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Using Black Lights

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Austin Steele
Using Black Lights
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:05:49 pm

Working on a shoot with some black lights. We have the paint but are wondering about what to use for black lights. Could we add gels or something else to turn and arri kit into black lighting?

I assume we can or would we have to get special bulbs or use traditional black lights?

Thanks!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Using Black Lights
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:40:32 pm

You really need an ultraviolet illuminator. Painting incandescent bulbs or flo tubes purple doesn't cut it.


There was a story a while back about people in a high school gym somehow getting severe sunburn. The vapor-based lighting they used had a fixture get hit by a stray basketball or something. Not hard enough to break the light, but hard enough to break the UV shielding off of it. Since UV is invisible to human eyes, and the instrument continued to emit visible light, the school maintenance people left it alone, and it was cooking the heads and necks and faces of those who sat directly under it. Such a damaged source can also lead to early cataracts in your eyes.

Always be careful using UV light.


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Austin Steele
Re: Using Black Lights
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:45:27 pm

Good to know. So would you say the safest, easiest, cheapest way would be to just get a bunch of traditional black lights?

Putting gels over the arri's wouldn't work?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Using Black Lights
on Mar 25, 2010 at 2:40:51 am

No. The Arri is designed to emit as little UV as possible. You can change this by changing the type of bulb in it, somewhat, but I think what you really want is something more like this:

http://www.lightinguniverse.com/NA1/uv-wash-100w-uv-flood-fixture_5413115.h...


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Austin Steele
Re: Using Black Lights
on Mar 25, 2010 at 4:18:06 am

Thanks guys. We'd like to fill a 8ftX20ft wall. Were on a strict budget. So you think like 4 tradition black lights won't be enough?

I think those lights are too much to buy and rentals in Boston probably aren't likely..


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Dennis Size
Re: Using Black Lights
on Mar 25, 2010 at 3:58:40 am

This was discussed in this FORUM once before.
I had recommended ALTMAN LIGHTING (look under THEATRICAL - Blacklights).
They have a variety of fixtures that will do the job you need in various intensities. You haven't given any parameters of your shoot (such as how broad an area you need to light and the intensity of the light you need); but I would recommend the ALTMAN 400w Fresnel lensed Blacklight. It's bright enough to hang in a 16'-0" grid and still get good results over a broad area.

DS



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Bill Davis
Re: Using Black Lights
on Mar 26, 2010 at 11:32:43 pm

PLEASE DON"T NEGLECT THE SAFETY ASPECTS of using UV!

UV light can be extremely DISTRUCTIVE to eyesight.

Installing them in places like nightclubs where the service staff might be subject to them night after night can cause EXTREME health issues - even BLINDNESS.

So please, use UV sparingly.

Don't just stick lights up... consult with qualified vision and/or medical professsionals prior to setting up and/or operating high-coverage UV sources.

This from someone who does a lot of volunteer work for reading services for the vision impaired.

Be careful.

FWIW.



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