How come film lights are so pricey?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by MixedOutput, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. MixedOutput

    MixedOutput TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I've wanted a film light for my dslr camera for some basic filming and photographing. And it seems to me that film lights are just led lights, which leads me to the question, how come they are so darn expensive? I know they vary widely in price but still I'm not quite sure what you get in the high end part for that much more $$.

    I eventually made my own video light that can be seen here:

    and I even included light color temperature adjustment for a fraction of the price of commercially manufactured one.

    I was inspired by diy-perks video where he makes a much bigger one and that also for a fraction of the price.


    can someone just enlighten me on what you actually pay for when you spend > $100 on camera light equipment that seemly just output light?


     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    23,565
    Likes Received:
    8,444
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    Labor
    Wages
    Salaries
    Temp. help wages

    Employee Benefits
    Vacation Pay
    Holiday Pay
    Uniforms
    Uniform Maintenance
    Unemployment
    Bonuses
    Incentives
    Retirement Plan

    Building
    Warehouse Space
    Trash Removal
    Lawn Care
    Snow removal
    Upkeep & Repairs

    Office Expenses
    Computers
    Stationary
    Copy machine
    Fax machine
    Forms
    Printing
    Software
    Office Equipment
    Computer maintenance
    Files
    Postage
    Office Supplies

    IT
    Internet service
    Email accounts
    Web site
    -Initial creation
    -Updating
    -Maintenance

    Taxes
    Property Taxes
    Tangible Taxes
    Pay Roll Taxes
    Income Taxes
    Sales Tax

    Training
    Management Training
    Office Training
    In-House Training
    Tech Training
    Mfg. Training
    Training Equipment
    Safety Training
    Update classes
    License testing
    OSHA compliance

    Insurance
    Building Insurance
    Liability Insurance
    Employee Insurance
    Life Insurance
    Business Insurance
    Workers Comp.

    Utilities
    Gas
    Electricity
    Telephone / Fax lines
    Internet Service
    Toll Calls
    Telephones
    Pagers/Cell Phones

    Vehicles
    Vehicle Maintenance
    Fuel
    Truck Signs / lettering / vinyl
    Tires

    Financial
    Accounting
    Loans
    Tax Preparation
    Interest
    30+ Day Receivables
    Bank Charges

    Travel
    Hotel
    Meals
    Airline / vehicle

    Tools
    Company Tools
    Safety Equipment
    Ladders
    2-way Radios
    Test Equipment
    Replacement Parts
    Parts Storage
    Damages
    Tool Replacement
    Job site storage

    Legal
    Legal advice
    Law Suits
    Incorporation / LLC fees

    Advertising
    Marketing
    Business cards
    Signs
    Radio / TV
    Newspaper
    Flyers / brochures
    Material Purchases
    Inventory

    Misc.
    Trips to Supply House
    Theft
    Uncollected Money
    Collection fees
    Unbillable Hours
    Commissions
    Warranty work
    Shortages
    Bad Checks
    Delivery
    Credit Card Sales
    Drug Testing
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,376
    Likes Received:
    398
    Location:
    North Essex UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    While these are valid costs, they should generally be a much lower proportion of unit costs, especially as mass produced units can normally buy raw materials at SIGNIFCANTLY lower cost than DIY projects.


    IMO a significant part of the price extra is profit. Perhaps trying to maximize the takings before people find out how easy they are to make (or until local photostores have stocked up on cheap Chinese units).
     
  4. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    23,565
    Likes Received:
    8,444
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    But I'll get you a dollar the OP didn't consider ANY of them when calculating the true 'cost' of his DIY lights.

    And without profit, any company will eventually fold.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    41,401
    Likes Received:
    5,696
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Including not considering a wage/salary for the OP, the cost of his soldering iron, electricity to heat the soldering iron and power the lights/heat/AC in his shop, a portion of the cost of the pliers he used to strip insulation off the wires, and yada, yada, yada.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. MixedOutput

    MixedOutput TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm well aware of the facts that companies have expenses to pay. I don't think you really understand what I meant. What I'm trying to say is that film lights don't seem that technically advanced to me to really justify the prices they charge, considering the fact that they are basically just led lights on a panel with a driver circuit. So I was asking whether they have special features that I'm missing that justify their high cost or if it might be a case of premium branding to increase profit margins.

    I feel like the only way i can see any justification to these prices are that either the market for film light is so small they haven't streamlined the process enough and is basically assembling everything by hand or they have such a quality standard that they basically use gold instead of copper for their pcbs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  7. calamityjane

    calamityjane TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    21
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    What do you mean by 'film light'?
     
  8. MixedOutput

    MixedOutput TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I mean video light
     
  9. calamityjane

    calamityjane TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    21
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It's called 'continuous' lighting (as opposed to 'flash')
     
  10. MixedOutput

    MixedOutput TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Did not know that.
    Thanks!:1247:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. robbins.photo

    robbins.photo Yup, It's The Zoo Guy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Messages:
    11,518
    Likes Received:
    4,786
    Location:
    Louisville, Nebraksa - United States
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Also keep in mind when you build something for yourself you don't need to factor in concerns over safety or aesthetics.

    It doesn't have to be pretty, and you don't have to worry about getting sued if someone cuts themselves, or takes it into the bathtub with them, etc.

    There are lots of such concerns when you start manufacturing something for sale.

    Sent from my N9518 using Tapatalk
     
  12. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    23,565
    Likes Received:
    8,444
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit


    Well, tell ya what then: You've obviously found a major flaw in the business model of all the major manufacturers. Exploit it. Go into production yourself and start cranking out your own brand of lights.

    Egads, man... you're sitting on a gold mine! Get your shovel out and start digging!
     
    • Winner Winner x 1

Share This Page