what effects will the fluorescent ceiling lights have on my strobe setup?


TPF Noob!
Feb 9, 2012
Reaction score
Houston Texas
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit

I am a newbie with studio lighting and I pulled the trigger today and ordered my first set of lights and modifiers. I will be setting up my studio in my garage. The walls are off grey and the ceiling is 8 feet high. I have one small 3'x4' window facing to the southwest. I have 5 banks of fluorescent lights flush mounted on the ceiling in the garage. I would like to get the garage ready for once my strobes arrive.

My questions is: Will the fluorescent lights have any effect on my photos (color and such) when I use my strobes?

If so, how do I minimize the effects?

My gear:
Canon 50D
2qty Einsteins (Paul C Buff) with 7 foot PLM Umbrellas
1- 22 silver beauty dish
10X20 back drop with white , green, and black

Thank you in advance for your help.
Fast shutter speed to eliminate the majority of the ambient.

Suggestion, don't turn on all 5 BANKS of flourescent lights!
If your strobes are bright enough relative to the ambient light, then you won't see the effect of the fluorescents in the image. If you consider typical camera settings you would use with studio lighting (ISO100, f/8, 1/200sec, for example), the fluoros are likely not bright enough to even expose.

If for whatever reason your settings are such that you are seeing the ambient light, fluorescents can create unpredictable and often green color casts.
Set everything up (shutter, ISO, aperture), and take a photo....... without using the strobes. That will show you exactly what effect the lights will have.
Wow! Awesome, thank you for the quick responses.

I do have a follow up question: I have heard that putting a "filter" over the lights also help in reducing the color effect cast, if any. What color filter does everyone refer too? All I hear is "filter" but no specific color. Thank you again.
When you're changing the color of a light, they're typically called gels, and not filters. Filters are usually items that screw onto the lens (with a completely different purpose).

Normally you gel lights if you have several colors of light sources in the scene, and you want to make them match. For example, if you were shooting in a room lit by tungsten, and augmenting the natural light with flash, you'd put a CTO gel (color temperature orange) on your flashes to make them warmer to match the tungsten. Fluoros are a little more complicated because their color oscillates. The 60Hz A/C that powers them causes color shifts at the same frequency, and as such, it's recommended that you shoot fluoro light at 1/30second or slower (and only full stop multiples of 1/30), in order to average out the range of colors in a fluoro cycle. If your shutter is slow enough to average properly, you can sometimes gel your flashes green to match them, but, there are even several colors of fluorescent bulbs available.

It sounds like for your purposes it would be best to just make sure only your strobes expose.
Use your modeling lights as the light in the room and turn the others off.

Most reactions

New Topics