Nov 01, 13
Using light to create luminous lines in photography is not necessarily a new concept. For as long as there have been film cameras, people have been able to capture streaks of light using long exposures and slow shutter speeds. As digital photography has evolved, light painting has become increasingly popular, with artists using the medium to create stunning images and animation. Light painting has turned into a full blown art form that is evolving just as quickly as the technology being used to create it.
There are those who consider themselves to be light painting artists, but you certainly don’t have to be one to create photographs with similar effects. Light painting is a fun and fairly easy activity that can be done by just you or with a big group of friends. We recommend having a group with you, that way you can create more complicated designs in one picture. After trying our hand at it, we at 1000Bulbs.com have compiled a list of basic materials and steps you’ll need to take to begin creating your own light paintings!
The Essential Items
- Darkness. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, make sure you’re in a dark enough space that your lighting painting will show up.
- A digital SLR camera that has Manual or Bulb settings
- A sturdy tripod. This will keep your camera completely still. If you don’t have a tripod, you can try using any flat, steady surface, such as a table, to keep your camera from moving.
- A light source. This can include anything from a flashlight, LED tape light, light sticks, sparklers, etc.
If you are going to be light painting outdoors, make sure you have all of the necessary equipment to protect your camera from the elements.
Before you begin, make sure you are using the right camera settings. For the best results, use a digital SLR camera. These cameras have manual settings that allow you to control the shutter speed. The slower the shutter speed, the longer you have to draw your light painting.
For the light painting picture below, we used Manual or “M” setting, and put the shutter speed at F22, the highest F-stop. This keeps the shutter open for 22 seconds. If your camera has a Bulb or “B” setting, this will work even better. At the Bulb setting, you can keep the shutter open for as long as you like so that you’re not restricted by time. You will also want to turn your camera down to the lowest ISO level possible. This will minimize any noise, or visual distortion, in your picture.
The best way to know if your camera is capturing the light painting you want is trial and error. Take a few test shots at a regular shutter speed without the light source to make sure you have the correct exposure. When you’re happy with the exposure, change your shutter speed settings to the desired position.
Now, you can begin light painting! Once you’re positioned in front of the camera with your light source and ready to go, have a friend press the shutter release button for you. You can do this yourself, but having someone do it for you is much easier than stepping in and out of the frame each time.
Once the shutter release is pressed, begin moving your light source. To get certain spots brighter than others continually move your light source over that one spot as if you were coloring with a large crayon. Using all of the steps above, an LED flashlight, and an LED tape light suit (DIY tutorial here), we created the image below.
Light Painting from an LED Light Suit
Are you planning on creating any light paintings of your own? Tell us about it in the comments below, or drop us a line on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus!
Sep 20, 13
While decorating with Christmas lights can be fun, the limitations caused by a far-away power outlet can be a hassle. Instead of getting tangled up in clunky extension cords, switch out some of your plug-in string lights with battery-operated Christmas lights. With the installation of a few batteries and the flip of a switch, these handy lights will allow you to add festive illumination to areas in your home without a power source. Here at 1000Bulbs.com, we have a great selection of indoor and outdoor battery-operated Christmas lights that give you the freedom to decorate without worrying about the location of the nearest outlet.
InvisiLite LED Light Strings
One of the best things about battery-powered light strings is that they allow you to isolate your decorating to smaller projects and areas of the home. Powered by only a discrete battery pack, indoor/outdoor wide angle mini LEDs are perfect for decorating wreaths, centerpieces, and fireplace mantles. For wiring that is a little less noticeable, these InvisiLite LED lights feature 360-degree illumination embedded in flexible, ultra-thin wiring. Cool to the touch, LED string lights work well against synthetic fabrics and greenery.
LED Mini String Lights
In case you didn’t already know, LED light bulbs have been proven to consume far less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, including Christmas lights. Battery-powered LED string lights consume less battery power and have a much longer life than traditional incandescent Christmas lights. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it can cost you up to twice as much to run incandescent mini lights as it would to run LED mini lights 12 hours a day for 40 days. Not only are LED lights safer due to their cooler temperature, but they are made from sturdy, epoxy lenses instead of glass, making them much more resistant to breakage.
