taking one frame at a time since 1999

Guys and gals, I need your opinion on this. I found this item on ebay:

I know nothing about electronics, but my dad does and he said it would be pretty simple to separate out the lights to have them as single spotlights. I am wondering what you all think about them? I could throw them on some light stands and connect a dimmer to each (if that would work?) and have some super cheapo lights for animation. 

Just looking for a step-up from the desk lamps I am currently using which can never get in to exactly the right spot!

Any thoughts or knowledge appreciated.


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Simon, I cut my barndoors from aluminium sheet, with a pair of tin snips.  There is a tab sticking out which I bent around a piece of coathanger wire with pliers, so it acted as a hinge - see bottom left of photo.   The ends of the wire were bent in so they can be glued into holes in the edges of a square piece of plywood, with a round hole cut out of the middle to fit the downlight.

Bought these two Par 16s last April for £37 and change including postage.  Seller threw in the plugs after a little haggling. Wished I'd bought four as I don't think he's on eBay anymore.  I'm no electrician but I think I can manage a couple of dimmer switches.

Looks nice, Dennis!

OK, back to the original thread.... The cheapie lights arrived today and don't look too bad. Here are some pics next to my PAR16 halogen and LED lights. Also a pic of 3 of the lights removed from the bar and ready to mount.

They are chrome steel, so fairly chunky. The bulb comes up nearly to the front surface of the lampholder. The barndoors are very basic, simply pieces of metal held in place by a plate and screws, so angling them involves bending the metal. This will obviously break eventually, but could be avoided by taking them off and bending the tabs just once over some coathanger wire, like Nick did, and drilling some holes in the plate for the wires to slot into. The handle/support is well fixed - the threads of the bolts are glued with epoxy or threadlocker, so the friction is constant (I found this out the hard way - see below.) There is a hole through the handle which would allow it to be mounted on a stand or dangled from a magic arm etc etc. With a bit of black paint on the inside of the barndoors, I think these are pretty serviceable. Of course, at £55 for four, they are not such good value and the PAR 16's are better, but for £15...

Marnik, you spotted these first and I feel a bit guilty having nipped in front of a penniless student to buy them, so if you would like some of these lights, I could sell 3 of them on to you. (I had better keep the other one, as I damaged a thread taking it apart. It's fine, just not as pretty.) As you can see they are separated, so pretty much ready to go. I'll throw in some 3 core flex, which is needed, and you said your dad could sort that out, also bulbs are included. You just need some plugs. Say £5 each including postage? If you are interested, send me a private message and we can swap addresses etc.

Simon, that is a truly kind and thoughtful offer! I couldn't possibly take them off you, as whether I did spot them first or not, you're the one who bought them so they're yours (unless of course you actively wanted to get rid of them)! I get by just fine with my desk lamps, and I'm sure you'd make much better use of them. Thank you so much for the offer!!!

Of course you could have them! I appreciate that you may be on a much tighter budget than myself. To be honest I bought them more out of curiosity than need. I am hoping to put together a thread looking at several different lights and their respective advantages/disadvantages, so I would like to keep hold of one - the slightly damaged one will be fine. It will also give me an opportunity to try out my barndoor modification.

I think 15 pounds is fair, as it will cost me about 3 to send, and I'll include the flex as mentioned before. 0.5m for each light. I could spray the barndoors black as well, if you wish. Anyway, up to you....

Well I will think about it... at the moment I'm not sure I can justify spending money (a little I know!) when I am getting by just fine with the desk I'd have to buy stands for them, not to mention the clutter it would make in my studio (room). I'll get back to you if I'm sure I want them. Nevertheless, thank you once again for such a generous offer, I do appreciate it!

That's fine. I do have some stands available - as I have just got my lights up on magic arms. You can contact me if you decide you would like them after all.

Hi Nick, where do you get the $24 par 16 lights in Australia? I'd like to get some myself.

StopmoNick said:

The PAR 16 is what I am using to replace my home-made lights.  They cost $24 each in Australia, and don't come with barn doors, though they do have a gel holder on the front.  So that set of 4 works out pretty good.  The only difference is, the PAR 16 can take a 50 watt halogen globe, and that set says max 35 watts.  Of course, an LED would be brighter but still way under 35w.

The Par16s come in chrome or black, I try to get the black ones so they don't reflect light into odd places.  It's the barn doors that matter though, so just get a can of matte black spray paint, if these lights don't come in black.


Monica, I went to the disco lighting place a couple of months ago, and they don't seem to sell the par 16s anymore. All they had were multi-LED lights. No halogen lights at all, and not even the LED replacement globes that could go into the par 16s. So everything I had worked out is now out-dated. And the led units weren't just white LEDs, they were a mix of red, blue, and green, which presumably would add up to white when they were all on. They seemed designed to use with some sort of controller, though they had some limited function on their own.
I looked online, too, and found nothing in Australia, and almost nothing anywhere. I did order one blueish white 3 watt led pinspot from China to try out as a substitute for the 6 volt 30 watt halogen pinspots I use. Not the same but could work. Didn't find a substitute for the par 16s, so I don't know what to suggest.

If you can get hold of some Dedolights, they are a bit bigger than the PAR 16s, but intended as proper film lights. But they are not cheap, even the old tungsten ones. I picked up a set of 3 for £660, then another one needing attention for £25. Still ouch!

Otherwise, if you get the cheap lookalikes and do a bit of converting, like the ones I got some years ago, that is a really cheap way to go. In the end they are just holders for the bulbs with hopefully some barn doors or something to control the light. When I was young we used to make stage lights out of a tin can and a bulb holder.... If you do go this route, and Oz electrics allow it, then do earth the shell of the light. For an arm to hold the light, try the cheap magic arms on eBay.

Hmm...just had a look on eBay UK, and there are plenty of PAR 16s still available. £11 or £16 with barndoors. Often sold for shop displays or restaurants.

Light stands can be bought very cheap - like these two 210cm tall nightstands for $22, shipping included:

Or you can get more solid ones at around $100 each (or more) from Videoguys or similar.  The light ones are ok of you aren't going to bump into them while animating.

Here's an LED replacement globe for the Halogen Par 16 - but it says it replaces the 35watt, when I use 50 watt halogens, so it's less bright.  

...Still looking for an up to date source for the Par16 light fitting you put the globe into.  

Ok, here's a pair on Ebay Aus, but they are shipped from the US,  A$79.24 for 2, shipping included:    

And that seems to be all, everything else that came up is just the LED globes.

What the disco places now have are these:

44 red, 21 green, 21 blue LEDs. With individual control of the red, blue and green.  $29,65, shipping included.   I haven't tried one to see how well they work as stopmo lighting.

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