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Just picked up Lowel Hot Lights - Need Help
Old 07-09-2004, 06:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi everyone - I just picked up an older set of Lowel D Hotlights. I have 4 of them and they each have a 1000 watt bulb. The used kit also came with 4 heavy duty Lowel Stands, Barndoors on 3 of the 4 heads and a total of 2 umbrellas.

My goal of course is to take some nice glamour shots - Vintage Hollywood Style. The one thing that I noticed is that the lights are very bright for the model......can anyone recommend how to use these most effectively. Should I reduce the wattage of all or some of the bulbs? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Foley
 
 
Re: Just picked up Lowel Hot Lights - Need Help
Old 07-09-2004, 10:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, tis the problem with hot lights....they're hot. Also, you'll need the brightness unless you want the model to have to stand still and hold the pose longer. I use hot lights myself (can't afford all the toys at once, have them from pruduct shoots I do), and it can be dificult.

This image was taken with three hot lights (left above, right above, lower front if memory serves me correctly) no umbrellas.

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Re: Just picked up Lowel Hot Lights - Need Help
Old 07-09-2004, 03:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I use Lowel lights when I shoot video. It seems to be the standard lighting kit that every video house has in the area. If you don't want to bounce the light into the umbrellas try some diffusion. It will soften the light. Also you might want to try cutting down the light with the barndoors. I'm not sure which lights you have. If they are like Omni lights this will work. If they are like Tota lights don't use the barndoors this way as they will melt. I have some success shooting the light through the umbrella. It's backwards but it does work and the light is really soft. Down side is the light has to be very close to the subject. Remember to let them cool before you put them away. I have a few scars from burns I've gotten when I wasn't patient enough.
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Re: Just picked up Lowel Hot Lights - Need Help
Old 07-09-2004, 04:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have the perfect solution ---
I've owned a set of 4 Lowel 1,000 watt Tota lights since my video days in 1985. I started shooting models with them a few years ago and discovered the same hot problems. I want to Home Depot and bought four electrical dimmers and installed them in plastic junction boxes next to electrical outlets. Then ran a plug on a 15' cord to the wall. I can now adjust each light individually. Adding some "spun" or a "frosted filter" also helps difuse the lights, but the dimmers are the best answer.
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Re: Just picked up Lowel Hot Lights - Need Help
Old 07-09-2004, 06:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, you can change the bulbs for about $15-20 each. 250-watt'ers would probably do you well if your shooting space isn't too big.

The dimmer idea is also a good one, with two caveats: 1000-watt dimmers have to dissapate a lot of energy, and so they get hot. Also, they're not inexpensive. New bulbs will cost a lot less (B&H Photo and other 800-dealers will carry 'em in stock).

Additionally, if you're shooting color, dimming the light warms up the light considerably. That may not post a problem if you're shooting people, but it's something you may want to consider.

G'luck!

Wayne
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Re: Just picked up Lowel Hot Lights - Need Help
Old 07-09-2004, 07:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Dissapation of heat with the dimmers is definitely something to watch very carefully, and 1000 watt dimmer can cost about $50 each at Home Depot. I've been using cheapo 600 watt dimmers with my 1000 watt lights for several years and have not had any overheating problems. I just turn off the lights while the models change outfits and they seem to do fine. Also, since I only shoot digital, the color shift issue has never been a problem.
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Re: Just picked up Lowel Hot Lights - Need Help
Old 07-12-2004, 06:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My solution to using hot lights with models is to plan all my studio work in my garage during the winter months in Wisconsin when the temp doesn't get over 20 degrees. No complaints of the heat then. Just kidding.
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