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Cheap HMI lights on Ebay

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Mike Thomas
Cheap HMI lights on Ebay
on Apr 18, 2011 at 1:45:13 am

I've been eyeballing some of these cheap though new hmi lights on Ebay. Does anyone have any experience using this equipment that I could get an opinion? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110675943153&ssPageName=...


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Todd Terry
Re: Cheap HMI lights on Ebay
on Apr 18, 2011 at 2:54:48 pm

I haven't used those exactly, but have seen plenty of the Chinese knock-off lighting instruments.

For the most part, they do work... they're generally not built quite as well as their name-brand counterparts though. And if one were to give you problems you'd be on your own as far as service goes.

A couple of things to note, which may or may not make a difference to you... most modern HMIs are "hot restrike"... you can turn them on or off at will... but that one is not. That is, when you turn it off you'll have to wait 10-20 minutes for it to cool before you can strike it again. That might not make any difference to you, and if you remember that, it might not be a big deal. I know here though one of our HMIs (a little 150w) is the only one that is not hot restrike, and people are forever forgetting that and switching it off or unplugging it, which leads to a wait on the set or location for it to cool down.

Secondly, most modern HMIs will also have a completely silent ballast... that one will not be. It obviously has a fan in it (you can see it on the end), so that's going to make a little bit of noise. We have one lower-priced 1200w fresnel HMI (from CoolLights) that's the same situation.... it has a small fan (about like a computer fan) in it. It's not very loud, but you can hear it. It's never a factor when we use it outside, but for sound interiors... say in a very quiet and very live room... you can definitely hear it. In those instances fortunately we have a very long head cable and can usually locate the ballast outside or in another room.

Lastly, they make sure to say the included bulb is just "for testing purposes" and that they make no guarantees since they are "very fragile." They're just covering their bases there and not wanting to replace a broken one. In reality, it would probably arrive fine, assuming it was packed correctly. HMI globes are actually not fragile at all... they are really quite robust and since they have no conventional filaments in them to easily break they can generally take a fair bit of abuse. Which is good to know, since a replacement globe can push $200-$300, depending on where you buy it.

They do work, but like most anything else... you get what you pay for.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mike Thomas
Re: Cheap HMI lights on Ebay
on Apr 18, 2011 at 8:29:33 pm

Great answer--thanks so much!


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Lee Dashiell
Re: Cheap HMI lights on Ebay
on May 23, 2011 at 2:58:00 am

I just bought two 1200 HMI Fresnels from China and they seem to be fine. I just tested them today and they both will restrike within 5 minutes of being hot for over an hour. I paid 2650 for two lights with ballasts including lamps and they were very well packed. The ballast fan makes some noise but nothing we can't overcome. All in all, I think they were a pretty good deal. On the other hand...I had a friend that bought just one and he had an issue with the ballast and they wanted him to ship it back. Shipping cost was twice what it cost to send it to the US.

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