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LED double-ended bulbs for Mole-Richardson NookLite, Lowel Tota-Light

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Bob Cole
LED double-ended bulbs for Mole-Richardson NookLite, Lowel Tota-Light
on Nov 20, 2017 at 2:40:49 pm

Has anyone experimented with replacing their tungsten double-ended bulbs with LED?

If not (and I haven't found one), is this just a matter of not being able to fit enough LED bulbs into that form factor?

Bob C


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Erik Anschicks
Re: LED double-ended bulbs for Mole-Richardson NookLite, Lowel Tota-Light
on Dec 2, 2017 at 4:29:27 am

I haven't found one either, at least one suitable for production. It sounds like you're talking about a retrofit into existing tungsten fixtures, something akin to what Visionsmith does?

If so, my guess is that it would be very hard to make one that slots into a double-ended system that would even come remotely close to matching the raw output from a 1K tungsten double-ended source. There's not much in the way of ventilation in those units and a heat sink module would be pretty impractical and probably not worth the effort. I would also imagine there isn't a particularly high demand for this from DPs and gaffers either. I haven't seen a nook or Tota in any kits or rental trucks in forever, and even the Mickey or Mighty Moles I see are usually just holdovers from tungsten rental packages that haven't updated or changed in years.


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Bob Cole
Re: LED double-ended bulbs for Mole-Richardson NookLite, Lowel Tota-Light
on Dec 2, 2017 at 12:21:56 pm
Last Edited By Bob Cole on Dec 2, 2017 at 12:25:38 pm

[Erik Anschicks] "not much in the way of ventilation in those units and a heat sink module would be pretty impractical"

Thanks Erik. You are absolutely correct about the design issue. I have found one LED lamp that will fit (Westinghouse 03187), but I haven't bought it to test. The spec sheet shows a very low output, and CRI 80.

The VisionSmith example is probably what gave me the idea. I have their Arri 300 replacement, and it's fantastic. But when you compare the tiny tungsten lamp for the 300 with the fixture-filling VisionSmith module, it makes your point about the inherent nature of the LED technology.

So, moving on... What are the best alternatives to the old tungsten "broads" in the LED (daylight-balanced) world? What has replaced those lights on the rental trucks? Is there going to be anything that approaches their compactness and output, or do we have to wait for the next thing after LED?

I'm going to hold onto my ancient fixtures. I still use Mole Nook-Lites for wide, smooth washes of light for a base. And I still really like my Tota-lights, especially for traveling. You can get a lot of beautiful wide-spectrum output from a Tota/Chimera that packs up compactly. The only issues are heat, draw, and daylight-balancing. And looking out-of-date. If I hold on long enough they'll just look retro.

Bob C


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Erik Anschicks
Re: LED double-ended bulbs for Mole-Richardson NookLite, Lowel Tota-Light
on Dec 4, 2017 at 5:25:48 am

[Bob Cole] " What are the best alternatives to the old tungsten "broads" in the LED (daylight-balanced) world? "

Gotta say, I really don't know of any that even approximate the same thing, at least nowhere close in terms of output and compact footprint. The only thing I ever really used actual nook lights for were things like uplighting or architectural-style effects in backgrounds and such. There are LEDs that can do that, but they're more designed for theatrical and live event type work.

I recently shot on a competition show for the Golf Channel that utilized a ton of them in the backgrounds for some of the sets. It worked well, but it's not really a like-for-like replacement for field motion-picture work. They also aren't really specifically made to simulate color-accurate (and natural) 55K daylight, though I'm sure that's a pre-set look in them.

There are smaller things like literibbons and such that are very small strips which can be made into a fixture similar to a nook, but they don't have nearly the output an old 1K broad would pump out. I just don't think LED is there in a size-to-output ratio. If I'm wrong, please tell me, I'd love to see what I'm missing!

[Bob Cole] "What has replaced those lights on the rental trucks? Is there going to be anything that approaches their compactness and output, or do we have to wait for the next thing after LED?"

Same thing, I don't really think anything in the LED world has replaced them in a like-for-like sense. Honestly, even like 10 years ago, few people were requesting those types on rental jobs, maybe once in a while. For general purposes, people just seemed to gravitate towards putting an open-face Mole or Arri fixture in a Chimera. So the market probably isn't there for them, at least not one that would make financial sense to try and develop. For broad LED lighting, there are lots of good daylight options, like the Area 48 or Cineo fixtures, the flex-type instruments from Westcott or Aladdin, or the litemat, Quasar, or kino LED options that act closer to a Kinoflo fixture. Any of them will pump out a bunch of broad, color-accurate daylight, though they're not nearly as small as a nook.


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