Flourescent Light as Lighting and Prop

Foxx

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Hey all,

So I have an idea for a shoot with a model friend of mine -- I'd like to use a long flourescent light as the sole light source AS WELL as a prop.

However I've found out this is much harder than it seems. I have a few problem logstically and electrically with this setup that I'd like to get fleshed out before I go ahead and start buying things, so anyone who can contribute any information would be extremely helpful.

I also want to make sure that anything I decide to do is 100% safe for my model(I don't want the light blowing up or anything...) so any saftey tips would also be paramount

So my questions

1) Rapid-start FL lights have two pin contacts that slide into a starter switch that is usually inside a fixture. Is it safe for me to disassemble the fixture and use the components inside separately to make a stand-alone circuit?(So that my model can hold the bulb)

2) Assuming I can find a fixture with a standard 120V outlet plug, would I be able to use this with a portable generator? Do I need some kind of resistor if I do this?(my electrical skills are basic at the most)

3) How long can my model hold the bulb before it starts to becomes too hot to touch? Obviously the bulb will only be on for a few seconds while I take a shot -- I don't foresee any problems here but just wanted to get an opinion.

and finally

4) Does anyone have any experience doing anything like this? Are there kits for this? Can I buy individual/specialized components that could make this easier?


Thanks!
 
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480sparky

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This has trouble written all over it.

Starting voltage of a fluorescent (i.e, the voltage the ballast put out) can reach 700 volts. You really want your model handling that?
 
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Foxx

Foxx

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Your avatar seems fitting.

But yes, if I am confident I can create the setup in a safe and secure manner then I see no problem -- but that's why I'm asking for more information so as to evaluate whether even doing this is a possibility.
 

KmH

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Nothing, I repeat, nothing is 100% safe. How good is your liability insurance?


But yes, if I am confident I can create the setup in a safe and secure manner then I see no problem...

Do you notice how those sound like 'famous last words'.
 

480sparky

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MacHoot

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Do you notice how those sound like 'famous last words'.

"Alright...you hold this plugged in ballast and stand in that kiddie pool! MAN This is gonna be good! Um...are you okay?"
 
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Foxx

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Thanks for all the useful advice guys -- I appreciate the balanced responses, constructive criticism, and support.
 

MacHoot

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I was just playin around...there is a way to do this safely. Actually with a CB radio and two amplifiers and a couple antanas will light up the floresent bulb without be connected to anything.<br>

 
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Foxx

Foxx

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Actually with a CB radio and two amplifiers and a couple antanas will light up the floresent bulb without be connected to anything.<br>

This is excellent! Could you explain how this works with a little more detail? I'd much prefer this to working with wires. Thanks
 

480sparky

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Actually with a CB radio and two amplifiers and a couple antanas will light up the floresent bulb without be connected to anything.<br>

This is excellent! Could you explain how this works with a little more detail? I'd much prefer this to working with wires. Thanks

The RF energy is enough to cause the lamp to fluoresce. You can do the same thing near high-voltage lines with the EMF field.
 

MacHoot

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I used to do this to freak out my grandmother....I actually had to stop playing around with CB radios and Amps when I started turning her touch lamps on from my pickup truck. She thought grandfather was trying to communicate.


Alright....CB radio....place two antennas...one on either side of your subject. Put the cb on a high channel 35-40. Key up the mike when your ready for your light to light up.


If your antennas are too far apart you may have to add an amp or linear. 250w or more
 

cgipson1

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Has it occurred to you that there is a reason for it? Based on your question, you really don't have a clue what you are doing... and you are involving someone else, who may not know any better. The comments above are meant to hopefully discourage you... so that you don't get someone hurt / killed! I would suggest a bottery operated light saber... or maybe some fiber optics... you don't want to mess around with electricity if you don't know what you are doing!

Really just.. they are just trying to keep your ass out of jail... and your model out of the hospital / morgue! :)

EDIT.. didn't even think about RF for this.. that would do it. Good call.. Machoot!
 
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Foxx

Foxx

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Has it occurred to you that there is a reason for it? Based on your question, you really don't have a clue what you are doing...

Which is why I thought it a good idea to find out more about the idea before going ahead with anything. Everyone in this thread seems to believe I am full-steam ahead charging into this thing and am ready to hook up the live wires. It was(is) a concept, an idea.

Saying "you definitely should not be tinkering with high-voltages" instead of being snarky and posting a picture of "fail" seems like it would have been a bit more mature and helpful to me.

I have a friend who has a CB and antenna I can use -- and I've already contacted someone on craigslist who has another antenna in my area. Thanks to MacHoot I'll now be able to go ahead with this safely and cheaply.

No thanks goes to KmH or 480sparky who contributed nothing to this thread.
 
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