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Eye strain with lights

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#1 aaronmc



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Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:50 AM

I'm doing some close quarters photographic and video work and both myself and my actors are experiencing eye strain with my CFL setups.

I have two, seven-bulb lights in softboxes. Each bulb is a 50W CFL. I also have a few 1000W halogens. At longer distances, all lights are fine. But with closer work, with the lights only five feet away from the actors, everyone is suffering eye strain, but only with the CFL bulbs. The eye strain remains even when the lights are operated at "low power." The halogen seems to cause much less of a problem for everyone's eyes, but start making us all sweat from the heat.

I would really appreciate thoughts on this. All of the stuff I've found online only addresses heat, throw, power, etc. Nothing talks about the effects on the actors except for concerns about UV radiation from some arc lamps.

#2 andy lee

andy lee


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Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:43 AM

I use tungsten light and put up with the heat ,
get a set of Red Heads some Lee diffuser and gels you will get good results its a proven work method.

Andy Lee
LTI Films

'If it looks good , it is good!'

#3 jgharding


    British Director and Camera Op - London

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:33 PM

I was once told this is to with radio-frequency radiation, as the bulbs flicker too fast for that to be the issue. LEDs present their own issues, but talent discomfort isn't one of them, so they can be useful when that's a primary concern.

Consults, directs and shoots. Loves shadows...

#4 aaronmc



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Posted 12 November 2012 - 03:13 AM

Thanks. After more research, I'm beginning to think that it may indeed be the flicker of the lights. Apparently, the amplitude of flourescent light flicker is very high. LED's usually operate on DC, thus no flicker, and incandescent bulbs have a very low amplitude to their flicker.

Ah well. I guess it's back to tungsten for close-up work. Better bust out my extension cords to distribute the load among my circuit breakers.

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