Wax Paper (optional)
  • White or Light Poster Board (optional)

Insert the bulb into the reflector and attach the reflector to your stand of choice. It’s that simple! Use the wax paper to diffuse (soften) the light if needed. For added reflection, place the poster board where it is needed.

Be sure to check out the lighting techniques the next time you are at the movies! If you have any questions or comments, be sure to write us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!

read more