lighting, hmi, tungsten, fluorescent, projectors

eclairage, hmi, tungstène, fluo, les projecteurs

The types of lighting for your film

This week, I’m going to continue to talk to you about the basics you need for filming. I believe that after the color temperature it is more normal to talk to you about the lighting. Beyond telling you how to light your scenes, I’ll first tell you about the different types of lighting (except LED’s) at your disposal. Inevitably in all these different ways to light there are solutions which are more costly than others.

I’ll come back later, in other articles, on the best way to light this or that scene , knowing that all of the situations, the places, the number of characters that are all different lightings, in short, there are a multitude of situations, I will not be able, therefore, not all reference. And it would serve no purpose.

I repeat to you crying, if you make a film…

…it will be your chief operator who will be responsible to make light of your film…not you, and your electro who will be in charge of moving and setting up your projos…not you. On the other hand, if you do everything “in house” or to manage it, I’m going to try to explain to you the different lamps and projectors and try to give you the solutions to illuminate your scenes in general, without it costing you an arm…see the two.

One last thing before we start…this is not my area of expertise…so if you want to add tips or tricks, please know that you’re welcome ;o)

What are the types of lamps exist ?

There are three types of lamps. For a start there is the :

lighting with the Tungsten/ halogen

Remember, last week I spoke to you of the color temperature. The lamps Tungstènes/ halogens have a color temperature of 3200 k. For the small plateau they are often used for the indoor scenes because they only have a very low efficiency when they are used during the day…or then it will have to send the wood (CF photos in-head) !

The lamps tungstènes are rather reliable. They can be plugged in to an outlet on a classic and have a low cost (for small sources) to purchase and even more to the rental, they are simply filament lamps ;o) But be careful, these are lamps that heat up a lot, it is one of the reasons why it is quickly very hot on a film set… ;o) you can very well adjust their intensity by adding what is called a Dimmer, that is a sort of dimmer/ dimmer with which you can play more or less on the intensity.

You have several types of lamps tungstènes : the mandarins called Manda, which can deliver 650 and 800 watts and then the blondes (nothing to do with my sister-in-law ;o)) which has a power of 2000 watts.


As you have well learned the lesson it was 15 days, you know that the temperature of color of 3200 k corresponds to a light color…warm (yellow, orange). You can of course change it, play with filters, gels, for example, to change this colour to suit your needs.

For example, if you want a light closer to the light of day you will use gelatin as a blue or a filter.

NOTE : be aware that there are a lot of filters. I don’t know them all. I’d like also to give you an overview of the filters that you can use in function of the lamps or spotlights that are in your possession.

You have two types of filters : C. T. O and C. T. B

C. T. O : Corrector temperature orange

C. T. B : correction of the temperature blue

It is two types of filters you allowt to either ” transform “ your projectors Tungstènes (3200 k) in the spotlight day light (5600 k) , and vice versa.



ATTENTION : this is not the same filter if you use the HMI or Fluorescent. But my knowledge stop here ;o), I can’t give you.


WARNING 2 : Depending on the brand you use, the references are not the same. There is the Lee filter and Rosco.


Let us return to our sheep. If you do not have the means to buy the projectors tungstènes/ halogen or rent this kind of equipment, you should know that the halogens that you have at home may very well be the case…they are less convenient to direct the light but it will always be the case for the more broke because of it ;o) Ditto if you are looking for more powerful devices, there are halogen construction that are powerful enough.

But attention, this to be a blonde or your halogen, I would advise you not to go directly the source to your topic. It is always better to use indirect lighting using polystyrene, as the Déperon. The Déperon is a sheet of very thin polystyrene that you can find in the diy stores. You can also buy polystyrene plates thicker if you want to stall in a corner.

ATTENTION, I remind you that the lamps tungstènes heat up fast and strong ! Do not put the projector too close to the polystyrene under the penalty than that found !

Another important thing : you can soften the beam of the light by putting some sort of layer intended for the projector before ! So when I say before, it is not necessary to glue the layer on the source !!!

