How to Build a DIY Studio Lighting Kit (Video)

When you’ve got a camera, and you’ve got action, but you’re missing the lights, you’re at an extreme disadvantage as a videographer. Or a photographer, for that matter. Don’t worry. I’ve been there. In fact, until yesterday, I was just like you. Not anymore. Now I have lights! Check out this video to see how I made a DIY lighting kit on a budget.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to improve the lighting so you can shoot great-looking video. If, like me, you’re on a mission to make professional videos in an apartment or at home, this simple project will give your media game a boost. Yep, with a DIY video lighting set up, you can take your photography or videography to the next level, even if you’re just seeking the best lighting for iphone photography.

Hey professional videographers out there! What else should I add to my DIY photo lighting set up?

Buying LED Light Bulbs (When You’re Used To Halogen)

LED Picture LightWith LEDs, you have so many possibilities. Earlier this week, we published a post about replacing old incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. But, LED light bulbs are much more versatile than that. Their innovative construction makes them great replacements for almost any kind of light bulb.

In this post, we’ll cover how LEDs can replace halogen light bulbs. 

A halogen light bulb is an incandescent light bulb filled with a halogen gas. This gas within the light bulb’s envelope helps the light last longer and use less energy to produce light. There are certainly good reasons to use halogen light bulbs, but these lights also have their shortcomings.

Before we get into how to replace halogen light bulbs with LEDs, we need to understand the pros and cons of using halogen lights:

Halogen Pros:

  • Color Temperature: Halogen lamps emit crisp, flattering light, only slightly cooler than a regular incandescent’s color temperature. The added blue and green tones make a halogen light bulb appear whiter and brighter than the average incandescent.
  • Rated Life: These lights last longer than incandescent light bulbs. A halogen light’s rated life can range from 8,000-20,000 hours, while an incandescent usually lasts around 1,000-2,000 hours.
  • Efficiency: They’re more efficient than regular incandescent light bulbs, generating about 10-35 lumens per watt, compared to about 8-24 lumens per watt.
  • Color Rendering: Halogen lights have a CRI of 100, which means they render colors perfectly. This makes them great for display lighting, accent lighting, and more.
  • Dimming: These lamps still generate light with a filament, so you can use them with standard dimmer switches.

Halogen Cons: Read More

How To Cope When Your Favorite Light Bulb Gets The Shaft: Reflector Lamps

This post is the second in a three part series on EISA light bulb phase-outs: what’s leaving, why it’s leaving, and how we can cope. If you missed the first post on household lamps, you can find it here

Discontinued Reflector Lamps

New standards have also hit the halogen and incandescent reflector lamps that don’t meet efficiency requirements set by the EISA. The act affects the following:

  • BR, ER, and BPAR lamps
  • Reflector lamps between 2.25” (R18) and 2.75” (R22) in diameter
  • Lamps that have a rated wattage of 40 watts or higher

It really boils down to a lumens per watt issue here. If a lamp doesn’t produce enough light for the amount of energy it consumes, it’s on the way out.

Here’s your guide to the new LPW standards as of 7/14/12 for 40W-205W lamps*:

Lamp Size (Diameter) Voltage Minimum Lumens Per Watt Replacement Options
2.5” (R20 and PAR20) 120V 13.5 to 21.0 LPW LED, CFL, Halogen IR
130V 15.4 to 24.0 LPW LED, CFL Halogen IR
>2.5” (PAR30, PAR38, BR30, BR40, ER30, ER40) 120V 16.0 to 24.8 LPW LED, CFL, Halogen IR
130V 18.4 to 28.6 LPW LED, CFL, Halogen IR

*Exemptions to these standards include: Rough service or vibration lamps; colored PAR lamps; BR30, BR40, and ER40 lamps rated at 65 watts; ER30, BR30, BR40, and ER40 lamps rated at 50 watts or less; R20 lamps rated at 45 watts or less. These regulations apply to standard spectrum reflector lamps only. For modified spectrum lamps standards are approximately 17% less stringent. For more info check out this article. Read More

Your Infographic For Deciding On A Light Source

We’ve been in business since 1993, so we’ve heard just about every question in the book when it comes to light sources. “How much longer does an LED light last than a fluorescent, on average?” “Which light sources are dimmable?” “What exactly is xenon lighting?”

We created this infographic to address those questions and more – all of the FAQ’s that we hear related to choosing a light source. You’ll find an overview of how each one works, a color temperature comparison scale, pros & cons, estimated lifetime, and a few more general tips. Let us know what you think!

Comparing light sources, an infographic

Want to embed this infographic on your own site or blog? We’d love that! Copy & paste the embed code below:

<img src=”” width=”788″ height=”2072″>
Choosing A Light Source</strong> created by <a href=””>Pegasus Lighting</a>.

A Few Halogen Light Bulbs On The Way Out

When the Department of Energy issued new energy efficiency standards in 2009, they didn’t just affect T12 fluorescent lamps. PAR 20, PAR 30, and PAR 38 halogen lamps will face the new standards as well. As a result, many inefficient halogen reflector lamps will no longer be manufactured or imported in the U.S. beginning July 14, 2012.

Of course, old lamps that don’t meet efficiency standards will still be available after July 14th until stock is sold out, just like with the T12 fluorescent lamp regulations.

For information on exactly which halogen light bulbs are on the way out, check out these very helpful brochures from Osram SylvaniaWestinghouse Lighting, and Philips Lighting respectively.