I watched a video recently about an alternative to studio lighting. But that's not the point. The point is that the light reflected in her eyes was pretty awesome. I'd love to replicate something similar.

Now. I figured I could purchase ten or so lights, drill holes in a square piece of wood and wire the lights in a circuit of some sort.

Later on, I'd also like to build a lighting rig out of those long fluorescent tubes. But that rig would be hard to store so I'll need to figure out a way to make it modular or something, photo below is from a music video.

Do you guys have any advice as to what I should do? Maybe a square isn't the best idea, maybe I'll make it rectangular and do a light array of 2-3-2-3-2-3 (over 4-4-4-4).

As for parts, I can buy the bulbs at work, but I can't buy the parts the bulbs would screw into, the wires or much of anything else. How many (different) wires would I need to connect two lights? Sixteen? And but different I'm inquiring something other than wires for positive and negative. Will I need a third wire to connect every other light?

As far as circuitry goes, nothing fancy since I won't be using this for video. Don't need it to flash or scroll light. Just a button for on and off, and *maybe* a dim option. So that if I build more than one I can control the light and set one as the primary and the other as a fill light.

How much more complicated does it get to add a switch and a dimmer? If The dimmer is also the switch, I'd assume it'd be the same rigging as if I just had a on-off switch. So that's what I'd likely do anyways.

When I get around to building this, I'll keep you guys updated if you'd like! But I need to know what sort of parts I'll need to purchase and how many wires and what length. My dad has a soldering gun so that's no issue for me to acquire.

Maybe, if this puts out a cool amount of light. I'll also use it as the main light in my room! Then, just unplug and unmount from the wall when I need to use it else where! Hehe
Any comments?
comicIDIOT wrote:
Any comments?
Well, as far as the fluorescent tubes go, it would be easy to mount each on a 2x4, put hinges between the thin edges of the 2x4s, and fan it out from parallel to a circle to keep it portable. On the electronic end of the multiple-bulb thing, are you envisioning standard household incandescents? If so, I must follow my Engineer's Oath and warn you about the dangers of working with household current, both to you and to belongings due to fire risk, and impress on you that if you should choose to make something, that you take the proper precautions with safe, electrical-taped, wire-nutted splices, fuses, and all that jazz. If you'd be doing the household incandescent bulb (or any lower-voltage bulbs too) you would simply wire them all up in parallel. Be aware of the type of wire you'd need, for example, for 16 60-watt bulbs in parallel (that would be 960 watts, or 8 amps surging through your wires and plugs. According to the following table you should use at least 12-AWG wire, which is quite thick indeed.

Hm, perhaps I can set up four circuits each with four lights. The wires in those individual circuits would be significantly smaller while I'd still need that thick wire to connect the completed circuits.

I'm going to guess it's possible to have two parallel circuits?

As for the lights, I was hoping I could just plug it into a wall and would buy some spiral 60-watt lights from work. Is there a safer alternative?
Well, there's all kind of voltages of lights; I'm sure there's (roughly) 30V or 60V bulbs that you could wire in series groups of 4 or 2 respectively, but they'd probably be more expensive to find. One possible alternative would be for your light array to have fewer lights (3x3 = 9, for instance), and/or wire several independent parallel sets, each with its own plug, to minimize how much current each of the plugs would be supplying.
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