5 Star LED Path Markers
Outdoor Christmas lighting can be even more of an inconvenience when it comes to finding a power source. Featuring a built-in controller, these outdoor battery-operated LED path markers will provide a safe and brightly-lit pathway for you and your guests. Sold in a set of five, the path markers automatically cycle through light-show functions and change colors as they fade, chase, or twinkle. For a glimpse at how these path markers work, click here. If you have any questions about our battery-powered Christmas lights, leave us a comment. Or, if you have any pictures of your Christmas decorations, share your pictures with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus!
Jul 26, 13
With energy efficient lighting on the rise, people are beginning to turn to LED bulbs for their lighting needs. However, some of you may have a disregard for these bulbs due to various reasons. So, before you return your “defective” light bulbs, here are a few things you should know about them.
LEDs are directional.
Because they consist of flat chips, the light of LED bulbs generally faces one way. Some brands will focus the light outward or create with a lens that bends the light, making their LEDs omnidirectional.
There is a difference between R bulbs and PAR bulbs.
R (reflector) bulbs contain a diffuser, eliminating glare and softening the edges of the light. This makes these bulbs great for indoor use. PAR (parabolic aluminized reflector) bulbs do not have a diffuser. Instead, they are open and contain an aluminum reflector in the shape of a parabola. This allows the light to shine further and create a spotlight effect, making them perfect for outdoor use.
The LED wattage equivalent to an incandescent isn’t important.
When you see the wattage of your LED bulb equates to a particular incandescent, that number only matters when you are trying to compare energy savings. The important number to look for is the lumen output. Lumens determine the brightness of your bulb, so you want to be sure to verify that the lumen output of your new LED bulb is the same as, or close to, the lumen output of your old incandescent.
True 100W equal LED A19s do not exist… yet.
They don’t. I know what you are thinking. “I just saw a category for LED A19s on your site.” Yes, that is true; however, a standard A19 features a lumen output of 1600 lumens. LED bulbs create too much heat to allow for 1600 lumens. “But I thought LEDs don’t get hot,” you say. They do; however, they contain cooling components such as heat sinks, fans, or cooling liquids to dissipate the heat, moving it away from the light source and making the bulbs cooler than other standard bulbs. Philips has produced a 100W equal A21; however, the size can cause issues when used in task lighting as it can be too big for a lamp’s harp.
If your LED bulb fails before expected, it could be due to component malfunction, not the LED chip.
Did your bulb die before the average rated life listed on the packaging? Before you claim the bulb to be damaged, consider the fact that there are many components to an LED bulb. If one of them goes out, the chip won’t run. Another thing to consider is that the average rated life is an average amount of hours. When the bulbs were tested, 50% stayed lit through that amount of time; some went out before, and some went out after.
There is such a thing as too warm.
Be sure to check the color temperature of your LED bulb. If you end up with an LED that is 2400K or under, the light output will have a pink hue. However, if you like the color pink; LED bulbs with a low color temperature could work just fine.
Your LEDs are not faulty. Your timers and dimmers aren’t, either.
For night time lighting, many people use timers to turn their decorative LED lights on at a certain time every night and off in the morning. Some people like to create ambiance, so they use dimmers to tone down the lighting. So, what’s with the flickering and glowing? Decorative LEDs operate at a low voltage, so much so, that there is an extra amount of current that continues to leak through. The extra voltage is what keeps the lights on even after you have turned them off. To stop this voltage leak through, add a 120-volt incandescent bulb. The bulb will absorb the extra current, allowing your lights to turn off completely.
You can still buy 100-watt incandescent bulbs.
For those of you who cannot part ways with your 100-watt incandescent bulbs, do not fear! While they were “legislated out” of existence, the makers of your favorite bulbs have found a way around the legislation, allowing them to continue making the 100-watt bulbs. They have started making them with an additional filament support; which, in turn, classifies them as “rough service,” making them exempt from the legislation.
Still having trouble with LED bulbs? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments or let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus?
Jul 19, 13
There’s been a buzz around here at 1000Bulbs.com as of late, created by the arrival of some incredible LED MR16s. These aren’t just any MR16s. No, these Soraa bulbs are truly raising the bar in efficiency and brilliance. In fact, our own CEO Kim Pederson has expressed his excitement for these products. So what separates these bulbs from the rest of the pack?
