lighting question..........

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Naturallyred, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Naturallyred

    Naturallyred TPF Noob!

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    So I guess this question isn't about the lighting itself..it's more about if I can find a battery pack I can plug my light's into to have them run off that. The reason I ask is because I live in an old ass house(like 70 years old) It can't handle all the watt's I run in my studio. I run 3 light's and about 10 minutes in the electricity shut's off...and keep's doing this....I have to trip the breaker about 7 times just to get a 1 hour session finished. This is really annoying and embarrassing. I use to only use 2 light's because I thought that was all I needed. Now I now I need 3. Does a battery poser pack exist that I can plug my light's into? Maybe be able to take it outside for sunset shoot's with models...

    I appreciate any feedback/links/ anything helps. Thank you so much!!
     
  2. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    I'd be looking for a petrol type generator that can output the power you need then wire the studio independently from the house, or get an electrician to look at your house/studio wiring, I reckon you've a fault somewhere. H
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You really need to have someone look at the wiring in your house!! If you wind up burning it down you won't have a studio to worry about.

    After you've received a clean bill of health on that and it still happens (it may just be a bad breaker) you can have another line run to your studio that will handle the extra load.
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    What sort of lights are you talking about?
     
  6. Naturallyred

    Naturallyred TPF Noob!

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    Thank you everyone! You all ROCK! I probably do need to get the wiring in my place checked out but I'd rather just get the battery pack that Big Mike showed me a link to. It's a scary thought of my house/studio burning down so I will probably end up having it checked out really soon.

    Helen- I am talking about Britek continuous studio lighting.
     
  7. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'd still have a sparky look at your place for possible faults, especially if you plan on staying a while. You may need to upgrade you main CB which will be safer and give piece of mind. A secondary for you studio may not be a bad idea either to stay off the grid.
     
  8. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    You are going to need very big batteries to run continuous studio lights - I would be surprised if a battery system was the best answer to your problem. You didn't mention the wattage of the lights you are using. Given the wattage we could tell you how long you could run the lights from a particular battery.

    For example, if you have the efficient Britek 600 Cool Light 1 you would be drawing 4 x 43 W = 172 W. The Vagabond II battery has a nominal capacity of no more than 240 watt-hours (20 amp-hours x 12 volts). That would run one 600 Cool Light for less than an hour and a half, or two for under an hour*. Three would exceed the stated capacity of the Vagabond II inverter (335 W), so you might need two Vagabond II units to run three lights. But you are probably not running lights with such a low power draw - if three 170 W lights are tripping your breaker you are in real trouble.

    If you have tungsten lights with a higher power draw the situation is bleaker. Shorter battery life for the same amount of light, and changing colour temperature. You would probably need a higher capacity inverter than the one in the Vagabond II.

    If you were running three Britek 600 W tungsten lights it would be no surprise that you are tripping the breaker. You would be pulling over 16 amps. To run those from a battery for one hour you would need a battery of at least eight times the capacity of the battery in the Vagabond II.

    You need to know how much power your lights are drawing to estimate the maximum battery capacity.

    I would be very surprised if there wasn't something that could be done to your house wiring to provide more juice than batteries or a small generator could for the same cost. Could you draw current from two different breakers? What is the total power draw when three lights are on? Are you also running an AC? Is it just that one circuit is overloaded?

    Best,
    Helen

    *later edit: The Vagabond II units are not really designed for use with continuous lights because the output voltage is not held constant - it varies with the amount of current drawn.
     
  9. morydd

    morydd TPF Noob!

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    Circuit breakers are there for a reason. A tripped circuit breaker means there's a problem electrically somewhere. Either your lights are pulling too much power. Check you wattage, and check what's plugged into that same circuit. Your circuit breaker will be labled in amps (probably 10 or 15, possibly 20) multiply that by voltage (110-120) to get the total load the circuit can handle. (1100-2400 W) Subtract the total wattage of your lamps. If you're not close to the wattage you just computed, you've got a significant issue. If you are close, you need to either put at least one light on another circuit.

    Either way, continuously resetting the breaker is a bad, bad idea.
     
  10. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So this meaning that with 2 lights, it worked fine, but now with three, the breaker trips. Sounds like you are simply overloading the circuit.

    I think that there are some much less expensive ways to remedy your problem.

    A) Plug one of you lights into an outlet on a different circuit. Now being an older house, we can probably assume that it has basic 100amp service. realistically you will never draw that much power at one time (unless your into arc welding and listening to a concert hall sized stereo at the same time, while baking a cake in your electric oven.;)) The real limitation that you may find, is that older house were typically wired using very few circuits, so there may be lots of outlets and light fixtures wired to them, you may need to try a few outlets to get one that wont turn off if you decide to make some toast:). If you need to run an extension cord, use one that is at least 14gage(smaller number=thicker wire) , that is probably the same size as the wire in your walls.

    B) Have an electrician, or maybe just a friend who knows what they are doing, run a couple of dedicated 20amp circuits from you box to your studio. Although labor for an electrician is a fair amount of money, its probably much cheaper than purchasing a generator or sufficient battery system.
     
  11. Naturallyred

    Naturallyred TPF Noob!

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    I didn't think about running an extension cord to another outlet. I will try that! I know for a fact I need to get the wiring checked....
    This is the light setup I have
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7614865602

    The light's are 600 watt's each. I haven't tried to plug the light into a different outlet so I will for sure do that. The AC was running...eventually had to turn everyting off(couldn't even make toast) lol Seriously though. The downstairs part of my house wasn't effected. Just the upstairs. I'm leaning more towards not getting a battery or a generator right now...I will try the extension cord thing and go from there.

    You guys don't know how much I appreciate all the help.
     
  12. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Those the light total 1800 watts, thats exactly 15amps, So I would bet that you have 15amp circuit breakers, which is typical. Running a extension cord sounds Like a cheap fix for the time/money involved, but if you do decide to change something in the future, I think that having and additional circuit added is the way to go.
     

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