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Hello everyone from the community,

I was curious to hear from anyone with experience in lightning about couple questions that come to mind when getting new set of lamps/reflectors for my stage.

One of those questions is whether 30 watts lamp is a good range of watt for becoming my key-light and then another one for my filling-light. Then I also wonder, if for my third light, if  having a non-led lamp being weaker is a good idea. Would it be convenient to be a back light to offer me a proper "3-light source" kit for my stage?

I am sure these are all very generic questions. To many of you, as ovbious. But basically I am curious to know how much the density of watts can benefit me more or less on my stage. I have the possibility of getting a 50w light , but then there is a cheaper one which is like a combo pack of 2 lights of 30w, but is it worth the pack with less watts or should I go with 50 watts? These are some of the questions in mind before going any further on my research. I am considering my budget of course. But beyond what I can or cannot afford, what I am wondering is if the rule "less is more" actually applies here.

Thanks for reading.

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I have 8 lights on my set at the moment!  And they are a mix of many types.  I am gradually updating, but still using many old lights that you can't buy any more.

One is a new (Neewer brand) 480 LED light, which is a rectangular panel with half cool white and half warm white little bulbs.  You can turn either set of lights up or down to get a range of colour temperature and brightness, all built in.  I used it with the cool bulbs on half power to give a general moonlight.  Then I had to do a green screen shot, and I used it on full strength warm and half strength cool to light the green screen.  I bought a second one but haven't used it yet, since I am trying to keep most of the scene dark, with small lights on the puppets.  It was around $Au 55 ($40 US).  Looks like this:    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/363299251887?_trkparms=aid%3D1110006%26...

There are also RGB versions where you can make the light any colour. 

I mostly use little PAR lights with 50 watt halogen GU10 reflector globes, same as in ceiling downlights, but you can get LED replacements to put in that are 5 or 6 watts.  The 5 watt ones are not as bright as the 50 watt halogens they say they replace, I tried 2 of them, and removed them and put the halogens back for this shot.  I will look for 6 or 7 watt replacement GU10 globes. Or, the 5 watt may be as bright but have a wider beam, so look less bright in the middle part that projects out of the housing.  Not sure yet.

For back lighting/ edge lighting I usually want something very bright, and I still have some old 6 volt 30 watt halogen pinspots I use.  They have a narrow, concentrated beam of light, so they can hit the back of a puppet and light up the edges, without spreading light all over the set.  It is a night scene so I didn't want everything bright. They are mostly obsolete now. In discos they are used to hit the mirror ball and cause reflections all around th room, or for narrow beams of light that show up in the smoke.  I bought one 3 watt LED pinspot that was cheap, hoping it would make a good replacement. But the "white" light from it is very purplish blue, so it is only useful some of the time.  It was around US$15 I think. It is bright enough.  This one may be better:  https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/353485436385?chn=ps&norover=1&m...    

With a 3 light set-up I usually want a bright key light on one side, a soft fill light that is less bright, and a back light that is usually a narrow beam and even brighter than the key light.  

That was plenty of information to keep on handy while I have the opportunity to buy this kit, Nick.

Thank you so much-If possible (and all goes well), I may be able to purchase this kit sometime next month. Then, we will see how it goes with these pair of 50 Watt LED-lights, in addition to cheap lower-dim-light as back-light. I heard of these Neweer brand you mentioned. I have seen what they can do, they are so great. I came across few times. These, however, are very generic but I am glad brands are not much of a problem when it comes to build my stage, which turns out very encouraging for my budget. 

I will definitely keep in mind your advice about back-light preferibly being very bright. Thankfully, this lamp is a small and easy to replace the light from it, it is a room-lamp, (small little lamp). Appreciate the feedback provided on how puppets can be benefit from back-light hitting edges. Also, I see now back-light can be understood as "edge light", it makes sense now how.

Indeed, I have one or two pinspots too, but they are not led and they are smaller than the ones you shared from ebay. Mines I got it some time ago for a similar price, it came as a combo. I am planning to give use of it, if i can figure a way to clamp them somewhere. If this backdrop project gets finished within few weeks, that would be convenient, maybe attaching one on each extreme (being thinking about it) pinspot yes


Once again, all being explained was incredibly useful and would guide me through this exploration on lightning my stage along with backdrop and then the table. Really trying to pull this off, somehow, prior to halloween season (crossing fingers!)

Thanks Metalmadcat and Nick - I was about to post a question about lighting so this was very helpful. I have budget and space constraints for my puppet animation project - I've decided on and just ordered 2 Viltrox L116T LED studio lights. I will post an update when they arrive and I've tested them out!

The Viltrox L116T definitely works for stop motion - I have a number in the bag that I use for all sorts of projects. Often I find them too bright for my needs and will ND gel them and or gaffa tape over half the light or more to control them a little more -

As a general broad light they are great for small table top setups.

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