The Soraa Difference
On the outside, Soraa MR16s look just like any other LED, but the technology packed inside is where it’s at. Soraa claims their MR16s feature technology that’s a whopping two years ahead of other MR16s. Soraa LED MR16s feature LEDs crafted from pure gallium nitride substrates, which is referred to Gallium Nitride on Gallium Nitride, or GaN on GaN for short.
GaN on GaN?
So what does this GaN on GaN technology actually mean for you? A lot, actually. For starters, Soraa’s LED MR16s give you superior beam characteristics, including crisp shadows and minimal light spill, giving you a precise, controlled beam of light. In fact GaN on GaN crystals are up to 1,000 times more precise than any other LED crystal. Also, this technology gives you superb color rendering, meaning whites will be whiter, reds will redder, and colors will be more vibrant and rich.
The Design Difference
Apart from the technology that brings you unprecedented light, the design of Soraa LED MR16s brings you unprecedented versatility. Soraa MR16s feature an “origami” driver circuit, which is designed with components used in extreme temperature environments, such as automotive environments. This feature allows the bulb to be operated at temperatures much higher than other MR16 lamps and gives you very efficient thermal dissipation. Take the Outdoor line for example. The bulbs in this family are designed to work in all types of light fixtures, including enclosed, sealed, and unventilated fixtures.
How Can Soraa Lamps Help Me?
The sun has a CRI (color rendering index) of 100. Soraa’s LEDs have a CRI of 95. The high CRI of these LEDs create brighter brights and whiter whites, while colors become more vibrant. This is what makes these bulbs perfect for track lights in museums and art galleries or track lights in retail stores, as they make colors pop, stand out, and become more vibrant than ever before. Not only are these lights great for commercial use, but they’ll look great in your home’s track or recessed lighting.
Still not convinced? Check out the video below and see the Soraa difference for yourself. Tell us how you plan to use these bulbs on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus!
Wedding Lighting with Color Splash
June is quickly approaching; which means wedding season is upon us! Every girl dreams of the perfect wedding. Once the infamous question has been asked, the details of flowers, invitations, and napkins consume her mind. One minor detail that can make all the difference in the world is the lighting. Here are a few ideas to give your wedding lighting that extra sparkle.
Add a Splash of Color
While frantic about most things during wedding preparation, brides will always be sure of one thing, wedding colors. Why not enhance your wedding decor with colored bulbs? Whether you choose LED, halogen, or incandescent bulbs, adding a little touch of color to your wedding lighting will give your wedding originality. Place them in areas where you are looking for a colorful accent or back light.
Get Creative with Christmas Lights
What? Yes, use your Christmas light strings! Everyone has their Christmas light strings stored in their attic; get more use out of them! They may not seem like much, but they can make all the difference at your wedding. You can use them as an accent with tulle or line them along railings. Icicle light curtains are a stunning addition to wall decor, adding a distinguished ambiance with a simple elegance.
Charm with Candlelit Ambiance
The Uttermost cast iron and wood candelabra makes a beautiful, unique wedding centerpiece for reception tables. It has a rustic appeal with iron candle holders, finished in black, and a wooden base. Adorn it with white flowers or place a satin fabric around it to add a delicate touch to this stunning piece. For convenience, try battery operated LED candles with a flicker effect.
Dazzle with Twinkling Light Spheres
With a 12-foot lead wire, twinkling light spheres are a one-of-a-kind original! These intriguing light spheres come in a wide variety of colors and shapes, bringing a distinctive character to any festivity. The bulbs of the light spheres give off a stunning glitter effect, augmenting your wedding lighting. Hang them in a gazebo or off of trees, if you are outdoors, or over your reception tables, if you are indoors.
DIY Jar Lights
DIY Mason Jar
Jar lights make beautiful centerpieces for wedding reception tables. They are easy to make and add a simple, yet enchanting appeal to your wedding decor. Here’s what you need:
- 0.5 gal. Mason Jar
- Battery-Powered Light String
- Rubber Band
- Ribbon (color optional)
- 3 8×8 in. Squares of Tulle (color optional)
- Wire (optional)
Insert the light string into the jar. Place the tulle over the top of the jar and secure it with the rubber band. Tie the ribbon around the top of the jar to add ornamental detail. If you are interested in hanging it, wrap a thin wire around the top to create an arch; then tie the ribbon around it.
If you have any ideas you would like to share about wedding lighting, let us know in the comments section or send a message on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!