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)
- 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!
Jun 06, 11
Electronic HID ballasts are a growing part of the market. These units combine the capacitor, ignitor, and mounting brackets into a single unit along with the ballast itself. There are advantages to this design that many companies are starting to use to their benefit. One benefit is up to 25% better energy efficiency than traditional magnetic ballasts, which can add up to significant savings every year.
Another advantage of these ballasts is their decreasing costs and increasing versatility. Over the past few years, the size and cost of electronic HID ballasts have been steadily decreasing. This evolution has increased the wattages available in these ballasts. Right now, much of the market is concentrated in the lower wattage range between 40W and 70W; however, the cost savings mentioned above is making the higher wattages more popular in many applications. Most manufacturers now offer wattages up to 450W.
Manufacturers now create electronic HID ballasts that can handle lamps of different voltages and mounting types. This increases versatility and the number of applications for this type of ballast. Some manufacturers have even introduced dimming electronic ballasts that allow interior spaces to take advantage of sunlight during the daytime. Retailers love this advantage and use it to their benefit every sunny day they can.
Electronic HID ballasts continue to build on their advantages, allowing the use of lower wattage bulbs and providing constant illumination through automatic voltage regulation; all of this is accomplished in a quiet, flicker-free, and economical package. All of these advantages make them the ballast of choice for many commercial lighting designers today, and their increasing versatility and rapidly falling prices, electronic ballasts are becoming the industry favorites.
Apr 11, 11
With the increasing push to make lighting more efficient, many designers are starting to look at metal halide and other HID (high intensity discharge) lamps as a viable alternative to fluorescent and incandescent lighting sources. Though this light source has been traditionally used in warehouses, parking lots, and other commercial areas, its use has recently expanded, making it a viable lighting alternative even in outdoor residential settings.
What are HID lamps? These lamps are compact and efficient sources of powerful light that require a ballast, much like fluorescent lamps. Also like fluorescents, these lamps use rare earth metal salts in combination with mercury vapor stored in a vacuum tube. When electricity passes through the lamp’s electrodes, the vapor and salts illuminate, producing a large amount of light in the right color spectrum. This type of energy-efficient lighting works well in general lighting situations, as floodlights, and in security areas.
HID lamps take a short amount of time to get to their brightest illumination. The temperature and pressure inside the vacuum needs to reach an optimal temperature before maximum illumination happens. Some will take only a few seconds while some may require a couple of minutes. When a lamp shuts off, many of them require a few minutes to cool down before they can be re-lit.
If you are considering HID lighting, you can do no better than pulse start metal halides. These are the most energy-efficient of HID lighting types, and their cost is becoming more affordable. Their small bulb shape allows them to offer many advantages that fluorescent sources cannot, and with their long lamp life, you will find their cost low in comparison to incandescents.
Feb 14, 11
Ceramic metal halide lamps offer many advantages in higher efficiency and longer life. Halogen lamps bring a great deal of illumination to commercial spaces. However, they come with a high-energy cost and a relatively short life. This can cost commercial and retailers a good deal of money in energy and labor to keep them running. In spaces where you need better life bulb that save energy, these ceramic halide lamps are the ticket. And many retailers and commercial operations are starting to see the advantages of using these bulbs.
Another advantage of using ceramic metal halide lamps is their color quality. A problem many are having transitioning from incandescent is the changes in color that many light fixtures bring. With these ceramic halide lamps, you get excellent color from the start. You also find them in sizes that make them great replacements for existing halogen fixtures. This makes putting them into retrofit projects a breeze. With the need to keep costs down, many commercial and retail spaces are looking for affordable lighting alternatives that will keep their spaces lit without breaking the budget. These ceramic halide lamps are one way to do just that.
You can find ceramic metal halide lamps in an increasing number of sizes and shapes. This makes them great for making them replacements for high-pressure sodium lamps in existing magnetic ballasts. But, in order to get the most energy savings, you need to put them in electronic ballasts. These lamps offer long life and good light maintenance throughout their life span. With so many configurations available, they are great for retrofitting existing lighting schemes. And their long life helps balance against their higher cost.
That is one disadvantage to ceramic metal halide lamps. They cost a bit more than many other traditional lamps. However, their costs are steadily coming down as the option becomes more popular and demand continues to grow. This will likely continue well into the future. And the energy they save can justify the initial costs for many. Your best bet is to look at the options available and choose the lamp that suits your needs. Many manufacturers are making these bulbs and you can find a lamp that will suit any requirement you have. Some are pulse start. Others come with built-in ballast. You can get them in pin or traditional screw-in designs. Some are small while others are larger lamps. You should find a design to fit any fixture you currently have.
Feb 07, 11
Moon Pulse HID bulbs are an innovation in outdoor lighting that marry the moon-like glow of mercury vapor lamps with the efficiency of pulse start metal halide technology. Manufactured by Iwasaki Global Technology, these bulbs offer long life and fantastic lighting for outdoor spaces.
Moon Pulse lamps make landscaping plants look their best at night. The lights are not glaring. They provide a diffuse light which mimics the glow of the full moon. They also provide a glow to any structure at which you point them. Because traditional mercury ballasts can no longer be sold to or imported to the United States, Moon Pulse lamps are now the technology of choice for many landscape professionals who want a beautiful lighting option for their clients.
Moon Pulse HID bulbs come in two shapes: elliptical and reflector. Both shapes come with a medium base for use in many exterior lighting fixtures. 1000Bulbs.com currently offers four wattages: 50W, 75W, 100W, and 175W. The elliptical bulb is perfect for lamps that line walkways. These give illumination in a 360-degree circle. The reflector, on the other hand, reflects most of the light through the top of the bulb. These are prefect fixtures for directional lighting. You can use any combination of these bulbs as long as you have pulse start metal halide ballast in place.
If you are a professional landscaper or an interested consumer, you need to take a serious look at the Moon Pulse HID bulbs. These lights offer beautiful illumination that closely mimics moonlight. Due to careful design and engineering, these bulbs can work in many lighting schemes. You can capture the beauty of mercury vapor lights without the dangers presented with the old mercury ballasts. If you want to enhance your landscape or offer customers the option, look at Moon Pulse for inspiration and guidance.