DIY lighting gear and possible fire hazard.

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Top-Cat, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. Top-Cat

    Top-Cat Member

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    I've put this up in another forum somewhere, though I thought it would be a good idea to ask you guys here on APUG.

    I've been looking through strobist and other DIY lighting sites looking for snoot solutions and the likes of it, and I keep noticing all manner of light modifiers such as home made snoots and softboxes made of cardboard.


    The thing that bothers me while seeing this is considering the amount of heat these flashes produce.


    I'm trying to learn how to use a set of studio lights as well as a couple of Nikon speedlites, and am considering using the speedlites as snoots considering that's the cheapest and easiest way to modify light.


    So I'm curious, is there any big fire hazard as to using cardboard and similar materials next to a speedlite? And if there isn't, are the DIY solutions for bigger lights such as 500WS useable as well?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2010
  2. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    The strobes get hot but not for very long - so there's very little if any fire hazard for cardboard, gaffer's tape etc. - unless you are using an unreal cyclical rate.
    Flood lights or hot lights do get hot and I promise that a 500w photo flood can set paper and/or cotton fabric on fire. (Don't ask how I know.)
     
  3. rjbuzzclick

    rjbuzzclick Member

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    I have some homemade snoots constructed of drinking straws and gaff tape. I use them on Vivitar 285's and have had no heat issues.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Unless you're working with a studio type strobe with a modeling light, there is no worry about heating things like cardboard and such.
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    As above, there should be no problem with flash. Hot lights get hot. Try touching your desk lamp after it's been on a while.
    500WS should be no problem.
    You can use cans(empty)=) or possibly PVC tubing. Foamcore is used quite a bit for softboxes or reflectors as long as the (hot)light doesn't get too close to it.
     
  6. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have in the past made grids out of black coreflex corrogated plastic for my Speedotron Blackline studio flash heads. The flash output is no problem, even to 2400w/s, but the 250W incandescant modelling light's heat will start to melt the plastic.
     
  7. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Even the umbrellas, soft boxes and snoots you buy will usually list a fire hazard warning. Keep an extinguisher handy I guess and try not to fire lots of high powered flashes in a row.