cheap hot studio lights

makeshift studio light makeshift studio light

i already have a multi-flash studio light setup for my portrait work, but i’ve always sort of wanted to have some hot lights so that i don’t need to do so much guess work sometimes when taking pictures. i’ve always been torn about whether or not to get some dedicated lights or softboxes. the problem has always been cost. i don’t anticipate using these lights often, so i didn’t really want to spend hundreds of dollars to get a setup like this, especially when i have close to what i need already with my multi-flash setup.

but then i read an article about cheap home studio lighting and was intrigued with the possibility of adding lights to my setup that are always on. the problem i saw with this first article’s use of work lights is that the light thrown on the subject is pretty harsh and you’re going to need a lot of extension cords to power this setup.

but it was this article by dan that really made this a reality for me. he has a very similar setup in terms of equipment and so i decided to check it out a little more and try it out. i never thought about using my umbrellas with work lights and this seems to give a much more diffused light.

i have 2 umbrellas, 2 light stands, and 2 photoflex multiclamps for my flash-based setup already so all i had to do was go to sears and purchase the halogen work lights on sale for $10 each.

after getting the two work lights, the only problem i had was that the bolt that came with the work lights were a little too long and the threaded stud that fits into the multiclamp only was threaded about 1/4″. i had about 1/2″ of play and so i went to home depot and got a few washers and a nut to fill in that gap. then it all screwed in pretty easily and i’ve now got a diffused light source that’s always on. these things run pretty hot, though, so if you do choose to use them, be careful when handling them.

i plan to use the tripods that the work lights came with as a reflector holder. all i need is a clamp to hold the reflector to the tripod and i think i ought to be set.

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