If I can give you a tip, rent or buy blondes or mandas, frankly it’s not going to get back to you very expensive. In addition you will have with the Barndoors (pronounced bandors by the technicians), that is to say components that will allow you to enlarge or reduce the beam of the projector. But it will also allow you to hang gelatins, layer, spin etc…in Short all the stuff you can put in front of your source without that being a problem. And to hold it all there’s nothing like clothespins made of wood, and not plastic !! Under penalty of having funny surprises !!!!

theater lighting with fluorescent tubes

This is the kind of lighting that I like to see on the sets. I’ve always found it practical, lightweight and pretty darn useful. There are two types of fluorescent : daylight and artificial. As you can see on the photo just below, the tubes are laid out next to each other in a ” light box “. The advantage of the tubes neon is that it is possible to turn the lights on separately, which allows you to “measure” the light you need. In addition, you can also put frames broadcast to work, your light like other projectors or filters.

The other significant advantage of these tubes is that they emit very low heat in contrast to the lamps tungstènes.

Has the reverse lamps tungstènes, the tubes fluo give a light uniform and diffuse. Their lifespan is also much longer than an ordinary lamp. We can say roughly that a fluorescent tube with a lifespan of 10 000 hours…suffice to say that you have the time to see it coming ;o) the more it consumes less fuel and you don’t need to have a ventilation crazy or you don’t need to ventilate the room every 5 minutes because the tea has become a furnace ;o)

Then why continue to use the projectors lamp tungsten or HMI ? (As we will see later). Simply because each projector has its own use. If I take a light box with tubes of neon I will not have the same capacity for illumination with a tungsten lamp. Tubes fluo do not have the same possibility of intensity or, if you want to, not the same power. I will not be able to use the tubes fluo only close to my characters.

In addition to these two types of projectors you can also find projectors with Fresnel lens…

The light in the cinema : What is a projector Fresnel ?

In fact, this projector works with lamps tungstènes and HMI. What really changes is that the projectors are equipped with lens. For a very long time I thought it was a projector full then not at all. We must therefore say a projector to Fresnel lens. The Fresnel lens is just a process that allows to obtain a lens much thinner than a lens normal. Instead the lens is smooth, the Fresnel lens is made of hollows and bumps in the shape of a circle.

Here’s an old projector that my grandfather gave me equipped with a Fresnel lens

The Fresnel is not a projector but a lens.


lighting cine with The HMI

These are the projectors ” day effect ” par excellence. The HMI has a color temperature of 5600 k. I remember the first time I’ve had on one of my films, I was very proud…it is silly but I had the impression of making a movie…I quickly realized that the projector was not the director lol. But it’s still a great memory. The HMI need to mount, that is to say that the ignition temperature of the color is not good. It is necessary to wait a little before they are usable. It is for this reason that we do not have fun turning them on and off at any end of the field. In addition, the lifetime of a bulb HMI is very low, and amounts to around 200 hours. Moreover, when you rent an HMI, you pay the time-of-use of the light bulb.

Let’s take an example of the cost difference between a projector HMI Fresnel 5KW and a projector Fresnel tungsten 4kw…well for the first it would cost per day : 120 € and for the second we would be only 25 euros for 5KW. For grumpy, I am aware that I am comparing two projectors that do not have the same usefulness…

Of course, all the projectors must be used with caution. I encourage you to make a call to an electro whose job it is, if you had to use big projectors…I think it’s even mandatory…

My knowledge in the field of light are rather limited, it would be necessary that I can also talk about different broadcasters to use to control the light, but frankly I do not think I am not capable of. There are different names such as : spun, tough, silk , etc…They all have a specific function…If you know and you want to make your contribution, contact me by e-mail. Otherwise it will take a little time so that I can talk to a electro ;o) Idem to calculate the exact temperature you need according to the different sources of light, or use the swatches…I remind you that I am color blind and because of this, I’d be a very, but then a very bad teacher lol

That’s it for this article on the different projectors (except the LED). I hope that this will help you on the opportunities that you have. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to post them at the bottom of this article.

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Tom Weil

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